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— Science

Acoustic Zoom could save dolphins' hearing while aiding geologists

If you've ever been asleep on a yacht in harbor when a submarine tests its sonar, you know that underwater sound is anything but trivial – one ping can send you out of your bunk and across the room. Small wonder that the major navies spend a fortune studying the impact of naval and civilian sonar systems on sea animals such as whales and dolphins, who live in a world of sound. Scientists at the University of Bath have developed a more cetacean-friendly sonar system called Acoustic Zoom that is not only less disruptive to marine life, but also improves resolution beyond that of current methods. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Organic blood-oxygen sensor can be stuck on like a Band-Aid

Maintaining a steady blood oxygen level is critical for the body to stave off breathing problems and organ trouble. For those needing to keep a close eye on things, there's no shortage of monitoring systems and dedicated pulse oximeters available, but these can be somewhat unwieldy. Scientists at the University of California (UC) Berkeley are looking to make the process a little less cumbersome with the development of a thin, blood-oxygen sensor that can be worn much like a Band-Aid. Read More
— Electronics

Wireless sensor alerts your smartphone as food begins to spoil

While the stench of rotting food would cause you to stop from chowing down, chances are it became unfit for consumption some time before those funky aromas wafted through your nostrils. Chemists at MIT have been working on a wireless, inexpensive sensor that, among other things, identifies spoiled food early by detecting gases in the air. It then shares its data with a smartphone, potentially alerting users to that soon-to-be moldy fruit in the bottom of the fridge. Read More
— Wearable Electronics

Responsive "Bionic Bra" adjusts to breast movement

According to a recent University of Portsmouth study, almost one in five women avoid exercise because of breast-related problems, such as pain, embarrassment about excessive breast bounce and not being able to find the right sports bra. That’s around 20 percent of women who may be missing out on the health benefits of physical activity. Fortunately, help is on the way in the form of the Bionic Bra, which quickly adjusts to breast movement, providing more – or less – support as required. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

BitBite food tracker keeps tabs on how and when you're chowing down

Even with the growing number of calorie-counting gadgets on the market, keeping track of how healthily we are eating requires a certain amount of discipline. We are seeing devices emerge that are aimed at automating this even further, such as the Bite Counter and the Automatic Ingestion Monitor. The BitBite is the latest take on the eating monitor, relying an a discreet ear-clip to keep tabs on every little nibble. Read More
— Electronics

AirGuard raises the alarm on cheeky tobacco and marijuana smokers

While it's not against the law to smoke cigarettes in most parts of the world, there are still a lot of places where smoking is prohibited – workplaces, hotels, public housing, college dorms, jails – and a whole lot of smokers who still like to sneak in a cheeky one on the sly. That could become a lot more difficult with the release of the AirGuard, a sophisticated smoke detection unit that can either be hand held or fixed to a wall, and that can send out a Wi-Fi alert when tobacco or marijuana smoke is detected. Read More
— Good Thinking

Ear-IT project: How listening to the sounds of a city could make for smarter living

As the Internet of Things starts to take hold, we're seeing the emergence of gadgets equipped with all kinds of sensors to improve the world around us, from energy-saving climate control systems to smart locks for the front door. But have you ever thought about how sound might be measured and used to bring another level of automation? For the last two years, the Ear-IT project has been monitoring acoustics in the Spanish city of Santander, and says the results could improve the lives of its residents in ways ranging from improved traffic flow to energy savings in the home. Read More
— Automotive

Volvo's 360° view technology aimed at making accidents a thing of the past

Driver assistance technologies are becoming more common and more sophisticated with each passing year, but despite this, their function is still to reduce accidents rather than eliminate them – at least, for now. Volvo's project 360° is going the whole hog with a new technology that the Swedish car maker believes has the potential to eliminate deaths and injuries by a Volvo car or truck by 2020. Read More