Eric Knight Inventor. Entrepreneur. Author. Futurist. Business & Internet Pioneer.
Browsing all posts in: Cool

Help launch an out-of-this-world documentary about an American rocket pioneer

March 2

ky michaelson rocketman documentaryI was honored and privileged to be part of Ky “Rocketman” Michaelson’s extraordinary quest to launch the world’s first civilian rocket into space — which we accomplished on May 17, 2004.  And I feel honored, again, to help Ky and his production team bring this amazing American story to life.

Please visit the Indiegogo link below to see how you can help launch the ROCKETMAN documentary movie.  You can receive all sorts of perks for participating — including memorabilia that flew into space on our historic mission.  Even get “co-producer” credit in the film.  Join us.  The sky is (not) the limit!

F.Y.I.:  On a personal note, it’s neat to see me in the clips that make up the Indiego intro video.  It brings back great memories of such an important part of my life.

CLICK HERE — or on the image above to help launch this extraordinary movie.

Governor Malloy and other State of Connecticut officials just visited reSET – the place where I hold my Entrepreneur-In-Residence office hours.

February 11

Governor Malloy at reSETThey came by to see, first hand, the many innovations and entrepreneurial activities happening here.

We are — indeed — building an innovation economy in Connecticut. It’s fun to show off our entrepreneurs!

And, yes, for all you eagle eyes: That’s me in the poster. LOL. A virtual cameo….

With this ruling from the NHTSA, we are just a few years away from hundreds of thousands (and ultimately millions) of self-driving cars on American roads

February 10

“NHTSA will interpret ‘driver’ in the context of Google‘s described motor vehicle design as referring to the (self-driving system), and not to any of the vehicle occupants… We agree with Google its (self-driving car) will not have a ‘driver’ in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years.”

Click here to view an excellent article on the news from FORTUNE.  Image courtesy of FORTUNE / Getty Images.

Superbly written article: “Why Finding Gravitational Waves Would Be Such a Big Deal”

February 8

By Maddie Stone / GIZMODO:  This morning, the Internet erupted with rumors that physicists have finally observed gravitational waves; ripples in the fabric of spacetime predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago. While it isn’t the first time we’ve heard excited whispers about the elusive phenomena, the gossip feels more promising in light of the recently upgraded detector at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) that’s behind all the hubbub.

Discovering gravitational waves would be a huge deal for physics, cosmology, and our understanding of the universe at large. But if you’re not a scientist studying one of the aforementioned fields, it’s possible you’ve never heard of these mysterious ripples. What the heck are gravitational waves, and why have physicists been struggling to find them for a century? Moreover, why should we care?

Simply put, gravitational waves are vibrations in the fabric of the universe—light-speed ripples in spacetime itself, caused by such epically violent events as exploding stars and black hole mergers. Thanks to inconceivably large, violent, and distant celestial happenings, the atoms that make up everything from the stars in the sky to the human beings on Earth are shaking a tiny bit, all the time.

And by tiny I really mean tiny. For all the energy that goes into producing gravitational waves, spacetime ripples themselves are incredibly faint. Physicists estimate that by the time gravitational waves reach Earth, they’re on the order of a billionth the diameter of an atom. You need ridiculously precise instruments operating in completely noise-free environments to measure them, and until very recently, our detectors simply haven’t been up to snuff.

But the gravitational wave detection game’s been changing of late, with a recent spate of improvements to our leading ground-based observatory, LIGO, and with the launch of the very first space-based gravitational wave detector, LISA Pathfinder. Armed with these two science laboratories, physicists are hopeful that we’ll be able to measure our very first spacetime ripples by the end of the decade. Now, it’s looking like that day might come a lot sooner.

For the complete article, please click here.

Image:  Numerical simulation of two merging black holes performed by the Albert Einstein Institute in Germany.  Image Credit: Werner Benger / Wikimedia

Freaky fun gadget: Amazon Echo

February 8

Amazon EchoMy wife Elsie & I treated ourselves to this gizmo when it was on sale a few months ago on Black Friday. And it’s ridiculously fun! It’s the first generation on the path towards a Star-Trek-like computer in every home. It goes by the name Alexa. Today I asked: “Alexa, how’s it hangin’?” It responded: “I’m great! And ready to help.” LOL! You can ask it to play any music stored in your Amazon collection. (The audio is awesome for such a small device.) You can ask it to tell you jokes. You can ask it to search for anything on the Web. You can dictate on-the-fly shopping items that get synced to your phone. It streams Pandora and other online music services. It can wake you to music. It can tell you the weather forecast. It follows you favorite sports teams — and provides updates. It streams news. Provides restaurant recommendations. Gives you traffic reports. Can read to you ANY book in your Amazon collection. AND, when you stop the audio reading and pick up your Kindle, your digital book is synced to where Alexa left off! Granted, a lot of these are just geeky fun things. And services like Siri do a few of these items. But — wow — it’s darn fun. Plus the physical engineering design and user interface are brilliant. Click on the accompanying graphic to see details of the device and some of the things it can do. And — if you can catch it on sale — it would make a really nifty gift for you or a loved one.

