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WICC NFC antenna and wireless charger adapter (via Duracell)   Some innovations are coming out that will let you recharge your mobile devices wirelessly and on-the-go. The first, announced by Duracell, is called the ‘PowerMat WICC’. The WICC is a super thin add in card (as well as a NFC antenna) that enables you to grab power wirelessly from any Duracell or its competitors charging mat. This technology is also combined with an app that helps you locate the nearest charging stati ...
MinION (via Oxford Nanopore Technologies)   In the fast advancing technological world in which we live, it is only a matter of time before we can all readily have access to our human genome sequence. A firm in UK has built a small device that will bring us one step closer to that possibility. A surge in medical innovation may soon follow.     Oxford Nanopore Technologies has recently constructed a device that can sequence simple genomes through the USB port on your own computer. ...
In the future, television sets will be even more impressive than the cutting-edge sets that have just reached the market. That is according to a panel of experts at the International Solid State Circuits Conference, who said that they expects television sets to become even smarter and more intuitive than those currently available to consumers.   One of the biggest advancements will be the popularisation of glasses-less 3D technology, which would revolutionise the experience of watching tel ...
Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel with STEM representatives from Microsoft, IBM, Verizon, and Motorola at the opening of one school   The public school system in the greater Chicago-land area is about to undergo a transformation with the help of some of tech industries heavy-weight companies. Known as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), the project is a combined effort from companies such as Microsoft, Verizon, IBM and Motorola to help educate teachers as well as students in t ...
Metatronic states (via University of Pennsylvania)   New technology often leads to a shift in the way we all think about design. Engineers know this better than anyone, especially when it comes to circuit design. With that in mind, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have built the first ‘lumped' optical circuit powered by light. Designed by Professor Nader Engheta at the University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science along with some of his students, the new ...
CleanSpace concept drawing (via EPFL)   Space is a messy place. According to NASA, it is littered with over ten million pieces of debris orbiting the Earth at a rate of around 36,000 km/h. That junk is potentially hazardous not only to astronauts but can damage or destroy spacecraft and satellites, as well. To combat this problem engineers from the Swiss Space Center at EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne) have designed a satellite that performs a kind of intergalactic housekeepi ...
  Since creating its Custom Foundry division around two years ago, Intel, the world's biggest maker of semiconductors, has kept developments at the site a closely-guarded secret. This sense of secrecy has, in fact, been extended to the firm's future plans as well as details of some of the firm's clients.   The official line from Intel is that it is merely learning how to make chips for other companies and according to the firm, the Custom Foundry division represents a long-term growt ...
Boston Dynamics "Petman" (via Boston Dynamics)   The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is set to develop breakthrough advancements in telepresence and remote operation of ground systems, by totally immersing soldier into robotic "Avatars." DARPA has dedicated $7 million of its 2012 budget to develop an avatar that can be used in combat and other tasks. Duties include, but are not limited to, "countering IEDs and mines, search and rescue missions, and recovering casualties d ...
Jianhui and the controlled robotic limb (via Zhejiang University)   Animals are capable of much. Learning sign language or aiding with search and rescue immediately come to mind. One such test animal, the monkey Jianhui, is now adept at learning how to control robotics with their minds. Zheng Xiaoxiang and his team of researchers from Zhejiang University in Zijingang China were able to identify and decode the electrical signals in the area of the monkey’s brain used for hand movement. ...
TV static to become WiFi   A bill passed recently by the U.S. Congress will allow the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to auction off part of the television spectrum. The bill passed is intended to be an extension of payroll tax, allowing workers to keep more of their money when they receive their paychecks. In turn, the government’s cut of the money from the auctions will help compensate for the tax break. The auction is speculated to bring in $25 billion USD. ...
Carbon Capture concept (via U.S. Depatement of Energy)   Carbon capture sequestration is a technology in which many byproducts of refining and the general energy producing process, where pollutants like carbon, sulfur dioxide, mercury and nitrous oxide, are mostly filtered from entering the atmosphere. This technology eliminates 90% of the carbon 99% of sulfur dioxide, 90% of nitrogen oxide and 99% of mercury emissions emitted from coal power plants. Oil companies, along with oil producing ...
