Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Electronics

Titus Appel (left) and Steve Sanderson, with their power-over-fiber communications cable

When you want to isolate communications between two devices or locations, a fiber optic link is one of the best ways to go. Under some circumstances, however, you might also want to isolate the transmission of power – in situations where traditional copper wire might prove unsafe or impractical, for instance. That’s why researchers at Sandia National Laboratories are developing a power-over-fiber (PoF) communications cable. It carries not only data, but also optical power.  Read More

Charge music players, phones and other portable devices with your legs

K-TOR has added a new portable charging device to its lineup. The new Power Box puts your legs to work toward converting kinetic energy to electricity. Use it enough and you might just get your weekly workout. It is quite simply a pedal-powered generator equipped with a dual-pronged outlet so that you can plug in an AC adapter and charge your device directly from your leg power. The box works for devices rated 20W and below, including low-power netbooks, tablets, smartphones, video devices and portable game systems.  Read More

The Artguardian system monitors environmental conditions in galleries, to make sure that a...

While great works of art should be exhibited so the public can enjoy them, putting those pieces on display also puts them at risk. If environmental factors such as lighting intensity, temperature or humidity aren’t in the optimal range, for instance, works can prematurely deteriorate as a result. In order to minimize the risks, three of Germany’s Fraunhofer research institutes have collaborated to develop Artguardian, a system that monitors the conditions under which artworks are displayed.  Read More

Feedair personalized news ticker

Laptops, tablets, smartphones ... there are plenty of options out there when it comes to managing the constant stream of information we find ourselves faced with - here's another. Feedair is a personalized news tracker that fits in the palm of your hand and uses your smartphone as a controller (iPhone and Android apps are available) to push information via WiFi to the simple scrolling LED readout on the device.  Read More

Scientists have developed a new method of creating elastic conductors, using buckled carbo...

Whether it’s touch-sensitive skin for robots, clothing made from smart fabrics, or devices with bendable displays, stretchable electronics will be playing a large role in a number of emerging technologies. While the field is still very new, stretchable electronic devices may have come a step closer to common use, thanks to research being conducted at North Carolina State University. Scientists there have recently developed a new method for creating elastic conductors, using carbon nanotubes.  Read More

Bootstrapper uses depth cameras to capture images of a user's shoes to compare against a d...

Facial recognition might be all the rage in giving computer systems the ability to ascertain the identity of individuals - what with most people having different facial features and all. But a team from the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany, has taken a different approach to identify users of touch-based tabletop computers like Microsoft's Surface. Instead of focusing on the face, the team has looked in the opposite direction to develop a system known as Bootstrapper which distinguishes between users based on their footwear.  Read More

The OrcaM Orbital Camera System can create a 3D digital model of any object placed within ...

Obtaining a high-quality 3D digital model of a physical object can be a fiddly process, that often requires considerable user input. German research and development company NEK, however, is attempting to make things easier, with its OrcaM Orbital Camera System. Users just place an object inside of its "reconstruction sphere," then the system goes to work, automatically creating a near-perfect three-dimensional recreation of the object.  Read More

Poldera's Power Bank is part LED flashlight, part back-up phone charger

Though falling into that tiny category of things exhibited at CES 2012 that don't have an HD screen and aren't an iPhone peripheral, we did want to briefly mention Poldera's Power Bank Energy Holder. A combined LED flashlight and phone-charger, the Power Bank is one of those unassuming devices that may not be a head-turner, but is a good idea nonetheless. After all, if you have need of a portable phone charger, why not have one that can do something else useful too?  Read More

Ideum has announced the release of the MT65 Presenter - a professional level, 65-inch, 3D ...

At a whopping 234-diagonal-inches, the touchscreen display created by Microsoft and Stereolize for last year's CeBIT may well be the biggest we've seen but it's hardly practical (or cheap) enough for everyday use. If you're looking for something that won't require museum visitors or business customers to reach up way above their heads to even touch the screen, New Mexico's interactive exhibit veteran Ideum has announced the release of a new 65-inch wall-mounted multitouch display called the MT65 Presenter.  Read More

MakerBot has unveiled its latest desktop-friendly 3D printer at CES 2012, the Replicator -...

The folks at MakerBot Industries have not exactly been resting on their laurels since causing a stir at CES last year with the Thing-o-Matic 3D printer. Even though the original small object creation device would still see the jaws of most people dropping in wonder, the company has now unveiled a new model at CES 2012 called the Replicator that is not only capable of fabricating much bigger objects than its predecessor, but can also do so in two colors at the same time.  Read More

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