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"Last tree in the LAB" (by Yuni Lim www.yuniworks.com)   As we hail ourselves as masters of Science and engineering, it can be seen time and time again that humans still have much to learn from the simplest of structures that surround us. This time, that simple yet complex and highly capable structure is the tree, and the lesson to be learned is sustainable, renewable, electrical energy storage.     Professor of biomolecular and organic electronics, OlleInganas from Linkoping U ...
3D Solar Array (via MIT)   Sure, MIT’s 3D solar array may look like art, but its looks are pure function. Unlike sun-tracking solar arrays that follow the fiery sphere along its ecliptic path to maximize its power gathering potential, MIT's 3D solar array is designed to efficiently gather energy by positioning its photovoltaic cells upward. Conceived by Associate Professor Jeffrey Grossman and his team at MIT, the 3D solar array provides more than double (and in some cases 20 times mo ...
By Lou Covey Editorial Director, New Tech Press   It's time to stop wondering what Apple is going to do with its cash reserve after it pays out dividends to stock holders.  If what Cadence's Tom Beckley says about the next generation of chips holds true, Apples is going to need every dime to create the next generation of processors for the iPad and iPhone.   Beckley, senior vice president of R&D in the Cadence Custom IC group, was the keynote speaker at the 2012 International ...
IEEE Spectrum recently published an article on the the value of the Internet.  It discusses and economic report, The Internet Economy in the G-20, from The Boston Consulting Group.    The report attempts to quantify the value of the Internet and makes the case that the Internet is still changing rapidly and will have a huge impact on the world economy.  Written from a public policy standpoint, the report attempts to quantify the elusive value of things such the ability to r ...
Technological advancement is not always for pushing the future along. Often enough it helps us understand the past and know more about our present. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is using satellites to record specific reflective properties for exploring ancient civilizations. Google is using ground images to allow viewers to tour far away and restricted locations. Both efforts are modern, leading edge, giving us all a deeper understanding of our Earth and history.   Top ...
Rocket tracers, nightime (via NASA)   In the military, soldiers sometimes use tracer rounds to help them direct fire onto an opposing target. The tracer projectile uses a pyrotechnic charge that makes the bullet burn brightly and therefore visible to the naked eye. NASA has taken a page from the military’s tracer principal and adapted it to their ATREX (Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment) program.   Five rockets were launched in succession 80 seconds apart to study the Jetstr ...
Cencept of how the plastic repairs (via American Chemical Society)   The day may come when our robot subordinates will be able to bleed and bruise when we suppress their uprising, thanks to a new form of polymer that has self-healing capabilities. At this year’s ACS (American Chemical Society) Professor Mark W. Urban (School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at USM) unveiled a new type of plastic his research group has designed that mimics human skin in that it can discolor a ...
(Left) SUGAR high/freeze (Right) supersonic Boeing concept (via Boeing)   "Green" is becoming the norm in new design. Boeing is jumping on the bandwagon and looking to win a major contract from NASA to create new subsonic/supersonic aircraft that will be more environmentally friendly. Concepts for the subsonic aircraft (noted as N+3 for the next three generations of aircraft) are all derived from the project known as SUGAR (Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research). These include "SUGAR free" ...
The E=MC2 pages. (via Einstein Archives Online)   Anyone who is a fan of Albert Einstein will be excited to hear, over 80,000 digital scans of his documents are available to all of the public with access to the internet, right now. This is all due to the effort of the Polonsky Foundation UK. The foundation hopes to have Einstein's complete body of work finished by the end of 2012.     After Einstein's death in 1955, he left the rights to all his documents and his image to the He ...
Apple has extended an olive branch to a number of its rivals in the ultra-competitive smartphone market, offering royalty-free license to its nano-SIM design. By doing so, the California-based firm hopes to make the design an international standard.   That is according to the Foss Patents blog, which explained that the move is designed to placate the competitors, including Nokia, Motorola and Research In Motion, the firm behind the BlackBerry. These rival companies have already stated thei ...
Concept (via Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)   Slowly but surely, the cloaking devices seen on almost every sci-fi show in existence are becoming a reality. Sure we can’t actually hide a Klingon Warbird (we haven’t figured out how to build one yet), but we can do the next best thing, cloaking objects from magnetic fields. A collaboration with researchers from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain) and the Institute of Electrical Engineering (Slovakia) have designed a s ...