An impressive 27 of the 33 major IC Insights product categories defined by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics will experience growth this year. That is according to IC Insights, the market research analyst, which said that it expects to see 11 segments grow at a rate better than seven percent in 2012.   Six categories are, in fact, set to see double digit growth this year, IC Insights said. This contrasts strongly with the IC report in 2011, which forecast 18 products experiencing d ...
Last week was the 50th anniversary John Glenn’s flight in which he became the first American to orbit the earth.  The issues the flight had with automated controls make me think of how automation-related issues affect the world today.   The automated attitude control system used a control loop that would fire thrusters to correct the orientation of the capsule.  The system used small thrusters for minor adjustments and large thrusters intended primarily for changing the cap ...
Stencil application of the DIY conductive ink (Via Jordan Bunker)   From the work of University of Illinois Urbana Champaign professor Jennifer Lewis, Chicago based "hacker" Jordan Bunker has successfully produced conductive ink using Ebay bought items. Bunker's efforts thoroughly validate the desirability of Lewis's ink project, and is sure to usher a slew of others copying the work (Mockery is the best form of flattery). Easily printing circuit boards at home is right around the corner. ...
Lotus Glass promotional images (Via Samsung & Corning)   Makers of Gorilla Glass, Corning Incorporated, and Samsung Mobile Display Co. are partnering to create a new glass substrate for future lines of high-end smartphones. They are combining Corning's Lotus™ Glass substrate technology and Samsung Mobile Display's organic light emitting diode (OLED) display. The market for (OLED) devices is quickly growing and they took notice.   Corning’s developed a glass where the ...
  Much of engineering innovation lately comes from electronic gadgets, like cell-phones or media players. There are plenty of purely mechanical ideas that can revolutionize the world like the smartphone. The latest comes in the category of automotive engines, shaking up the near century long practices in the field.     Researchers at Michigan State University have designed and built a prototype rotary engine that may soon be the most logical replacement for the conventional engi ...
(Left) F-Bomb in 3D printed enclosure (Right) F-Bomb hardware hidden in a CO monitor     Of all the mini computers available, this one might have the biggest potential of all. It is appropriately called the F-Bomb, which stands for, Falling or Ballistically-launched Object that Makes Backdoors. Malice Afterthought's Brendan O’Connor, a security researcher, has developed a system made from commercially available components and put together, costs less than 50 dollars and is capab ...
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has made an exciting announcement for the technology industry in the US and elsewhere by confirming that it is set to launch its first free course which can be studied and assessed exclusively online.   Beginning in March 2012, MIT explained that the course will be the first prototype of an online project and is to be known as MITx. It will offer a fully automated learning experience, according to the world-leading university, which has claimed t ...
Concept drawing (via Joao Paulo Lammoglia)   People have come up with some pretty ingenious ways to recharge our portable devices. Some of the more interesting ways include the PowerTrekk "hydrogen gas pucks" to recharge our portable devices, and the nPower PEG that harnesses kinetic energy for the same purpose. However, this innovative concept, designed by Joao Paulo Lammoglia, might be the most practical by taking advantage of breathing.   Called ‘AIRE’, the mask uses sm ...
Luminarie Cagna (via Gent)   This year’s ‘Licht Festival’ (festival of lights) that was held in Ghent, Belgium featured some pretty impressive works of art made with various light sources. While all the works presented this year are remarkable, there is one that stands out from the others. Luminarie De Cagna (translate at your own risk) created a "cathedral of light." The 90 foot tall display with over 55,000 LED’s that only consumes a scant 20 kWh of power! The comp ...
(Left) Tongue Drive System retainer. (Right) iPhone rig for wireless control. (via Georgia Tech & Maysam Ghovanloo)   A mouth based interface allows users to drive an electric wheelchair with only their tongue. Dubbed the "Tongue Drive System," (TDS) it was developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology for those with  "high-level spinal cord injuries" or anyone with the inability to move their limbs. From controlling a wheelchair to a cursor on a screen, the TDS ...
