Advertisement

Electronics

Disney's Aireal delivers precise tactile feedback out of thin air

With systems like the Kinect and Leap Motion, controlling a gadget with just the wave of a hand is starting to become much more commonplace. The one drawback to those gesture-based devices however is that you never actually touch anything. No matter what you see on the screen, you're still very aware that you're just moving your hands through the air. The Pittsburg branch of Disney Research may be able to change that with Aireal, a low-cost haptic system which fires out small rings of air that allow people to feel virtual objects.Read More

Interactive electronic skin lights up when touched

The stereotype of the clumsy robot may soon become a thing of the past thanks to ongoing research at the University of California, Berkeley, where a team of engineers has created a thin and interactive sensor network that can be layered onto the surfaces of virtually any shape. The device gives out immediate feedback via an LED light when touched, and could be used to create smart bandages that monitor vitals in a patient in real time, wallpapers that act as touchscreens, or even to give humanoid robots that elusive "human touch." Read More

Tiny digital chip delivers up to 20 W audio output

If you can find one, the new STA333IS digital audio chip and power amplifier from STMicroelectronics (STM) offers a quick and easy solution for converting digital audio into a 10 watt/channel stereo for anything from a boom box to a backyard sound system. Don't misunderstand, they currently are at distributors, selling for about one US dollar apiece. The problem is literally finding the chips. At about one-eighth the volume of a grain of rice and weighing only a few milligrams, drop one on a carpet and its gone for good. Read More

Miniaturized butane fuel cell system enables new USB battery charger

There's no doubt that mobile electronic devices have revolutionized our daily lives. A smartphone and laptop, both equipped with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, provide mobile computing capabilities only dreamed of a decade or two ago. If only the batteries would keep up. While portable fuel cells have been proposed for a decade as a solution to the requirement for more portable power, actually making such a beast has proven commercially impractical. Now Lilliputian Systems, Inc., an MIT spinoff company, is manufacturing the Nectar, a USB recharger based on a butane fuel cell. Read More

Portable SunSocket Solar Generator incorporates on-board tracking

To get the most out of solar panels they need to be facing the right way. Systems that track the sun are often used in large solar power stations and some larger home installations, but most flat panels for portable applications just lie there. Colorado-based Aspect Solar has come up with the SunSocket Solar Generator, a lightweight, portable, self-contained solar power system consisting of a battery and solar panels that brings the advantages of automatically tracking the Sun to small applications.Read More

Good vibrations turn almost any flat surface into a low-cost multi-touch screen

Culminating four years of research, a team at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University has developed a technology that can turn a multitude of surfaces including wood, glass, aluminium, steel and even plastics into a low-cost multi-touch screen. The technology, named STATINA (for Speech Touch and Acoustic Tangible Interfaces for Next-generation Applications), is only a couple years away from reaching mass production. Read More

Leon Speakers blends art and audio with "sound sculpture"

Looking to attract some attention to its InfoComm and CE Week booths, Leon Speakers created a piece of functional artwork that it calls the sound sculpture. Not quite as dramatic as the company's original sound sculpture, a 16-foot (4.9-m) dragon revealed in 2010, but still intriguing in its own right, the new sound sculpture hangs on the wall, where it seeks to dazzle both the eyes and ears. Read More

LG slims down Full HD smartphone panel

Just over a year after showing off a new Full HD smartphone display, LG's Display wing has taken the wraps off a new variant that's being hailed as the world's thinnest. The working 5.2-inch panel boasts a 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution, and represents the first outing for a proprietary touch technology called Advanced One-Glass-Solution, where two flexible printed circuits are positioned between the glass and the touch layer. Read More

Wimoto's tiny sensors to ensmartify the home

Wimoto has turned to crowdfunfing website Indiegogo to finance the first run of its range of small sensors designed to work remotely with mobile devices and computers. Sensors which monitor weather, soil conditions (for the green fingered) and water levels are available for under US$40 each, and are due to hit doormats this September.Read More

    Advertisement
    Advertisement
    Advertisement

    See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning

    Advertisement