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Electronics

Magic Finger turns any surface into a touch interface

A trip on public transport or to the local coffee shop might give the impression that touchscreens are everywhere, but scientists at Autodesk Research of the University of Alberta and the University of Toronto are looking to take the ubiquity of touch interfaces to the next level. They are developing a “Magic Finger” that allows any surface to detect touch input by shifting the touch technology from the surface to the wearer’s finger. Read More

PredictGaze pauses the TV automatically when you leave the room

Imagine, if you will, that you are sitting around watching TV, and the sudden urge to grab a snack overtakes you. You try desperately to ignore it because you can't find the remote control, and the show you are watching is the single most gripping piece of entertainment you've ever witnessed. Hunger overtakes you, and you proceed to walk away and go to the kitchen. As you get up and leave, the TV pauses on its own. This is the idea behind new startup PredictGaze.Read More

PiVOT tabletop display simultaneously delivers two different "view zones"

Researchers from the University of Bristol's Department of Computer Science have shown off a new tabletop display that is capable of showing different overlays to individual users. This new overlay called PiVOT (personalized view-overlays for tabletops), is being shown off at the Association for Computing Machinery's (ACM) Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST). Read More

Hop! suitcase automatically follows its user

As any frequent flyer knows, hauling around a passport, carry-on luggage and suitcase while navigating through an airport can be a real hassle, and the situation is made worse if the traveler in question has any physical health issues. Madrid-based designer Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez has come up with an ingenious solution to this issue: a smart carry-on suitcase named Hop! which follows the traveler around automatically. Read More

A motorized wheelchair made from LEGO

Back in June we demonstrated the incredible versatility of LEGO and the mind-boggling talent of those who spend hours and hours snapping together tiny bits of plastic to create something awesome. One contender for the next round is the LEGO Wheelchair built by Simon Burfield.Read More

New 3M projector streams Roku content

The world seems to be moving away from projectors. Almost all of the tech-savvy consumer's content is downloaded digitally and streamed to TVs, tablets and smartphones. The projector is kind of lost in the shuffle of all of this. Enter 3M's Streaming Projector, which merges the massive display sizes that only a projector can produce, with the streaming content for which Roku is known. Read More

Scientists create ultra-thin, cheap, flexible, transparent graphene semiconductors

Ordinarily, electronics are made with silicon semiconductors that are rigid, opaque, and about half a millimeter thick. Thanks to research being carried out at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, however, that may be about to change. Led by Dr. Helge Weman and Prof. Bjørn-Ove Fimland, a team there has developed a method of making semiconductors out of graphene. At a thickness of just one micrometer, they are flexible and transparent. Also, because they require so little raw material, they should be considerably cheaper to manufacture than their silicon counterparts.Read More

"Transient electronics" dissolve once they're not needed

We’ve certainly been hearing a lot lately about tiny electronic devices that can do things such as delivering medication after being implanted in the body, measuring structural stress upon being attached to a bridge, or monitoring pollution after being placed in the environment. In all of these cases, the device has to be retrieved once it’s served its purpose, or just left in place indefinitely. Now, however, an interdisciplinary team of researchers have demonstrated “transient electronics,” which dissolve into nothing after a pre-determined amount of time.Read More

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