Highlights from Interbike 2014

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The Hammerhead is a bicycle navigation device that uses LEDs to indicate where riders shou...

It's becoming more and more common for cyclists to find their way around using navigation apps on bike-mounted smartphones ... but it's not a perfect setup. For one thing, those phones get shaken around a lot. Additionally, it's risky for cyclists to keep glancing down at the screen, plus keeping that screen constantly awake uses up a lot of battery life. The Hammerhead offers an alternative. It's a water- and shock-proof bar-mounted device that relays simple navigational cues via easy-to-see LEDs.  Read More

The tiny eCompass chip provides magnetometer and accelerometer capabilities (Image: STMicr...

STMicroelectronics has announced a new MEMS-based module that integrates a three-axis magnetometer, a three-axis accelerometer, A/D converters, and control logic on a 2 mm x 2 mm x 1 mm surface mount chip, reportedly making it the smallest electronic compass available today.  Read More

Major the dog, suited up with the control system

Trained dogs can do a lot of things – they can locate victims at disaster sites, sniff out drugs or explosives, and subdue criminals. One thing that they can’t do in all situations, however, is hear commands made by their handlers. That’s why scientists at Alabama’s Auburn University have created a control system to guide them.  Read More

Pioneer's Navgate HUD connected to a smartphone, projecting onto a windscreen

Pioneer has unveiled its augmented reality NavGate HUD (head-up display), that projects information onto vehicle windscreens at a size equivalent to a 30-inch monitor viewed from about three meters out. Using a Digital Light Processing (DLP) projector attached to the vehicle's sun visor, a driver is able to see information displayed on the windscreen just above the horizon. The NavGate HUD works together with the CoPilot and iGO primo smartphone apps to display directional instructions, places of interest, hazards and other relevant information.  Read More

The Trimble TopoCharger provides iPhone users with extra battery life and color topographi...

Smartphones have all but replaced standalone GPS units for basic car and foot navigation in cities and on highways, but without apps like the ViewRanger, they aren't equipped to guide you around forests, mountains and trails. The new Trimble TopoCharger brings another such app, along with a full set of topographical maps and a full-sized back-up battery. Pop this case on, and the iPhone transforms into an outdoor GPS.  Read More

The 213-foot White Rose is the US$80M megayacht whose GPS navigational system was spoofed ...

Civilization depends on the Global Positioning System for everything from precision armaments to finding the location of the nearest pizza shop. Indeed, access to GPS's strengths and capabilities has grown so fast that little concern about its weaknesses has penetrated the public consciousness. Fortunately, assistant professor Todd Humphreys' team at the University of Texas at Austin continues to arrange splashy demonstrations of GPS spoofing. His latest is to covertly alter the course of an oceangoing yacht.  Read More

The Tsinghua University (Beijing) successfully completed the 2013 IARC Mission Six (Photo:...

For the past 23 years, the International Aerial Robotics Competition has challenged college teams with missions requiring complex autonomous robotic behaviors that are often beyond the capabilities of even the most sophisticated military robots. This year's competition, which was held in China and the United States over the past week, saw the team from Tsinghua University in Beijing successfully complete the current mission – an elaborate espionage operation known as Mission Six that was first proposed in 2010.  Read More

The Navigo bracelet syncs to a smartphone via Bluetooth and uses vibrations to guide you i...

Having a GPS-enabled device with a built-in digital compass in your pocket is nothing special these days, but there's still room for improvement when it comes to the usability of these functions. The Navigo rises to this challenge by putting a digital compass on your wrist and giving it the ability to guide you using vibrations, as well as link wirelessly to mapping information on your smartphone.  Read More

map2 is a paper map that allows users to zoom in on sections of the city, through a unique...

One of the advantages of map apps over traditional paper maps is the fact that with an app, the user can zoom in on one area of a map – no having to spread a whole paper map out just to look at one part of the city. British product designer Anne Stauche decided to level the playing field a little, with her map2 zoomable paper map.  Read More

Garmin's portable HUD displays navigation information from a wirelessly linked smartphone ...

While many high-end modern cars are now coming with a sophisticated Head-Up-Display (HUD) built in, owners of older (or cheaper) models are stuck with a dedicated navigation device or cradled smartphone blurting out directions and pointing the way. If you're feeling adventurous, you may be able to shoe-horn a retrofit kit into your old jalopy, or you could take the plunge and stump up for a new car, but navigation veteran Garmin has another option. Its new pocket-sized, portable HUD wirelessly connects to a smartphone running a navigation app, and throws directions and useful information onto the inside of the windshield.  Read More

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