Radio frequency identification (RFID) chips have made cashless payments commonplace and opened the way to automatic inventory control. However, they've also made it possible for credit card details and other private information to be stolen wirelessly. To make things a bit more secure, MIT and Texas Instruments are developing an "unhackable" RFID chip that's designed to fend off information-stealing attacks.
The Hyperloop's journey from audacious concept to a functional, superfast transport system went up a gear over the weekend with more than 115 engineering teams descending on Texas A&M University to present passenger capsule designs in SpaceX's Hyperloop Pod Competition. An MIT team took out first place in the contest, and along with 22 other top designs it will now build human-scale prototypes to test out at SpaceX HQ later in the year.
Type 1 diabetes patients have to constantly monitor their blood sugar levels, regularly injecting insulin to make sure they stay healthy. Not only is this a burden for patients, but it can also be difficult to get right, often resulting in long-term medical problems. A team of researchers, including scientists from MIT, has been working on a better system. They're developing a transplantable capsule that can carry cells able to replace the patient's lost ability to produce insulin, and that isn't rejected or rendered useless by the host's body.
A simple brain scan could identify children at risk of suffering from depression later in life, according to a new study. If implemented, the early warning test could allow doctors to carry out treatment prior to the first instance of depression, making it less likely that the patient will suffer further bouts.
An artificial intelligence breakthrough from the universities of New York, Toronto and MIT is showcasing the impressive ability of artificial intelligence to learn visual concepts in a single shot and manipulate them in human-like ways. The advance could lead to smarter phones, much-improved speech recognition, and computers that better understand the world around them.
Drone technology sure is promising plenty, but before the public can really warm to the idea of unmanned vehicles zipping around in all directions they want to feel pretty confident that they won't crash into things. Among the many computer scientists working on this problem is a team of researchers from MIT, who have developed route-planning software for drones that allows them to make intricate turns to autonomously navigate tight spaces.
Incandescent light bulbs may put out a warmer-looking, more familiar type of light than LEDs or compact fluorescents, but they're far less efficient – the majority of the energy they use is wasted, mainly in the form of heat. Technology may save them yet, however. Scientists at MIT and Purdue University have developed an ultra-efficient new incandescent bulb that reuses the heat it gives off, converting that heat into more light.
Mission simulation has historically played a big part in space exploration by helping astronauts to better prepare for the unknown. Now NASA is looking to afford owners of popular VR headsets a similarly immersive experience with Mars 2030, a virtual reality experience aimed at giving users a feel for life on the Red Planet.
Researchers at MIT have developed a new method for detecting elusive molecules, using an array or "forest" of carbon nanotubes. The technique can be finely tuned, allowing it to be used for the capture of very small particles, including those of certain viruses.
Smart gloves have potential as human-machine interfaces that can help extract us from the joystick and mouse era, but the challenge is to make them, natural, intuitive, and efficient. Scientists from Politecnico di Torino and MIT led by Giorgio De Pasquale of the Italian University believe they have have come a step closer to this goal with Goldfinger – a self-powering glove that promises simple gesture control.