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Electronics

— Electronics

The Blunt + Tile smart umbrella never loses its way

By - October 20, 2014 6 Pictures
An umbrella hastily snatched on the way out the door can easily become another item left behind, as the weather clears up and we continue on our merry, baggage-free way. But what if your brolly had a tracking device built-in, meaning when it is misplaced you can simply whip out your phone and hone in on its whereabouts? High-end umbrella maker Blunt has teamed up with Bluetooth-tracker specialists Tile to produce what it calls the first smart umbrella, looking to make sure you're never caught unprepared again. Read More
— Electronics

NavVis performs Google-like 3D mapping, but quicker

By - October 17, 2014 5 Pictures
When we first heard about the NavVis system a couple of years ago, it was being developed for indoor navigation. Developed by researchers at the Technical University of Munich, it utilizes maps consisting of location-tagged photos of the hallways of buildings. In order to figure out where they are, users just take a photo of their surroundings using their smartphone, then the NavVis app matches that photo up with one in its map. Now, the technology has been expanded to the point that it could give Google Street View a run for its money. Read More
— Electronics

Two-dimensional piezoelectric material forms basis of world's thinnest electric generator

By - October 16, 2014 4 Pictures
Researchers from Columbia University and the Georgia Institute of Technology are laying claim to having observed piezoelectricity in an atomically thin material for the first time. The effect was demonstrated in the world's thinnest electric generator made from a two-dimensional molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) material, which had previously been predicted to exhibit such properties. Read More
— Electronics

Yubi Navi helps you feel your way around

By - October 16, 2014 4 Pictures
Anyone who’s walked down the street using their smartphone for navigation will know that it’s not an ideal solution. While the service itself is invaluable, the need to constantly keep glancing down at the display to check you’re heading in the correct direction can be more than a little tedious. NTT Domoco’s Yubi Navi is a prototype device that looks to simplify on-foot navigation, replacing visual, on-screen prompts with subtle, tactile cues. Read More
— Electronics

"Smart" lithium-ion battery would warn users if it is going to ignite

By - October 14, 2014 2 Pictures
There have been numerous cases of lithium-ion batteries catching fire in everything from mobile phones and laptops to cars and airplanes. While the odds of this occurring are low, the fact that hundreds of millions of lithium-ion batteries are produced and sold every year means the risk is still very real. Researchers at Stanford University have now developed a "smart" lithium-ion battery that would provide users with a warning if it is overheating and likely to burst into flames. Read More
— Electronics

Zap&Go portable charger fuels up in just 5 minutes

By - October 14, 2014 4 Pictures
An Oxford-based startup has turned to crowdfunding to help develop Zap&Go, a phone charger with an emphasis on speed and portability. Thanks to a graphene supercapacitor and an ad-hoc power supply, the device will reportedly charge to its 1,500-mAh capacity – enough to fully charge an iPhone 5s – in only five minutes and promises to be a much more practical solution than current alternatives, particularly when traveling. Read More
— Electronics

Leia Display System: The mid-air touchscreen you can control with your whole body

By - October 9, 2014 27 Pictures
The recently-unveiled Leia Display System (LDS) is a lot like a large touchscreen – but with one important difference: its screen is not solid, but rather made from mist. This means you can walk right through the screen, manipulate displayed images using hand gestures reminiscent of Minority Report, or even interact with the display using your whole body. Read More
— Electronics

"Combining glass" brings together real and virtual in augmented reality reflections

By - October 8, 2014 3 Pictures
Perhaps you've been in a situation where you noticed that your reflection in a window looked like it was actually standing amongst the items that were visible through that window. Now, scientists at the University of Bristol have taken that phenomenon and incorporated it into an experimental new interactive display. Among other things, it lets users select objects seen through a pane of glass, using the reflection of their finger on that glass. Read More
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