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Electronics

— Electronics

New technique for generating electricity from mechanical vibrations

By - November 12, 2014 1 Picture
Electrical energy is normally generated through heat, motion, nuclear transformation, or chemical reactions, but now scientists at VTT Technical Research Center of Finland have devised a new method that involves mechanical vibrations. They figured out how to "harvest" the vibrational energy that occurs naturally when two surfaces with different work functions are connected via electrodes, and this energy could potentially be used to power wearables and other low-power electronics. Read More
— Electronics

Coating makes swallowing batteries safer for curious kids

By - November 5, 2014 2 Pictures
It can be a herculean task to get kids to eat their vegetables, but they'll happily chow down on things they aren't supposed to. If one of those things is a button battery, serious injuries can result in the form of burns to the esophagus or tears in the digestive tract. Researchers may not have found a way to stop kids swallowing button batteries, but they have found a way to make such culinary no-nos safer. Read More
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Energy-efficient 3D display maintains images without power

By - November 3, 2014 1 Picture
Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) are a common and increasingly pervasive method of displaying information for everything from watches to giant TV screens. Though, like most other displays, LCDs require electrical energy to constantly display an image. Researchers from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, however, have produced an ultra-thin LCD screen prototype that is not only capable of displaying images without continuous power, but in 3D as well. Read More
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Fireside: The digital photo frame curated via the cloud

By - November 3, 2014 1 Picture
Generally speaking digital photo frames are as dumb as bricks. The sole purpose of these low-end electronics is showcasing the hordes of digital pictures you take on your smartphone or digital camera, without much thought to intelligent curation of your memories. A crowdfunding push is underway to change this, though, in the form of the Fireside smart frame and cloud service. Read More
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Bluesmart smart carry on brings luggage into the 21st century

By - November 1, 2014 5 Pictures
Let’s face it, air travel sucks. You are crammed in a small cylinder at 35,000 feet with a herd of other people like cattle, noshing on junk food a cranky flight attendant pitches at you while hurrying by. Worst of all, you forgot to charge your tablet and now can’t watch all those Marvel movies you wanted to catch up on. A solution could exist to at least this last problem though, courtesy of a new so-called "connected carry-on" called Bluesmart that packs a built-in battery capable of charging your gadgets many times over. Read More
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DARPA circuit smashes electronic speed record

By - October 30, 2014 3 Pictures
Getting into the Guinness Book of World Records isn't just about who can eat the most hotdogs or fly a paper airplane the highest. Sometimes it involves technological breakthroughs with huge potential. Guinness has handed DARPA’s Terahertz Electronics program the award for the fastest solid-state amplifier integrated circuit. Developed by Northrop Grumman, the Terahertz Monolithic Integrated Circuit (TMIC) is a ten-stage common-source amplifier that cranks speeds of one terahertz (1012 Hz), or one trillion cycles per second. Read More
— Electronics

HaptoMime lets users "touch" a mid-air display

By - October 29, 2014 2 Pictures
Touchscreen interfaces may make our lives easier, but the things do tend to get smeared with finger oil and whatnot, plus they're notorious for spreading germs. That's why a team of researchers at the University of Tokyo, led by assistant professor Yasuaki Monnai, have developed the HaptoMime. It's an ATM-like interface that lets the user feel like they're touching a glass screen, when in fact they're touching nothing at all. Read More

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