BAE Systems, the global firm that specialises in the development of advanced defence, security and aerospace systems, has revealed that it is using torches, drones and an electric Le Mans racing car as test-beds for a new kind of "structural battery" made from carbon fibre.   The firm, currently testing the technology in the Lola-Drayson B12/69EV, which it hopes will be come the world's fastest electric car, explained that it can save weight by building the battery into an object. Long-ter ...
e-bike fleet (via austinevan)   In the City of San Francisco, going for a bike ride is exceptionally picturesque. But the steep hills may deter the non-enthusiasts from using their bikes as a viable means of transportation. A solution that lessens the physical stress and could influence some to take on biking is making electric bikes available for rent. The car sharing program City CarShare, in San Fransisco, plans on making 45 e-bikes available for daily rentals by the end of this year an ...
Video via Nasa   February 24th, 2011 a dexterous humanoid robot, Robonaut 2, was launched into space to be the first of its kind in space and the first United States robot to make its way to the international space station. NASA and General Motors have been working together to create a more human like robot that can simulate and execute human motions and actions. Succeeding in creating such a robot will allow it to perform current human tasks, potentially the dangerous ones or repetitive t ...
From the paper "Computational Sprinting." Showing temperature vs processing power.     Computers and mobile devices run a constant CPU speed to process all of our software. That generates heat that has to be cooled either by a heatsink or some other mechanism. To make the CPU run at faster speeds usually requires overclocking which  generates even more heat. What if you could get incredible speeds without the need for bulky cooling systems even for mobile devices?   That is ...
  Moore's Law states that the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively into an integrated circuit will double every two years or become half their original size. In reality, it turns out that the doubling/shrinking happens every 18 months. Based on prediction, the law will hold true until somewhere between 2015 and 2020. At which point, a single transistor will be the size of one atom.   Can single atom transistors exist? The answer is shocking; yes,  they already ...
Rosepoint chip (via Intel)   ‘Fused’ chips are fast becoming the status quo in powering today’s mobile devices, particularly tablets and smartphones. For those of you who don’t know what fused chips are, they combine CPU’s and  For those of you who don’t know what fused chips are, they combine CPU’s and GPU’s on a single chip (or die) such as AMD’s Fusion. Intel has recently stepped up their game in this field with the introduction ...
Quantum Dot concept image (via the Optical Society Journal "Remote switching of cellular activity and cell signaling using light in conjunction with quantum dots"   Lih Lin and her research team at the University of Washington have been working with Quantum Dot based stimulation of cells within the brain with surprising results. Quantum Dots (QD) are small crystal shaped particles only a few nanometers wide that behave similarly to semiconductors. They are readily excited by light. When ex ...
  People sure love their pets. Some even go out of their way to comfort them when not at home, like hiring a sitter or taking them to a doggy day-spa. Others, like Microsoft engineer Jordan Correa, build interactive robots to keep tabs on them while away. Called Darwinbot (named after his dog Darwin), Jordan started the build using the iRobot Create, a cleaning robot at its heart. Now with version 2, Correa moved on to the Parallax Eddie platform, which used the 8-core Propeller microcontro ...
Soldier sets up UAV communication system in Afganistan   Big bandwidth, 4G, wireless networks are popping up everywhere these days; it is almost hard to find an area that does not have a fast connection. That is not the case for our men and women fighting on foreign battlefields like Afghanistan. Wireless networks out there are hard to come by even at 3G speeds. Wars are won with information. Having soldiers connected is paramount.   Slow data speeds will soon be a problem of the past ...
Google's ambitious bid to acquire Motorola Mobile, the international phone maker, has been rubberstamped by authorities in the US. The announcement was made a matter of hours after Google received clearance from authorities in Europe.   Indeed, the European Commission determined that the proposed buyout would not raise competition issues in the market for operating systems for handheld devices. US regulators, meanwhile, agreed with this verdict, but pledged to continue to pay attention to ...
