Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.
A few years ago, UK-based Adlens developed self-adjustable glasses designed to let those in the developing world dial in their ideal magnification level – no optometrist required. Now the company is bringing the technology to the developed world as an alternative to bifocals. Instead of looking through a different area of the lenses (and tilting your head forward and back) to switch from near to far objects, the magnification of the AdlensFocuss glasses is adjusted by a small dial on the arm.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, 387 million people around the world suffer from diabetes, with this number expected to rise to 592 million by 2035. That adds up to a lot of blood sugar checks, diet watching and insulin shots, but researchers in the US have developed a patch that could revolutionize how the disease is managed. The patch contains of more than 100 microneedles, each automatically secreting insulin into the bloodstream when required.
Owls are exceptional predators. In addition to their impressive vision and hearing capabilities, they are also able to fly almost silently. This stealthy flight is thanks to the structure of their wings, which researchers have analyzed and mimicked to develop a prototype coating that they claim could significantly reduce the noise generated by wind turbines, computer fans and airplanes.
Back in 2013, plans were announced to bring the IMAX experience into homes with IMAX Private Theater. Now the first in-home IMAX system developed through a joint venture with TCL has been unveiled in China. But don't go changing the plans for your rumpus room just yet, as you need to qualify just to get a look at the showroom where the luxury system is being demonstrated.
A few months ago, we reported on the development of a material that uses the same technique employed by gecko feet to allow its adhesion to be turned on and off at will. This allows fragile components, like those used in the manufacture of semiconductors, to be carefully picked up and put down without suction or residue-leaving adhesives. Now researchers at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) have developed a gripper, also inspired by the gecko and also tunable, that they claim is much simpler, making it easy and cheap to mass produce.
Contributing to a crowdfunding campaign is inherently risky. Even when the intentions of those responsible for the projects are honorable, a project can easily fall over, potentially leaving contributors out of pocket. But in its first legal action against a crowdfunded project, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has gone after the project creator of a Kickstarter campaign who pocketed most of the money contributed by backers.
Transparent and reflective displays might look cool, but in terms of the home, their applications are limited. However, bricks and mortar shops looking for some technological wizardry to get shoppers through the door are a different proposition. So it should come as no surprise that Samsung chose this week's Retail Asia Expo 2015 in Hong Kong to unveil the first commercial use of its Mirror and Transparent OLEDs.
Having previously used Wi-Fi signals to look through walls, a team of researchers in professor Yasamin Mostofi's lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has now turned the wireless signals to the task of counting the number of people walking in a particular area – even if they aren't carrying any Wi-Fi-enabled devices.
Numerous manufacturers have been integrating touchpads into keyboards for a while now – some of which even boast touch panels that that allow switching between different modes. But San Jose-based Synaptics is taking touch technology where it has never been before. Its SmartBar technology turns the spacebar into a touch interface that is always within thumb's reach.
Passwords are the bane of many a computer user's existence. Experts recommend long strings of characters containing a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols that may be difficult to crack, but can also be difficult to remember. Despite there being simple techniques for creating difficult-to-crack passwords that are easy to remember and horror stories of identify theft abound, the top two most common passwords remain "12345" and "password". But a study out of Binghampton University in New York suggests brainwaves could be a promising alternative to verify a user's identity.