2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Electronics

The ceramic speaker is thinner than the music player feeding it tunes

Design company Nendo has joined forces with Masagasu Mitsuke to create a super thin ceramic speaker set for a project aimed at injecting some new life into traditional Japanese crafts. Normally hidden away in such things as LED lighting, the ceramic substrate used for the creation is boldly brought out into the open for a striking piece of functional art.  Read More

A new screening tool which uses a process known as 'transient absorption' to detect metall...

The use of semiconducting carbon nanotubes in place of conventional silicon components and circuits could revolutionize electronics, bringing us even faster and more power efficient devices. One of the problems in manufacturing these nanostructures is getting rid of unwanted metallic tubes, but researchers from Purdue University (PU), Indiana, hope a new screening tool which uses a process known as "transient absorption" to detect these impurities will provide a boost to the manufacturing process.  Read More

Researchers from the Nokia Research Center in Tampere, Finland have turned a wall of ice i...

Researchers from the Nokia Research Center in Tampere, Finland, have turned a wall of ice into a huge interactive touchscreen display. Using infrared emitters and detectors to determine hand location and movement, the team projected images onto the blocks of ice so that users could see flames behind their hands. Happily, users didn't need to worry about catching a chill from icy fingers as the setup managed to keep track of gloved as well as ungloved hands.  Read More

The adaptive lighting system

According to a 2009 Department of Energy study, lighting accounts for 22 percent of all the electricity used in the United States. In an effort to cut this figure, many modern buildings have done away with the humble light switch in favor of automatic motion-detector switches or complicated control panels with arrays of sliders and buttons. A new system literally puts the controls back in people’s hands and its developers at MIT say it has the potential to slash lighting bills by more than half.  Read More

Dolphins were the inspiration for a new type of sonar called twin inverted pulse sonar (TW...

By measuring the differences between emitted sound pulses and their echoes sonar is able to detect and identify targets such as reefs, wrecks, submarines and fish shoals. However, standard sonar has limitations in shallow water because bubble clouds, which result from breaking waves or other causes, can scatter sound and clutter the sonar image. Inspired by the exceptional sonar capabilities of dolphins, scientists have now developed a new underwater device that can outperform standard sonar and detect objects through bubble clouds.  Read More

The SMI RED500 remote eye tracking system for scientific, marketing, and design studies

SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) of Germany has launched its latest gaze and eye tracking system called the RED500. Eye tracking is a key research technique for many types of scientific, marketing, and design studies. Billed as the world’s first high-performance and high-speed remote eye tracker, the RED500 features a “scientific grade” 500 Hz sampling rate, binocular tracking, and a portable all-in-one design.  Read More

The MPQ/EPFL microresonator, which couples light with vibrations (Photo: EPFL)

Researchers from Germany’s Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) and the Swiss Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) have created a microresonator that produces vibrations from laser light. The device also uses one laser beam to control the intensity of another, thus making it essentially an optical transistor. The technology could have big implications in fields such as telecommunications.  Read More

Tel Aviv University's explosive-detecting sensor (Image: AFTAU)

The recent Yemeni bomb threat has only highlighted the need for quick, accurate ways of detecting explosives. With their excellent sense of smell and the ability to discern individual scents, even when they’re combined or masked by other odors, this task is usually given to man’s best friend. But training these animals can be expensive and good sniffer dogs can be hard to find. Scientists have now developed an electronic sensor they say is more sensitive and more reliable at detecting explosives than any sniffer dog.  Read More

A waveguide optical switch uses an array of optical switching elements to connect the path...

Fujitsu Laboratories has unveiled a new optical switch technology that it claims uses half the power of conventional optical switches. The new optical waveguide switch uses photonics made from silicon germanium (SiGe) instead of pure-silicon semiconductor material. This technology will be the basis for a new generation of high-speed optical switches capable of operating across a wide range of wavelengths, while featuring perhaps the world’s lowest power requirements.  Read More

Metal-insulator-metal (MIM) diodes might just be the technology that allows electronics achieve the next big leap in processing speed. Research into diode design conducted at the Oregon State University (OSU) has revealed this week cheaper and easier to manufacture MIM diodes that will also eliminate speed restrictions of electronic circuits that have baffled materials researchers since the 1960's.  Read More

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