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— Science

Researchers break sensitivity record for mass measurement

By - May 20, 2012 2 Pictures
A sprocket of research engineers (yes, apparently that's the collective noun for a group of engineers) at the Catalan Institute of Technology (CIT) has succeeded in breaking the record for sensitivity of mass measurement. By measuring the resonant frequency of a short length of single carbon nanotube, masses as small as a single nucleon (proton or neutron), having a mass of about 1.7 yoctogram (1 yg = 10^-24 grams) were measured, thereby exhibiting a level of sensitivity several orders of magnitude better than previous devices. This new technology enables the detection and identification of individual atoms and molecules and tracing the fate of individual atoms in a chemical reaction. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Fujitsu develops smallest Palm Vein Biometric Authentication Sensor yet

By - May 10, 2012 2 Pictures
Since creating the first contact-free palm vein authentication sensor in 2003, Fujitsu's biometric security solution has been getting smaller and smaller. Now, the company has developed a new system that's half the thickness of current offerings yet retains the same performance and accuracy levels as the latest commercially-available PalmSecure designs. The Japanese tech giant is claiming the title of the world's smallest and slimmest palm vein authentication sensor for its new creation and says that it will likely be headed for use in mobile products such as tablet computers, although there's currently no indication as to when that might be. Read More

Koubachi Wi-Fi Sensor helps keep your plants alive

Who hasn't killed at least one houseplant in their time? Personally, I have given up trying to nurture these fussy organisms altogether and my house is now a green-free zone. Technology like the Koubachi Wi-Fi Plant Sensor might entice me to consider trying to bring the outdoors in once more though - it's designed to take all the hard work out of keeping plants alive while they reside in the unnatural environment that are our homes. Read More
— Around The Home

WiSPr acoustic termite detector works by "hearing" termites eat

By - January 16, 2012 1 Picture
Thanks to their habit of remaining concealed, the first indication people get that termites have invaded their home is after they’ve already wreaked their particular brand of wood-eating havoc. According to Associate Professor Adam Osseiran of Western Australia’s Edith Cowan University, the yearly damage bill in the U.S. for termite damage tops US$12 billion, while in Australia they cause an estimated $1 to $3 billion damage each year. In attempt to reduce such damage, Osseiran and his team have developed an acoustic sensor that is so sensitive it can detect termite infestation by “hearing” them chew through timber. Read More
— Science

Duck mating is an arms race

By - December 5, 2011 1 Picture
A duck pond may seem like the ideal place to spend a peaceful spring afternoon, but during mating season it can look like the scene of a gang attack. Though ducks as a species are famously monogamous, unattached drakes can be extremely aggressive. They attack any female in sight in a mating frenzy that often ends in the injury or death of the victim. This has resulted in the ducks developing ways to prevent unwanted matings and the drakes ways to overcome their defenses. Researchers in North America are developing a novel way to study this "evolutionary arms race" that uses high-speed cameras, force transducers and model duck oviducts made of glass. Read More
— Science

Researchers develop pocket-sized “date rape” drug detector

By - August 9, 2011 1 Picture
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, around 200,000 women were raped in the U.S. in 2007 with the aid of a “date rape” drug – and because so many cases go unreported, the actual figure is believed to be 80 to 100 percent higher. GHB is one of the most commonly used drugs because it is odorless, tasteless and invisible when dissolved in water. Now researchers at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences have developed an easy-to-use sensor that, when dipped into a cocktail, can instantly detect GHB and another commonly used date rape drug, ketamine. Read More
— Music

Imaginary Marching Band: Sensor-equipped glove mimics real-world instruments

Bridging the gap between computer generated music and real-world instruments, the "Imaginary Marching Band" is a fledgling, open-source project that allows music to be created by imitating the actions of playing the real thing on a sensor-equipped glove. The work of Scott Peterman, a Masters student at Parsons New School Of Design in New York City, the prototype system uses MIDI data output from the gloves via USB to reproduce the full range of notes from instruments such as the trumpet and trombone. Read More
— Around The Home

Simplehuman garbage can reacts to users' activity

By - January 17, 2011 5 Pictures
Of all the things we expected to see on display at CES in Las Vegas, a garbage can was not one of them. Nonetheless, amongst the tablet computers, 3D camcorders and iPhone apps, there sat the simplehuman sensor can. Like some other “touchless” garbage cans, its built-in sensor detects when someone is nearby, causing the can to obligingly open its lid. What makes it special – perhaps – is the company’s claim that the can’s “multi-sense” technology can adapt to what the user is doing. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Wearable wireless device monitors health of record-breaking transantarctic expedition team

By - December 28, 2010 5 Pictures
Wearable health monitors have been available for some time, providing feedback on functions such as heart rate and blood pressure. They represent the tip of a potentially huge health and fitness market, from athletes and emergency services personnel to patients both in and recently discharged from hospital, who could benefit from real-time, intelligent wireless body monitoring of vital signs. Telemetry technology provider Toumaz has developed an ultra-low power system to wirelessly monitor heart rate, ECG, temperature and physical activity. The Sensium Life Platform has just been used to monitor the health of team members during a record-breaking 4,000 kilometer transantarctic expedition that not only made the fastest vehicle crossing of the Antarctic, but was also the first expedition to use biofuels extensively in Antarctica, and featured the first bio-fuelled vehicle ever to reach the South Pole. Read More
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