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— Science

NASA develops new technique to grow super-black coating on 3D components

By - July 17, 2013 5 Pictures
Super-black nanotechnology might sound like something ripped from the pages of a comic book, but instead of being in the hands of a super-villain, it's a NASA-researched technology that is set to make spacecraft instruments more sensitive without increasing their size. John Hagopian, an optics engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, and his team have demonstrated the ability to grow a uniform layer of carbon nanotubes on oddly shaped platforms, which will extend the potential of the technology by allowing nanotubes to be grown on 3D components. Read More
— Science

New material could lead to cheaper, more eco-friendly LEDs

By - June 14, 2013 3 Pictures
LED light bulbs may be more energy-efficient and longer-lived than their incandescent equivalents, but they’re also considerably more expensive to purchase. This is largely because rare earth elements (REEs) are used in their phosphors. There are hazards involved in the mining and processing of REEs, plus China is responsible for almost the entire world’s supply, so they’re becoming increasingly pricey. Now, however, scientists have come up with a plentiful alternative material that they say is much more environmentally friendly, and that should drive down the price of LEDs. Read More
— Digital Cameras

WiFi-controlled multi-color light gives photos some Kick

By - May 30, 2013 6 Pictures
Not long ago we reviewed Photojojo’s Pocket Spotlight, a compact LED light source for use with smartphone cameras – or even with stand-alone cameras, for that matter. While the Spotlight just provides a single intensity of “white” light, the company’s new Kick is considerably fancier. It can be remotely-controlled via an iPhone app, and set to any color under the rainbow. Read More
— Science

Soft robots could benefit from new light-controlled hydrogel

By - May 29, 2013 1 Picture
For many people, the word “robot” is likely to conjure up images of metal, mechanical men not unlike Cygan. But instead of creating robots in our own image, the relatively new field of “soft robotics” takes inspiration from creatures such as octopuses, squids, starfish and caterpillars for soft, flexible robots that could squeeze through small spaces. Such robots could benefit from a new hydrogel developed at the University of California, Berkeley that flexes in response to light. Read More

See green with Nir Meiri's seaweed lamp

At last, those agonizing about what to do with all that spare seaweed they have lying around the place can take a leaf (or perhaps frond) out of Nir Meiri's book. The Tel Aviv-based designer's Marine Light amply demonstrates that dried seaweed can make rather a natty lampshade. Read More
— Digital Cameras Review

Review: Photojojo's Pocket Spotlight

By - April 4, 2013 11 Pictures
Never before have I so wished that I could use a device for taking photos of that device. That was certainly the case with Photojojo’s US$30 Pocket Spotlight, however. It’s simply a tiny battery-powered array of 32 LED bulbs, that provide a source of soft, even light as an alternative to the harsh light of a flash. While serious photographers will already have proper lighting systems of their own, it’s a nice tool for all the point-and-shooters out there. Read More
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