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Electronics

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LaserSaber may not be a real lightsaber, but it sure looks like one

By - May 7, 2012 4 Pictures
I doubt there are many Star wars fans out there who haven't, at one time or another, fantasized about owning a lightsaber. These are the weapons favored by Jedi and Sith, resembling a sword but with a blade formed of colored light. To have one at your disposal is the dream of geeks everywhere; a dream that has edged closer to becoming reality with the LaserSaber. Read More
— Electronics

Soundlazer parametric speaker to enter production

By - May 4, 2012 13 Pictures
Sonic technology that allows audio to be specifically directed at a limited audience, as opposed to booming sound out as far and as loud as possible, has been around for a good many years but has yet to penetrate the mass consumer market. That situation could well change very shortly, however, thanks to the Soundlazer. The low-cost, pocket-friendly, open source, and completely hack-friendly parametric device developed by Richard Haberkern uses ultrasonic carrier waves to transmit sound from a connected music player on a narrow beam to a select listener. Read More
— Electronics

Engineers produce multiple colors of lasers using a single material

By - May 1, 2012 1 Picture
Ordinarily, if you wanted to include blue, green and red laser light sources in the same device (such as a BluRay player), you would need to build in three separate lasers – each one incorporating different semiconductor materials. Now, however, engineers from Rhode Island’s Brown University have succeeded in creating different colors of lasers, all using the same nanocrystal-based semiconductor. Among other things, this opens the door to digital displays that could produce various colors of laser light simultaneously. Read More

Solidoodle 2 – the sub-$500 3D printer

For about a year, former aerospace engineer Sam Cervantes served as the chief of operations for Makerbot, the Brooklyn-based 3D printer manufacturer. While the reasons for his departure hasn’t been made public, his subsequent activities have – he’s been developing another 3D printer, known as the Solidoodle. He recently unveiled the latest model, the Solidoodle 2, which comes fully-assembled for just under $500. Read More
— Electronics

Front section of Boeing 737 recycled as superb flight simulator

By - April 25, 2012 21 Pictures
Like many computer users of my generation, I've notched up many hours of virtual flight time in a number of fairly realistic simulation programs. There are those who are simply not satisfied with keyboard, mouse and joystick control of jet fighters and passenger airplanes on a desktop computer system, though. Air traffic controller and pilot James Price is one such simulation-junkie who has taken his desire for realism to dizzy new heights by having the nose lopped off a veteran Boeing 737, fitting out the gutted cockpit with working controls, dials and monitors and then interfacing the hardware with flight simulation software. It's been a labor of love but we think the result is well worth the enormous amount of time and effort that's gone into the build. Read More
— Electronics

Self-assembling plastic nanofibers present cheaper alternative to carbon nanotubes

By - April 23, 2012 2 Pictures
French researchers have produced highly conducive plastic fibers with a thickness of only a few nanometers that self-assemble when exposed to a flash of light. The tiny fibers (one nanometer equals one billionth of a meter) could become a cheaper and easier-to-handle alternative to carbon nanotubes and play a role in the development of electronic components on the nanoscale. Read More
— Electronics

Epson America ships Android-powered Moverio BT-100 wearable display

By - April 11, 2012 7 Pictures
Initially released in Japan last November, Epson has now announced Stateside availability for its Moverio BT-100 wearable display. The rather chunky eyewear projects images onto a virtual floating screen in front of the user that grows in size the further away the wearer stares into the distance - up to the equivalent of a 320-inch screen at a distance of 65 feet (20 meters). Read More
— Electronics

Transparent, flexible memory chips could replace flash

By - April 2, 2012 2 Pictures
According to Dr. James M. Tour, a synthetic organic chemist at Houston’s Rice University, flash memory devices can only be built smaller for another six to seven years – at that point, they will reach a technological barrier. Already, however, Tour and his colleagues have developed a new type of memory chip, which they believe could replace flash in thumb drives, smartphones and computers. Not only does their chip allow more data to be stored in a given space, but it can also be folded like paper, withstand temperatures of up to 1,000ºF (538ºC), and is transparent – this means that devices’ screens could also serve as their memory. Read More

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