"Big-money." (via stock photography)   Almost all of American currency in paper form features a mylar security strip that responds to UV light. This is one of the many tricks to help determine whether or not the bills are counterfeit. Conspiracy theorists think that these strips are used for money tracking as well as a host of other nefarious government doings. As crazy as it sounds, they are partially right.   New printing methods incorporate metal filaments or flecks embedded in the ...
  Wheelchairs have had some up-grades over the years. Various forms have come and gone, but they are typically limited to moving forward and backward. Those days are over as Masaharu Komori (from Kyoto University in Japan) has designed a new wheelchair that can not only travel forwards and backwards but also sideways. Called ‘Permoveh’ (Personal Mobile Vehicle) the wheelchair features a set of rollers housed inside the chairs wheels that lets the user travel in all directions, i ...
Computer giant Hewlett-Packard (HP) has announced that by 2017 it hopes to have developed a computer chip that features 256 microprocessors tied together with beams of light. The microprocessor, codenamed Corona, will be powered by a laser and HP hopes it will be able to perform ten trillion floating points operations a second.   As a result of this development, the chips could operate at an impressive 20 terabytes per second. Memory, meanwhile, would work at ten terabytes a second, HP sai ...
After my last article on what error budgets  are, I imagine there were plenty of people who thought that calculating error budgets on a complex product would be a pretty tough way to start a job.    To the contrary, I found them to be the single best project a junior engineer can be assigned.  And no, that's not because it's funny to give the rookie tasks with the most excel work.   First, let's talk about who junior engineers are.  The new hire will have bee ...
Reduced graphene oxide (a) Optical magnification of sheet (b) increased magnification   Most of you have heard of graphene, one atom thick super-packed sheet of carbon atoms. It is little know that, depending on the process used, graphene is very difficult to produce. The materials used to make the extremely hard substance usually consist of using sodium ethoxide, magnesium or sugar as well of a host of other substances. The quantity produced using these materials is typically on the small ...
  Learning how to play the guitar (no not "Guitar Hero") can be a long and daunting endeavor. Sure, you can use sheet music or tablature, but who really has time for that when we all just want to be overnight rock sensations? Robert Sanchez, with partners Ryan Rogowski and Kipp Bradford, might just have the solution to that problem with his design teaching aid called ‘Tabber’.   The system uses an LED (13 in all) sleeve that slips onto the guitars fret-board and lights up ...
iRobot Ava development platform (via iRobot)   The field of robotics, and the market for robotics, is rapidly expanding into new fields and applications. Two weeks ago, the company iRobot announced their adapting to this expansion by branching into three different sections as a strategy for their long-term dominance in the robotics market. These branches will be comprised of three units: home robots, military robots and branch focused on emerging technologies.     iRobot has so ...
No, that is not a giant pencil. It is a 1.875 Mega-Joule laser (via National Ignition Facility)   Is it a glorious win or a crushing defeat if you beat your own record? In the National Ignition Facility's case (NIF - in Livermore, California), it’s a win, as they have succeeded in creating a 1.875 MJ (mega-joule) ultraviolet laser-shot at the facilities target chamber. This beat out their previous record of a scant 1.8 MJ record.   This isn’t all about breaking records, as ...
"Ren Limin, a worker at the Jinyuan Company's smelting workshop, pours the rare earth metal Lanthanum into a mould near the town of Damao, in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region October 31, 2010." (via Reuters & David Gray)   There are 17 "Rare-Earth" elements that are a critical component of today's advanced technology. Neodymium (60-Nd), for example, is used in making ceramic capacitors. Lanthanum (57-La)is used in camera lenses, batteries, hydrogen storage, and the cracking ca ...
OMAP powered Roomba (via iRobot)   The creator of military robots and house cleaning robots, iRobot, will be teaming up with Texas Instruments to create a slew of new bots powered by TI's OMAP  technology. The chip will provide multi-core processing capabilities to fuel the growth of next generation robots. To give you a glimpse at the processing power knoew this, OMAP processors are currently used in many smart phones and tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy product line.     ...
  After the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan last year, the entire country was shut down due to catastrophic damage to its electrical grid. Among other things, this meant that all of the 5.5 million vending machines, which have become a very convenient commodity for Japanese people, were out of service. Access to vending machines plethora of convenience items were cut off. (No more drinks, hot food, fruit, clothes, etc)     To combat this issue, companies like Coca-Cola hav ...