Why the SpaceX rocket’s vertical takeoff & vertical landing (VTVL) was such a big deal

December 22

spacex-vertical-landingImagine what an airline ticket would cost if you flew from, say, New York to Los Angeles — and then THREW AWAY THE AIRPLANE? In fact, if we disposed of every airplane after ever flight? We’ll that’s what we’ve been relegated to doing in aerospace since the retirement of the Space Shuttle. We put satellites into orbit. We bring astronauts to the ISS. Then “throw away” the rocket. Elon’s achievement with his SpaceX company — to land the first stage back on the ground — is a historic technological achievement. (Kudos to Jeff Bezos, too. His company, Blue Origin, recently did something similar, but with a much smaller sub-orbital spacecraft.)

Check out the following excellent article from NBC News, with videos of the takeoff and landing, at this link.

Image courtesy of SpaceX

From Gene Roddenberry’s imagination to scientific reality:  Engineers create a real “tractor beam”

October 28

“A team of engineers from the Universities of Sussex and Bristol built a device that uses sound waves to remotely lift and move objects – just like a UFO-abduction tractor beam, but without the aliens and malice.  In a paper published Tuesday in the Nature Communications, Dr. Subramanian and his colleagues explain that it works using by surrounding an object with high-pitched, high-intensity sound produced by “64 miniature loudspeakers (driven at 40Khz with 15Vpp, around 9 Watts of power)” that create an acoustic hologram, or force field, in which the object can be immobilized, levitated, moved and rotated by carefully controlling audio output.”

Read the full article, by The Christian Science Monitor, at this link.  

Image courtesy of the University of Sussex.

I’m pleased to announce that I have received the U.S. Patent on my technology to treat Alzheimer’s Disease

June 16

patent_9037268_585x585_for_blogAfter over five-and-a-half years of R&D and associated efforts, I am proud to say that I have received the patent on my treatment technology for Alzheimer’s Disease:  U.S. Patent 9,037,268

As I mentioned in my statement to the press, I made the decision with my company to forgo patent licensing fees for R&D.  This is too important of an innovation to keep it bottled up or to inhibit the early stages of medical research.  Too many people are suffering. Too many people are dying.

Alzheimer’s Disease is an incurable disease that affects 5.3 million people in the U.S. and nearly 44 million worldwide.

My patented technology is based on years of research by scientists regarding the effects of radio waves on the human brain.  Recent studies exposed RF energy to mice that have been genetically modified to exhibit Alzheimer’s disease.  Mice and humans share 95% of their genes, providing an appropriate reference for comparative studies.

One study in particular was the research conducted by the University of South Florida. (The research study, as published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, is available at my company’s special Web site The following is from the Abstract of the published study: “Although caution should be taken in extrapolating these mouse studies to humans, we conclude that EMF [electromagnetic field / radio frequency energy] exposure may represent a non-invasive, non-pharmacologic therapeutic against Alzheimer’s disease….” The study concludes “… we believe that the current lack of an effective therapeutic against [Alzheimer’s Disease], in concert with this study’s surprising findings, justifies EMF exposure as a non-invasive, non-pharmacologic approach worthy of vigorous investigation.”

For more information, including research references, the patent, the full press announcement, and links to TV, radio, and other media / new reports, please visit

Take a look at my book:
The New Race To Space

May 4

You saw it on the news. You read about it in the press. But now you can learn the inside story of the team that launched the world’s first civilian rocket into space.

As many of you know, I was one of the team leaders of this historic mission.  On May 17, 2004, after years of agonizing rocket crashes and catastrophes — some quite spectacular — we accomplished our remarkable goal.

I stuffed the book with 90 full-color photos to bring the adventure to life in vivid detail.  It’s 244 pages long in a wonderfully oversized 6×9 format.  (Paperback size wouldn’t do justice to the glorious color images.)  Check out the covers here.

I encourage you to check out my book’s companion Web site at  You’ll see lots of interesting videos and other neat stories.


