Researchers at the University College London (UCL) have developed a new sensor with the ability to simultaneously detect five commonly-used explosives. Currently in the prototype stages, the device could one day be used to improve security in public spaces.
Home security devices like the Canary, Sentri and Angee provide useful two-way audio and video links to a room in your home. That's great unless the elephant is in another room. The SensorSphere has similar functionality, but can roll around your home and be controlled remotely.
Two of the biggest drawbacks to home security systems is that many of them are difficult to install and that people aren't very keen on sharing their homes with obvious cameras staring at them. New York-based startup Canary's eponymous security device is a plug-and-play system that's designed to blend into the decor. The recently-released upgraded version includes a new learning functionality, so we set one up to see how well it got on with the job of standing guard.
You've no doubt seen lots of them around town – rusting, abandoned bikes with all the components stripped away. Their owners haven't even bothered reclaiming their frames, as they were just cheap old "city beater" bikes in the first place. Well, Boston-based Fortified Bicycle is out to change that scenario. The company's new Invincible bike is well-enough made to not be considered disposable, yet is also highly theft-resistant – enough so that Fortified will replace it if it's nicked.
Imagine being able to use the proliferation of wireless signals that exists today for something more than social media posts and entertainment. That's what Cognitive Systems is doing with its Amera device. It detects wireless signals from a variety of sources like cell towers, Wi-Fi base stations and rogue signals, and turns them into cyber security alerts, crowd insights, and wireless network monitoring.
Credit card and banknote-style security holograms are an effective form of anti-counterfeiting technology, as they're very difficult to replicate. Every time a new batch is made, however, a "master hologram" has to be created first, to act as a template. These masters can take days to produce, using complex, expensive equipment. That could be about to change, however, as scientists at Russia's ITMO University have developed a quick-and-easy hologram production method that utilizes a regular inkjet printer.
If the movies and TV are to be believed, picking a conventional lock is as easy as sticking a tool into a keyhole, thoughtfully moving it around for a few seconds, then pulling the door open with a crafty smile. While there are special high-security locks that are much harder to pick, they also tend to be quite expensive. That's why Canadian inventor Ryan Bowley created the Bowley Lock – it's claimed to be virtually pick-proof, yet affordable to the average home-owner.
At last week's EICMA bike show in Milan, Italy's Piaggio Group unveiled a new range of technology-packed electric-assist pedal bikes designed to satisfy the needs to today's connected cyclist. The Wi-Bikes come in two classic styles, one designed for comfort and the other aimed at sporty types. All models feature a centrally-positioned motor and battery pack for user selectable assist up to 25 km/h (15.5 mph) and a range of up to 120 km (75 miles), the ability to pair with a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone running a companion app, and an always-connected satellite anti-theft system that lets owners know exactly where their ride is at all times.
London is making strides to improve its cycling infrastructure, but still has a lack of safe storage. Eco Cycle is seeking to remedy this. Its automatic machines whisk users bikes into a circular, vertical rack that is secure and dry. Bikes are returned to their owners with the swipe of a card.
Home security cameras can provide a sense of, well, security, but there's something Orwellian about having a lens staring at you like a prop out of an episode of The Prisoner. A more discreet solution is something that doesn't look like a camera and, better yet, combines some other functions to make it more welcome. One example is the Sentri home monitoring system that combines a motion-activated camera with the looks of a digital information center. We powered one up to see what it could do.