Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Antonio Pasolini

Button TrackR is a coin sized device to track objects via a smartphone app

Anyone with a propensity to misplace keys knows how irritating it is to look for them when you are running late. But help is at hand for those people with a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone that can connect to tracking devices such as Button TrackR, a coin-shaped little number currently fundraising on Indiegogo. One of the innovations that Button TrackR introduces to this growing market niche is crowd sourced tracking that helps extend the search party.  Read More

GiraffPlus is an assisted living system for the elderly GiraffPlus is an EU-funded project that uses telepresence technology to monitor the elderly in their own homes. The system has already been tested in a demo apartment in Örebro, Sweden. Now GiraffPlus is being taken further afield to be tested in real homes in Sweden, Italy and Spain.  Read More

The biosensor uses an enzyme inhibitor and an ultrathin film with nanoparticles

A multidisciplinary Brazilian research team has developed a biosensor to measure pesticide content on food produce, water and soil. The technology is in its development phase, but if developed into a commercial product it could provide a cheap, affordable and portable method to monitor this type of contamination.  Read More

An optofluidic chip uses fluorescence to detect virus particles

To monitor their infection levels, people carrying chronic viral infections such as hepatitis and HIV need to get their viral load regularly checked. This measures how many viruses are present in a certain volume of blood or bodily fluid with current tests being expensive and needing to be done through laboratories. However, newly developed optical techniques being developed by two independent teams at the University of California could deliver cheaper and faster viral load tests that could be carried out in a medical office, hospital or even in the field.  Read More

SimSensei is a virtual human platform being developed by ICT for use as a virtual therapis...

Researchers at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Sciences (ICT) are developing a virtual therapist that can identify signs of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Bringing together machine learning, natural language processing and computer vision technologies, the SimSensei project is aimed at helping military personnel and their families, while reducing the stigma that is often associated with seeking help.  Read More

Amazon Publishing is launching Kindle Worlds, a platform for fan fiction writers to moneti...

Fan fiction writers, take notice. Amazon Publishing is launching a new platform to allow budding writers in the genre to indulge in their hobby and even make some money out of it. Called Kindle Worlds, the service has been announced as the first commercial publishing platform of its kind for those who get inspiration from fictional universes and characters created by authors they admire.  Read More

The Single Handed Barber uses a rotary system to allow users to cut their own hair evenly ... Clipping your own hair can involve some complicated acrobatics and multiple mirror arrangements with no guarantee of satisfactory results. A buzz cut might seem pretty simple to pull off on your own, but unless you have rubber arms, it can be mission impossible to get it done evenly all over the head. The Single Handed Barber promises to make a trim a simple one-person affair.  Read More

Stanford University researchers have developed a new, wearable sensor that could revolutio...

Researchers have developed a new type of wearable sensor that could greatly improve the accuracy and practicality of heart monitoring. Developed by Zhenan Bao, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford University, the paper-thin, stamp-sized sensor is made with flexible organic materials and can be worn under an adhesive bandage on the wrist to monitor the pulse.  Read More

Researchers at the University of Vermont have developed the Hedonometer, which measures gl...

Is it possible to measure people’s levels of happiness based on the online data they produce? The team behind Hedonometer thinks so. Conceived by Peter Dodds and Chris Danforth at the University of Vermont’s Computational Story Lab, the software powering the platform, which recently went live, not only measures human happiness but does it in real time, too.  Read More

SheerWind's Invelox wind power generation unit is said to increase energy output by 600 pe...

SheerWind, a wind power company from Minnesota, USA, has announced the results of tests it has carried out with its new Invelox wind power generation technology. The company says that during tests its turbine could generate six times more energy than the amount produced by traditional turbines mounted on towers. Besides, the costs of producing wind energy with Invelox are lower, delivering electricity with prices that can compete with natural gas and hydropower.  Read More

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