Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Electronics

A Texas Instruments Stellaris microcontroller which includes an older ARM Cortex-M process...

The newest entry in ARM's Cortex line, the Cortex-M0+ is claimed to be the world's most energy-efficient processor, delivering 32-bit performance on around one third of the typical energy requirements of an 8- or 16-bit processor. Targeting low-cost sensors and microcontrollers, the M0+ will come with a very modest price tag and could act as a crucuial stepping stone to a world in which everyday objects communicate with each other, sharing data to make smart, coordinated decisions that will improve our quality of life.  Read More

The LaserSaber lightsaber could make your Star Wars fantasies come true

I doubt there are many Star wars fans out there who haven't, at one time or another, fantasized about owning a lightsaber. These are the weapons favored by Jedi and Sith, resembling a sword but with a blade formed of colored light. To have one at your disposal is the dream of geeks everywhere; a dream that has edged closer to becoming reality with the LaserSaber.  Read More

The low-cost, pocket-friendly, open source, and completely hack-friendly Soundlazer parame...

Sonic technology that allows audio to be specifically directed at a limited audience, as opposed to booming sound out as far and as loud as possible, has been around for a good many years but has yet to penetrate the mass consumer market. That situation could well change very shortly, however, thanks to the Soundlazer. The low-cost, pocket-friendly, open source, and completely hack-friendly parametric device developed by Richard Haberkern uses ultrasonic carrier waves to transmit sound from a connected music player on a narrow beam to a select listener.  Read More

Cuong Dang manipulates a green beam that pumps Brown University's new nanocrystals with en...

Ordinarily, if you wanted to include blue, green and red laser light sources in the same device (such as a BluRay player), you would need to build in three separate lasers – each one incorporating different semiconductor materials. Now, however, engineers from Rhode Island’s Brown University have succeeded in creating different colors of lasers, all using the same nanocrystal-based semiconductor. Among other things, this opens the door to digital displays that could produce various colors of laser light simultaneously.  Read More

The Solidoodle 2 3D printer

For about a year, former aerospace engineer Sam Cervantes served as the chief of operations for Makerbot, the Brooklyn-based 3D printer manufacturer. While the reasons for his departure hasn’t been made public, his subsequent activities have – he’s been developing another 3D printer, known as the Solidoodle. He recently unveiled the latest model, the Solidoodle 2, which comes fully-assembled for just under $500.  Read More

Air traffic controller and pilot James Price has spent $150,000 and the last 12 years buil...

Like many computer users of my generation, I've notched up many hours of virtual flight time in a number of fairly realistic simulation programs. There are those who are simply not satisfied with keyboard, mouse and joystick control of jet fighters and passenger airplanes on a desktop computer system, though. Air traffic controller and pilot James Price is one such simulation-junkie who has taken his desire for realism to dizzy new heights by having the nose lopped off a veteran Boeing 737, fitting out the gutted cockpit with working controls, dials and monitors and then interfacing the hardware with flight simulation software. It's been a labor of love but we think the result is well worth the enormous amount of time and effort that's gone into the build.  Read More

Artist's impression showing conductive supramolecular fibers trapped between two gold elec...

French researchers have produced highly conducive plastic fibers with a thickness of only a few nanometers that self-assemble when exposed to a flash of light. The tiny fibers (one nanometer equals one billionth of a meter) could become a cheaper and easier-to-handle alternative to carbon nanotubes and play a role in the development of electronic components on the nanoscale.  Read More

Epson America has announced that its Moverio BT-100 wearable display is now available in t...

Initially released in Japan last November, Epson has now announced Stateside availability for its Moverio BT-100 wearable display. The rather chunky eyewear projects images onto a virtual floating screen in front of the user that grows in size the further away the wearer stares into the distance - up to the equivalent of a 320-inch screen at a distance of 65 feet (20 meters).  Read More

The Sonic gives you two water-resistant speakers for music

Despite technology's best efforts, headphones and sports just don't mix that well. Loss of awareness of your surroundings, uncomfortable earphones and tangled wires make them less than a perfect solution and it's these shortcomings that The Sonic Walk aims to address by providing a more natural, ergonomic way of listening to music and exercising.  Read More

A new type of transparent, flexible memory chip could replace flash memory in electronic d...

According to Dr. James M. Tour, a synthetic organic chemist at Houston’s Rice University, flash memory devices can only be built smaller for another six to seven years – at that point, they will reach a technological barrier. Already, however, Tour and his colleagues have developed a new type of memory chip, which they believe could replace flash in thumb drives, smartphones and computers. Not only does their chip allow more data to be stored in a given space, but it can also be folded like paper, withstand temperatures of up to 1,000ºF (538ºC), and is transparent – this means that devices’ screens could also serve as their memory.  Read More

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