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Identification

Kidtrack identifies young bus-riders by reading the unique vein patterns of their palms

A lot of parents worry when their kids first start taking the school bus by themselves. What if they’re snatched from the bus stop? What if they get off at the wrong stop? What if the bus is hijacked? Well, while the Kidtrack system can’t keep any of those things from happening, it can at least keep track of which children are on which buses, and where.  Read More

SelectaDNA’s High Velocity DNA Tagging System involves marking criminals with DNA-containi...

Imagine that you’re a police officer in the midst of a riot. While you may be able to apprehend the offenders closest to you, you can see plenty of other looters and vandals who you’re just not able to get to at the moment. Well, that’s where SelectaDNA’s High Velocity DNA Tagging System would come into the picture. At the heart of the system is a gun that shoots non-lethal pellets, which contain uniquely-coded synthetic DNA.  Read More

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have developed a system called acoustic barcod...

For many of us, pointing a device at an object and retrieving data about it has become part of our daily lives. The vast majority of our purchases will sport the ubiquitous barcode; an increasing number of printed magazine adverts, online articles and even television shows are using QR codes for access to more information; and most recently, near field communication technology is opening up new ways to interact with the world around us. A team of researchers from the Human-Computer Interaction Institute and Heinz College Center for the Future of Work Carnegie Mellon University has been looking into an alternative object tagging system called acoustic barcodes. The system takes the sound of a finger, pen or phone scraping across a series of parallel notches etched, embossed or cut into a surface or object, and converts it into a unique binary ID.  Read More

The RIKEN Linear Accelerator Facility outside of Tokyo, in which element 113 has been disc...

Led by Dr. Kosuke Morita at the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-based Science, a group of scientists specializing in the superheavy elements have established the clearest evidence yet for the synthesis of the a new element with the temporary name of ununtrium (element 113). Claims of discovering a new element in the 21st century are usually the result of lengthy experiments involving new detection methods and element 113, which was first reported in 2003, has been particularly elusive.  Read More

BLACKSOCKS founder Samy Liechti, extolling the virtues of Smarter Socks

If you’re someone who can afford really fancy socks, then it’s entirely possible that you might not want to “lower” yourself to the act of going into a store to buy them. That’s why Switzerland’s BLACKSOCKS started its Sockscription system, in which users regularly receive premium new Italian socks by mail. It doesn’t stop there, however. The company is now offering Smarter Socks, which communicate with the user’s iPhone to deliver the, um ... ultimate sock-sorting experience.  Read More

The ICEdot Crash Sensor will be mountable on a helmet

A helmet might provide protection to the head in the event of an accident, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the wearer won’t be knocked unconscious or otherwise incapacitated. The ICEdot Crash Sensor pairs to a smartphone to automatically send a call for help, complete with GPS coordinates, when an accident is detected. The system also provides first responders with the accident victim’s medical information.  Read More

iBatsID is a free online tool that automatically identifies bats based on their calls (Pho...

Everyone knows that it’s possible to identify different species of birds by their vocalizations, but did you know that it’s also possible to differentiate between different types of bats based on their echolocation calls? Well, now you do. So far, however, there hasn’t been a standardized system of doing so – it’s been left up to individual human listeners to decide on the closest match. That may soon no longer be the case, though, as the new online iBatsID tool comes into use.  Read More

A student measures a skull with a digitizer, in Ann Ross' lab

For some time now – whether by using computers or clay – forensic scientists have been able to make three-dimensional reconstructions of the faces of the deceased, based on the contours of their skulls. More recently, however, software has been developed that can determine the sex and precise ancestral background of a person no longer with us, via a set of skull measurements.  Read More

Customers of Japan’s Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank will soon be able to access their accounts withou...

Biometric technology has been boosting the security of a greater array of electronic devices in recent years, including homes, businesses, schools and even wallets. The technology has also made its way into ATMs as a way to beat card skimmers, but these machines still require customers to insert a card. Now a Japanese bank has announced that it will introduce ATMs that allow customers to carry out transactions with a scan of their palm.  Read More

VITAband is a bracelet for solo outdoor athletes, that provides a link to their emergency ...

There’s one thing that everyone should have on their person when they venture off on solo outdoor activities – their I.D. That way, should they end up injured and unable to communicate, first responders will know who they are, and who to contact. While the various cards kept in one’s wallet are a good form of identification, a lot of people don’t want to lug a bulky wallet around in their pocket while doing things like running or rock-climbing. That’s where the VITAband comes in. Not only does the waterproof bracelet provide a link to its wearer’s full Emergency Response Profile, but it also allows them to make cash-free purchases.  Read More

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