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Monitoring

Even if you're not diabetic, you've probably heard that they need to watch out for problems with their feet. That's because they frequently lack sensation down there, and therefore don't know when it's time to shift their weight in order to relieve pressure on specific areas of their feet. The result can be chronic pressure sores, which can in turn ultimately lead to toe or foot amputations. While pressure-sensing shoe inserts are one option, Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research claims that its pressure-sensing stockings are a better way to go.

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Ottobox is a smart home automation device that its makers claim could reduce your electricity bills by up to 50 percent. It does this by monitoring the appliances plugged into your wall sockets, and turning them off when they're not in use. The thinking is that all the energy wasted by appliances sitting in standby mode can soon add up to a hefty amount. Read More
While it might appear that large structures, such as bridges and buildings, remain entirely unmoved by everyday forces like rain and wind, the truth is that they do experience very slight vibrations, too small to be seen by the human eye. Those vibrations can be indicative of structural damage or instability, but current methods of detecting them are impractical and costly. A new technique developed by MIT researchers is designed to spot those telltale signs of weakness using high speed video and a computer vision technique. Read More
For over 40 years, Landsat has quietly but consistently been taking images of the surface of the Earth, amassing an impressive collection of data about our planet. This month, NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announced that the effort would continue to span the generations, by moving forward with the development and planned launch of LandSat 9 in 2023. Read More
You might remember Nuvo from its prenatal music system released back in 2010, but the company's latest efforts, known as the Ritmo Beats and PregSense, are decidedly more ambitious. The two products are aimed at consumer and medical users respectively, and are designed to provide in-depth pregnancy data to both parents and doctors. Read More
Monitoring the level of particulates in the air inside the home can be a life-saver for people with health issues. A new personal air pollution monitor promises a more precise alternative, empowering users to take measures to mitigate and eliminate those tiny particles. Developed at Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute, Speck was presented at the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, that took place between March 13 and 17. Read More
We've already heard about swallowable capsules that can transmit video from within the digestive tract. Pictures will only tell you so much, though. That's why researchers from Australia's RMIT and Monash universities have now developed a capsule that measures concentrations of intestinal gases, and sends that data to a smartphone or other device. Read More
Undersea oil pipelines are typically inspected about once every five years ... but what happens if one of them gives out between those inspections? That's where the Norwegian SmartPipe project comes in. Initiated in 2006, it's aimed at developing self-monitoring pipelines that continuously transmit real-time status reports to shore. Read More
You've probably heard about pens with conductive ink, that allow users to draw circuits onto materials such as paper. Now, researchers at the University of California, San Diego have gone a step or two farther – they've created "bio-inks" that could be used to draw sensors onto a variety of surfaces, using an ordinary ballpoint pen. Read More
A European group headed by Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain, is in the process of trialling a cutting edge system with the potential to greatly improve the quality of life for those suffering from Parkinson's disease. The system, known as REMPARK, utilizes a small waist-worn module and headset controlled by a smartphone that will allow doctors to observe and manage the symptoms of Parkinson's in real time. Read More
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