Over the next few months, the world's most popular search engine, Google, will undergo a number of radical reforms in a bid to provide its users with 'answers' rather than just links to other websites. Historically, Google has specialised in providing blue web links. The new Google search bar, however, will go one significant step further and offer explicit answers to search queries at the top of the results page.   To achieve this, the California-based firm will employ 'semantic search te ...
Un-printer concept (via Cambridge University)   So, how many of us have messed up a printing project only throw the paper away and start over?   All of us. The waste that is produced is tremendous as well as costly for business and the environment. Some ‘green’ conscious-minded researchers from Cambridge University have a solution that would save countless trees from a wasteful fate with the help of nano-pulsed laser technology, a printer eraser.   Dr. Julian Allwo ...
Ice breaker ship plowing through the Arctic Ocean (via stock photography)   Many projects, some which will start this year, will upgrade the current Internet connections of many regions of the northern hemisphere. Increased speed, connectivity, and reduced latency is the goal.      Starting this August, after the summer exposes the arctic sea, there are plans to lay fiber optic cable connecting Tokyo Japan and London UK across the Arctic Ocean. One of these projects is ca ...
SeeMe concept (via DARPA)   In the military, it’s usually the SOF (Special Operations Forces) community are that get all the toys. For example, new body armor designs, improved weapons platforms and the latest electronic equipment are usually given to ‘Tier 1’ (the term is actually from the DOD’s budget rather than elite soldiers) operators. However, DARPA is seeking to develop and supply the average military units (as well as SOF) with the ability to recon over the ...
WiGig logo (via Wireless Gigabit Alliance)   As you may or may not have heard, there is a new wireless Internet technology in the works capable of up to 7 Gbps. Unlike the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz band we are familiar with now, the WiGig technology (wireless gigabit) would step it up a couple notches to deliver wireless at 60 GHz, aka 802.11ad.     The future of the WiGig is not set in stone. The established electronics manufacturer and distributor, ZTE, is throwing their support for t ...
Paypal, the web-based payment protection service, has announced an exciting new development - a mobile credit card reader which allows consumers to enjoy on-the-fly transactions at small firms worldwide.   The move marks an important landmark for the firm, which is seeking to move into the mobile payment space. To this end, it has introduced "Paypal Here", which is a blue triangular reader which plugs into a smartphone's audio jack.     The firm explained that it has created ...
Clips connected to the implanted eletrodes, measuring the generation within the snail. (Via L. Halámková, J. Halámek, V. Bocharova, A. Szczupak, L. Alfonta, E. Katz, Implanted biofuel cell operating in living snail. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, in press (DOI: 10.1021/ja211714w) | Copyright 2012 American Chemical Society)   A research team from Clarkson University in Postdam N.Y., led by chemistry professor Evgeny Katz, has developed the very first fuel cell comprised of a ...
  As citizens and politicians argue about how not to spend tax dollars, the U.S. navy seems to be gaining ground in persuading congress in spending hundreds of millions. A new type of gun that was previously thought as impractical and a waste of time, energy, and money may soon get back on the design track. This new weapon is called an electromagnetic rail gun and it works by accelerating a 20+ lb aluminum “bullet” around hypersonic speeds (Mach 5) towards the enemy.    ...
  Have you ever wanted to design your own robot but were unsure where to start? Fear-not friend, Microsoft has recently released a new iteration of its robot design software called ‘Robotics Developer Studio 4’. The software is centered heavily around the inclusion of Microsoft’s Kinect sensor for the home hobbyist’s robot designs. Included are SDK’s for both real and simulated Kinect sensors with support for all of its functions, the skeletal tracking feature, ...
Concept art (via Frog.com)   A few weeks ago the website frog.com held a competition called Future of Fiction for the first time, where they challenged their own staff to come up with innovational and non-conventional solutions to wind power harnessing. Their employees decided that a portable wind turbine was worthy of reality, and thereafter, engineers looked at the idea and came up with a prototype for a beautiful commercial grade portable wind turbine called the Revolver.     ...
NSA concept drawing (via NSA)   The National Security Agency (NSA) is currently carrying out a project called “Fishbowl” that is intended to encrypt telephone communications with high levels of security within networks using commercially available cell phones, cell phone components and the open source Android software. They are working with the Department of Defense, and other national agencies, to coordinate this security effort. They are also encouraging private companies to ...
