Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Sensor

The Ice Harbor Dam in Washington state where Sensor Fish testing is done

It’s a tough row to hoe for young salmon in the Pacific Northwest as they make their perilous journey from upriver to the ocean. Besides hungry birds and sea lions, the regions many hydroelectric dams and their swirling turbines produce manmade currents and other obstacles that make it challenging for the fish to navigate. But now with the help of an artificial Senor Fish created by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), existing larger dams and newer, smaller hydroelectric facilities can become more fish-friendly.  Read More

The skin-like patch changes color as it detects changes in temperature of the skin's surfa...

Researchers from Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a health monitor capable of tracking heart and skin condition while worn discretely on the skin. Measuring around 5 cm squared (0.8 in sq), the patch is designed to be inconspicuous and alert the user to conditions ranging from dry skin to cardiovascular problems.  Read More

The CSIRO's HeatWave is a handheld 3D thermal imaging prototype

Thermal imaging has proven itself to be a useful adjunct to physical testing in areas including engineering, health, and agriculture. Until now, however, conventional 3D thermal imaging use has largely been restricted due to the specialized technical knowledge required to operate it and interpret the results. To address this, Australia's CSIRO has developed a prototype tool called HeatWave that is a lightweight, high-resolution 3D scanner that is claimed to be not only easy to carry, but easy to use as well.  Read More

A prototype sensor developed at UW is designed to be permanently placed in a person's eye ...

The fluid pressure inside the eye, known as intraocular pressure (IOP), is an important metric for evaluating a person's risk of glaucoma. There are currently two different ways to measure IOP, both of which require a trip to the ophthalmologist. A prototype sensor developed by engineers at the University of Washington is designed to be placed permanently in a person's eye to track changes in eye pressure and more effectively manage the disease.  Read More

Vessyl is a smart cup that analyzes liquids to tell you what you're drinking

At first glance, "Vessyl" looks like an ultra-modern, but relatively ordinary, 13 oz (385 ml) mug. However, pour something into it and it becomes extraordinary: not only will it identify what type of drink it has in it, but Vessyl will also tell you its dietary content, such as sugar, protein, calories, fat, caffeine – even identifying the beverage by name – then take all of those results and synchronize them to your smartphone.  Read More

Electron micrograph of a flagellated Listeria monocytogenes bacterium, an infectious agent...

It is estimated that every year in America there are around 76 million food-borne illnesses that result in 325,000 hospitalizations and over 5,000 deaths. One of the main causes is the disease "Listeria", which has the highest hospitalization (92 per cent) and death (18 per cent) rate among all food-borne pathogen infections. Now researchers at the University of Southampton say that they are trialling a device designed to detect these bacteria directly on food preparation services, and without the need to send samples away for laboratory testing.  Read More

Touch Board turns any conductive material into a potential capacitive touch input, like th...

In a world increasingly dominated by touchscreens, a London design studio is taking an approach to touch that's both low(er)-tech and innovative at the same time. Bare Conductive raised over US$200,000 on Kickstarter last year for an Arduino-based project called Touch Board that turns any conductive material into a potential capacitive touch input, including the firm's own conductive electric paint. Gizmag's Eric Mack was able to see the Touch Board in action and speak with co-founder Matt Johnson at the Bay Area Maker Faire.  Read More

The WhistleGPS pet activity tracker adds GPS capabilities and is the first consumer device...

Billed as a Fitbit for dogs when it hit the market last year, Whistle's compact activity monitor uses a 3-axis accelerometer to monitor Fido's daily exercise. The company has now added GPS capabilities to allow the tracking of location to the device, as well as making it the first consumer product to tap into Sigfox's low-power Internet of Things (IoT) network.  Read More

​Gene Wess, an Exelis Geospatial Systems engineer, with the long-wave infrared hyperspectr...

Hyperspectral imaging is a bit like super-vision. With it, you can not only see what’s there, but what it’s made of, which is a good thing if you’re looking for bombs, gas leaks, and smuggled nuclear material. Defense and information systems specialist Exelis has announced the successful test of a new airborne long-wave infrared (LWIR), hyperspectral (HSI) sensor that can be aimed in multiple directions and is capable of detecting explosives, gases and dangerous chemicals.  Read More

The Postybell uses a GSM module to alert users to a delivery wherever they are

Last year we took a look at Postifier, a device that sits in a mailbox patiently awaiting any deliveries and alerting users on their smartphone when something arrives. Because Postifier relied on Bluetooth technology, range was limited to around 100 ft (30 m), but a new product called Postybell extends range to "any distance" by relying on GSM technology.  Read More

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