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Electronics

The teeny tiny chessboard designed by the Texas Tech team for Sandia Lab's annual MEMS stu...

Anyone who subscribes to the view that good things come in small packages would no doubt be impressed by the winners of this year’s design contest held at Sandia Labs for novel and educational microelectromechanical systems (MEMs). The big, or should I say exceedingly small, winners were the world’s smallest chessboard, which is about the diameter of four human hairs, and a pea-sized microbarbershop that is intended to service a single hair.  Read More

A land mine warning - a sight all to common in many parts of the world (Image: Kyle Simour...

Land mines are terrifying and indiscriminate weapons, harming soldiers and civilians alike. Even long after the conflict in which they were deployed has ceased they end up killing and injuring civilians and render land impassable and unusable for decades. There are a variety of methods used to detect mines by both humanitarian and military groups, but many are dangerous, most are less than 100 percent reliable and some of the more reliable detection methods are prohibitively expensive. Physicists have now built a relatively inexpensive land mine detection system using off-the-shelf components – including some sourced from online auction sites.  Read More

The ultra-retro USBTypewriter

There’s no doubt that the wonders of modern technology allow for some pretty special experiences and benefits that would leave the previous generation wide-eyed with disbelief – just yesterday I was watching a World Cup match on an iPhone outside a pub in flawless quality – but do you ever find yourself pining for simpler times? If so, even if it's more for nostalgia than practical purposes, the USBTypewriter could be right up your street.  Read More

The WIFI200 portable Internet radio

Billed as “the first truly portable internet radio on the market,” View Quest’s WIFI200 lets you listen to over 12,000 radio stations and 7,000 podcasts, wherever you can get WiFi. Pretty cool. The wallet-sized gizmo even won an International Forum Design Award, so it must be doing something right. The bottom line is, you need never listen to Top 40 again... unless you really want to.  Read More

Electronic items such as mobile phones contain dangerous amounts of lead

Lead is a toxic substance, and it’s in your mobile phone. It’s also probably in your TV, your computer, and just about any other electronic appliance where mechanical movement is transformed into an electrical signal. All those devices utilize PZT, a substance which contains lead, and that generates an electrical charge when subjected to pressure. While lead has been phased out of most consumer goods, a suitable alternative has never been found for use in electronics... until now, perhaps. Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have developed an innocuous material with PZT-like qualities, and it’s made in a fashion somewhat like cookies.  Read More

Another massive Diamond Vision display from Mitsubishi, this time in Japan

NFL football fans will no doubt be familiar with Mitsubishi's world-record HD displays at Dallas Cowboy's stadium, the largest measuring 22 m high by 49 m wide on the sidelines. This week the company announced the installation of another enormous Diamond Vision screen, this time at Hakodate Racecourse at home in Japan.  Read More

Multiple layers of graphene are being advanced as a new solution to fight overheating in e...

Overheating in laptops and electronic gadgets isn't just an annoyance to the end user — it's a major technological hurdle that puts a hard limit to the speed and energy efficiency of electronics. In a paper recently published on the journal Nature Materials, a team of scientists from the University of California found that multiple layers of graphene show strong heat conducting properties that can be harnessed in removing dissipated heat from electronic devices.  Read More

The Boogie Board is a multi-purpose paper replacement LCD note pad which uses novel techno...

If you need something a little more responsive and modern than an Etch-a-Sketch and can't wait for a Scribble to break cover, then perhaps the Boogie Board can help. The pressure-sensitive LCD display requires no power to retain an image, and is ideal for virtually any task that requires a temporary note to be taken.  Read More

The U-Powered solar charger is a backup power source or charger for portable electronics s...

Canada's Kiwi Choice has announced the release of a strangely familiar-looking portable solar charger for mobile devices. The three-panel photovoltaic fan design first used by Solio has found its way to Kiwi's U-Powered charger. Featuring a powerful battery, LED flashlight and magnetic feet, the product also comes with multiple device connector tips for maximum compatibility.  Read More

Use the force Lu.. ah, Magnetic Suspension Device

Ever wanted to levitate a can or bottle inside an illuminated ring? Of course you have. Well, this device from Chinavasion uses the force to do just that. Unfortunately it uses force of the magnetic variety and not the Jedi kind, but the snappily named Magnetic Suspension Device is sure to be a conversation starter nonetheless.  Read More

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