Connecticut innovators shine at last night’s Entrepreneur Innovation Awards (EIAs) in Stamford

March 20

CTNEXT_winners_EIA_winners_3_19_15_for_blog_postEntrepreneurs rocked the house last night at Stamford’s historic Palace Theatre. The Shark Tank-style pitch competition featured Connecticut-based entrepreneurs and startups. Kudos to these creative minds that help power our State’s backbone of business innovation.

The event was sponsored and facilitated by CTNext, a core driver and resource provider of Connecticut’s innovation ecosystem. Find out more here:

A teenager’s view on social media. Insightful.

February 7

teenagers-view-on-social-mediaIn this article by Andrew Watts, posted on, a teenager describes his age group’s opinions of various social media.

Read his opinions about Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, YouTube, Google+, Reddit — and more.  I learned a bunch.  I bet you might, too.

Click here to check out the article.  Enjoy.

Graphic courtesy of Andrew Watts /

Powerful and inspiring McDonald’s commercial

February 7

I don’t believe I’m admiring a McDonald’s commercial. But this one is particularly powerful. It’s one of the brand’s “refresh” spots from Leo Burnett. Check it out here:

Excellent globe LED bulbs by GE: Low cost. Long life. Nice light.

February 7

GE G25 globe 2700K clear medium baseI recently had to replace four 25-watt clear-globe bulbs in one of our bathroom’s vanities. I checked out a variety of possibilities and ultimately zeroed in on the GE Energy Smart 4.5-watt LED bulb.

I found the GE globe LED bulbs in a couple different packages as seen in the photo. According to the manufacturer, if used on average of three hours per day, it should last 13.7 years.

The bulb is really frugal on power consumption. The four GE LED bulbs use a combined 18 watts, vs. the 100 watts combined of the incandescent bulbs I replaced.

The LED bulbs are also dimmable. Handy, but my vanity doesn’t need that feature.

But what I really like is the light. It provides a very pleasing 2700K “warm” light that is very comparable (virtually indistinguishable) to the incandescent bulbs that I replaced.

The design of the bulb looks really cool, too, with a white light-radiating cone at the base on the inside.

I bought the GE LED bulbs at Walmart for just $4.96 each. I think that’s a great value. Over the life of the bulb, it should pay for itself about six times.

Give the GE LED globe bulb a try. I think you like it. The model information is listed on the package as: GE25 Globe 2700K Clear Medium Base.

Nice review of Google Android 5 Lollipop by The Guardian: “The latest version of Android brings a completely new design, battery-saving features and native multi-user support for phones and tablets”

November 3

Excerpts from The Guardian’s review:

Google’s new version of its tablet and smartphone operating system “Lollipop” is the fifth version of Android, introducing new features and tweaks that collectively give the user the feeling that quite a lot has been improved.  Unveiled as “L” at Google’s developer conference I/O in June to replace Android 4.4 “KitKat, Android 5 Lollipop was revealed alongside Google’s new design ethos called “Material”.

Smooth Sliding:  For Lollipop that means the use of much brighter, fuller colours than the previous version of Android and a more consistent look. Menu bars are one solid block of colour, icons are highly stylised and flat, while interface “cards” first introduced with Google Now are used throughout, floating and sliding over the top of each other adding depth.  Every bit of the interface looks different, including the background which now changes colour depending on the time of day in some apps, and some slick new sliding animations which add motion to many of Android’s responses.

Beyond the obvious colourful difference, Lollipop introduces a couple of important features into the core Android experience.

The first is multiple user accounts on one device. Some Android tablets have had support for more than one user, but smartphones and other devices have been limited to a single user account.

Multitasking has also been enhanced with a new card system. Each app can show more than one card allowing users to switch to an open message or back to the inbox, for example – not just to one view in the app.

Longer Battery Life:  Lollipop also promises to help prolong smartphone and tablet battery life by being more efficient and tougher on battery-draining apps. It uses a new version of the underlying software called Art that powers apps, which is both faster and lighter on resources.

A pre-release version of Lollipop installed on a Nexus 5 smartphone made the battery last around a quarter longer, with others finding even longer gains of over 35% or two hours in tests. Users should see their smartphones and tablets lasting significantly longer after being updated

For the complete article, please click here.

Image courtesy of Google


Eric Knight — cranking out rock tunes (on guitar and harmonica) — helps raise $1,500 for local food pantry.

July 27

You know what they say about all work and no play.  So I took a little time out from business to play some classic rock with my ol’ buddy Arnold “Arnie” Aranci and his sons.  The goal:  Raise money for our hometown’s food pantry at the inaugural “Hamstock” event.  We way exceed our goal, raising $1,500.

