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Electronics


— Electronics

Biometric credit card remembers its user's signature

If you watch a handwriting expert authenticate a signature, they will talk about echoes of the process of signing one's name – darker or lighter lines reveal pressure variations, the shape of the loops reveals the shaking of the hand, and the flow of the ink shows if the signature was laid down without hesitation. These echoes of the act of writing make a signature far more revealing than a simple squiggle on paper. Now researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research (IGD) have created a credit card that contains a thorough description of these signature traits, which can be used for instant authentication. Read More
— Electronics

Tone Tank is the über cool way to reposition studio microphones

Don't go thinking that the Tone Tank is just a big boy's toy, it's not. It's a serious piece of studio equipment, on a par with the mixing desk and professional monitors – well, perhaps not quite. In addition to adding a bit of fun to the studio floor, this RC military tank allows sound engineers to precisely position studio microphones without having to constantly leave the console. And yes, the cannon is fully functional. Read More
— Electronics Review

Review: XD Design's Window and Port Solar Chargers

This time last year, we covered an interesting new solar charger that sought to avoid troublesome shadows from window frames, potted plants and household ornaments by sticking to the glass of the window itself. The Window Solar Charger from XD Design has now been joined by a new, slightly less capacious sibling called the Port Solar Charger, and I've been given the chance to take both for a test drive. Read More
— Electronics

Experimental lithium-ion battery can be stretched, twisted and wirelessly charged

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
— Electronics

Accidentally Extraordinary headphones feature capacitive touch controls in the cable

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
— Electronics

New transparent, flat, flexible image sensor has potential for gesture control displays

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
— Electronics

New capacitor developed for brighter camera flashes on mobile devices

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

Electromagnetic Harvester claims to charge batteries with ambient energy

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
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