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Electronics

“Smell-o-Vision” display emits localized virtual odors

Localized dimming is a feature found in many televisions these days, but what about a display capable of producing localized smells? That’s exactly what a team from the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology in Japan has created. The “smelling screen” that was recently presented at the IEEE Virtual Reality 2013 conference in Orlando, Florida can produce odors that appear to emanate from specific areas of the screen.Read More

Ouya CEO hints at Hulu, Netflix, Google integration

The Ouya started as a project on Kickstarter to create an open-source, inexpensive, Android-based gaming console. In less than a year, it has graduated from crowdfunding pie in the sky to a whole new gaming ecosystem, and Ouya's founder, Julie Uhrman, now says she expects deals to be in place in the coming months that will also allow Ouya to function as a de facto set-top box.Read More

TrafficCOM opens up traffic counting to everyone

Thanks to advances in technology, we now pretty much take it for granted that if we wanted to, we could start up our own digital publication, produce and distribute our own documentary, or fabricate our own small plastic items. One area that has yet to really become democratized, however, is traffic counting. Perhaps that’s not way up there on your personal list of things that you wish you could do for yourself ... but then again, you’re probably not part of the target market for TrafficCOM. Read More

Caltech’s chips survive laser armageddon thanks to self-healing powers

Although you are fairly unlikely to start zapping your gadgets with high-power lasers any time soon, scientists are already hard at work trying to make electronics immune to such cruelty. In another in a series of self-healing electronics breakthroughs, a team of scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) demonstrated chips capable of dealing not only with laser-inflicted physical damage but also with far more common ailments such as aging, power fluctuations, changes in temperature or load mismatch. Read More

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

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

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

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

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