Tenfold improvement in liquid batteries mean electric car refuelling could take minutes

One of the biggest drawbacks of electric vehicles – that they require hours and hours to charge – could be obliterated by new type of liquid battery that is roughly ten times more energy-dense than existing models, according to Professor Lee Cronin, the Regius Chair of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow, UK. What’s so special about … Read more

The mobile apps and wearable tech tapping into users’ emotions to tackle depression and anxiety

A smartphone chatbot that reinforces positive thinking and emotion-tracking tech are designed to support users living with mental health conditions. Image credit - Pxhere, licensed under CC0

by Gareth Willmer Personalised smartphone applications and wearable technologies that are attuned to the user’s state of mind are offering customised ways of helping people cope with mental illness. The rising incidence of mental health problems places great strain on health systems and societies around the world. In the EU, mental health disorders are already estimated to … Read more

We need a drone register to ensure privacy and safety – air traffic expert

There is a fine line between the benefits of using drones and possible misuse.

Requiring drones to identify and authorise themselves before they can fly, which could be achieved by fitting them with SIM cards, could help to protect people’s privacy by providing an effective way to register both users and machines, according to air traffic management expert Robin Garrity. He has been working on the U-space plan, which … Read more

Plasma is the ‘hidden champion’ of industrial innovation – Prof. Christian Oehr

Plasma is the most common form of matter in the universe.

Plasma technologies are everywhere — and could soon be rendering hospital wastewater harmless, scrubbing toxins out of gas in factory smokestacks and stopping dangerous ice formation on aeroplanes and electrical infrastructure, according to Professor Christian Oehr, head of the interfacial engineering and materials science department at Fraunhofer IGB in Stuttgart, Germany. Can you help us … Read more

Electronic wool to take wearable tech from the catwalk to your wardrobe

Sandwiching doped zine sulphide between graphene in textiles can create glowing clothes.

Engineers are threading circuitry into clothes to create comfortable devices that could make electronic fashion the future of the textiles industry. Smart textiles, where electronics are incorporated into fabrics, have been around for some time, from sensor-laden shirts that keep you cool, to dresses packed with LEDs. Despite these innovations, even the most determined shopper … Read more

Shared data and shrinking aircraft seats to cut travel times in Europe

Seperating the traveller and luggage early on can significantly reduce waiting times during travel.

Aircraft seats that temporarily shrink and a joined-up transport system that allows people to easily plan a door-to-door journey could help shift people’s first choice of travel away from cars and towards public transport by reducing the time and effort involved. That’s the hope of scientists who are working to increase the level of multimodality … Read more