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Electronics

Thanks to the advent of stretchable electronics, we’re currently witnessing the development of things like smart fabrics, bendable displays, and even pressure-sensitive skin for robots. In many potential applications, however, the usefulness of such electronics would be limited if they still had to be hooked up to a rigid battery. In response to that problem, a team of scientists have recently created – you guessed it – a stretchable lithium-ion battery. Read More
Due mainly to the influence of the iPhone and iPod, a good many headphones have a playback/call control unit of some sort bulging out from the audio cable. Though undeniably useful, this can add some unwelcome weight (particularly with earbuds), but more often the housing just gets in the way or adds its own thump to the music as it bangs against your upturned collar. California-based Accidentally Extraordinary is looking to change all that, with a pair of elegant studio headphones featuring a capacitive touch control interface on the surface of the cable itself. Read More
A research team from the Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an image capturing device using a single sheet of polymer that is flat, flexible and transparent. The researchers say the new image sensor could eventually find its way into devices like digital cameras and medical scanners, and that it may help to usher in a new generation of gesture-controlled smartphones, tablets and TVs. Read More
While stand-alone compact cameras are increasingly at risk of being made obsolete by smartphone cameras, they do still have their advantages. One of those advantages is the fact that, in most cases, their flashes are considerably more powerful. Smartphones may soon be catching up in that area, however, thanks to a new small-but-mighty capacitor paired with a dedicated xenon flash. Read More
Computer models are typically created by specialists using dedicated CAD software or animation packages. The more detailed the object, the more time and experience it takes to make it. One shortcut would be to scan a real life version of the desired object (if it exists), but 3D scanners are generally expensive, bulky machines that aren't practical for the average person. The advent of affordable, desktop-sized 3D scanners like the CADScan3D could change all that – and presents troubling legal issues for the growing maker movement. Read More
Sony has filed a US patent for 3D glasses that can be used with any 3D TV set. The glasses use a variety of downloadable software and interchangeable modules that hold out the promise of cheaper 3D glasses that aren't tied to a single receiver model. Read More

We're surrounded by electromagnetic fields almost everywhere these days. Just because they're almost imperceptible doesn't mean they can't be used as a source of energy though. One student in Germany recently built the Electromagnetic Harvester, a small box that allegedly charges an AA battery using just the electromagnetic fields given off by the likes of power lines, vehicles and electronic gadgets. Read More

A major obstruction to the development of practical 3D microchips is moving data and logic signals from one layer of circuitry to another. This can be done with conventional circuitry, but is quite cumbersome and generates a good deal of heat inside the 3D circuit. Physicists at the University of Cambridge have now developed a spintronic shift register that allows information to be passed between different layers of a 3D microchip. Read More

For many of us, the last thing we do before going to bed is to plug in and charge the smartphone. There are occasions, though, when fatigue gets the better of you and this important task gets forgotten until all the lights are out. That's where the USB Micro Light charging cable comes into the picture. Read More

As more information becomes available in digital formats, it can be a little frustrating to not be able to simply bookmark or save any documents printed on ordinary paper. There are plenty of articles, recipes, letters, contracts, etc. that would be much more convenient if they were saved on a flash drive, which is where the NoteMark would come in handy. With a laser-projected sight and built-in camera that captures documents as high-definition photos, the ballpoint pen/scanner could be an invaluable tool for quickly digitizing and storing paper documents. Read More
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