This Military Device Uses Lasers to Scream, Flash, and Burn Clothes

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For the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), killing people isn’t all that complicated. A budget of more than $ 600 billion per year buys a whole lot of tanks, guns, and bombs.

But not killing someone proves to be a bit more complicated. How about just stunning them a bit from far away? Or maybe setting their clothes on fire without having to look them in the face?

For that, we’ve got the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Development Program (JNLWD). The program’s purpose: to develop weapons and other devices military personnel can use to incapacitate targets without outright killing them. As explained on the program’s FAQ, the goal of the JNLWD is to fill the gap between “shout and shoot” (truly, we should all be grateful the armed forces acknowledge that such a gap exists).

The JNLWD’s latest breakthrough is the Non-Lethal Laser-Induced Plasma Effect (NL-LIPE) system. They recently gave Defense One a look at the in-development device. And it’s truly a sight to behold.

Rather, a sound to behold. Take a listen below (and maybe make sure your pets are out of the room because, we promise, they really hate this).

Here’s how this device is useful. Imagine an enemy is getting a bit too close for comfort, and you want them to back off.

You could use a stun grenade, a blinding flash of light and noise that leaves the enemy disoriented and stunned. Those only work if you’re close enough to throw them, though.

And maybe you have some good guys standing in between. How do you blast the enemy but not the good guys? That’s where the lasers come in.

First, the NL-LIPE operator shoots a burst of light at the target using a femtosecond laser. This rips electrons from the air molecules to create a ball of plasma at the targeted site. The operator then manipulates the plasma ball using a second nanolaser, directing the plasma to produce sound or light, or even burn clothing.


Right now, of course, the technology is still in development, so it only works under pretty specific conditions. Eventually, though, the military thinks it could get the device to work at distances of tens of kilometers, David Law, head of JNLWD’s technology division, told Defense One. That would give it a longer range than any other non-lethal weapon.

Law also said the researchers believe they’re very close to getting their device to outright “speak” to them, but the creepy almost-voice it already produces would likely be enough to get any enemies to turn tail.

The post This Military Device Uses Lasers to Scream, Flash, and Burn Clothes appeared first on Futurism.


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Rent the Runway’s CEO says when you’re buying clothes, you’re really renting them

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Jennifer Hyman

The startup plans to offer its rental logistics service to other clothing brands.

Rent the Runway CEO Jennifer Hyman says often when you’re buying clothes, you’re really just renting them.

“When you buy something for $ 9.99 and you know that it’ll fall apart after you wear it once … you’re going into the shopping experience knowing that you’re renting. So all I’m doing is making the rental process more efficient,” she said at Recode’s Code Commerce event in Las Vegas on Tuesday night.

That’s also why Rent the Runway’s subscription business now accounts for more than half of its annual revenue after just two years. The service — for $ 159 a month, women can rent as often as they want, four pieces at a time — is growing at a rate of over 150 percent a year, according to Hyman.

“I think about our subscriber growth, and that’s the metric I’m obsessed with,” she said, while not providing whole figures.

She did suggest in 2016 when she started the subscription service that it would generate more than $ 20 million annually and that it could eventually exceed the company’s first offering — women renting higher-end items for special events — in a few years.

That kind of growth has sparked interest from some clothing labels, she said, and the company plans to start offering its “wardrobe in the cloud” service to other brands. That also spotlights a larger ambition, what Hyman calls a “reverse logistics” business.

“We’re in the 100 percent return business,” she said. “This is driving millions of new customers into brands; most of our customers are wearing brands they’ve never tried before. We’re saying here’s a new revenue stream for you that not only gives you money, but also gives you customers and data.”

She did not specify which clothing brands plan to use its rental logistics service, but Hyman did highlight some other details:

  • Rent the Runway includes over 550 brands.
  • Subscribers to the service use Rent the Runway 150 days a year on average.
  • The chief complaint among subscribers is they want items turned around more quickly, which suggests customers are likely to use the service as much as 200 days a year.
  • The company plans to open a new distribution facility in Dallas.
  • Rent the Runway has served 8.5 million customers since it started eight years ago and has raised $ 210 million so far.

But her company’s rapid success has also inspired a somewhat surprising mission statement: “We want you to buy less stuff.”

Recode – All

Cash For Apps: Make money with android app

Amazon patents a mirror that dresses you in virtual clothes

Have you ever fretted over buying a suit or dress online for a wedding or another flashy event, wondering how it would look on your frame or if it would even fit? That might not be a problem soon now that Amazon has patented a blended-reality mirror that lets you try on clothes virtually while placing you into a virtual location (via GeekWire).

