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MEMS

Electronics

Piezoelectric generator creates power from shoes

Could walking or running generate enough energy to power your cell phone or GPS device? Dr. Ville Kaajakari has developed an innovative piezoelectric generator prototype small enough to be embedded in the sole of a shoe that's designed to produce enough power to operate GPS receivers, location tags and eventually, even a cell phone.Read More

Spy Gear

Tiny Panoptes technology holds promise for military surveillance and iris recognition

Researchers at the Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas are developing new miniature camera technology and an iris recognition application built on a high-resolution, light and compact platform known as Panoptes. The technology is designed to help the military and border patrol to track combatants in dark caves or alleys and airport security personnel to quickly and unobtrusively identify a subject from an iris scan. Read More

Electronics

Epson Toyocom develops tiny 6-axis sensor for motion tracking

Epson Toyocom Corporation has produced what it claims is the world’s smallest 6-axis motion sensor. The use of motion sensors is growing dramatically, with the components found in all sorts of devices including cell phones, digital cameras, and of course game controllers such as the Nintendo Wii Remote or the Sony PlayStation Move. Epson Toyocom's AH-6100LR combines two different sensors in a single small package, incorporating both a 3-axis accelerometer and a 3-axis gyro-sensor.Read More

Mobile Technology

Qualcomm's mirasol display technology brings color and video to eReaders

As eReaders such as the Kindle and the Nook establish themselves with consumers, manufacturers are already looking ahead to the next generation of devices. Moving beyond e-ink, tomorrow’s eReaders will feature color displays and the ability to show video as well. To meet the needs of the most demanding users, eReaders will also need to feature long battery life and displays that are bright enough to read even in direct sunlight. Qualcomm’s Mirasol displays, which will begin shipping this year, address these needs using technology that mimics the coloration of a butterfly’s wings.Read More

Mobile Technology

Big screen experience from your mobile device - the Microvision SHOWWX laser pico projector

The Microvision SHOWWX laser pico projector first came to our attention in development back in 2008, with the final version making an appearance at this years CES. Around the size of a smartphone, the SHOWWX projector enables a user to connect their iPod, mobile phone or a myriad of other devices to display movies and photos as a WVGA (848x480 pixels) DVD quality “big screen” experience. Read More

Inventors & Remarkable People

Researchers show off tiny piezoelectric energy capture sensor

Working within the Holst Centre program on Micropower Generation and Storage, researchers have developed a small piezoelectric device capable of harvesting 85 microwatts of electricity from vibrations. Fabricated using MEMS technology, the fully autonomous temperature sensor generates enough power to wirelessly measure and transmit environmental data to a base station every 15 seconds.Read More

Children

Control your own augmented reality aerial drone? There’s an app for that

New from electronics maker Parrot comes the AR.Drone, a Wi-Fi helicopter with dual cameras and augmented-reality video streaming, that you control using your iPhone or iPod Touch. Although the RC flyer is still in the prototype stage, Parrot has been demonstrating it at the 2010 CES show in Las Vegas. The AR.Drone features four rotors and interchangeable hulls for flying both indoors and outside. Built-in flight stabilization technology keeps the drone steady while you use your iPhone’s motion sensors to steer it remotely over the craft’s Wi-Fi network.Read More

Science

Light resonators used to move nano-sized objects

Scientists at Cornell University report they can now use a light beam carrying a single milliwatt of power to move objects and even change the optical properties of silicon from opaque to transparent at the nanometric scale. Such an advancement could prove very useful for the future of micro-electromechanical (MEMS) and micro-optomechanical (MOMS) systems.Read More

Science

Tiny MEMS devices to filter, amplify electronic signals

Researchers are developing a new class of tiny mechanical devices, made up of vibrating structures the thickness of a human hair, that could be used to filter electronic signals in cell phones and other applications. Only the size of a grain of sand, these microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) will, nonetheless, improve performance and reduce power usage.Read More

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