Like most engineers who have worked on PCB-level and system-level projects, I know from hard experience the ways noise can travel from one line to another.  There are several unrelated ways for crosstalk to occur, so it's easy to think of it as black magic.  At the EMC seminar I attended last week, I learned that there are only four paths for any signal, including crosstalk, to take.  Having them enumerated allows you to work out the mechanism of crosstalk by process of eliminatio ...
  While many speech recognition and voice translator programs exist today, Microsoft has demonstrated its new one that is well ahead of its competition. They have showcased their new software at Microsoft's TechFest 2012, and have named it Monolingual TTS. (TTS, Text To Speech)     Unlike most translators, this one has the capability to output the translation in a voice that sounds just like your own and also includes a 3D image of your face. Additionally, it simulates movements ...
  SoftKinetic is looking to change the way people interact with the digital world. They have recently unveiled a new depth sensor, 8 years in the making, that offers end-to-end 3D gesture recognition. It has no problem working in the dark or dim-light situations and works in confined areas better than its competition. Look at you, Microsoft Kinect. I originally saw this tech at CES 2012.     The sensor uses a patented time-of-flight(TOF) technology that can provide 3D distance ...
  Three students from the University of Belgium have created a touchscreen system using the legacy CRT monitor and a glove fitted with phototransistors. They have named their system CRTouch and their setup revolves around an Altera DE2-70 development board.     The system works by using the phototransistors at the end of the index and middle finger to detect the beams emitting from the electron gun within the CRT. The Altera board controls the monitor and receives the sensor in ...
Frequency comb observed in the Fourier transform spectrum (via the University of Pittsburgh)   Our present communications devices, such as cellphones, rely on specific frequencies (usually in the GHz Bandwidth) located in the electromagnetic radiation light spectrum to send and receive information. This frequency range is limited in the speed at which information can be carried (in the form of a sine wave traveling between the very low frequency (VLF) and microwave light spectrum). A recent ...
(Left) Concept - University of Rochester (Right) Data frame structure and a depiction of the data sent/received - D.D. Stancil   The detector picked up 1 in ten billion neutrinos, that was one bit. The transmission continued, and in a short amount of time the signal was decoded to say "NEUTRINO." The test at the Fermi National Accelerator Lab was a success. A data communication using only neutrinos is possible.   At the Fermi National Accelerator Lab (Fermilab), in a Chicago suburb c ...
  The practical beginnings of human-body augmentation are on us. GM and NASA have partnered to create a "Human Grip Assist" device,  which they are calling the Robo-Glove or K-Glove. The tech is pulled from the joint developed Robonaut 2 humanoid robot worker in the International Space Station.   Like in the Robonaut version, the glove is laden with sensors that help it decide what operations to perform. Pressure sensors let the Robo-Glove know it needs to start gripping. At wh ...
Optochip prototype (via IBM)   Data transfer speeds have increased significantly over the past decade with the introduction of new interfaces, flash-drives, USB 3.0 and SSD’s. These can’t hold a candle to IBM’s new optical chipset which has a transfer rate of 1 terabit per second.   Dubbed ‘Holey Optochip,' the chip-scale transceivers (optical network interfaces) use fiber-optical connections rather than traditional copper leads or wires to move data which amps ...
Efficient Kettle in use concept drawing (via Red Dot)   Two Hubei University Technology’s School of Art and Design professors, Shi Yuanwu and Wu Chongxiang, have set out to show that even the smallest wasted energy is worth capturing. More specifically, the China based team of professors has invented a teakettle that captures the wasted energy lost during the boiling water for tea.      Yuanwu and Chongxiang's teakettle capture the energy that is usually wasted from ...
Audi, the German car manufacturer, claims to be on the cusp of leading vehicle design into a new era. At the firm's annual meeting, staged earlier this month, Audi unveiled a host of innovative ideas that are set to feature in some of its new vehicle designs. One concept in particular, though, has really captured the imagination of industry experts, namely the impressive exterior illumination based on OLED technology.   Stephan Berlitz, Audi's Head of Innovations Lighting / Lighting Electr ...
  In 2010, about 457 million people were online in China. At the end of 2011, there were 56 million new users. Having those large numbers of users, it is a must to have enough energy to power it all. It is no surprise that China now holds the world’s largest battery energy storage station located in ZHANGBEI, China. On September 20th, 2011 the company BYD announced the official opening of "China's Largest and First Environmentally-friendly Battery Storage Station.”     ...
