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Electronics

Tunable organic electronics pave the way for better flexible displays

Researchers at Kyushu University in Japan have devised a simple way to tweak the properties of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) while increasing emission efficiency eight-fold. The development could lead to organic electronics with stronger performance, that could change their properties in response to external stimuli like pressure.Read More

Review

Review: Sleek Z4 Aurora projector shines bright in some areas, not so much in others

There was a time when watching projection movies and TV meant a huge console in the middle of the living room floor with one red, one blue and one green light throwing pale images onto a nearby screen. Like most tech since then, projectors have gotten smaller and better, rendering super sharp images even from long distances. The Z4 Aurora continues the evolution of the home projector by building in Wi-Fi capability, a music player, gesture control, outstanding speakers and 3D viewing. Some of these features work well, but others clearly need improving, as our tests showed.Read More

SPUD puts a 24-inch display in your back pocket

Sure there are portable monitors you can take along with you to increase the screen real estate of your laptop. You can even use your iPad as a second monitor with an app like Duet. But neither of those options will give you what you're really craving – a take-with-you display that expands to a full-sized monitor so you can get some serious work done when you're on the road. The Spontaneous Pop-Up Display (SPUD) from Arovia, exhibited at this week's South By Southwest Festival (SXSW), will be exactly that.Read More

Cool Runnings: Lockheed using microscopic drops of water to chill chips from the inside

Every year, electronic components shrink a bit more, allowing engineers to create more powerful and sophisticated chips. Unfortunately, these chips also generate a lot of heat, so novel cooling systems are needed to keep them running. As part of DARPA's ICECool-Applications research program, Lockheed Martin is developing a way of cooling high-powered microchips from the inside using microscopic drops of water.Read More

Miniature fuel cell to keep drones aloft for over an hour and phones charged for a week

Drones are being utilized in everything from parcel delivery to search and rescue, but their limited flight times are restricting their ability to travel great distances or stay for extended periods of time in the field. Simply adding more batteries, however, affects flight characteristics and reduces the load the drone can carry. To help solve this problem, researchers at the Pohang University of Science and Technology (Postech) have created a miniature fuel cell they claim not only provides enough energy to keep a drone in the sky for over an hour, but may well find applications in powering everything from smartphones to cars in the not-too-distant future.Read More

Liquid metal runs through new flexible circuits

Before things like touch-sensitive robot skin or prosthetics skin can become commonplace, we first need to develop robust and reliable flexible electronics. Researchers from Switzerland's EPFL research institute have taken a big step toward that goal, by developing circuits that remain functioning while being stretched by up to four times their original length.Read More

Thinnest, lightest, solar cells ever created outperform their bulky glass brethren

Using gossamer-like layers of flexible polymers, researchers at MIT have created the thinnest and lightest solar cells ever made. Just one-fiftieth the thickness of a human hair, and capable of producing up to 6 watts of power per gram, these cells are so thin and light that they can be supported on the surface of a soap bubble without breaking it. With such impressive credentials, the prototype cells have the potential to add solar power to everything from paper-based electronics through to all manner of mobile devices and exceptionally lightweight wearables. Read More

Passive Wi-Fi more energy efficient than conventional Wi-Fi, ZigBee and Bluetooth LE

While it's become a necessity of modern life, Wi-Fi is also an energy hog, draining the batteries of all those connected devices surrounding us. That may change with the recent demonstration by University of Washington researchers of Wi-Fi transmissions generated using 10,000 times less power than conventional methods. Known as Passive Wi-Fi, the system also uses 1,000 times less power than current energy-efficient wireless communication platforms, like ZigBee and Bluetooth LE.Read More

Intelligent speaker tunes in to your emotions

Moodbox mightn't offer the same fully-fledged humanoid companionship as some "emotionally intelligent" robots, but it does bring elements of this into the home in the form of a voice-controlled omnidirectional speaker that plays tunes in response to your emotions. Read More

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