Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Electronics

Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute has developed a highly flexible electron...

Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has developed a highly flexible electronic paper that's both re-writable and re-usable, and like the Boogie Board electronic memo pads, the technology doesn't need electricity to retain the screen image. The institute is currently in licensing talks with manufacturers at home and in the U.S., and has taken first prize in the Materials and Basic Science and Technology category of the Wall Street Journal's Technology Innovation Awards.  Read More

Researchers have sandwiched layers of graphene between layers of boron nitrate to create a...

Since its discovery in 2004, the two-dimensional layer of carbon atoms known as graphene has promised to revolutionize materials science, enabling flexible, transparent touch displays, lighter aircraft, cheaper batteries and faster, smaller electronic devices. Now in what could be a key step towards replacing silicon chips in computers, researchers at the University of Manchester have sandwiched two sheets of graphene with another two-dimensional material, boron nitride, to create what they have dubbed a graphene "Big Mac".  Read More

Livio Radio's Bluetooth Internet Radio Car Kit allows users to receive internet radio stat...

For those of us with iPhones, there are currently various apps that allow us to receive internet radio on our devices, but ... what if you’re one of those people who usually only listens to the radio while you’re driving? If your car has an auxiliary-in jack, of course, you can just run your phone into that. For the many cars that lack such a feature, however, now there’s Livio Radio’s Bluetooth Internet Radio Car Kit. Acting as a bridge between your iPhone and your automobile, it wirelessly receives an internet radio signal from your phone, then relays it onto the FM receiver of your car stereo.  Read More

Kodak has unveiled a waterproof version of its Playfull camcorder in the form of the Playf...

Kodak has expanded its pocket camcorder lineup with the announcement of the water-, dust- and shock-resistant cousin of the Playfull camera, the Kodak Playfull Waterproof Camera. Coming with a lower price tag than the Kodak Playsport actioncams, the new arrival can be immersed to a maximum depth of 10 feet (3 m) for up to two hours and records videos in 720p (1280 x 720) resolution.  Read More

The Flipit is a charging device that draws power from electrical outlets that are already ...

Perhaps you’ve encountered a travel scenario like this before ... you arrive at your hotel room and go to plug in your mobile phone, only to discover that the bedside lamp and clock radio are already occupying both plug-ins of the most conveniently-located AC wall outlet. While there might be room on another outlet, it could involve your having to squeeze in behind the TV, or leaving your phone someplace where you might forget it. If you had a Flipit USB charger, however, you could draw power from that first outlet, while still leaving the light and the radio plugged in.  Read More

One of the diamond cavities carved by the NIST team

With sizes typically measured in micrometers, Micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) devices are already being used in applications such as super-accurate sensors, energy-harvesting devices, and electronic signal amplifiers. Given how difficult it would be to replace such systems' moving parts as they wear out, it would be ideal if those parts could be made from as hard a material as possible. Well, while most MEMS are presently made chiefly of silicon, researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are now on their way to making them from diamonds.  Read More

The Leaf Grip Remote Controller is an experimental device that users twist or bend to cont...

Why change channels by clicking on buttons, when you could do the same thing by twisting your remote? Japan's Murata Manufacturing Company obviously sees advantages in this approach and has created a prototype dubbed the "Leaf Grip Remote Controller" to showcase the idea. Flexing the battery-less device not only changes TV channels, but it also switches inputs, controls the volume, and turns the power on and off.  Read More

SWYP's touchscreen interface allows users to load an image or document, crop or rotate it,...

With a view to promoting innovation in the desktop printers industry, Artefact design studio has unveiled its See What You Print (or SWYP) concept printer, operated via a touchscreen interface. SWYP aims to simplify and accelerate the task of printing by combining features of simple photo editing and immediate printing in one unit, which enables users to see exactly what the printed page will look like.  Read More

The MEMS energy harvesting device created by MIT researchers can generate 100 times as muc...

The advantages of wireless sensors to monitor equipment and structures in remote locales are obvious, but are lessened significantly if their batteries need to be regularly changed. We’ve seen a number of microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, that harvest energy from the environment, such as ambient light and radio waves and vibrations. Now MIT News is reporting the development of a new piezoelectric device that is about the size of a U.S. quarter and can generate 100 times as much power as similarly sized devices.  Read More

A scientist uses STAN to calibrate a four-camera 3D TV system(Photo: KUK Filmproduktion)

When it comes to producing 3D TV content, the more cameras that are used to simultaneously record one shot, the better. At least two cameras (or one camera with two lenses) are necessary to provide the depth information needed to produce the left- and right-eye images for conventional 3D, but according to researchers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, at least four cameras will be needed if we ever want to achieve glasses-free 3D TV. Calibrating that many cameras to one another could ordinarily take days, however ... which is why Fraunhofer has developed a system that reportedly cuts that time down to 30 to 60 minutes.  Read More

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