10 YEARS AGO — 2001
Pardon me, is that your jacket ringing?: France Telecom R&D has developed a prototype communications jacket that functions as a mobile telephone without a visible screen or keyboard. The phone sits inside the lining with a keypad inside the jacket flap and microphones in the collar.
Numbers can be dialed by speaking a name or keying it in. Research is progressing on a ring/vibrate function that will discreetly notify the wearer of an incoming call. Another option in the works warms the fabric that touches the wearer’s skin as an alerting mechanism in noisy environments.
30 YEARS AGO — 1981
SLAP test proves Titan II still ready: The stage-one engine of a 16-year-old Titan II ICBM was test-fired at Aerojet’s rocket-test facility. The engine ignited and provided the required amount of thrust, indicating the Titan II ICBM could have been successfully launched.
Each year, two Titan II propulsion systems, containing stage-one and stage-two engines, are shipped to the facility from Air Force operational bases for SLAP (Service Life Analysis Program) testing.
50 YEARS AGO — 1961
Ultrasonic energy replaces heat and adhesives in Sonoseal — a new machine for welding polyester films. The developer, International Ultrasonics, Cranford, N. J., says that 90 to 100% of the original material strength is retained. Besides making hermetic plastic- to-plastic seams, the ultrasonic machine welds plastics to paper, cardboard, or cloth. It ignores surface water, oils, photographic emulsions, and abrasives.