Enjoy the following HD YouTube videos:

Last Dance With Mary Jane (Tom Petty).  Arnold “Arnie” Aranci, Eric Knight, Christopher Aranci, Anthony Aranci:  

Takin’ Care Of Business (Bachman Turner Overdrive).  Arnold “Arnie” Aranci, Eric Knight, Christopher Aranci, Anthony Aranci:  

Johnny B Goode (Chuck Berry).  Arnold “Arnie” Aranci, Eric Knight, Christopher Aranci, Anthony Aranci:  

At a recent aerospace event, astronaut legend — Buzz Aldrin — and I exchanged signed copies of our books. But that’s just for starters…

July 27

Eric_Knight_with_Buzz_Aldrin_400x239_copyright_Eric_KnightBuzz and I are part of a growing team of advisors, astronauts, aerospace companies, universities, and energized students of the Time Capsule To Mars project that is designed to send your “selfies” to Mars for 99 cents each. (Yes, you read that right!)

To be working with Buzz Aldrin — one of my childhood heroes — is a tremendous experience. The student-led Time Capsule To Mars project combines my passion for student enterprise and new frontiers in aerospace. If you’d like more info, check out

“Aquarids” meteor shower this Monday night / Tuesday morning; should outperform the annual favorite, Perseids.

July 26

The moonless sky and fair weather forecast throughout many parts of the U.S. means a great celestial event.  Just grab a lawn chair.  Lie down and look generally south / southeast towards the horizon.  And enjoy the show!  (No telescope or binoculars required.)  After your eyes fully adjust to the dark (give it 10 minutes), you should see up to 20 meteors per hour.  Best time should be about 1am on Tuesday morning.  The following is a great article with particulars:  Watching a meteor shower is a great family event and educational experience.  Have fun!

Image courtesy National Geographic / Starry Night Software

Watch Stunning First Simulation of Universe’s 13-Billion-Year Evolution (from National Geographic)

May 8

(National Geographic) “Until now, no single simulation was able to reproduce the universe on both large and small scales simultaneously,” Mark Vogelsberger of MIT and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who led the simulation team, says in a statement. Using a computer program, the team grew the virtual galaxies in simulated time, starting from 12 million years after the big bang (which kicked off about 13.8 billion years ago), they report in a study released this week by the journal Nature.

For the complete article, please visit here.

Will Comet LINEAR produce a new major meteor shower in 2014?

May 4

comet-LINEAR-meteor-shower-orbit-graphicFrom EarthSky: The list of major meteor showers hasn’t changed much in recent decades, but it has changed a little. Meteor showers are part of nature, after all, and the list of major showers shifts and changes slightly, as all things in nature do, with one shower or another becoming more or less exciting as the years pass. In 2014, though, an exciting new meteor shower might come on the scene. This possible shower stems from a comet — Comet 209P/LINEAR — discovered in 2004. Comet 209P/LINEAR passed near the sun in 2009 and will pass near it again in early May, 2014. On the night of May 23-24, 2014 — if the predictions hold true — Earth might be sandblasted with debris from this comet, resulting in a fine display of meteors, or shooting stars. Mid-northern North American latitudes are favored. Follow the links below to learn more about the possible 2014 meteor shower of Comet 209P/LINEAR.

As for the predicted time of the shower … skywatchers in southern Canada and the continental U.S. are said by the experts to be especially well positioned to see the meteors on the night of May 23-24, 2014.

For the complete article, with excellent graphics and references, please click here.

Image courtesy of NASA / JPL / Horizon / Sky and Telescope / EarthSky

Another wonderful year as a Judge at the 31st annual Connecticut Invention Convention!

May 3

connecticut-invention-convention-floorOne of my proudest and rewarding highlights of every year is as a Judge at the Connecticut Invention Convention. Kindergarten to 8th grade kids envelop Gampel Pavilion — the home of our dual UConn Husky basketball champions, of course! Hundreds of students, from across Connecticut, show off their amazing brilliance and creativity. It is so inspiring!

I’ve included two photos (above and below) from the event. Enjoy!

— Eric

P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about this wonderful event and associated year-long program, here is a link to the home page of the Connecticut Invention Convention:


Solved! Bluetooth calls with PIN locked screen || Bluetooth voice dialing with screen lock

March 1

samsung-galaxy-s4-plus-motorola-H730-headsetHere’s a RELIABLE solution to Bluetooth voice dialing even with a PIN locked screen.  I’ve tested it with two Samsung Galaxy S4 phones — one running Android 4.3 and the other running Android 4.4.2.

The magic combination is Motorola’s MY MOTOSPEAK version 3.0.57 (a free download from the Google Play Store, updated January 13, 2014) and the Motorola H730 headset.

