What if the light in the room could sense you waving your hand as you enter? And what if it responded by introducing minute light changes that instructed your smart coffee machine to switch on? Researchers at Dartmouth College have developed a sensing system called LiSense that aims to make the light around us "smart." Not only does it use light to sense people’s movements, but it also allows them to control devices in their environment with simple gestures, using light to transmit information.
Although the ability tends to wane as we get older, the human auditory system is pretty good at filtering out background noise and making a single voice able to be understood above the general hubbub of a crowded room. But electronic devices, such as smartphones, aren't quite as gifted, which is why getting Siri or Google Now to understand you in crowded environments can be an exercise in futility. But now researchers have developed a prototype sensor that’s not only able to figure out the direction of a particular sound, but can also extract it from background noise.
A new, simple device has been designed for people who, for financial or practical reasons, can't have PV panels on their rooftops, but still want to show their support for solar power and help the industry grow. The amount of electricity used to power a gadget connected to the SunPort plug is offset against solar credits, essentially making your electronic device solar-powered. Kind of.
Researchers at MIT and Tsinghua University in China have found a way to more than triple the capacity of the anodes, or negative electrodes, of lithium-ion batteries while also extending their lifetime and potentially allowing for faster battery charging and discharging. The new electrode, which makes use of aluminum/titanium "yolk-and-shell" nanoparticles, is reportedly simple to manufacture and is especially promising for high-power applications.
Smartphones are already able to monitor things such as light, sound, movement and geographical location. Soon, airborne gases could be added to that list. That’s because VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a miniature phone-compatible sensor, that uses light to identify the type and amount of gases in air samples.
electronics miniaturization heads towards a theoretical physical limit in the
tens of nanometers, new methods of manufacturing are required to produce
transistors, diodes, and other fundamental electronic components. In this vein, a new range of molecule-sized
devices have been created in the laboratory, though with varying results in
terms of efficiency and practicality. Now a group of researchers from Berkeley
Lab and Columbia University claims to have created the highest-performing,
single-molecule diode ever made, which is said to be 50 times better in
performance and efficiency than anything previously produced.
Sydney, Australia, has become the world's first city to boast E Ink-based traffic signs. Built by RMS and integrating Visionect’s e-paper signage electronics and software, the solar-powered signs promise both greater efficiency and improved reliability compared to than standard electronic roadsigns.
3D printers are fantastic, but you're unlikely to see someone carrying one with them to a maker faire, or anywhere else for that matter. Elecfreaks is aiming to provide a portable option for the growing 3D printer market with Freaks3D – a unit that's around the size of an average laptop.
Most Instagram users probably check their feed with a smartphone or
similar device. New York-based studio Breakfast, however, has created a
machine that displays Instagram images and basic animations using
thousands of spools of thread.