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Optical sensor

— Electronics

QR codes could generate 3D images on phones – no internet required

Whether they're on product packaging, promotional materials or in magazines, most QR codes do the same thing – when a smartphone scans them with its camera, they trigger that phone's web browser to navigate to a given website. In the near future, however, they may be used to securely display 3D images on the user's phone, without even involving the often-untrustworthy internet. Read More
— Environment

Hold the salt: New sensor detects excess salt on roads

Just as a good meal can be ruined by too much table salt, too much sodium chloride applied to road surfaces to prevent icing can have a detrimental effect on vehicles, infrastructure and the environment. Engineers at Spain's Carlos III University (UC3M) have developed an optical sensor intended to prevent excessive salt treatment by detecting the amount of salt already on the road in real time. Read More
— Games

Super-precise motion tracking system uses projected "barcode" light patterns

Motion-tracking systems like Wii and Kinect have certainly changed the way we play video games – among other things – but some people still complain that there's too much of a lag between real-world player movements and the corresponding in-game movements of the characters. The creators of the experimental Lumitrack system, however, claim that it has much less lag time than existing systems ... plus it's highly accurate and should be cheap to commercialize. Read More
— Aircraft

ON-WINGS takes ice detection to the next level

On most aircraft ice-detection systems, the sensors can’t be located right on the aerofoil surfaces that most need to be kept ice-free – the addition of a protruding sensor would ruin their aerodynamics. Now, however, UK-based GKN Aerospace has announced the new ON-WINGS system. It mounts completely flush with the skin of the aircraft, allowing it to be integrated directly onto wings, rotor blades, or anyplace else that needs to be kept sleek and free of ice. Read More
— Wearable Electronics

The Urwerk EMC – for when you really, really want to be on time

Luxury watchmaker Urwerk has revealed the latest project in development at its U-Research Division. Like the company's past haute horlogerie creations, the EMC will offer exceptional accuracy and style, but with an unconventional twist. Calling it a "mechanical smart watch," Urwerk says the EMC will include an electronic mechanism that verifies its own precision and tells the wearer whether the timing needs to be adjusted. Read More
— Automotive

Cheaper vehicle sensory system developed

There are presently several in-car systems that use small cameras and sensors to alert drivers to dangers on the road, or even in their own driving habits. Some of these systems can be quite costly, and are therefore limited to use in fairly expensive automobiles. Now, however, a team of scientists from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration have developed a new type of sensory system, that's cheap enough to produce that it could be used in economy vehicles. Read More
— Children

Huey the Chameleon - a lamp that changes colors to match its surroundings

Suppose you just love the sage green color of your new desk blotter, and think “If only I could instantly make my whole office this color.” Well, now you can ... sort of. The designers over at ThinkGeek have created a gizmo called Huey the Color Copying Chameleon Lamp, that automatically “reads” any color that it’s placed upon, then glows in that color. Read More
— Science

World's largest neutrino observatory completed in Antarctica

After five years of construction, an international team has put the finishing touches on the University of Wisconsin’s IceCube Neutrino Observatory. Located in Antarctica, the observatory is looking specifically for high-energy neutrinos, which are created in violent cosmic events such as super novae and gamma ray bursts. As neutrinos collide with water molecules in the pitch black, ultra-clear ice, a blue flash of light results, which is detected by the sensors. Ever since neutrinos were discovered in 1956, scientists have hoped to decipher the information these astronomical messengers carry about distant cosmic events and the completion of the observatory marks an important step towards tracing their origins. Read More
— Computers

Speedlink CUE mouse offers Magic Mouse-like experience for PC users

As a PC user, I must admit to having suffered from a little Mac envy when Apple let loose its Magic Mouse. So I was pleased when Microsoft announced its new Arc Touch mouse, at least initially. Now Speedlink is about to introduce its CUE multi-touch mouse for PC users where the upper surface translates swipes, strokes and touches into onscreen actions. It also benefits from a high precision optical sensor and connects wirelessly to a compact nano receiver from up to 26 feet away. Read More