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The bright green wings of the P. blumei butterfly result from the mixing of the different ...

Counterfeiting is a crime as old as money itself. It causes a reduction in the value of real money and can add to company losses, as they are not reimbursed for counterfeits. In 1996 Australia became the first country to have a full series of circulating polymer banknotes, which are difficult to counterfeit because they cannot be successfully reproduced by photocopying or scanning. Now scientists have discovered a way of mimicking the stunningly bright and beautiful colors found on the wings of tropical butterflies, that could help make banknotes and credit cards even harder to forge.  Read More

Synthetic cornea offers hope to thousands

Donor corneas are extremely rare, but for 40,000 people in Europe corneal transplantation from donors offer the only hope of addressing blindness in one or both eyes. That was, until Dr. Joachim Storsberg of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP in Potsdam-Golm created the first artificial cornea.  Read More

First germanium laser could pave way for optical computers

One of the issues of current chip design is the excessive power needed to transport and store ever increasing amounts of data. A possible solution is to use optics not just for sending data, but also to store information and perform calculations, which would reduce heat dissipation and increase operating speeds. Disproving previous beliefs in the matter, MIT researchers have demonstrated the first laser built from germanium which can perform optical communications... and it's also cheap to manufacture.  Read More

The Fujifilm FinePix XP10

Fujifilm has announced a host of upcoming digital camera releases, the most notable among them being the FinePix HS10 which packs 30X optical zoom and HD 1080p video at 30fps. The sophisticated bridge camera features a 10MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor with Triple Image Stabilization, can capture up to 10fps at full resolution and offers an impressive choice of shooting modes.  Read More

Panasonic's LUMIX DMC-ZR3 14.1Mp compact digital camera

Panasonic has revealed a new addition to its LUMIX family of cameras, the DMC-ZR3 slim compact digital. The successor to the ZR1, optical zoom has been boosted to eight times, the addition of AVCHD Lite video should extend recording time, the pixel count now stands at 14 megapixels and it supports the new SDXC card format.  Read More

The Wi-Fi connection in the HUB-Robeson Center at Penn State being used by students. Resea...

Sending and receiving data over a wireless network is generally undertaken via radio waves. But that's not the only method. Using the optical spectrum offers the advantage of better security and blisteringly fast transfer rates to boot. Engineers from Pennsylvania State University have now succeeded in moving data outside the usual line of sight restrictions at speeds of over one gigabit per second, more than double that achieved by Siemens recently.  Read More

The AirMouse wearable mouse

It’s no secret... Studies have shown that excessive mouse usage can cause repetitive stress injuries. Unfortunately for most of us, “excessive” can mean anything more than a few hours a day. Fortunately, however, there are alternative styles of mice out there designed to be easier on the hands and arms. One of the more interesting ones to come along in a while is the AirMouse, made by Canadian firm Deanmark Ltd. What makes it unique is the fact that you wear it like a glove.  Read More

The Kodak Slice Touchscreen camera combines a 2GB internal memory with facial recognition ...

No longer just a device intended to capture images, the digital camera becomes a veritable pocket photo album with the latest offering from Kodak, the Slice Touchscreen. Featuring a 3.5” LCD touchscreen 5X optical zoom and 14MP resolution, the Slice also packs a 2GB internal memory with tagging functionality. This not only recognizes up to 20 faces allowing the user to tag photos by person, place, date or occasion, but also lets the user tag photos for easy uploading to sites like Flickr and Facebook.  Read More

Sustail mouse concept needs the user to provide power by winding the mechanism

Designer Ahmet Bektes is proposing using centuries-old technology to provide the power for a familiar modern device. Rather than drawing energy from a computer or batteries, a user will need to remove a key from below the Sustail mouse and wind it up before being able to use it. It is hoped that the Bluetooth-connected input device would also encourage users to take regular breaks and have a more responsible attitude towards power consumption.  Read More

A laboratory mockup of a thin-screen LCD display with built-in optical sensors (Photo: Mat...

The gestural interface used by Tom Cruise in the movie Minority Report was based on work by MIT Media Lab’s Hiroshi Ishii, who has already commercialized similar large-scale gestural interface systems. However, such systems comprise many expensive cameras or require the user to wear tracking devices on their fingers. To develop a similar yet cost effective gestural interface system that is within reach of many more people other researchers at MIT have instead been working to develop screens with embedded optical sensors to track the movement of the user’s fingers that could quickly make touch screens seem outdated.  Read More

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