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— 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
— Music

Korg's Cliphit turns everyday objects into an impromptu drum kit

Many of us find ourselves tapping our fingers on desks or tabletops at any and every opportunity. It doesn't matter whether or not we've ever actually held a drumstick, if we have a rhythm in our head and a hand free we'll tap out a beat on whatever surface is within reach. We have already seen attempts to turn this from an annoying habit into a way of making something approaching real music, such as the Wavedrum and the TableDrum, but Korg has now upped the ante with Cliphit. Read More
— Electronics

Nature inspires color-sensitive, CMOS-compatible photodetector

Researchers at Rice University's Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP) have developed a new image sensor that mimics the way we see color by integrating light amplifiers and color filters directly onto the pixels. The new design enables smaller, less complex, and more organic designs for CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) sensors and other photodetectors used in cameras. Read More
— Aircraft

BAE Systems developing "smart skin" for aircraft

In some cases, a pilot discovering damage to an airplane involves noticing a frightening thump on the hull. That may indicate that something is wrong, but not what or where. On the other hand, when human beings are injured, the network of nerves in the skin tell us almost exactly where and what is wrong. Stealing a march on nature, BAE Systems’ Advanced Technology Centre is working on a "smart skin" that covers the fuselage of an aircraft with thousands of microsensors to send back a wide variety of detailed information in real time. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Evermind uses household appliances to monitor the elderly or infirm

For those with elderly or special needs relatives or friends who live by themselves, it is not always practical to check on their well-being all of the time. Sure, you could drop by or call them on the phone, but if it’s too late or too early in the day, this is inconvenient for both you and them. Evermind helps address these problems by alerting you remotely when electrical appliances are switched on and off by the person that you care about, indicating that they are active and everything is normal. Read More
— Around The Home

Haiku smart ceiling fan knows when to go for a spin

If you're already finding it hard to keep up with all the smart climate control systems for the home that are hitting the market, then this might just be the one to send you into a spin. Big Ass Fans has added its SenseME technology to its Haiku ceiling fan, which includes Wi-Fi connectivity and sensors that enable it to regulate temperature and kick into action when someone enters the room. Read More