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Monitoring

Volvo Driver State Estimation uses a dash-mounted infrared sensor

Back in the days of black-and-white newsreels, an inventor came up with a bell on a collar that rang whenever a motorist wearing it nodded off. Since this is the 21st century, Volvo is developing a high-tech version of this gadget. It uses face recognition technology to let a car know when the driver is tired or inattentive, so appropriate action can be taken.  Read More

By infusing the leaves of an Arabidopsis thaliana plant with nanoparticles, MIT researcher...

In 2010, Stanford University researchers reported harnessing energy directly from chloroplasts, the cellular "power plants" within plants where photosynthesis takes place. Now, by embedding different types of carbon nanotubes into these chloroplasts, a team at MIT has boosted plants' ability to capture light energy. As well as opening up the possibility of creating "bionic plants" with enhanced energy production, the same approach could be used to create plants with environmental monitoring capabilities.  Read More

One of the new injectable pressure sensors

When people have nerve problems such as those caused by spinal injuries, they can lose the ability to feel when their bladder is full. This means that they don't know when it needs to be emptied, resulting in a build-up of pressure that can damage both the bladder and their kidneys. Now, a tiny sensor may offer a better way of assessing their condition, to see if surgery is required or if medication will suffice.  Read More

A beating rabbit's heart, fitted with one of the membranes (Photo: Igor Efimov)

When it comes to monitoring the electrical activity of the heart, or delivering electrical stimulation to it (as in the case of pacemakers), most current technologies rely on electrodes that make contact with the organ in just a few locations. That doesn't necessarily provide a very detailed picture of what's going on, nor does it deliver stimulation all that evenly. Now, scientists have created a sensor-laden three-dimensional elastic membrane that can be pulled over the whole heart, to provide a large number of contact points.  Read More

Weatherall's focus lies in using standard data to provide a responsive and intuitive train...

The Glowfaster Jacket is a new take on fitness tracking wearables developed by ex-marine Simon Weatherall that provides runners with feedback on speed, heart rate and location by way of lights down its front and along the sleeves.  Read More

The Global Forest Watch platform launched this month

According to World Wildlife Fund data, we are losing 12 to 15 million hectares (46,332 to 57,915 square miles) of the world's forests every year. Deforestation is a major contributor to climate change, as it accounts for 15 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, besides killing biodiversity, depleting natural resources, compromising water sources, causing soil erosion and other environmental problems. Efforts to fight deforestation require fast information that could help authorities and NGOs take action before the worst damage is done. Global Forest Watch is a new initiative offering the possibility to do just that. It monitors deforestation activity across the globe, in near real time.  Read More

The Acoustic Stream 4-in-1 guitarist's companion

Mobile or gigging guitarists looking for a way to capture creative moments whenever and wherever they happen need only power up a smartphone and launch an audio recording app. Another app can use the phone's microphone to bring the instrument to tune. If they're wanting to remotely monitor the humidity and temperature of a much-loved guitar, however, the app store will likely come up blank. The Acoustic Stream wirelessly pairs with an iOS smart device running a companion app to help players quickly capture a killer riff or live stream to a mobile device or amplifier. It boasts built-in precision tuning capabilities, and sends out an alert when environmental changes threaten to damage a treasured instrument.  Read More

Dormi is a baby monitor app for parents with two or more Android phones

Baby monitors are one of the multitude of things that parents have to remember to pack when going away for a weekend, or that they don't have to hand when visits with friends last longer than expected. A new app solves this problem, for families with two or more Android devices. Dormi replaces the need for a dedicated baby monitor by turning one device into a transmitter that captures audio, and relays it to one or more other receiver devices.  Read More

The DMZ separating North and South Korea is now being monitored by a Kinect sensor (Photo:...

Microsoft's Kinect sensor has provided the basis for a system now monitoring the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea, local news outlet Hankooki reports.  Read More

Cityzen Science's smart shirt integrates a sensor web, distributed intelligence, communica...

Rightly or wrongly, the French are known for clothing designs that are often less than practical. Now, however, French company Cityzen Sciences has won the CES 2014 Inclusive Innovation in Everyday Health award for its development of a Smart Sensing fabric woven with integral micro-sensors – these add the practical benefit of monitoring the health and fatigue levels of the wearer.  Read More

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