It turns out, virtual reality isn't as new as we thought. The earliest example of the technology dates back to 1480 with Michelangelo's painting of the Sistine Chapel. Although it's not exactly the headsets and alternate worlds we know today, the viewers get immersed in the painting and transported into a virtual reality. From there, VR can be found throughout history in theater, simulators, and, of course, headsets.
Graphene is thought to be the strongest material known — in its two-dimensional form. Replicating that 2D strength in three dimensions has been problematic for scientists for decades. But researchers at MIT think they've found a solution. This new 3D-printed material has just 5% of the density of steel with over 10 times the strength, opening doors for applications from airplanes to filtration systems.
If the future is full of electric cars, drones, tablets, and smartphones, we're going to need a lot of batteries. The best, most economical battery technology we have currently is lithium-ion. All that lithium has to come from somewhere. Bloomberg's Ashlee Vance finds a source in Chile's Atacama Desert, one of the harshest climes on the globe.
Traxxas has an RC car that can get up to 100 mph. But the Slow Mo Guys want to slow it down — way down. Here they put a couple of XO-1 cars through their paces, and even cause some fast-paced destruction in super slow motion.
We all want to believe in magic. But like so many things from our childhood, there are concrete explanations of how the things that used to mystify us work. A prime example is the Nintendo Light Gun. The 8-Bit Guy explains how the closely related NES zapper and lesser-known Commodore 64 Light Pen use relatively simple electronics to perform functions that were ahead of their time.
Everyone looks forward to New Year's Eye. We plan and plan to make sure this year's celebration will be perfect, but it always turns out to be just as disappointing as the last. Just like everything else, science has an answer for that. In this white board lesson, we realize why no matter what you do, ringing in 2017 will be just as underwhelming as every other New Years.
You could run all over town looking for the best men's accessories around for Dad this Father's Day, or you could just go with a subscription to SprezzaBox. They simplify the shopping experience by shipping you a new box each month with around six new items that help put the finishing touches on a great look and all at a price that won't break the bank. A personal stylist tests out and hand-picks the items like ties, wallets, sunglasses, socks, and watches every month and subscriptions start at just $28 for over $100 in retail value. Quality, professional items are hand selected by an in-house stylist each month and shipped right to your door.
Presented by SprezzaBox.
Made 100% in the USA, Leesa mattresses have been drawing praise from customers and critics worldwide, racking up more than 10,000 five-star reviews to date. With a groundbreaking 3-layer foam design that provides the perfect combination of support, breathability and softness, it should come as no surprise that some of the world's greatest athletes turn to Leesa for a better night's sleep. Whether you are getting ready to make a move or simply want a better sleep this summer, you can try your Leesa mattress for 100 nights, commitment free. Order completely online and have your mattress delivered to your door for free compressed in a shockingly compact and convenient box. Skip the showroom this summer and start sleeping with Leesa. You won't regret it.
Presented by Leesa.
Humans might exterminate themselves with pollution, disease, zombies, or nuclear war, but overpopulation isn't going to be the end of the species. The birth rate in developed countries continues to slow, and as under-developed countries begin to catch up, their birth rates begin to slow as well, leading us to an equilibrium. Kurzgesagt explains the mechanics of the human explosion, and why the 12 billionth human being will never be born.
There is a critically under-served segment of the commercially-available drone market: drones that can lift an adult human. As in, there aren't any. In the spirit of innovation, Casey Neistat and his team built their own, and celebrated Christmas by flying over the slopes with their massive drone.
Get the patents. Make a video. Prove the concept, then wait. The front end of Amazon that we're all familiar with — it's retail website — is just the tip of a massive internet juggernaut. Amazon also pretty much hosts the internet through its Amazon Web Services platform, also the most profitable part of the company. Now, Amazon wants you to buy your groceries at its coming chain of checkout-less locations, with the aim of getting as big a slice of a $25 trillion dollar pie as possible. And this is just the beginning.
Having Morgan Freeman as your in-home assistant, whipping you t-shirts and playing your favorite movies, sounds like a dream. We'll leave it to Mark Zuckerberg to make it a reality. The Facebook founder created his own AI to run his home through an app on his phone and computer. As well as controlling your lights, thermostat, appliances, and security, Jarvis even begins to pick up on your tastes and patterns, keeping your ears safe from unbearable music choices. Unfortunately, Zuckerberg is keeping this all to himself for the time being, but hopes to eventually make it available to the world.
The great thing about movies is there're just movies. They're not real. You can fall off a skyscraper or get shot 27 times and still survive. Christmas movies are no different. With some help from Jake from Vsauce3, former NASA engineer Mark Rober puts scenes from Home Alone, Elf, and A Christmas Story up again science to see how they hold up. The pair place their bets and the winner gets a major award.
After Stephen Hawking's crushing quantum chess loss to the genius Paul Rudd, someone stole Simon Pegg's cat. It's up to Zoe Saldana to get it back, but she's going to need some help. Unfortunately, Paul didn't pick up the phone, so Zoe is stuck with her second super-genius choice — Stephen Hawking. If you thought quantum physics was above your brain power, you were wrong.
Behind nearly everything that happens in the digital realm, there's a supercomputer. Scott Misage designs some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world for Hewlett Packard. From online gaming, automotive and aircraft design, to financial markets, Scott's supercomputers help power our modern-day connected world.