  Korea, undoubtedly one of the most computerized nations on the world, is showing the world again, why they choose to emerge themselves in the virtual world of video games and augmented reality.  “Live Park”, located near Seoul, is evolving the idea of what a theme park is for, as they say, generation x. The experience is unlike anything ever seen before. There you will see RFID and kinect camera technology used in odd ways, and even the concept of an real world Avatar. T ...
  An inevitability, but Microsoft said it first; 1ms response time touch interface. Microsoft Research (MSR) promotes the early form of what is to come over the next decade is a short teaser video. MSR Assistant Director Paul Dietz walks us through the video describing how a faster touch interface will be useful over current 100ms touch panels.   No exact word on how their "test setup" works. It is most likely not using capacitive or resistive techniques, that is likely why it is so ...
Cabe Atwell

Solar-Cell Paint

Posted by Cabe Atwell Mar 12, 2012
  (Left) Solar paint prototype. (Right) How the Dye Solar Cell works. (via Dyesol)   Everyone has had this idea at some point, solar paint. During a research project discussion about a decade ago, I said to paint the roof tops of every building creating a solar network. It was not chosen, an inspired idea taking the back-burner. It is said, good ideas and great ideas are often delineated by simply following through with the project. The following is a great one.   École Po ...
  If you’re looking to use a projected touch screen on any surface while looking like the "Predator" alien from the movies, then Microsoft’s got you, or rather any surface, covered with their Wearable Multitouch Projector. The projector, designed by Chris Harrison, Hrvoje Benko and Andy Wilson is outfitted with a PrimeSense RGB/depth camera (it’s actually an Asus XTION Pro) that can image objects with a 320X240 resolution as close as 20cm at 30fps. Along with the depth cam ...
Raspberry Pi, a credit-card sized computer designed by technology experts to teach code to children, has just gone on sale in the UK. And already, the low-cost technology, created by volunteers mostly drawn from academia, has been greeted with an impressive degree of enthusiasm by consumers.   Premier Farnell - the parent company of element14 - was involved in the launch of the device in Nuremburg and was last week selling around 700 per second with no signs of demand slowing down.   ...
I recently attended one of Lee Hill’s classes on EMC. The class had an large portion devoted to “ground”.  Hill pointed out that the word “ground” is not clearly defined.  There are two common meanings of ground. Power or Signal Return Path Safety Ground - An example is the connection between a product’s chassis to the ground prong on an electrical outlet.  Current only flows during a fault condition in which the chassis is shorted to somethi ...
  Most new computer hardware that comes out creates better speed, memory, or graphics. It is rarer to find hardware that will revolutionize the way we use computers. We are burgeoning on an era of complete connectivity. Touchscreens has taken us to a new level. Microsoft's Kinect opens up 3D space. Now the company Tobbi wishes to make our eyes control our futures.   Tobii IS-2 (via Tobii)     Tobbi, the world's leading creators of eye tracking and eye control technology ...
(via Nokia)   "It’s not technology. It’s what you do with it." -Nokia   For some people with disabilities, using a smartphone can be a hassle. Just ask Trevor Prideaux. Born without his left arm, using a phone was like performing feats of acrobatics which usually entailed trying to balance his phone on his prosthetic arm while calling or texting. He decided to get in touch with some medical technicians from Exeter Mobility Centre (makers of custom prostheses) as well as No ...
  The iRobot team has recently released its newest ground robot the 110 FirstLook Scouting Unit. Unlike most robots, the First Look is capable of surviving 15 foot drops onto concrete, which allows it be thrown into buildings or onto out of reach places.     The robot is designed and marketed towards military and special ops teams. However, it is packed with awesome features that will appeal to any technical person with an inner child. The small robot is highly portable weighin ...
The head of Intel's smartphone operation has confirmed that each new mobile chip is to be accompanied by a 'reference design' smartphone device. Speaking at the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona, Mike Bell, Intel's Vice-President of Ultra Mobility, announced that he expects at least two new devices that have used this technology demonstrator to be launched by 2014.   The 'reference designs' are currently being used by Intel to both test and demonstrate the capabilities of its new chips fo ...
Save Santa, a game designed by Angelina. (Right) The win screen, after I beat the game. (via GamesByAngelina.org)   Angelina isn’t your everyday game designer (or programmer for that matter). She’s a little different in that she doesn’t need to eat, sleep or take the ‘required’ coffee breaks normal game developers do. You see she’s not human; she’s Artificial Intelligence (AI). While her games may be on the simplistic side, they are still impressive ...
