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The SmartMat is a Wi-Fi enabled device designed to fit under a regular doormat

We've got smart doorbells, smart locks and smart door handles, so why not a smart doormat? Dr. Andrew Clark has created just such a device called, surprisingly enough, the SmartMat. Designed to be placed under a regular doormat, the SmartMat acts as a pressure sensor and features Wi-Fi connectivity to allow actions to be triggered when someone steps on it.  Read More

In testing the fluorescent compound, the team observed a difference in the intensity of th...

Central to the dangers of so-called "date-rape" drugs is the fact that they are difficult to detect. Indeed, GHB, one of the most commonly-used of such drugs, is both colorless and odorless. A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed a fluorescent sensor which, when mixed with a drink containing GHB, changes color within 30 seconds, potentially alerting people soon after their drink has been tampered with.  Read More

Photos of Asteroid 2014AA on a collision course with Earth (Photo: NASA)

Earth saw in the New Year with some celestial fireworks as the first asteroid to be discovered this year, 2014AA, likely impacted the Earth between 7 pm Wednesday and 2 pm Thursday GMT.  Read More

Professor Kamal Sarabandi's technique could be used to provide extra security in a range o...

An electrical engineering professor at the University of Michigan believes that a type of radar, part developed by the Department of Defense, has the potential to be used as a means of detecting concealed weapons. Originally intended for military use, it is possible that the millimeter-wave radar system could be used to detect weapons across distances as large as a football field.  Read More

Scanning electron micrograph of an artificial neuromast

When you think about it, fish can do some pretty remarkable things. They can find prey in murky water, travel in tightly-packed schools without colliding, they always know what depth they’re at, and they manage to avoid being swept away by invisible underwater currents. They’re able to do all of these things and more thanks to their lateral lines - rows of tiny hair cell clusters that run down each side of their bodies. These clusters, known as neuromasts, pick up on changes in water pressure and transmit that information to the brain. Now, researchers in Illinois have created an artificial lateral line, that could someday be used to keep man-made submersibles out of harm’s way.  Read More

Andrew Weekley demonstrates on-screen IODA;s capabilities of detecting bad data. Photo: Ca...

We rely so heavily on information gathered by satellites and weather instruments to help us program our daily lives, imagine what would happen if the data we received from these technologies went bad and foretold of cataclysmic outcomes in the days or weeks ahead? Panic could induce scenes on our streets reminiscent of Hollywood disaster movies. To avert such events - or just help get things right even if the forecast is more mundane - scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) have devised an innovative computational technique called Intelligent Outlier Detection Algorithm, or IODA, that draws on statistics, imaging, and other disciplines in order to detect errors in sensitive technological systems.  Read More

Paper strips used in toxin detection with progressively increasing number of coatings with...

Engineers at the University of Michigan have developed a strip of paper infused with carbon nanotubes that can quickly and inexpensively detect a toxin produced by algae in drinking water. The paper strips perform 28 times faster than the complicated method most commonly used today to detect microcystin-LR, a chemical compound produced by the blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) commonly found on nutrient-rich waters. Microcystin-LR is among the leading causes of biological water pollution and is believed to be the culprit of many mass poisonings going back to early human history.  Read More

The Chinavision CMVM-J19 spy camera and Wi-Fi detector

If you don’t trust that shifty-looking night supervisor at the motel or the suspicious-looking smoke detector in your room, or if you just value your privacy, help could be at hand. A quick scan of your room or surrounds with the Chinavision CVMV-J19 Spy Wi-Fi Signal and Camera Lens Detector should let you sleep easy or play hard – in privacy (I guarantee there are a few celebrities who wish they had one).  Read More

The ejecta plume about 20 seconds after the LCROSS impact (Images: NASA)

Scientists have long speculated about the source of significant quantities of hydrogen that have been observed at the moon's lunar poles, and just a few months ago NASA announced that water molecules were indeed present, but in relatively small amounts. Now the Lunar CRater Observing and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) that was employed to shed some more light on the presence of water on the moon, looks like it has done just that with preliminary data indicating the mission successfully uncovered water in a permanently-shadowed crater.  Read More

Researchers hope that their software will be able to detect certain objects or people (inc...

Researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) are developing software that would enable computers to perform video analysis tasks, such as alerting emergency services if a video surveillance camera detects a person falling and not getting up. The software could also be used to search inside videos and look for certain objects, such as basketballs or footballs, hence reducing the time taken to locate a certain game or scene.  Read More

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