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Electronics

Scientists at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore have developed a smart window that is able to tint itself blue, partially blocking incoming light, without the need for an external power source. The device also functions as a small transparent battery that recharges on its own simply by interacting with the oxygen in its surroundings. Read More
Tablets, smartphones and the like are a boon to people who like their life to have a soundtrack, but for all their advanced computing power, they often lack in the audio department – especially when earphones aren't an option. The result is often an inelegant combination of devices with add-on speakers making up for the mobile devices' lack of audio oomph. The Avy Smart Speaker, which makes its debut at CES 2015, is designed to combine an Android-based tablet with a Hi-Fi system for the audiophile. Read More
A new iPhone add-on devised by California-based company Peri aims to give iPhone users a double whammy: more battery power and sound volume, all for less cash. Called Peri Duo, it comes in the form of a case that integrates a speaker system and a 2,500-mAh battery. When detached from the phone, it becomes a speaker whose aural power is strong enough to disturb the neighbors. Read More
Philips has announced that it plans to upgrade the city lighting of Madrid, Spain, with internet-connected LEDs. A total of 225,000 street lights will be replaced, in what the company says is the largest such project to date. The city will benefit from improved efficiency, costs and light quality. Read More
Stanford engineers have pioneered a new design for a scalable 3D computer chip that tightly interconnects logic and memory, with the effect of minimizing data bottlenecks and saving on energy usage. With further work, the advance could be the key to a very substantial jump in performance, efficiency, and the ability to quickly process very large amounts of information  –  known as "Big Data"  –  over conventional chips. Read More
Denmark’s Aalborg City Business Association is turning to a smart sensor network to monitor and analyze the impact of large-scale events, starting with its Christmas market. Known as BlipTrack, the technology tracks the public’s mobile phones and tablets to provide useful data that can be put to use in easing the flow of urban traffic, optimizing retail setups and more. Read More
While the stench of rotting food would cause you to stop from chowing down, chances are it became unfit for consumption some time before those funky aromas wafted through your nostrils. Chemists at MIT have been working on a wireless, inexpensive sensor that, among other things, identifies spoiled food early by detecting gases in the air. It then shares its data with a smartphone, potentially alerting users to that soon-to-be moldy fruit in the bottom of the fridge. Read More

Choosing your own pizza toppings from a number of options might seem like a daunting task, but perhaps it isn't as hard as you think ... perhaps your subconscious already knows what you want. That's the thinking behind the new eye-tracking Subconscious Menu, which is being introduced at UK Pizza Huts. Read More

There are plenty of systems that use an app-running smartphone instead of a key to unlock doors, such as UniKey and Lockitron. A new app not only wants to do that, but wants to give you a seamless journey through buildings. myPORT provides building access, calls elevators and sends intercom feeds to your phone. Read More
There's another promising contender in the race to supplant the dominance of lithium-ion and metal-hydride based batteries in the world of energy storage. New research from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology's (KIT's) Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU) details the development of an electrolyte that can be used in new magnesium-sulfur battery cells that would be more efficient and inexpensive than the dominant types of batteries in use today. Read More
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