Sunday, September 16, 2012

Exciting innovation in Internal Combustion Engine

Internal Combustion Engines is one of the most important inventions of the 19th century. It laid the foundations of the automotive industry which transformed our lives forever. Top auto manufacturers have some of the finest minds working on improving the core engine and we have seen incremental improvements over the years. With gas prices rising the focus has changed from more power to more fuel efficient engines.

EcoMotors, based in Michigan, has come up with an innovative design of the Internal Combustion Engine that will lead to drastic improvements. Their patented "Opposed-Piston Opposed-Cylinder Engine" comprises of two opposing cylinders per module, with a crankshaft between them, each cylinder has two pistons moving in opposite directions. The configuration eliminates the cylinder-head and valve-train components of conventional engines, offering an efficient, compact and simple core engine structure. Here is an explanation by their chief technology officer, Prof. Peter Hofbauer:

EcoMotors investors include Khosla Ventures and Bill Gates. The technology looks very promising, now lets wait and see when it actually gets into production.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Human Face of Big Data

Big Data recently has been a pretty hot technology area. The Human Face of Big Data project is a globally crowdsourced media project focusing on humanity's new ability to collect, analyze, triangulate and visualize vast amounts of data in real time. Rick Smolan of the "Day in the Life" book series fame is the person behind this project. Here is a small video:

The data collection will happen through the downloadable mobile app for both iOS and Android (available September 25th), so anyone with a smartphone will be able to participate. The data will be collected from the users and their trackable activities in real time between September 25th and October 2nd and will be analyzed by data scientists to draw some interesting insights in an invitation only event in New York.

In November the data collection and analysis activity will involve connecting students around the world in grades 6-12 and their teachers sharing opinions and learnings. Also a large format book "The Human Face of Big Data" will be released on November 20th, its a collection of pictures illustrating the topic.