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Steven Hondrogiannis

— Good Thinking

Sound-absorbing curtains let the light shine through

Heavy curtains made from thick material such as velvet are often needed to keep noise out of indoor environments, but Swiss researchers have come up with another option. The Empa researchers, in collaboration with textile designer Annette Douglas and silk weavers Weisbrod-Zurrer AG, have developed lightweight, translucent curtains which are five times more effective at absorbing sound than their conventional counterparts. Read More
— Mobile Technology

ArmKeypad – NEC developing tap-control interface for portable devices

Fiddling with small buttons or touchscreens on your mobile device when you're running, riding a bike or even just crossing the street can be a frustrating – and dangerous – endeavor. NEC is looking to solve this dilemma by developing a system that enables users to operate devices by just tapping their arm. The ArmKeypad is made up of acceleration sensors worn on each wrist that determine the area of the arm tapped by a user and translate this into different input commands via a Bluetooth link. Read More
— Wearable Electronics

Spinovo: smart garment concept provides back pain relief

Industrial Design student Justine Smith has looked to new technology for a solution to one of the most common ailments in the world today – chronic back pain. The result is Spinovo – a concept smart clothing product that uses modular packs to treat pain through heating, cooling, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapies as well as incorporating bend sensors to ensure the wearer maintains the correct posture. Read More
— Computers

Lover's Box: Reviving romance in the digital age

Adding that spark of magic to digital devices is the secret ingredient in the success of many products and services. That spark is often personalization; the concept of a device or service being mine and for only me, building an attachment to transcend the mere bundle of plastic and circuitry in front of you. Researchers at the University Of Newcastle have been working on ways to make more emotionally meaningful forms of digital communication by producing what they are calling "Lovers' Boxes". Resembling an antique wooden jewellery box, each conceals the latest technology to play back messages recorded by a loved one. Read More
— Digital Cameras

Bubo camcorder rig makes the most of iPhone4 video

We've seen optical add-ons for the iPhone before, but the OWLE Bubo takes a slightly more holistic approach to giving the smartphone's video capture capabilities a boost. The Bubo is a hand-held video rig carved out of a block of billet aluminum that provides handgrips for increased stability, multiple tripod mounting points, a sensitive microphone and a wide angle glass lens. Read More
— Environment

New solar-thermal device harnesses heat and light

Researchers at Wake Forest University have developed a new type of polymer solar-thermal device that combines photovoltaics with a system that captures the Sun's infrared radiation to generate heating. By taking advantage of both heat and light, researchers say the device could deliver up to 40 percent savings on the cost of heating, as well as helping reduce power bills by producing electricity. Read More
— Environment

CO2 scrubber turns carbon emissions into building materials

Students at Michigan Technological University have designed and constructed their own mini-smokestack to showcase a new method for scrubbing carbon dioxide from emissions. The approach is similar to SkyMine technology, but instead of producing sodium bicarbonate as a byproduct, it turns captured carbon into a solid material that could have applications as a construction material. Read More
— Medical

Head-worn device uses sonar to rapidly diagnose stroke

A team of radiologists and retired US Navy sonar experts have used technology developed for submarines as the basis for a new device which offers quick detection, diagnosis and monitoring of stroke. Combined with a portable laptop based console, the head-worn device enables different types of stroke and brain injury to be discovered and located, differentiating normal blood flow from life threatening conditions and delivering an initial diagnosis in under a couple of minutes. Read More
— Science

Multitouch gesture controlled microscope - the 'iPad on steroids'

Researchers at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) have collaborated with Finnish company Multitouch Ltd to create a giant touch and gesture controlled microscope. The Multitouch microscope uses a combination of web based microscopy and a 46-inch multitouch display to create what researcher Dr Johan Lundin calls "an iPad on steroids." A useful tool for interactive teaching and learning, the microscope allows users to zoom in or out with a two handed stretch or pinch gesture – all the way down to 1000x magnification. Read More