Viasat introduced its Exede high-speed satellite Internet service in January. It uses narrow-beam transmission like the proposed Lightsquared system to reuse bandwidth in cellular fashion.  Viasat’s system, however, operates in the 20GHz range making it easier to realize higher-gain antennas with tight beams serving small regions of the earth.    Providing "fast" Internet service to rural regions is an important infrastructure issue that has been likened to providing elect ...
Clip from the documentary film "The Camel Race" from 2011   Camel racing is as popular in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) as horse racing is in the west. However, there is a vast difference between the two when it comes to the riders (Jockey’s). Traditionally, until 2005, children were used in ‘The Sport of Sheiks’ as riders until international human rights agencies learned that children, as young as 4, were suffering abuses that ranged from broken bones to starvation. (Sta ...
ViaSat promotional image of the SurfBeam 2 Pro Portable Terminal for newcasting (via ViaSat)   I could have used this at CES. ViaSat is to bring mobile satellite broadband at 12 Mbps in the near future with their SurfBeam 2 Pro Portable system. The system can be setup anywhere within minutes. The whole dish fits inside a carrying case about the size of a suitcase and can be fastened together using only your hands to tighten the connections.     Once assembled, you will be assis ...
If your reading this, chances are your using a laptop or PC to do so. Being that this article is on an engineering oriented website you most likely have some knowledge as to what components are housed in either one of them. I'm talking primarily about the CPU (Central Processing Unit) and the GPU (Graphical Processing Unit) that make up the computer's brain and muscle respectively.   The CPU processes complex code or software and executes the instructions based on what app/software is bein ...
(Left) U.S. Military predator drone (Right) Civilian drone filming the riots in Poland over the ACTA signing   UAVs have been all over the news in recent months, with the recent acquisition of military grade surplus for both federal and law enforcement agencies. For them, it is legal to fly those in most major cities. For civilians, it’s a different story, as a California based realty company found out when the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) scolded them for using UAV’s t ...
  Modding Microsoft’s Kinect is nothing new; people have been designing new and crazy things with it for over a year already. There is even a Kinect for Windows release in February 2012 that is spurring innovation. However, occasionally someone uses it to do some pretty ingenious feats, like George MacKerron, a researcher at University College London.   MAcKerron took the Kinect and made an interactive ‘Depthcam’ that lets the user interact with real-time 3D images o ...
Heat pulse switching (via York University)   Current hard drive capacities seem enormous compared to ten, or even five, years ago. However, the way our hard drives currently store data has a limitation on how far we can go. This limitation is commonly known as the superparamagnetic limit. Superparamagnetism sets limits due to magnetic particles that are used and their minimum size allowed before they start randomly changing directions.     Past superparamagnetic limits: Longitu ...
California-based technology giant Google has started construction on an ambitious project designed to help stimulate innovation in Silicon Valley. The firm has announced that it will spend $120 million in order to build a new facility that will feature buildings that are screened against external radio waves and will host experiments including the use of rare gases and innovative optical coatings.   Although Google has refused to confirm some of the internet rumours surrounding the new fac ...
(via Mastercard)   Mastercard introduces PayPass to the main stream in 2011, calling it the next generations’ way of electronic payment. President of MasterCard Chris McWilton stated, "We're moving toward a world beyond plastic, where consumers will shop and pay in a way that best fits their needs and lifestyles with a simple tap, click or touch in-store, online or on a mobile device."   One of the biggest worries when having a credit card is theft and the debts that follow. A ...
(Left) Concept of the system (Right) Drawing of the MEMS generator (Via Purdue University)   A new medical pressure sensitive implant, microelectromechanical system (MEMS), is out that uses sound as a power source. This MEMS device is a sensor that monitors the pressure of the urinary ladder and in the sack of blood vessel damages by an aneurism. Purdue University researches invented the MEMS to one day treat people with aneurism or incontinence due to paralysis patients.   The MEMS ...
