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Electronics

DARPA program develops world's smallest vacuum pumps with big potential

Three DARPA-funded research teams have completed a foundational study of chip-scale vacuum pumps by inventing three very different approaches to removing air from a sample chamber with a volume of one cubic millimeter, which is about one-tenth the volume of a grain of rice. These new technologies will enable many micro-scale devices which require a vacuum or a controlled flow of gas, such as Lab-on-a-Chip sensors, radio frequency MEMS switches and microscopic vacuum tubes.Read More

WiSee system recognizes user gestures in other rooms

By now, even if they’ve never used one themselves, most people are pretty familiar with the idea behind gesture control systems such as the Kinect – the user makes a movement, the device “sees” that movement, and interprets it. However, what would happen if the user was in another room, blocked from the device’s cameras and depth sensors? Well, as long as there was a Wi-Fi signal available, it wouldn’t be a problem ... at least, not if the WiSee system was being used. Read More

Internet-connected street sign literally Points you in the right direction

In our increasingly connected world, isn't it about time the humble street sign received a high-tech upgrade? That's certainly the thinking behind Points, the newest project from Breakfast, a New York-based design group. Points is an internet-connected directional sign that pulls data from social media and spins its arms up to 360 degrees to aim in the direction of a location or event.Read More

Ideum and 3M Touch Systems launch new Platform 46 multi-touch tables

Large-scale multi-touch hardware designer and producer Ideum has teamed up with the Touch Systems division of 3M to launch the Platform 46 range of Windows 8 multi-touch tables. Both the standing-height table and the coffee table feature a 46-inch, bezel-free, 1920 x 1080 resolution LCD display panel and a powerful integrated computer system. They're set to make their public debut at 3M's booth at next week's InfoComm 2013 in Orlando, Florida.Read More

"Things Come Apart" reveals the inner workings of everyday consumer tech

Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living is a new book featuring the work of Canadian photographer and master disassembler, Todd McLellan. The book features images of the inner workings of 50 everyday items from bicycles and chainsaws to modern day computers and phones, with each component painstakingly laid out with geometric precision. McLellan hopes that the imagery of the disassembled objects will help people appreciate the elaborate and efficient designs of modern technology, while exposing the beauty and quality of older items.Read More

Like Machine exchanges Pepsi for Facebook thumbs

How much is a Facebook Like worth? To you, probably nothing, with updates or comments receiving numerous Likes making no difference to your life. For brands, it's different. Each Facebook Like is another notch on the bedpost, with a real person having publicly stated that they like this company so much they don't care who knows it. The Facebook users liking brands usually don't get anything for their free promotional efforts, but Pepsi has changed that with the introduction of Pepsi: The Like Machine.Read More

Flexible, transparent graphene-and-silver electrodes have many potential uses

Transparent electrodes are in and of themselves nothing all that new – they’re currently used in things like touchscreens and flat-screen TVs. Thanks to research being conducted at Indiana’s Purdue University, however, a new class of such electrodes may soon find use in a variety of other applications, including flexible electronic devices. Read More

Groundbreaking tech of yesteryear goes under the hammer

There's nothing quite like an auction room to bring the past into sharp focus. Where collectors and bargain hunters might once have had to trudge wearily from showroom to showroom for a pre-sale peek, the interweb now makes it possible to have a virtual look at items of interest before making a bid. An online auction later this month offers students of technology the opportunity to snag some bleeding edge gadgetry from what old blokes like me might refer to as the good old days, though many of the hundreds of lots up for sale go back much, much further. Gizmag takes a quick look through the antique innovation window and picks out a few favorites.Read More

The paper is the circuit: Scientists create graphite-based paper circuitry

Given the low costs and extensive applications that could be possible with flexible paper circuit boards, we've seen many ideas for their production, from printing with silver ink to embedding chips within paper. Now, however, scientists have developed an elegant method for selectively changing the very nature of the paper itself into conductive graphite. Unlike polymer-based flexible circuits, these paper circuits are, ironically, able to withstand the high temperatures generally used in the production of electronics. Read More

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