Bluetooth voice dialing with a locked screen has been a major topic on Android forums.  A reliable solution has been elusive.  The latest release of MY MOTOSPEAK + the Motorola H730 headset seems to do the trick.

A great fringe benefit is that MY MOTOSPEAK also does voice to text messages.  I’ve been really impressed with the translation accuracy.  It also supports dozens of punctuation symbols and many popular emoticons.

Of course, I can’t absolutely guarantee that this combination will work for you.  But after eight months of trying various headsets and software options, this combination works reliably for me.

Hope this helps.  Feel free to spread the word!

Would you like to fly to Mars? Here’s the next best thing…

January 19

time_capsule_to_mars_spacecraft_rendering_for_online_distributionMy company is a proud supporter of the international student team that’s planning to build and fly a small spacecraft to Mars. On board would be a two-inch-diameter titanium “time capsule of humanity” containing perhaps millions of digital photos, videos, audio files, and text messages from people all over the world — including you.

Your digital creations would be stored on new “quartz” media that, by some estimates, will survive on the surface of Mars for up to 300 million years.

This would be the world’s first interplanetary space mission led by a non-government team. Other key mission supporters include MIT and Explore Mars, Inc. Details of the mission can be viewed at this link.

While the students are working on the essential science, they are also looking for creative names for both the spacecraft and the Mars “time capsule” lander. The goal is to unleash the world’s creativity in every aspect of the program. The individuals who submit the chosen names will get special digital allocations in the time capsule’s quartz memory, as well as other unique tributes. To submit your name ideas, visit

New benchmark for quality, low-cost LED lighting

January 19

cree-led-bulbA friend gave me a heads up on these Cree LED bulbs a couple months ago.  At Home Depot, they’re just $4.97 for the 40-watt equivalent (450 lumens) and just $6.97 for the 60-watt equivalent (800 lumens).  You’ll save 85% on energy costs vs. traditional incandescents — so they’ll cost you only about a buck a year to run.  The light is great.  They look like “real” bulbs.  They’re dimmable.  And they’ll last over 20 years.  A slam-dunk winner!

After 36 years and 12 billion miles, Voyager 1 crosses into interstellar space — becomes humanity’s “first true starship”

September 12

(CBS)  Covering nearly a million miles a day, NASA’s nuclear-powered Voyager 1 spacecraft, 36 years and 12 billion miles from Earth, has crossed the boundary between the sun’s influence and interstellar space, sailing into the vast gulf between the stars to become humanity’s first true starship, scientists announced Thursday.

“In leaving the (solar system) and setting sail on the cosmic seas between the stars, Voyager has joined the other historic journeys of exploration such as the first circumnavigation of the Earth and the first footprint on the moon,” said Voyager project scientist Ed Stone.

“This historic step is even more exciting because it marks the beginning of a new era of exploration for Voyager, the exploration of the space between the stars.”

To read the full story, click here.   Image courtesy of NASA

See Friday night’s rocket launch to the moon from your backyard!

September 4

Most places on the central East Coast, all the way up to northern New England, will be able to see this Friday night’s maiden launch of America’s new five-stage “Minotaur V” rocket.  It will transport NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer spacecraft (LADEE) to the moon.

The launch is scheduled for 11:27pm EDT from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.  Use the associated graphics and your location to determine the number of seconds from launch the rocket will be visible, the direction to look, and how many degrees above the horizon the rocket will appear.   For instance, if you’re in New England, it should be visible 80 seconds after launch, towards the south, about 10 – 15 degrees above the horizon.

The weather forecast for Friday night, at the launch site and for viewing, looks great.

For more information about the moon mission, visit

Images courtesy of NASA Wallops, Orbital Sciences Corp., and


You’re essentially looking over my shoulder as I write, think, create, invent, and — in general — ponder the world around us.  Feel free to peruse my writings and chime in as you’re so inspired.  I encourage spirited debate.

This is a specially crafted multi-pronged conduit.  Everything I type feeds parallel simultaneous streams to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and my e-mail broadcast system.  It’s a global tightrope without a net.  Oh, my.

No topic is off limits.  If you’re looking for a site that is “politically correct,” you’ve come to the wrong place.  Hit the back button on your browser now.

Lots and lots of new features are coming online.  They’re all in various stages of development.  You’ll soon see innovative things I’m working on — such as a live, streaming, two-way “TV channel” of sorts where you’ll be able to interact with me (audio, video, text) in real time as I type here in front of my computer.

This is my platform to push the boundaries of technology in every dimension.

Hang on tight.  We may achieve orbit.  Or we may sail off a cliff.  But the ride will be exhilarating.

— Eric

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