  UAV’s are everywhere these days. It seems I can’t even walk out of my house without running into a quad-rotor of some sort. Even local law enforcement agencies are getting into the act with their recent acquisition of military surplus.   For those of you who love them, Darpa (Defense Research Products Agency) has teamed up with SSC Atlantic (Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center) to give us average ‘Joes’ the opportunity to design the next generation of Unma ...
LARES (via ESA & Stephane Covaja)   The Laser Relativity Satellite (LARES) was launched into orbit on February 13th to challenge Einstein's theory of relativity.  The satellite is made from tungsten and measures only 36 centimeters wide. In addition, it was constructed with many reflectors on its surface used to measure its position from Earth using lasers on the ground.     Past satellites were placed into space to challenge the exact same theory with varying results. ...
(Left) Cross section of the Nanoshell surface. (Right) How light, in red, propogates through the shells. (via Stanford University)   A paper published by a team of engineers at Stanford reveals a new way to capture energy from the sun employing nanotechnology. They made this possible by creating thin solar panels out of hollowed out nanoshells. The nanoshells themselves are made out of photovoltaic nanocrystalline-silicon that are  hollowed out at the center. The nanoshells capture li ...
Dysprosium in the raw (via periodictable.com)   China dominates world production of rare earth minerals. However, China has been cutting back on production due to environmental and domestic labor effects. Raising prices was the only option, but they are potentially creating a monopoly on the material. In mid 2011, China increased prices 10 times what it was the going rate at the beginning of the year. What else would one suspect when one place controls 95% of a material.     Thi ...
Internet rumours are suggesting that Apple is currently putting the final touches to preparations for the eagerly-awaited launch of the iPad 3, which is apparently set to go on sale in March.   Technology blog All ThingsD, for example, has claimed that the launch event for the iPad 3 will be held in the first week of March. And if those rumours are to be believed, it is expected that the third generation Apple tablet will go on sale a week or so later.   Speculation regarding the lau ...
"When you have a very tight lattice match, light generation happens far more efficiently... It really leads to LED 2.0 and a whole new disruptive technology curve." - Soraa CEO Eric Kim     ● The Centre for Quantum Devices at Northwestern University, Evanston-Illinois, created the first UV HVPE-GaN (galium nitride) substrate LEDs in 2002 while experimenting with different materials. Increased efficiency and heat-dissipation were noted.   ● Panasonic launched the industry's fi ...
STCF04 (via STMicroelectronics)   Taking decent indoor pictures with a smartphone is almost impossible in low light conditions. Think about it; most of the time you have to take the same picture at least twice. The first one was blurry, and the second pic turns out dark because the flash on your phone (if it even has one) isn’t bright enough in low-light conditions. However, there is hope on the horizon with the help of STMicroelectronics new chip dubbed ‘STCF04’. The chip ...
Solar energy collection might just be the best alternative energy solution. It collects energy from outside the earth's ecosystem, instead of stealing the kinetic energy from the planet itself. If we are going to do so, collecting more of that energy is paramount. Up until now, commercial solar energy collection peak at around 15% light to energy transfer efficiency. Those standard returns have been shattered by a couple of companies out of the USA.   Alta Devices solar panel (via Univer ...
A wireless medical pressure transducer that Dr. Joshua Medow first prototyped in his home lab a few years ago is now being tested in sheep and could be tested in human patients within two years.   The device is intended for patients with hydrocephalus who have a shunt implanted to reduce  cerebrospinal fluid pressure.  When these patients have symptoms as simple as a headache, there is no easy test to determine if a failure of the shunt is responsible.    Dr. Medow ha ...
  Necessity breeds innovation. Clothing designers have two approaches to designing garments; imagining how it will look or physically making the design to see how will turn out. University of Tokyo, Japan, Amy Wibowo falls into the later category. After spending the large sums of time to create pieces just to be thrown aside, she set out to create a way to virtually design. The result was "Dress Up Clothing Design System," and augmented reality program that can let a designer create in 3D ...