  Cheeta concept drawing (via Boston Dynamics)   Robots are best known for their superhuman strength or computational prowess but not necessarily their speed. That’s all about to change with the introduction of DARPA’s new M3 (Maximum Mobility and Manipulation) robot. Called the Cheetah, the robot is the brainchild of Boston Dynamics and can reach speeds of 18 mph, which is a world record for multi-legged robots (unseating the previous contender from MIT). The Cheetah is d ...
  Often enough building electronic projects is more than just a circuit board. Materials, construction quality, and aesthetics is as important as the PCB layout.   To the outdoor adventurer, keeping devices charged can pose a difficult problem. When traveling away from the grid, or outlet, there is an affordable and eco-friendly solution  being developed. The answer, a solar photovoltaic backpack that outputs more electricity than anything else available. The inventor, Norman Ho ...
From New Tech Press Apple's third generation of the iPad (imaginatively titled "iPad") was revealed today in San Francisco featuring a remarkably sharper screen and faster processing thanks to a quad-core GPU and a dual-core processor.  A larger battery is 70 percent stronger than the iPad2 battery allowing the device to maintain the same 10 hours of use.   Apple CEO Tim Cook claimed the new display is sharper than the average high-definition television set, but the higher resolu ...
  This year’s (2012) MWC had some interesting innovations with new and upcoming mobile technology. There were even some new takes on old tech with a partnership between EPOS (software-based input solutions) and Texas Instruments. Their collaboration has taken the stylus to a new level with the inclusion of ultrasound. The ultrasonic stylus uses a sound-based transmitter housed inside the pen that sends out a unique high-pitched sound wave (too high for humans to hear) that’s pic ...
  We have all been in a situation where we wished some obnoxious person, or group, would just quit talking, but there was nothing that could be done about it. That may be in the past. Japanese researchers Kazutaka Kurihara (from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology) and Koji Tsukada (from the Ochanomizu University) have designed a device called the ‘SpeechJammer.’ This device nullifies a person’s speech.   The gun uses a microphone tha ...
(via BAE Systems)   Recently the US military has been increasing its use of ‘green’ technology in the last few years, but they have been in the area of renewable energy sources for some time. The armed forces are slowly but surely incorporating hybrid vehicles into their ranks. One such vehicle, being developed by the partnership of BAE systems and Northrop Grumman for the US Army, is both green and lethal. Called the Ground Combat Vehicle, the armored troop-carrier sports a hyb ...
Organisers of the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering have announced that nominations for the £1 million accolade are now open. The prize is to be awarded on the strength of exceptional advances in engineering and the cash windfall is to be funded by an endowment from a number of engineering companies.   As well as confirming that nominations are now welcome, organisers have also announced the list of judges who are to determine who is the most outstanding candidate. The l ...
3D Solar collection concept (via Solar3D)   Another solar vie for the record holder.   An obvious draw back to the conventional solar panel is that it attempts to capture, in a flat area, a highly reflective entity which travels through three-dimensional space. Electrical engineer, Nadir Dagli, an expert in photonics and nanophotonics, from a company called Solar3D, is thinking out side the conventional plane, proposing a solar cell which exploits the reflectivity of photons by designi ...
  Capacitive touch screens may soon go the way of the dinosaur with the introduction of Neonode’s zForce. Unlike common capacitive-based touch screen sensors which rely on the electrical properties of the human body to track movement, Neonode’s zForce Multi-Sensing technology replaces those sensors with an array infrared LEDs. Unfortunately, to use the array, a raised bezel has to be placed around the screen to house the LEDs and sensors. It works by simply detecting interruptio ...
Virgin Galactic has announced that it expects to test-fly its first spaceship beyond the Earth's atmosphere sometime later in the year. Officials at the firm, which is a division of billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Group, said that it expects to be making commercial suborbital flights by 2013.   The effort to send “regular” citizens into outer space has been an ambition of Mr Branson's for some time and according to officials at the Group, Virgin is moving clos ...
  CircuitLab is a new schematic design and simulation program that launched at the end of February 2012. A simplistic drag-and-drop component space is a slightly more modern take on the interface of circuit design software, compared to Multisim for example. The initial set of components is more than enough for those looking to get started with electrical design. Which might be the best bet, as building real world circuits for the beginner is often fraught with problems, errors, and quality ...