Our Jurassic Park dreams are finally coming true after dinosaur feathers were discovered encased in amber. The feathers come from the tip of a tiny bird-sized reptile's tail, dating back 100 million years. Although there are no immediate plans for a theme park island inhabited with cloned dinosaurs, we're sure it's only a matter of time.
Bridging the gap between the stuff on store shelves and a trip to a custom tailor, INDOCHINO offers high-quality made to measure suits with amazing fit and feel. They take 14 measurements to create suits and shirts that fit and feel better than anything off the rack. And the fit isn't the only thing that will make you stand out, as INDOCHINO offers a great selection of fabrics and complimentary customization options — from lapels to linings and more — to personalize your look. The result is an investment-quality wardrobe that's far more attainable than traditional custom-tailored options and is much more affordable than just about any custom-fit suit on the market.
Presented by Indochino.
Coders, managers, illustrators — whatever your job, odds are you've had to deal with a whiteboard before. Now you can carry one with you with the Wipebook Pro. This notebook holds 20 writeable pages that work just like a normal whiteboard, letting you write, erase, and re-write countless times. Brass binding lets it lay flat, cow-friendly faux leather front and rear covers help when it's time to digitize a page, and unlike the board at work, you can take it home without ever having to worry about an overzealous janitor "cleaning" away your valuable notes.
Presented by Wipebook.
The New York Times is the second-largest circulation in the United States, so you'd think pumping out all of those papers would take some pretty high-tech equipment. Actually, most of the machines are more than 20 years old, and keeping them up and running is an art form. Meet Greg Zerafa, Jerry Greaney, and Chris Bedetto, the team of machinists that keep the paper's eight three-story printing presses in tip top shape.
Amazon is once again upgrading your life by making grocery shopping slightly less terrible. With the new Amazon Go, the e-commercer giant has created a brick and mortar store with no checkouts and no lines. Just enter with their app and grab everything you need — the app will track everything you pick up and put back. Once you're done, simply walk out and all of your items will be charged to your Amazon account. The supermarket of the future is not too far away, with the first store opening in Seattle in early 2017.
NTDs are the new Black Plague. They can weaken, maim, blind, disfigure, and kill — all of which costs society financially as well as resourcefully. Kurzgesagt explains the war between humans and parasites, how we're fighting it, and who's winning the battle.
Ta'u has an electricity problem. Located in American Samoa, the island has been using diesel generators to produce energy for its grid — at massive cost. Each generator burns approximately 110,000 gallons of fuel per year, and shipping anything to the remote location is expensive. Tesla partnered with the island to build a solar generating plant that fulfills all the islands needs, and is one of the most advanced electrical grids in the world.
One of the greatest technological achievements of the First World War was the gun synchronizer. It allowed for the mounting of guns firing through an airplane's propeller, turning the entire machine into a weapons platform. The Slo Mo Guys built a mockup of a WWI fighter aircraft and filmed the operation of the synchronization gear at over 120,000 frames per second.
Living in a digital world, it's hard to believe that we didn't always have a camera in our back pocket. Animator Portero Delantero reminds us of the days when cameras had to be loaded with film and pictures took time to develop. Starting in 1900 with the Kodak Brownie, he takes us through an animated evolution of the last century of photography.
Along with Darth Vader, Slave Leia, and about a thousand catchphrases, we also have Star Wars to thank for those sugar-fuled nights spent at the local laser tag arena. Originating in 1984, inventor George Carter came up with the concept after watching the Battle of the Blockade Runner in A New Hope, spawning a TV show, series of novels, and a number one selling toy line. Although the game veered off from his original idea, our childhood's are indebted to him for allowing us to live out our blaster pistol dreams.
Two of the best things on the internet have finally come together — the hydraulic press and super slow motion video. The Slow Mo Guys took some inspiration from the Hydraulic Press channel, compressing a full deck of cards into a millimeters-thin stack. The explosion was captured, of course, in fantastic slow-motion.
Interplanetary travel isn't easy. There are all kinds of ways to die — radiation, solar flares, equipment failures. But before you get to space, you need to get off the ground, and that's dangerous too. And if you actually make it to Mars — well, you get the idea.
Neil Armstrong's first step on the Moon was a giant leap for mankind — but what about the last? Apollo 17 was the last manned mission to the Moon. Apollo 11 gets all the glory, but the story of the last moonshot is rarely told. From recordings, photos, and footage, relive man's last moonwalk on December 7, 1972.
Facebook has pretty obvious reasons to get internet access to as many people as possible. To help spread the reach of the ubiquitous social network, Facebook launched Aquila, a solar-powered drone that cruises the stratosphere at altitudes of more than 40,000 feet. There's only one problem: getting internet to the drone. WIRED looks at how Zuckerberg and company are solving the problem of getting the internet to some of the most unconnected places on Earth.
It's the Holy Grail of energy production — nuclear fusion. Fusion is clean and produces a massive amount of energy with a small amount of fuel, but there's one significant drawback: current fusion reactors use more energy than they produce. Kurzgesagt explains how fusion works, and how we might be able to make it cost-effective enough to power humanity into the future.
Growing food on Mars can't be that difficult — Matt Damon did it all by himself. But that was a movie, and if we make it to the Red Planet, we're going to need real solutions. National Geographic talks to NASA scientists to find out what the plans are to cultivate food in Martian soil.
Just because you're orbiting the Earth, doesn't mean your vote shouldn't be heard. Astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Kate Rubins were probably the farthest absentee ballots this election when they cast their vote from the International Space Station. But what will happen when we start shipping our citizens off 34 million miles away to Mars?