First off, it is always bad to fear things that cannot be controlled.  Physibles (data objects that can become physical objects) will become a reality on some level. If it ends up being possible and prevalent to print running shoes, piracy prevention measures will likely be as effective as DRM has been for music and movies.  So let's all just calm down about how to stop the technology and think about how to use it.   Second, there isn't much of a reason for manufacturers to fear ...
Biomask concept (via UT Arlington)   Being enlisted into the armed forces signs everyone up to a high risk of injury. Face damage is one of the most debilitating injury, and special care has to be taken. Soldiers that are injured in the face now may have the option to bypasses surgery and use a Biomask to repair their wounds.   Currently, the procedure to repair the face involves removing the damaged areas and grafting in new skin. With this procedure, you run the risk of having def ...
  Pico Projectors are a useful feature to add to a cell-phone. Take any random bus stop work wide. You will see a large percentage of people straining their necks. The bent posture follows even in the elevator, living room, or one's desk at work. The Pico projector based smart phones have a dual purpose; by helping straighten up your posture while allowing you to view the phone beyond the small restricted screen. But that is the end of its capabilities.   A team of researchers has ta ...
(Above) Video of the mouse's brain operating (via Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry)   Many methods have been used to study and understand the brain. These methods have limitations that restrict how well the micro structures can be seen and how they behave in real time. Now, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry in Gottingen, Germany, have developed a new nanoscopic scanning system to observe previously impossible resolution of the structures of the li ...
  Despite ongoing concerns over the state of the wider US economy, a new study has revealed that technology companies based in Silicon Valley are succeeding in bucking the trend. The residual impact of the banking crisis in the late 2000s has, of course, had a profound impact on employment levels and economic growth in the US. It does not, however, appear to have extended too far into the country's technology market.   That's because new data shows that employment rates in the softwa ...
The cockroach fuel-cell volunteer (via ACS Publications)   The living-cell battery from the Matrix movies is real, but not for us humans.   Scientist Daniel Scherson and his team from Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, have take to immobilizing insects and turning them into living fuel-cells. Using a "False Death's Head Cockroach," also know as a discoidalis,  the team was able to insert electrodes made of thin carbon fibers sealing in a glass capillary tube into incisions m ...
  Entering an industry with already high competition was no deterrent for Recon Instruments. Recon just announced a partnership with Smith Optics and SCOTT sports over MOD sports goggles. They are attempting to bring augmented reality in a heads-up-display to competitors, will they succeed?   An example of the onboard HUD (via Recon Instruments)   The MOD system can be immensely helpful when ridding down new territory. The goggles are equipped with GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, a ...
Stephan Boyer with his unicycle (via Stephen Boyer)   Stephen Boyer, an electrical engineering student at MIT, took his transportation needs into his own hands by creating a motorized unicycle. However, he is leaving the balancing to the unicycle.   Boyer explains that the unicycle only balances in the direction of travel, forward or backward, so practice is needed to balance completely. To balance, the unicycle first determines its angle from the gyro and accelerometer feeds into a ...
  Before many of us experienced augmented reality (AR) on our phone, manufacturers are poised to release the next-gen. Chip designer ARM is the main driving force behind the latest in AR. Their goal is to use all the available processing power our devices can muster. The new augmented reality can scan 3D environments using a phone's camera. In real-time, it can produce an image that is animated or even descriptive.     For instance, you are looking for a new office for your busi ...
The world's largest vertical telescope, which links four telescopes, has been has been created in Chile by astronomers at the Paranal Observatory. The Very Large Telescope (VLT) is, indeed, the largest single such device on Earth, measuring an impressive 130 metres (424 foot) in diameter.   Astronomers hope that the new device will help to give them a much more intimate look at the universe than has ever been the case. That is, of course, largely due to the fact that scientists have never ...
(via TechNet study)   Some say the mobile device "app gold rush" is over. Both the iOS and Android markets have the better part of a million applications each, how can there be room for more? I disagree. I think the field is flush with possibilities. So far, 466,000 jobs have been created in the "app economy" business. There is room for more.   The App Economy generated $20 billion USD in 2011 alone, according to the TechNet study on the industry. The revenue includes app sales, in a ...
