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Electronics

World's biggest HD video board under construction (Credit Harold Hinson/CMS Photo)

NASCAR fans are in for a high-definition treat this year at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, where construction of a gargantuan 200-foot-wide x 80-foot-tall screen is underway. Billed as the world's largest HD video board, the structure will weigh 332.5 tons (665,000 pounds) and contain more than 9 million LED lamps when the switch is flicked for racing events in May.  Read More

The Veebeam laptop-to-TV content streamer

If you're looking for an affordable way to stream high definition online movies to a big screen TV, then Veebeam could just be what you're looking for. The device comes in both standard and high definition varieties, and is made up of a wireless USB antenna that's connected to a laptop or computer and a receiver box that's hooked up to an HDTV. The system is said to be capable of wirelessly playing any content from one to the other, whether it's online movies, sports or news updates, digital photos or holiday videos.  Read More

The proposed interactive shop window differs from existing touchscreen technology by using...

Window shopping of the future will be exactly that, with consumers able to make purchases from in front of the store, even after hours. Using 3D imaging technology, researchers in Germany are developing a system capable of recognizing facial gestures and hand position, so that shoppers can control a digital shop window display. The system allows for transactions, and can collect data on shopper trends without collecting personal data such as facial recognition. For those germ-conscious shopaholics who think public touchscreens are a conduit for nasties, this is the interactive shop window for you.  Read More

The Planon SlimScan SS100 is a credit card-sized high-resolution color scanner, designed f...

Keeping track of receipts can be a hassle. The paper itself has a tendency to curl up, it creases very easily, and trying to sort out a sheaf of curly, creased-up receipts is no one’s idea of fun... or at least, the folks at Planon hope it isn’t. They’ve just released the SlimScan SS100, a “credit card-sized” high-resolution color scanner designed specifically for scanning receipts. The device – which was on display at CES – comes with Planon’s PaperPort SE software (for Windows only), which allows users to organize their scanned receipts once they transfer them onto their PC.  Read More

The TI bqTESLA wireless charging development kit lets designers integrate wireless power t...

Between Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and the latest-gen cell phone networks, we hardly ever have to plug anything into our mobile devices these days. That is, until the batteries die. Then we’re rooting through a rat’s nest of USB cables and adapters trying to find the right wall wart and a plug that fits the charging port. Clearly wireless charging’s day has arrived, and Texas Instruments has released the industry’s first Qi-certified wireless power development kit. The bqTESLA kit is meant to help design engineers integrate wireless power technology into devices such as smartphones, digital cameras, and MP3 players.  Read More

The first coils of silicon nanowire on a substrate that can be stretched to more than doub...

Stretchability is not something you'd think of as synonymous with electronics. For this very reason the realm of wearable electronic devices has been limited to devices on clothes with rigid or at best semi-flexible circuit boards or solar panels and watches that can do just about everything except make a decent espresso. The game is about to change with the introduction of a silicon nanowire with elastic properties that could enable the incorporation of stretchable electronic devices into clothing, implantable health-monitoring devices, and a host of other applications.  Read More

Zaca Fire, near Santa Barbara, California, in 2007. Credit: U.S. Forest Service by John Ne...

In the last decade the number and intensity of forest fires seems to have been on the increase around the globe, with massive and devastating wildfires in California, Greece, Russia and Australia. The best tool for fighting these intense wildfires is accurate and timely information. Traditional airborne infrared cameras have long been a vital device for mapping fire intensity though their limited ability to find the heart of a fire through thick smoke poses a major drawback. A new radiometric sensor that works in the microwave range can now pinpoint the heart of the wildfire, even when visibility is poor.  Read More

Panasonic President Shiro Kitajima displays prototype of the VIERA tablet

While the portable form factor of tablet computers makes them ideal for use on the go, as many tablet users have no doubt discovered, they’re also great for doing a spot of web surfing or catching up on friends’ Facebook or Twitter posts while in front of the TV. At CES 2011 Panasonic has announced its entry into the tablet computing space with the VIERA tablet – a device it calls a “tablet-type terminal” specifically designed for just that purpose.  Read More

Samsung Mobile Display is set to unveil a pair of next-gen AMOLED display prototypes at CE...

There’s bound to be all manner of display technologies vying for eyeballs at CES 2011 when it kicks off in Las Vegas next week and two prototype AMOLED displays from Samsung Mobile Display (SMD) will definitely be high on our list of things to check out. The first is a 4.5-inch 800 x 480 (WVGA) resolution flexible AMOLED display concept prototype for mobile devices, while the second is the world’s largest transparent AMOLED display prototype for use in PC monitors and TVs.  Read More

IBM researchers now have an unprecedented understanding and control over the magnetic move...

Racetrack memory is an experimental form of memory that looks to combine the best attributes of magnetic hard disk drives (low cost) and solid state memory (speed) to enable devices to store much more information, while using much less energy than current memory technologies. Researchers at IBM have been working on the development of Racetrack memory for six years and have now announced the discovery of a previously unknown aspect of key physics inside the new technology that brings it another step closer to becoming a reality.  Read More

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