2015 Detroit NAIAS Auto Show

Ben Coxworth

Using the AutoCharge system, users would just put their phone down anywhere on a regular t...

Wireless charging pads may be more convenient than traditional wired smartphone chargers, but a team from Microsoft Research in China thinks that they're still not convenient enough. According to Yunxin Liu, Zhen Qin and Chunshui Zhao, pads still require users to consciously place their phone in a specific spot, for the express purpose of charging. Instead, they envision a system in which users just toss their phone onto a table, where it's automatically charged using a beam of light. They've already built a working prototype of the system, which is known as AutoCharge.  Read More

Patrick Priebe's take on Homer Simpson's electric hammer Fans of The Simpsons may recall an episode in which Homer, inspired by his hero Thomas Edison, decides to become an inventor himself. Among his questionable creations is an electric hammer. Well, German DIY-guy Patrick Priebe recently took a break from building laser weapons, to make a real-life version of that hammer which actually works ... sort of.  Read More

The ebove trainer both affects and reacts to an animated trail display, which the user vie...

Now that much of the Northern Hemisphere is well within the icy clutches of winter, many mountain bikers have turned to riding indoors on rollers or trainers. While that may help them to keep fit, it's still far less fun or interesting than riding outdoors on actual trails. Norwegian startup Activetainment hopes to close that gap a little, however, with its interactive ebove B/01 bike. The trainer moves beneath the rider and becomes easier or more difficult to pedal, in response to the terrain of animated trails on an accompanying tablet.  Read More

The tattoo measures glucose levels in fluid between the skin cells, which reflects levels ...

Finger-prick blood tests are currently an unpleasant necessity for diabetics. Perhaps before too long, however, the blood glucose information gathered in those tests could be attained using something much more fun and painless than a lancet – a temporary tattoo.  Read More

DJI's Inspire 1 Handheld Camera Mount Like the cameras on several other drones, the 4K/30fps unit on DJI's new Inspire 1 is gimbal-mounted. This not only allows users to remotely pan and tilt, but it also automatically keeps the camera level as the quadcopter itself tips back and forth. Now, DJI is planning on offering a handheld mount, which the Inspire 1's camera – gimbal and all – can be mounted on after being removed from the drone.  Read More

iKubu Ltd, which was developing the car-detecting Backtracker radar system seen here, has ... Even when a crowdfunding project doesn't meet its financial goal, it can still turn out to be a success. A case in point is iKubu Ltd's Backtracker, a car-detecting low-power radar system for bicycles. Although the South African startup's fund-raising campaign on Dragon Innovation didn't work out, electronics giant Garmin has now bought the company.  Read More

CSU researchers Dr. John Williams (left), Dr. Leslie Stone-Roy, and graduate student JJ Mo...

In order to regain their sense of hearing, many deaf people currently opt for cochlear implants. Such devices are expensive, however, plus they must be surgically installed and they don't work on all forms of hearing loss. That's why a group of researchers at Colorado State University (CSU) are developing an alternative – an electric retainer that transmits spoken words to the user by buzzing their tongue.  Read More

Fraunhofer's solar-powered radio sensor chip, mounted in a window  Although it may be handy to have sensors in your windows that remind you if you've left them open, running electrical wiring to all those sensors (or regularly changing their batteries) could be a hassle. A new window-monitoring radio sensor chip, however, gets all the power it needs from the sun.  Read More

Light & Motion's Sidekick is designed for use with the GoPro Hero actioncam

For all the things that it's able to do, the GoPro Hero still isn't much better than other video cameras when it comes to shooting in the dark. That's why Knog introduced its made-for-GoPro Qudos camera light last year. Now, not surprisingly, the Qudos has a competitor – in the form of the Sidekick.  Read More

The Verizon Vehicle Bluetooth speaker, with its one-touch controls

While you may or may not be a fan of General Motors vehicles, the automaker's OnStar roadside assistance service certainly looks like it could be useful at times. Well, US-based consumers with other makes of cars should soon be able to take advantage of a similar setup, when the just-announced Verizon Vehicle system launches.  Read More

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