Road power faux-schematic (via Stanford University)   MIT is again at the heart of another technological advancement. This time Stanford University is taking the MIT development to another level, providing power to electrical vehicles via embedded wireless power transfer coils in roadways.   MIT created a wireless power transfer technology that can handle 3kWs of power within a few feet. Originally it was for charging EVs while parked. Stanford associate professor Shanhui Fan wants ...
(Left) Software interface. (via Google) App Inventor book by David Wolber (via Amazon)   Not being able to find an app, that can perform a specific task, can be frustrating. The only option is to develop it yourself. Google and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) joined forces to help you get started.  The two came up with the "App Inventor" for android software toolset. The software allows your imagination to go wild in the Android app world as quick as possible.   ...
Hiriko concept images (via MIT)   Double saving with this car! You can save money and save room. Hiriko ("of the city") is the name of the double whammy car that can not only fold itself but runs on electric. The inventor is Jose Manual Barroso who is the president of the European Commission, in Brussels. Barroso is working on the project with the Spanish government and the USA's MIT Media Lab. Their goal is to have the Hiriko on Spanish streets by 2014.   Being a folding, do not ex ...
With less than 200 days to go until the start of the London 2012 Olympics, the attention of many of the businesses located in the UK's capital city are starting to turn their attention to the logistical challenges posed by hosting the world's largest sporting event.   The long-term concern for Londoners surrounding the Games regarded how the city's transport infrastructure would cope with the stresses of moving millions of people around London over the course of two weeks.   However, ...
(via AT&T)   It is easy to forget that there was a time when data communication was vastly an unknown and abstract topic. A relic of the start of this digital era was found in the AT&T archives. It was recently released so that those who were not around to experience the paradigm shift, could at least marvel at the primitive history that was robotics in the 1960’s.     Jim Henson, a movie director who eventually would work on Sesame Street and the Muppets, created ...
Xappr (via MetalCompass)   A new attachment to enhance your smart phone gaming is on the way from the company MetalCompass. The Xappr is a gun shaped attachment that communicates with your phone. It works by placing your smart phone in flexible clamps. Xappr interacts with your phone to give users an enhanced game experience. If the user pivots,  the game screen tilts along with them, creating a more realistic feeling.     This expands gaming capabilities for smart phones a ...
  Practicing a musical instrument takes a lot of time, preceded by the loss of a sizable pile of money. To parents, they can be a double edge sword as they can be expensive and loud but also a considerable skill and hobby to acquire if their child is truly interested. This is the case unless the parent is a tech-savvy engineer. In which case, the perfect solution has already been built for kids that want to practice the drums.     Ian Cole was able to make an electronic drum set ...
A new report, conducted by IHS iSuppli, has suggested that the semiconductor industry will expand at a slower pace in 2012, largely due to the ongoing economic downturn and sluggish consumer demand. The research body has said that annual revenue for the industry will hit $323 billion, a growth of 3.3 percent year-on year. Len Jelinek, director and chief analyst of semiconductor manufacturing research at IHS iSuppli, explained that the semiconductor industry is struggling to grow during what ha ...
Solar Decathlon grounds (via DOE)   An innovation-stirring biennial competition is travelling to the west coast in 2013 for the first time in its decade-long existence. The Solar Decathlon will be in California this year for the 20+ college teams participating from all parts of the globe. (Normally held in Washington DC) Competition organizers hope to engage a new audience with innovations of technology and design from the 20 U.S. universities competing to make the best solar powered home. ...
Graphene sheet concept art from James Hedberg   Why has Graphene not over taken Silicon for use in electronics?     Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms that are only one molecule thick and have extraordinary characteristics. It is stronger than diamonds, can conduct electricity better than copper, and is impenetrable to gases and liquids. The low resistance it offers can create new and better transistors and circuits. The exceptional conductivity allows electrons to flow ...
