A look at the more eccentric side of tech's last seven days...
Volleyball QR codes Two British female volleyball champions have signed an interesting advertising deal with Betfair which encourages spectators to photograph their behinds. The sportswomen will have a QR code printed on the back of their bikini bottoms for spectators to capture on their smart phones, taking the viewer straight to a specific website. Our experience with QR codes is that everything needs to keep very still for it to work. Good luck with that.
Athlete-specific clothing Nike has been using the latest in MoCap technology to design a clothing range based on the gymnastic movements of elite athlete Shawn Johnson. By attaching nodes to Shawn’s body and tracing her movements as she runs, Nike’s able to create a clothing line specifically tailored to and marketed around the athlete. It beats ‘small, medium or large’.
Homemade flying machine A Chinese inventor has created his own flying machine in which he claims to have reached heights of over 4000m. Zhang Qi, a former employee of a plane manufacturing company, says his home-made machine can travel at speeds of up to 100km per hour. …Looks a bit precarious to us.
Underwater exhibition An Austrian artist is exhibiting his works on the side of a shipwreck off the coast of Florida. The exhibition includes photographs of the ship that has been digitally enhanced, all of which are sealed in air-tight frames for divers to ponder at. Decent puns on the matter should be directed to twitter.com/t3dotcom ...We can't think of any, and it's making us a bit fish-artened.
Google crashes One of Google’s self-driving cars has been involved in an accident in California. Google has released a statement declaring that the crash was down to human error rather than the vehicle itself. That’s what happens when you try and keep your eyes on every conceivable part of the road at once.
The dead will rise! …Sort of. Futurist Ray Kurzweil has revealed that he believes he will be able to create a computer avatar which resembles his dead father so closely that it will be like talking to the man face-to-face. Kurzweil says that this avatar will be created with all the information he has about his father and will even be programmed to think like him. We await an official response from God.
Tsunami Survivors given robotic seals Not a typo. Japanese company has donated a number of robotic seals to a retirement home near the Fukushima nuclear plant to provide comfort and therapy to the elderly residents after the tsunami in March. Because, you know… seals cure all ills. These furry robots are programmed to be able to take part in the residents’ daily activities, dancing and clapping with them.
Foxconn to replace staff with 1 million robots Oh dear. The manufacturer that produces parts for Apple, Nokia and Dell is said to be replacing its expensive staff with 1 million robots. Foxconn, which already employs 10,000 robots hopes to increase this number to 300,000 next year, and 1 million in 2014. Presumably because robots won’t keep killing themselves.