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Light Sensors

Electronics

Smart light lets you control your environment

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.Read More

Outdoors

Petzl introduces "world's smartest headlamp"

In addition to two powerful LED lights, the new NAO headlamp from Petzl has a light sensor. The headlamp doesn't just shine light, it measures ambient light to provide the ideal amount of output. It also uses a few other smart design features to give you a high-performing, convenient headlamp. Read More

Environment

Environmental contaminants revealed by new thousand-color sensor

When any two compounds are combined, the resulting chemical reaction shows up as a specific color when natural sunlight reflects off the area where that reaction is occurring. Therefore, by assessing the colors of an object, material or environment, it is possible to determine what compounds are present within it. Unfortunately, many of those colors fall outside the mere three bands of light (red, green and blue) visible to the human eye. Spectral analysis equipment can detect a much wider range of light, but it is typically located in labs, which samples must be transported to. Now, however, a scientist from Israel’s Tel Aviv University (TAU) has created a portable hyperspectral sensor, that can “see” over 1,000 colors – this means that it could be used to detect pollutants in the environment, on location and in real time. Read More

Music

Beep-It optical theremin - for budget weird music

If you’ve ever heard the eerie electronic music at the beginning of a 1950s science fiction movie (The Day the Earth Stood Still, for example), then you’ve heard a theremin. Invented in Russia in the 1920s, the instrument is unique, in that the person playing it doesn’t touch it at all. Instead, they move their hands around its two antennas, causing it to emit different sounds by altering radio frequencies that the machine emits. Although still used by some modern musicians, theremins can be a little pricey, and somewhat difficult to master. That’s where the $35 Beep-It optical theremin comes in.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Using blue light to better understand heart problems

Scientists at the University of Bonn have brought new meaning to the phrase "light-hearted" with the discovery of a way to cause arrhythmia in the heart cells of mice using only blue light and a sensor in the cell wall. They hope it could be used to research the development of arrhythmia, one of the commonest causes of death after a heart attack.Read More

Computers

Apple’s new US$1000 27-inch LED Cinema Display

Apple has added a US$1000 27-inch LED model to its Cinema Display range, slotting it in between the US$800 24-inch LED Cinema Display and range-topping 30-inch HD Display. With a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels the 27-incher offers 60 percent more screen real estate than the 24-inch Display, and an ideal compromise if you shy from the hefty USD$1800 price tag of the 2560 x 1600 pixel 30-incher and can wait until September for the 27-incher to hit the shelves.Read More

Computers

The Vega touchscreen tablet from ICD

Innovative Converged Devices (ICD) has unveiled its new Vega 15 inch touchscreen tablet, an Android-powered communication and media device that features wireless 802.11b/g, Bluetooth and 3G connectivity, a Tegra combined application and graphics processor from NVIDIA, an ambient light sensor and accelerometer.Read More

Home Entertainment

Toshiba's Regza SV series LED-backlit HDTVs

Toshiba has chosen IFA 2009 to confirm that this month Europeans will be able to get their hands on two new full 1080p HD televisions in its Regza range, a 46in and a 55in. As well as being LED backlit for the first time, these new SV models also sport a sensor that monitors ambient light and constantly readjusts image settings so that the viewer automatically gets the best possible picture.Read More

Science

Light sensor breakthrough could enhance solar cells and digital cameras

A new type of light sensor that acts like a pixel in a digital camera has been created by researchers at the University of Toronto. Scientists believe the sensor, which takes advantage of a phenomenon called multi-exciton generation (MEG), could lead to substantial advancements in the performance of a variety of electronic devices including digital cameras.Read More

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