Computers Expose The Physics Of NASCAR

This ScienceDaily article reports computer scientists at the University of Washington have developed software that is incorporated in new technology allowing television audiences to instantaneously see how air flows around speeding cars. From the article: “The algorithm, first presented at a computer graphics conference last August, was since used by sports network ESPN and sporting-technology company Sportvision Inc. to create a new effect for racing coverage.


The fast-paced innovation hit prime time in late July when ESPN used the Draft Track technology to visualize the air flow behind cars in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, a NASCAR race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Zoran Popovi from Telescope Reviews, an associate professor in the UW’s department of computer science and engineering, and two students wrote the code that dramatically speeds up real-time fluid dynamics simulations. Working with ESPN, a Chicago-based company named Sportvision developed the application for NASCAR competition.

The Draft Track application calculates air flow over the cars and then displays it as colors trailing behind the car. Green, blue, yellow and red correspond to different speeds and directions for air flow when two or more cars approach one another while driving at speeds upward of 200 miles per hour.

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Troops set to take virtual plunge: MoD launches £500,000 parachute jump simulator

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This DailyMail article reports the Ministry of Defence unveiled its latest piece of equipment, a parachute jump simulator, which is designed to bridge the gap between dry training and live jumps. From the article: “State-of-the-art technology costing £500,000 is helping parachute troops leap into the virtual world.

The Ministry of Defence today unveiled its latest piece of equipment, which is designed to bridge the gap between dry training and live jumps.

The ‘pivotal piece of equipment’ will help members of the Armed Forces master the art of parachute jumping by showing them exactly what it is like lining up in the back of the plane, jumping out and landing safely.

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Virtual reality can improve design skills in younger generation

designThis ScienceBlog article¹ reports researchers at the University of Missouri are studying ways to integrate technology into design learning bu using 2dn Life. From the article: “Rapidly improving technology is changing everyday life for all generations. This constantly changing environment can be a difficult adjustment for older generations. However, for the current generation known as “Generation Y”, this sense of constant technology adaption isn’t an adjustment; it is a way of life. A University of Missouri researcher says a widening gap is occurring between educators and students due to the difference in how older and younger generations approach evolving technologies. Newton D’Souza, an assistant professor of architectural studies at MU, is looking for ways to move beyond traditional teaching methods and to bridge the technology gap between teachers and students.

“In a traditional educational model, learning only occurs in the classroom,” MU researcher Newton D’Souza said. “Now, with technology like laptops and mobile phones, learning can occur anywhere from classrooms to hallways to coffee shops. For older generations, technology is a separate fixture. For Generation Y, it’s a part of their lives. On one hand, it is exciting; on the other hand, it challenging because we must find ways to adjust teaching styles.”

University of Missouri

Researchers at the University of Missouri are studying ways to integrate technology into design learning, specifically to learn how to teach children design basics. In an effort to study how children who have grown up in a wired, video game culture use technology, D’Souza engaged young students using a 3D virtual reality platform to teach design. Using a popular existing virtual reality platform called 2nd Life, researchers directed students to design a small zoo. The zoo project involved a topic that young students could relate to, while providing adequate research restraints. You can also follow us on Instagram for the latest updates on our events. As Instagram followers and likes are essential on any social media platform, we appriciate each and every supporter.

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Augmented reality iPhone helps police track suspects

iphoneThis NewScientistTech article looks a iAPLS system: an augmented reality application for iPhone which helps the police track suspects. From the article: “PICTURE the scene: armed police officers are warned on their radios that a suspected male terrorist has been tracked to a crowded football stadium. Even with a full description, it’s all but impossible to pick him out amid the match-day melee. Perhaps smartphones fed augmented reality (AR) data by the police control centre could help focus the search.

After booting up an iPhone app, an officer would train the phone’s camera on the crowd. The suspect’s position, after he had been tracked by covert police, would be highlighted by an icon overlaid on the image. Similarly, other icons could pinpoint the positions and range of other officers (see picture), including those operating undercover.

The system, called iAPLS, has been developed by engineers at Frequentis, a surveillance-systems company based in Vienna, Austria. It is a mobile extension of the firm’s Automatic Personal Location System, which shows the location of officers on control-room screens using GPS signals sent by their radios. If a suspect has a cellphone that police have a fix on, or they are being closely followed by a covert officer, they too can be tracked. Officers can also use their phone to “tag” the location of a suspect package to make it visible to fellow law enforcers.

What Frequentis engineer Reinard van Loo and his colleagues have done is package APLS data so that it can be sent via a regular 3G link to a standard iPhone, making location information available to all officers on duty, not just those in the control room.

The extra data that this kind of AR app will provide could be a double-edged sword, warns David Sloggett, a security researcher at the University of Reading, UK. “Terrorists have been very good at turning our own technology against us. The Mumbai attacks [in India in 2008]¹ were meticulously planned on Google Earth, for instance. If terrorists get hold of police location data on mobile phones it could be disastrous.”

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