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Electronics


— Electronics

Pounding the beat with a huge mechanical version of Roland's TR-808 drum machine

If you're a fan of 1980s music, then there's a very good chance that you'll already be familiar with the electronic beats provided by what's widely regarded as the drum machine that started it all, Roland's TR-808. It set the mood for Marvin Gaye's Sexual Healing, fired shots at David Byrne in the concert movie Stop Making Sense and was the inspiration for the naming of the band 808 State. In his own homage to the iconic device, electronic music tinkerer Moritz Simon Geist has mechanically reproduced 11 of its key sounds using real instruments played by robots within the supersized, wall-filling frame of the stunning MR-808. Read More
— Electronics

Ear-powered medical devices in development

Our ears work by converting the vibrations of the eardrum into electrochemical signals that can be interpreted by the brain. The current for those signals is supplied by an ion-filled chamber deep within the inner ear – it’s essentially a natural battery. Scientists are now looking at using that battery to power devices that could be implanted in the ear, without affecting the recipient’s hearing. Read More
— Electronics

The Gadget Hound locates the items you always lose

There's nothing more frustrating than losing a pair of keys when you're on the way out the door ... except maybe losing your cell phone in that same scenario. Or your wallet. Or sunglasses. Fact is, there are a lot of small, easy-to-lose items that are essential for daily living. So why not keep track of them with an electronic bloodhound, that stays on the scent 24/7? That's the idea behind the Gadget Hound. Read More
— Electronics

Japan Display develops paper-like, video-playing reflective LCD

Anyone who has tried to view the display on their tablet or smartphone in direct sunlight (which I’m guessing is pretty much everyone) will know that outdoors isn’t the ideal viewing environment for LCDs. E-Ink displays, such as those found in the Kindle, rely on reflected light rather than backlights, which is why they're better suited to outdoor viewing. Now Japan Display has created a paper-like, low-power, LCD panel that relies on reflected light and can display color video. Read More
— Electronics

Ultra-sensitive laser-enabled accelerometer could find its way into consumer products

As any smartphone aficionado knows, the accelerometer is one of the key sensors within the device – it allows the phone to know when and by how much it’s been moved. Accelerometers also have many other applications, being major components of things like navigation systems, various automotive systems, and image stabilization systems in cameras. Now, researchers from the California Institute of Technology are developing a laser-based accelerometer, that they claim should offer much better performance than is currently possible. Read More
— Electronics

Logitech Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam is made for video bloggers

Logitech has just introduced a new HD camera specifically geared towards vloggers. It is also designed to work with Apple products only, so Windows users will have to look elsewhere for their broadcasting goodness. It actually integrates with a Mac's existing webcam, so it can serve as a second perspective to bring more professional quality to live streamers and video bloggers. Read More
— Electronics

Magic Finger turns any surface into a touch interface

A trip on public transport or to the local coffee shop might give the impression that touchscreens are everywhere, but scientists at Autodesk Research of the University of Alberta and the University of Toronto are looking to take the ubiquity of touch interfaces to the next level. They are developing a “Magic Finger” that allows any surface to detect touch input by shifting the touch technology from the surface to the wearer’s finger. Read More
— Electronics

PredictGaze pauses the TV automatically when you leave the room

Imagine, if you will, that you are sitting around watching TV, and the sudden urge to grab a snack overtakes you. You try desperately to ignore it because you can't find the remote control, and the show you are watching is the single most gripping piece of entertainment you've ever witnessed. Hunger overtakes you, and you proceed to walk away and go to the kitchen. As you get up and leave, the TV pauses on its own. This is the idea behind new startup PredictGaze. Read More
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