Watch this high school cheerleader levitate

Ariel Olivar, a junior at Manvel High School in Texas, has powers. More on Olivar's magic at the Houston Chronicle.

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TastyFloats levitates food morsels to your mouth

TastyFloats is a "contactless food delivery system" that uses ultrasound to raise bits of food and droplets of drink to your mouth without any utensils at all. While this method to levitate small objects is well known, what's fascinating is that a small scientific study shows that the levitated food apparently tastes better. Researchers from the University of Sussex describe TastyFloats and their sensory experiment in a scientific paper they'll present at this month's ACM Interactive Surfaces and Spaces conference. From IEEE Spectrum:

The researchers experimented with three of the five basic tastes: sweet (a positive taste), bitter (a negative taste), and umami, which is a savory taste that can also enhance other flavors. The researchers asked a group of volunteers to test TastyFloats with the three basic tastes, delivered in three different volumes (5 microliters, 10µL, and 20µL), with tongue delivery via pipette as a non-levitating control. Participants were asked to identify each droplet, and then rated each on intensity, pleasantness, and satisfaction.

The most significant difference between levitated tastes and tastes delivered via pipette was in intensity: sweet tastes were more intense and recognizable, while bitter tastes were harder to distinguish. The researchers suggest that this might make TastyFloats more suitable for dessert delivery, although it could also be used to make bitter but healthy foods (like broccoli) more palatable to people who wouldn't otherwise enjoy them.

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Wireless charger that levitates your mobile phone

Yes, it's a gimmick, and we've all seen it before on speakers, clocks, etc., but levitation is still magical to behold. The OvRcharge combines magnetic levitation with induction charging for your mobile device. It's available for pre-order via Kickstarter.

To achieve altitude and be able to charge wirelessly, phone requires a special case. that consists of two main parts, electricity receiver from the base and a Magnet to hold its position mid air. so we design ultra thin case to not only protects your investment but to go some levels and also powers it up all at same time. This case has a magnet that will help it to levitate & it also has induction receiver for charging without cables.

OVRcharge (Kickstarter)

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Levitating, dancing and shapeshifting droplet

Absolutely beautiful dance of a liquid droplet. In scientific terms, an ultrasonic field is used to levitate a drop of liquid. Increasing and decreasing the strength of the field alters the droplet's shape. Here is the scientific paper: "Shape oscillation of a levitated drop in an acoustic field," by W. Ran & S. Fredericks (Clemson University, Department of Mechanical Engineering)" (Thanks, Ariel Waldman!) Read the rest

Magic of acoustic levitation

Researching are using sound waves to levitate and move hovering cells, DNA, toothpicks, water droplets, and other small bits of material in different directions. Eventually, the technique could be used for a "lab on a chip" or to transport hazardous or sensitive chemicals or biological materials in the laboratory. Watch the explosion above when sodium and a water droplet collide! ETH Zurich mechanical engineer Dimos Poulikakos and his colleagues reported their results in the new Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. From Science News:

To achieve levitation, Poulikakos and colleagues vibrate aluminum blocks about the size of postage stamps up and down, like tiny jackhammers. The rapid buzz kicks up sound waves that sail upward until they hit a Plexiglas reflector and then bounce back down to the blocks.

When these falling waves run into the climbing ones, they can cancel out, creating a low-pressure pocket that can support an object’s weight.

By adjusting vibration rates to control the position of the pocket, the researchers could float particles across a chessboard of the aluminum blocks.

"Sound waves put levitation on the move" Read the rest