The patent describes the mirror as partially-reflective and partially-transmissive, and uses a mix of displays, cameras, and projectors to create the blended image. The imagined mirror works by scanning the environment to generate a virtual model, and then identifies the face and eyes of the user to determine which objects are to be seen as a reflection. Once this process is completed, the virtual…

Continue reading…

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Pinterest Lens now gives users a way to figure out their outfits with the clothes in their closet

 Looking for outfits and what to wear is one of the bigger use cases on Pinterest, but as the company looks to try to make the process of getting the right content to users more seamlessly it’s been increasingly focusing on its interface with the real world with the camera. Now the company is going a further step in tapping that big use cases by letting Pinterest users tap the… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

These Clothes Grow with Your Child and Are a Step Towards Sustainable Fashion

Fashion-Forward Infants

Each year, college students and recent graduates submit their creations to the James Dyson Awards to be recognized for achievement in design and engineering. National winners were recently announced and included a cup for Parkinson’s sufferers, a smart pill bottle to help fight opioid addiction, and a novel new way to clothe kids.

The Future of Fashion: 3D Printed Clothing
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The latter was designed by Ryan Yasin from London. Yasin has a degree in aeronautical engineering and used the principles he learned during his studies to create a material that grows with kids as they mature. His clothing can help save parents some of the thousands of dollars they spend prividing clothes for their children within the first three years of their lives.

The clothing is made from a waterproof, machine-washable fabric that is specially pleated to unfold as the child grows. Yasin has dubbed his line Petit Pli. So far, he has developed over 500 prototypes and will use his prize money to help his business also expand.

Image credit: Petit Pli
Image credit: Petit Pli

Novel Solutions

While this one product can’t have a gigantic impact on increasing sustainability in the textile and clothing industries, Yasin is determined to make a stand with his company. The material used in the clothing is recyclable and is also aiming to price his products to be able to ethically pay everyone along the supply chain.

Children grow out of their clothing at a much faster rate before they reach their third year. Children’s clothing makers and retailers capitalize on this and often charge parents prices similar to what they may pay for their own or older siblings’ clothing, but get much less utility as the kids rapidly outgrow them. Yasin’s products could help reduce the amount of waste produced from kids’ clothes, to say nothing of the recyclable-value of his materials.

The post These Clothes Grow with Your Child and Are a Step Towards Sustainable Fashion appeared first on Futurism.


Woman Arrested for Smuggling 102 iPhones Under Her Clothes

Chinese customs officials arrested a woman late last month attempting to smuggle 102 iPhones strapped to her body into mainland China, according to local media.

On June 30, customs officers in Shenzhen, China spotted a woman with strange bulges and unusual body proportions,  wearing warm clothing inappropriate for the hot weather in the area. The officials pulled the woman aside and put her through a metal detector. Upon further inspection, they found 102 Apple smartphones and 15 luxury watches strapped around her torso and waist, according to Chinese-language publication XMNN.

The woman had up to four layers of what appear to be iPhone 6 devices hidden underneath her clothing, bundled together with tape and fabric. Reportedly, the total weight of the smuggled goods topped out at around 44 pounds. While the 102 iPhones were a record for the particular customs squad that made the arrest, the record amount of iPhones found strapped to a smuggler’s body appears to remain 146. That smuggler was also caught in Shenzhen by customs agents in 2014, according to Kotaku.

Officials in Shenzhen — which borders Hong Kong — routinely catch smugglers attempting to bring iPhones and other goods into mainland China, with typical hauls of up to 70 or 80 devices. Due to China’s “one country, two systems” principle, iPhones and other products can cost up to 30 percent more in the mainland than in Hong Kong, due to a variety of levies and taxes on foreign consumer goods. Hong Kong doesn’t have these levies, which makes smuggling popular consumer devices from the autonomous region a rather lucrative gray market.

While the iPhones may be fakes, because of this gray market it’s likely that they are genuine devices. It’s currently unclear whether the woman was acting alone, or if she is part of a larger smuggling operation. According to XMNN, the parties “have been dealt with” by local authorities.

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Amazon Prime Wardrobe lets you try on and return clothes free

 Amazon’s latest perk for Prime members could make us more stylish by letting us buy everything that catches our eye and return what doesn’t fit. Today Amazon revealed Amazon Prime Wardrobe, which is currently in beta, but you can sign up to be notified when it launches First you pick at least 3 items and up to 15 from over a million Amazon Fashion options including clothes, shoes,… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch