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Electronics

The PiPhone from software engineer and photographer Dave Hunt

Since its launch and slightly delayed shipping in 2012, we've seen Raspberry Pi computers used for everything from a bartender to robots to a bizarre musical instrument. Now dedicated tinkerer Dave Hunt has used a Model B to create a touchscreen smartphone called the PiPhone, though he readily admits that it would be easier and cheaper to pick up an (arguably much better looking) budget cellphone from a shop in the mall, "but hey, where’s the fun in that."  Read More

The SCiO Pocket Molecular Sensor

Wondering how nutritious that food is, if that plant needs water, or just what that misplaced pill is? Well, the makers of SCiO claim that their device is able to tell you all of those things, plus a lot more. To use it, you just scan the item in question for one or two seconds, then check the readout on a Bluetooth 4.0-linked smartphone.  Read More

One of the finished felt teddy bears, alongside its digital model

Ask someone to think of a 3D-printed object, and chances are they'll picture something hard ... or perhaps rubbery. Thanks to new technology developed by Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research Pittsburgh, however, it's now possible to make soft and fuzzy 3D-printed items, using yarn instead of plastic or resin. Among the first items to be created were little felt teddy bears.  Read More

The magazine cover is so small that 2,000 can fit on a grain of salt

IBM has unveiled the world’s smallest magazine cover at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC. Certified by the Guinness Book of World Records, the micro magazine is a reproduction of the cover of the March 2014 issue of National Geographic Kids and is many times smaller than a grain of salt at just 11 × 14 micrometers. Why, you ask? The tiny cover was created to demonstrate potential of a new nano-scale manufacturing technology, as well to encourage young people’s interest in science and technology.  Read More

The Favi Audio+ is a wireless speaker that automatically amplifies any smartphone

If you're looking for a speaker to play music from your phone, you're not short of choices. There's currently a huge variety from which to choose, with which phones can connect using wires, docks, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and so on. The Favi Audio+, which launched in February, takes an even simpler approach. We got our hands on one, and had a play.  Read More

SensaBubble provides information and feedback to users in the form of colored bubbles whic...

Rating as probably one of the stranger human-computer interfaces we’ve seen, the Sensabubble allows users to receive alerts and feedback from their connected devices in the form of images, text, and smell – all encased in and projected on smoke-filled bubbles. Popping away annoying alerts is viscerally more satisfying than swiping them off, but this isn’t a toy. It's part of research being presented at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems by researchers from the University of Bristol.  Read More

A top view of the Trinity

There are already plenty of solar-powered phone chargers out there, but they won't do you much good at night, when it's cloudy, or even if you live too far north. Chances are, however, that in any one of those situations, there will be at least a slight breeze ... and that's where the Trinity portable wind turbine comes into play.  Read More

The technology could allow antennas to fit seamlessly into the skins of aircraft and other...

Anyone who’s ever needed a pair of thick eyeglasses has a firm idea that lenses are the one thing where form follows function. However, BAE Systems and Queen Mary’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science in London have put paid to that idea with a flat lens that works like a conventional curved lens, yet without any reduction in bandwidth performance. Using a combination of composite metamaterials and transformational optics for the first time, they have created a lens that's able to bend electromagnetic waves, yet isn't bound by its shape for its function.  Read More

A focused electron beam (in yellow) was used to characterize the structures and to probe t...

Researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have designed and manufactured circuits that can reach speeds of up to 245 THz, tens of thousands of times faster than contemporary microprocessors. The results open up possible new design routes for plasmonic-electronics, that combine nano-electronics with the fast operating speed of optics.  Read More

The Smart Composite Human-Computer Interfaces (Smarcos) project can track users' actions o...

The Smart Composite Human-Computer Interfaces (Smarcos) project is developing a system that will allow the rising number of internet-connected devices to observe and predict consumers' actions in real time, so they can intelligently coordinate their efforts and bring up relevant information whenever needed, with the least amount of human intervention.  Read More

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