  Lumus, an augmented reality eye wear company, is taking augmented reality to another level with their OE-31 (optical engine). The new engine is compatible with any type of eye wear from reading glasses to sports goggles. It can allow users to view text messages, games, or a web browser in a full color 640X360 picture. Additionally, it features a 19 degree field of view with 78 percent transparency. Viewing content through the OE-31 engine glasses is equivalent to viewing a 40 inch TV fro ...
  Need to use sensors to do some quick spot testing of a project but find yourself having to build that tester? George Yu, CEO of  Variable Technologies may just have created the perfect solution. Node is a small cylindrical shaped device about the size of a cigarette lighter featuring many useful sensors that can be displayed onto your iPhone 4s or Android device via Bluetooth. Just connect the Node you need for the testing application, it is that easy.     Every Node will ...
  Joe Alderson reports from Embedded World 2012 in Nuremberg: With a rare chance to leave the Farnell/element14 stand and take a trip around the rest of the exhibition, the final day of Embedded World 2012, intended for students and academics, really brought home the incredible level of knowledge among young engineers who are just finishing university and heading out into the work-a-day world.  Young engineers were present at many of the stands, demonstrating proficiency with the app ...
(via Google)   Do not think you can push around Kansas City anymore, they now have a huge backbone! Well, one made of fibers.   Kansas City will soon have data speeds more than 100 times faster thanks to Google Fiber, as each home will receive a 1 gigabit per second connection (average national speed is 4 megabits per second). The fiber backbone is the power behind the increase data speed. It is a entirely new high speed infrastructure for the area.  They will be taking thousand ...
Nokia 808 (via Nokia)   There have been some pretty compelling smartphones showcased at this year’s Mobile World Congress. However, the crown of ‘best new mobile handset’ went to Nokia and their 808 PureView smartphone. The phone houses a 41 megapixel sensor with a Carl Zeiss lens which is able to cram 7 pixels into 1 (using Nokia’s proprietary technology) that helps the phone take 1080p pictures and HD movies at 30 frames per second! The images taken can then be upl ...
The concept overview (via Ultraviolet)   A collaboration between Hollywood and tech companies Western Digital and SanDisk have come together to store and watch HD movies, as well as TV shows, on a myriad of devices securely. Project Phenix (as it’s named) is a secure DRM-based solution being developed by Secure Content Storage Association that will let the user (owner) transfer HD content onto digital storage devices such as SD cards, flash-drives and SSD hard-drives. The media can th ...
Since establishing itself as the world's premier search engine, Google has been expanding into other spheres, including video content and social media. One of the firm's most successful ventures, though, has been into the world of mobile phones, where its Android operating system has quickly become the most popular option.   And now speculation is rife that Google is busy working on digital glasses using augmented reality and its Android technology. Reports suggest that the cutting-edge gl ...
  For all those lost in the search for a scanty Raspberry Pi, don't forget to download and try the Windows 8 consumer preview.  It is the next level of OS HMI connectivity. Microsoft has ushered in the "Metro" style navigation in Windows Phone to the next incarnation of Windows.   Geared towards tablets and multitouch desktops, I am on the fence on how useful the interface is for a single mouse pointer. Easy access common applications are handy, but are they necessary? All in al ...
  For people looking for the most convenient, compact, green vehicle around the electric skateboard just might be their solution. Weighing in at only 17 pounds, the new green-vehicle allows you to travel in style on any surface. If need be, it can be picked up and carried on trains, subways, or any public transportation where space is limited.     KEF Design, a Portland based company, first unveiled their electric skateboards called the metroboards at the 2012 Consumer Electroni ...
RopeRevolution-the Longest Rope to Connect the World from Lining (Lizzie) Yao on Vimeo.   Augmented reality (AR) has been around for some time, mostly placing information or images over the video capture of the real world. Even though the AR element is visible, it can never be touched. Will we ever hold a virtual object?   There is a new game that ‘touches’ on this concept dubbed Rope Revolution. The game, designed by Lining Yao (from MIT’s Media Lab), lets people pla ...
The 2012 edition of the Embedded World Exhibition & Conference opened this week with a record number of exhibitors (872). After two days at the show we've had a chance to check out some brilliant applications of embedded technology, from smart camera monitoring of train stations to custom built reflow machines and even entire car dashboards rendered in crisp high definition. The inventiveness of the embedded engineering community really shines through at Embedded World, with everyone from gi ...

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