A way to keep those pesky teenagers away, a project that could make bionic hands a reality and a new restaurant venture from the man who invented Pong and started Chuck E. Cheese's. It's all right here in this edition of the Tech Blotter.
Teenagers -- they never listen, but thanks to "The Mosquito," they don't have a choice anymore.
Invented by Welshman Howard Stapleton, The Mosquito is a device that emits a high-pitched pulsing sound that the inventor says can only be heard by teenagers. It's intended to keep teens from hanging out where they're not wanted.
The Mosquito has only been tested at one convenience store in South Wales, but so far, the small box has kept rowdy teens away like bug repellant.
Adult customers of the store say they hear nothing, but when the sound hits teenage ears, they run for the hills.
Where teens used to hang out, steal and even physically assault some of the store's employees, the store's owner says there is now an empty parking lot.
Despite The Mosquito's success in the South Wales shop, it has yet to be tested by hearing experts and questions still remain about its usefulness and any possible side effects.
Can You Lend Me a Cyberhand?
When Darth Vader confronted Luke Skywalker at the end of 1980's "The Empire Strikes Back," Luke was in pretty bad shape. Not only had he just learned that the most sinister force in the universe was his father, but during their climactic lightsaber duel, Vader took the poor boy's hand.
Thanks to medical technology light years ahead of our own and the help of fiction, a team of robots was able to give the hero a new, better and completely robotic hand.
That, of course, was science fiction, but in reality scientists and medical professionals are working to the same end -- to create a fully functional robotic hand to replace a lost one.
The aptly named "Cyberhand" is the prosthetic hand of the future. It's hardwired to the patient's nervous system so they can move with the same dexterity and range of motion a real hand would offer.
According to the project's Web site, the prosthesis will be "felt by an amputee as the lost natural limb delivering her/him a natural sensory feedback by means of the stimulation of some specific afferent nerves."
Afferent nerves are one of two types of peripheral nerves -- nerves outside the brain or spinal cord -- and carry impulses to the central nervous system.
Right now Cyberhand only exists in the minds of the international team of researchers working on it. But if they're able to bring the device to life, it could mean a chance to get back what was lost for many.
Chuck E. Cheese's for Adults
First Nolan Bushnell invented Pong, then founded Atari, then opened a chain of restaurants many assumed would fail -- Chuck E. Cheese's.
Now the man many credit as the father of modern video games is going back to the interactive restaurant business he started with a new chain of theme restaurants dubbed "uWink Media Bistros."
The idea behind uWink is a bit of a departure from the kid-friendly Chuck E. Cheese's restaurants he opened years ago.
Each table will have screens where patrons can play games, competing with others at the table or in tournaments against customers at any of the chain's restaurants.
Bushnell has said he believes the young-adult crowd he's targeting will use the shared-gaming experience as a chance to compete, relax and maybe flirt.
The first restaurant is scheduled to open in Los Angeles at a yet-to-be determined date.