Shopping? Check out our latest product comparisons

Colin Jeffrey

Colin Jeffrey
Colin discovered technology at an early age, pulling apart clocks, radios, and the family TV. Despite his father's remonstrations that he never put anything back together, Colin went on to become an electronics engineer. Later he decided to get a degree in anthropology, and used that to do all manner of interesting things masquerading as work. Even later he took up sculpting, moved to the coast, and never learned to surf.
Top Articles by Colin Jeffrey
Nanospheres were specifically created to protect the lithium from reacting chemically with...

Stanford University researchers claim to have created the first stable pure lithium anode in a working battery by using carbon nanospheres as a protective sheath to guard against degradation. As a result, the researchers predict that commercial developments may eventually result in anything up to a quadrupling of battery life in the not-too-distant future.  Read More

Google and the IEEE are offering a US$1 million prize in their Little Box challenge

The old saying says good things come in small packages. Google and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) seem to agree having launched the Little Box Challenge, an open competition with a US$1 million first prize to find innovative electronic designs to shrink power inverters down from their current bigger-than-a-bread-box size to something less than the size of a small laptop.  Read More

Cargo UAS promises to provide large lift capabilities in a small UAV

With the number of multi-rotor drone concepts competing for a narrow market share, you really need a unique selling point if you want to get your project off the ground. In the case of the developers of the Cargo Unmanned Air System (UAS), their point of difference is to claim a massive 60 kg (132 lb) lift capacity for their proof of concept, with the promise of an eventual production unmanned aerial vehicle that can carry payloads of up to 400 kg (880 lb) with automated "sense and avoid" capability.  Read More

The Virtualizer VR rig from Cyberith lets gamers walk, run, jump, crouch, kneel and even s...

In recent years, we've seen a number of virtual reality (VR) devices targeted at bringing more immersive gaming to the home while also adding locomotion to the mix. Joining the charge is the Virtualizer from Austrian-based company Cyberith. The rig features an omni-directional treadmill, which is nothing new, but in addition to letting gamers walk and run on the spot, it also lets them rotate, jump, crouch, kneel and even sit down, with these motions matched in game by their virtual selves.  Read More

pd.id is a reusable electronic device designed to quickly determine if a drink has been sp...

Date rape drugs are often the substance of choice for perpetrators of sexual assaults, the effects of which leave the victim unable to defend themselves, not able to remember any of the events that ensued and – worse – not able to recall details of their attacker. In an effort to help people avoid such despicable acts, a group of designers has produced a miniature reusable electronic device that they claim will determine if a drink has been spiked.  Read More

A composite of graphite flakes and carbon foam is claimed to convert 85 percent of solar e...

Researchers working at MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering claim to have produced a sponge-like substance that helps convert water to steam using sunlight one-hundredth as bright as that required by conventional steam-producing solar generators. A composite of graphite flakes layered on a bed of carbon foam, the new material is reported to convert as much as 85 percent of received solar energy into steam.  Read More

Bistro is claimed to be the first smart cat feeder with facial recognition technology

We all know that cats requires regular feeding, watering and the occasional trip to the vet, but few of us would know exactly how our cat’s health, weight, and hydration are faring on a day-to-day basis. And, when we do feed them, how do we even know that the food we put out for our feline friend is actually being eaten by them and not by someone else’s interloping pet? A group of cat lovers thought about all of these things and came up with Bistro, an automatic feeder that uses facial recognition technology to ensure the food is going to its intended recipient.  Read More

The CSIRO's HeatWave is a handheld 3D thermal imaging prototype

Thermal imaging has proven itself to be a useful adjunct to physical testing in areas including engineering, health, and agriculture. Until now, however, conventional 3D thermal imaging use has largely been restricted due to the specialized technical knowledge required to operate it and interpret the results. To address this, Australia's CSIRO has developed a prototype tool called HeatWave that is a lightweight, high-resolution 3D scanner that is claimed to be not only easy to carry, but easy to use as well.  Read More

Bluetooth would be used to connect Vive to paired smartphones, and to other bands in a fri...

Like a lot of us, young people like to party. But being under the influence of alcohol in an unfamiliar environment or in crowds of strangers can reduce their ability to protect themselves or make safe choices, particularly when they become separated from their friends. In an attempt to reduce the danger, a group of University of Washington students have designed a smart wearable that automatically alerts friends if something may be wrong.  Read More

Jibo is claimed to be the world’s first 'family robot'

Looking like a cross between Pixar’s Luxo Jr lamp and Apple’s iMac G4, Jibo is an interactive electronic buddy that is touted as the "world’s first family robot." Designed to engage with people in a human-like way, Jibo takes on various roles around the house including mail deliverer, environment controller, storyteller, telepresence device, event reminder, and cameraman.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 27,854 articles