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RFID

Good Thinking

Cows check in for meals using electronic ear tags

With diseases such as Foot and Mouth, TB, and of course Mad Cow still presenting a danger to cattle, it’s of the utmost importance that farmers monitor the health of their animals, and immediately proceed to isolate any that might be showing symptoms. If you have a herd of over 500 cows, however, keeping track of individuals can be rather tricky. That’s why scientists at England’s Newcastle University have developed electronic ears tags, that they’re trying out on a herd of test cattle.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Wireless chips and probes could monitor orthopedic implants

Over the years, New Jersey orthopedic surgeon Lee Berger became frustrated with the lack of information that patients had on prosthetic devices that had been implanted within their own knees, hips, feet, or other parts of their skeleton. In order to gather data such as the size, model, age, serial numbers or manufacturers of these implants, either X-rays or extensive paper trail hunts were required. His new product, the Ortho-Tag, is designed to address this problem. All of the vital data regarding an implant could be obtained by placing a probe against the patient's skin, plus information on the health of the surrounding body tissue would be provided.Read More

Computers

Lover's Box: Reviving romance in the digital age

Adding that spark of magic to digital devices is the secret ingredient in the success of many products and services. That spark is often personalization; the concept of a device or service being mine and for only me, building an attachment to transcend the mere bundle of plastic and circuitry in front of you. Researchers at the University Of Newcastle have been working on ways to make more emotionally meaningful forms of digital communication by producing what they are calling "Lovers' Boxes". Resembling an antique wooden jewellery box, each conceals the latest technology to play back messages recorded by a loved one.Read More

Good Thinking

Internet of Things hatched from Green Goose egg?

How many times when you were a kid complaining about doing something boring were you told to make a game of it? If your parents and teachers were anything like mine, probably quite a few. Looks like the folks behind Green Goose might have copped the same treatment – they have come up with a system that turns boring tasks like brushing your teeth and exercising into a game that awards the 'player' with lifestyle points for completing various everyday tasks, in much the same way as players earn experience points in role playing games. Read More

Automotive

Asphalt-embedded sensors could shake wayward drivers alert

More and more cars are integrating driver assistance features that help do things like avoid collisions, keep a safe distance from other vehicles, or even parallel park. There are also Lane Departure Warning systems that use onboard cameras to keep the driver from drifting out of their lane. But what happens if the roadside markings are worn away, or covered with snow or mud? Norwegian research organization SINTEF has come up with a solution called WayPilot – a system which uses sensors embedded in the asphalt and a shaking steering wheel to alert drivers before they stray too far off course.Read More

Science

Scientist infects himself with a computer virus

A researcher from the UK's University of Reading has warned of possible future infection issues for recipients of medical implants. The cause for concern is not biological, though. Dr. Mark Gasson's disquiet relates to the fact that as implants become more sophisticated, the computerized systems running them could become prone to virus attack. And to prove his point, the good doctor purposely infected a chip implanted in his hand with a virus, which subsequently spread to an external communication system.Read More

Electronics

Hidden RFID tags could mean end of bar-codes and lines at the checkout

Newly developed radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology could usher in the era of checkout line-free shopping. The inexpensive, printable transmitter can be invisibly embedded in packaging offering the possibility of customers walking a cartload of groceries or other goods past a scanner that would read all the items at once, total them up and charge the customer’s account while adjusting the store’s inventory. More advanced versions could even collect all the information about the contents of a store in an instant, letting a retailer know where every package is at any time.Read More

Mobile Technology

Apple to replace keys and wallet with iKey app?

The humble mobile phone. What started out as a communication device has quickly evolved to become a take anywhere entertainment apparatus and essential tool for work and play. So much so that many people feel panic-stricken if they accidentally leave their phone at home. Such separation anxiety could be even worse in the future with a patent filed by Apple suggesting that the company wants the iPhone to replace your house and car keys and wallet, thereby making it even more indispensable. Read More

Medical

Intelligent blood bags optimize supplies and prevent dangerous mistakes

During high-risk medical operations surgeons keep blood supplies at hand so that they are ready to face possible emergencies; but blood bags can only be reused if the cold chain has been maintained, meaning that a portion of such a precious and limited resource routinely goes wasted. To face this problem, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany have proposed intelligent blood bags with an embedded a radio chip that constantly monitors temperature and checks for blood type compatibility with the patient, avoiding possible mistakes.Read More

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