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.
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.
SanDisk, whose flash memory offerings are usually in the form of memory cards and SSDs for laptops, desktops and enterprise applications, has now expanded into the portable SSD market. Its new Extreme 900 and Extreme 500 lines of portable SSDs were revealed alongside its highest capacity USB flash drive and the world's smallest 128 GB thumb drive at Computex in Taiwan.
Activated carbon is a form of carbon that is shot through with nanosized holes that increase the material's surface area and allow it to catalyze more chemical reactions and store more electrical charge. But due to the way it is produced, most of the pores within it aren't interconnected, limiting the material's ability to transport electricity. Now researchers at Stanford University have created a "designer carbon" with greater pore connectivity and therefore greater electronic conductivity, which enables superior energy-storage performance.
Despite always generating plenty of interest, getting a personal flight vehicle off the ground can be a huge undertaking – just ask Malloy Aeronautics, which has been forced to scale its Hoverbike down, selling a one-third-scale drone to raise funds to continue development of the larger, manned Hoverbike. But a Hungarian team is looking onwards and upwards after having achieved the first manned flight of its Flike tricopter concept demonstrator.
Sikorsky's S-97 Raider prototype helicopter, which was revealed to the world last year, has taken to the air for the first time. Based on the design of the X2 Technology Demonstrator, the S-97 Raider features coaxial counter-rotating main rotors and a pusher propeller and is intended as a multi-mission aircraft to replace the US Army’s OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter and the Special Forces’ MH-6 Little Bird.
It's not uncommon for technology developed for the military to eventually find its way into consumer products, but the US Army is taking things in the other direction. In an effort to improve the safety of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, it is fitting them with electronic stability control (ESC) technology like that found in commercial vehicles for years.
Expanding on previous research into electronic devices that dissolve in water once they have reached the end of their useful life, researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new type of "transient" electronic device that self-destructs in response to heat exposure. The work is aimed at making it easy for materials from devices that usually end up in landfill to be recycled or dissolved completely.