TELEMARKETING MARVELS: Want to do a market survey before buying a new car? All you have to do is press a few buttons - on the remote control of your television. The UK-based Viewcall electronic company - a new entrant in Britain's information superhighway - has developed a technology for transmitting high-quality still pictures, text and sound over conventional copper telephone lines to standard television sets in an interactive manner, enabling the buyer to view details of possible purchases. More key depressions will permit one to arrange test drives by sending the message directly across to the con- cerned company. FLOUR FOR HEALTH: Those suffering from diabetes, constipation or high cholesterol need not despair, as a special hi-fibre flour - keeping their needs in mind - has been developed by Chandigarh's DeviDayal Verma Rice and General Mills. Named 7- STAR, the flour contains low cholesterol and is prepared by using the cold grinding technology which keeps its nutritive value intact. The flour is currently being used in various medical institutions including the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.
SELLING IT CLEAN: The citizens of Madras in Tamil Nadu will soon be introduced to automated water vending outlets - an alternative to the expensive bottled mineral water - which will process and purify about 1,000 litres; of water per hour using the reverse osmosis process with the help of a membrane. This technology is being introduced in the country for the first time by the S & S Industries and Enterprises, an organisation based in Madras.
POTENT PLASTER: Those with shattered hips or smashed ankles need no longer have nightmares of metal plates and screws being inserted into their bodies. Scientists working at the Norian Corporation in Cupertno, California have produced a miracle paste that can take care of all breaks and fractures. Named "Skeletal Repair System" (SRS), the drug - injected through the skin into a fracture - hardens within minutes and helps the bone retain its strength. The SRS is similar in structure to the natural bone, claim its producers, and our bodies accept it assuch.
NEUTRALISING A POLLUTANT: Flyash, rated as an environment hazard, has its uses too. It has now become a source for generating income for enterprising brickmakers in south India. Produced as a by-product in coal-based power plants, it is being used to manufacture bricks and cement by means of technology developed by N Kalidas, director of the Institute for Solid Waste Research and Ecological Balance in Visdkhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The product created is Fal-G, made from flyash, lime and calcinated gypsum. It is cheaper than the conventional clay brick by at least 40 per cent.
CYCLES AND RECYCLES: If there are soda cans there will be cycles. This is the latest slogan of Huffy, the 103- year old bicycle manufacturer in Dayton, US. It is promoting its new Metaloids series of bicycles for children made entirely from recycled aluminum. Each "recycle" uses about 120 soda cans. The new model also gives a softer ride than steel-made ones, claims Huffy's development engineer. Huffy also plans to launch an Eco-Terra brand line of bikes for adults using milk and plastic soda bottles.