2015 Geneva Auto Show

Ben Coxworth

The particle-free silver ink is here applied to a thin, stretchy plastic film to make a fl...

There’s no doubt that we will soon be seeing a lot more in the way of low-cost electronic circuits that have been printed onto common, flexible materials such as plastic, paper or fabric. One of the key technological innovations making this possible is silver ink, which is used to print these circuits’ conductors. While such ink usually incorporates particles of silver suspended in a carrier liquid, a new type of ink created at the University of Illinois forgoes the particle approach, and is said to offer some distinct advantages as a result.  Read More

North American availability of the emporiaCLICK (left) and emporiaSOLIDplus (right) has be...

Although it can't be denied that smartphones are ... well, that they're really smart, the fact is that not everyone wants to play games, shoot and watch videos, surf the web or use apps every time they step out their door. For many people, the ability to make and receive phone calls is all that really matters. It was for minimalists like these that Austrian electronics company emporia designed its very basic, large-keyed mobile phones. While they were previously not available to North American consumers, that changed with an announcement last week at CES.  Read More

Burg Neon watch phones

Despite the fact that it's getting more and more difficult to find someone who doesn't carry a smartphone with them at all times, the notion of the Dick Tracy style watch phone isn't dead yet. In the past few years, we've seen examples from companies such as LG, Samsung, Hyundai and Orange, just to name a few. This week at CES, watchmaker Burg officially added its Neon line of watch phones to that list by announcing two models that will be coming to the U.S. market.  Read More

With a superlens microscope, everyday people would be able to see minute details of tiny o...

Some day, you may have a microscope on your smartphone camera that's as powerful as a scanning electron microscope. If you do, it will likely be thanks to research presently being conducted by Durdu Guney, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan Technological University. He is working on creating a metamaterial-based "superlens" - a long sought-after optically-perfect lens, that could use visible light to image objects as small as 100 nanometers across.  Read More

Three of the Raven II surgical robots (Photo: UW)

A couple of years ago, the Willow Garage robotics company gave ten of its PR2 robots away to deserving research groups. The idea behind the project was that these groups would use the PR2s for robotics research, then share their discoveries with each other, thus advancing the field farther than would be possible if they each had to build their own unique robots from scratch. Now, a similar but unrelated project is underway, and this time the robots are designed specifically to perform surgery.  Read More

German scientists have created the world's smallest magnetic data storage unit, which can ...

If you’re impressed with how much data can be stored on your portable hard drive, well ... that’s nothing. Scientists have now created a functioning magnetic data storage unit that measures just 4 by 16 nanometers, uses 12 atoms per bit, and can store an entire byte (8 bits) on as little as 96 atoms – by contrast, a regular hard drive requires half a billion atoms for each byte. It was created by a team of scientists from IBM and the German Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL), which is a joint venture of the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY research center in Hamburg, the Max-Planck-Society and the University of Hamburg.  Read More

The jaja is a computer stylus that transmits user pressure using high-frequency sound

Drawing styluses are, for the most part, simply glorified sticks. They do what your finger would do, but have a finer point. The new jaja stylus developed by Australia’s Jon Atherton, however, has a few tricks up its sleeve – the big one is, it is capable of registering 1,024 levels of user-applied pressure, which it transmits to the tablet or smartphone’s microphone using sound. The resulting lines drawn on the screen will be of varying thicknesses, depending on the amount of pressure applied.  Read More

The Smart E-book System incorporates features that are intended to make the reading of dig...

There may indeed come a day when printed books and magazines have been gone for so long, that nobody cares how little reading a digital document resembles reading one printed on paper. That day is not yet here, however – most of us still like our e-reading experience to be as close as possible to that of reading a book. To that end, this week a team from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) announced the development of new e-reading system, that brings several book-like capabilities to tablets and smartphones.  Read More

Altec Lansing's new LIVE 5000 Wi-Fi speaker allows you to listen to streamed music in any ...

One of the nice things about having a WiFi network in your home is the fact that you can enjoy online music anywhere in the house ... through a computer or mobile device. Now, however, you have the choice of instead placing Altec Lansing’s new LIVE 5000 Wi-Fi speaker wherever you wish, and listening to that same music through it. You can also wirelessly link together a string of the speakers in different rooms, and use them to either distribute the same music throughout the house, or play different music in different rooms.  Read More

The Innergie PocketCell is a powerful new portable battery pack for mobile devices, that i...

People who are worried about their mobile devices running out of juice at inopportune moments now have another portable power supply at their disposal – and it’s tiny. The 2.8-ounce (79-gram) Innergie PocketCell is a little larger than a car key, and allows for hours of extra use of Apple and Android devices, MP3 players, and a variety of other mobile gizmos. It was unveiled this week at CES.  Read More

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