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Electronics

KAIST's DCRS prototype turns a LED television on at a 5-meter distance (Photo: KAIST)

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), have developed a wireless charging system that can charge around 40 smart phones at a time, from a distance of 5 meters (16 ft). While we've examined numerous wireless charging systems, even one that transmits power to up to 9 m (30 ft), KAIST's prototype can power multiple devices within its range. It can deliver enough electrical juice, the scientists claim, to power many larger devices like fans, TVs and computers, simultaneously.  Read More

Arrays of stacked multi-junction cells achieving ultra high efficiencies were produced usi...

The ultimate goal of solar cell technology is to be able to generate electricity at costs lower than sources such as coal, natural gas and nuclear. Key to this is continuing improvements in conversion efficiency, and with the development of the first four-junction, four-terminal stacked solar cell produced using a micro transfer printing process, researchers have taken another step towards this goal by achieving efficiencies of up to 43.9 percent, with the possibility of exceeding 50 percent in the near future.  Read More

Prototype of a 3D-printed abstract spiral loudspeaker, that emits sound off its spiral sur...

It's one thing to assemble a loudspeaker from 3D-printed components, but researchers at Disney have figured out a way to 3D print interactive loudspeakers in any shape imaginable, while also integrating speaker functionality into the whole object or just parts of it. Just envision 3D printing an entire loudspeaker in one step in the shape of Cinderella, and having sounds boom off her whole body or just her skirt.  Read More

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

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