  Imagine being able to fit such a tablet into your pocket and not having to worry about reducing the size of the display.  It may soon be possible thanks to researcher Juergen Steimle. Working with faculty at MIT's media lab they have developed multiple tablets that work a bit differently than their traditional counterparts.     The technology, dubbed FoldMe, works by using infrared cameras overhead to track movement and position of the  tablet surface. The software i ...
The European Commission has announced that it is looking in to Samsung's patent deals, with the regulator harbouring fears that the firm used some of its intellectual property rights to "distort competition in European mobile device markets". According to the Commission, it is determined to establish whether Samsung met its agreement to license key technologies to rivals. News of the investigation comes at an awkward time for Samsung, which is currently embroiled in patent battles with Apple ...
It is good practice to avoid using one resistor to limit the current through more than one parallel LEDs. Sharing a resistor among LEDs puts the same voltage across the parallel LEDs.  If the V-I curve for the diodes is different, different amounts of current will flow.  There is commonly a good deal of variation in the forward voltage of diodes, even of the same part number, so we use separate diodes.    Suppose we want to set two levels of brightness for a pair of LEDs.&# ...
Universal Earphones (via Igarashi Design Interfaces Project team)   Another instance of "it is so simple it eluded me."   Designers from the Igarashi Design Interfaces Project, of the Japan Science and Technology Agency, have made a set of ear-bud style headphones that know which ear they are in. A proximity sensor built into each bud detects where the parts of the ear are located. The right ear will show up on one side of the sensor, left ear will be the other side. According to the ...
An overview of the Wind for Schools program (via DOE)   An exciting new project in Illinois is looking for middle schools and high schools to partake in an innovative curriculum change. The project is called Illinois Wind for Schools, modeled after the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) "Wind for Schools." Illinois has the second largest capacity for wind power in the United States, but it has not received funds from the Department of Energy to participate in NREL’s program ...
Pigeons fitted with Neubronner's various camera system (via archive photography)   The world is infatuated with flying robots with cameras. Take the latest toy helicopters, camera connectivity is an essential selling point. Companies announce their technological breakthrough, but they are unaware that the technology is already 104 years old (as of 2012). Pigeons outfitted with cameras took the world by storm in 1908, the product of one person, Julius Neubronner. Julius Neubronner was a G ...
In light of recent criticism from US members of Congress, search engine giant Google has pledged that its new privacy policy will still give its users control of data sharing.. In a letter to the California-based technology giant, the Congress members expressed concern over the fact that users wouldn't be able to opt-out of the new data sharing system when using Google products. The Congressmen observed that consumers should have the option of opting out of data collection when "they are not c ...
Kinect for Windows v1.0 (via Microsoft)   The Microsoft Kinect is a widely popular object tracking camera system first released for the XBOX 360. It allows users to interface with games and menus without operating a controller. After its release, the "hacker" community quickly adapted the tech for use with computers. Simple tracking programs and art based developments soon followed. Due to the popularity, Microsoft started the Kinect Accelerator program, offering large cash prizes for furth ...
  Three-dimensional printing has only been around since ca-2003 Almost anything can be printed, though at a reduced resolution. Home-use adoption is on the rise, as 3D printing machines become cheaper. One designer created the first pseudo-record without even owning a 3D printer. The process created grooved tracks containing a song. It is the first step towards LP reproduction. This 3D printed record uses the Fisher Price Record Players music box’s 22 notes, rather than a conventio ...
Katrin Wolf, lead designer behind Pinch-pad (via Technical University of Berlin)     The sales of smart phones and tablet computers have been growing exponentially in the past couple years, maximizing our transfer of information from one to another. For many users, the touch screen on these devices gives them a very natural feel to skimming through the internet or traversing their music library. Very soon these smart phones and tablets may be taking advantage of a skill many of us neve ...
Three of the world's best-known email-service providers - Microsoft, Google and AOL - have backed plans designed to dramatically reduce phishing emails. Phishing is a way of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity. The overarching ambition of the new working group formed by a number of leading companies is to stop the flow of phishing emails, which deceive recipients into believing they come from a credible s ...

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