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Sensors

Concept image of the Vanishing Programmable Resources (VAPR)

Modern electronics are cheap, tough and can operate for years without a hitch. That’s great for building advanced military gear, but what happens if this gear is in danger of falling into enemy hands? The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Vanishing Programmable Resources (VAPR) program is investigating the development of special electronics designed to self-destruct on command so as to prevent classified technology being leaked.  Read More

Amiigo is a bracelet that connects to mobile devices to monitor and personalize fitness pu...

There are quite a few wearable sensors designed to provide some high tech help getting fit, such as larklife and Fitbit. But a team of designers from Salt Lake City in the U.S. is convinced there’s room for their Amiigo, a fitness bracelet project currently going the crowdfunding route. Considering how fast the project has attracted support it seems that, yes, there is room for another player in this niche.  Read More

ViSi Mobile unit with blood pressure readout

Dr. McCoy’s tricoder isn't looking too futuristic these days. Not only are real life versions of the Star Trek device under development, but some new medical devices are making it look a bit old fashioned. Take, for example, the ViSi Mobile vital signs monitor built by Sotera Wireless of San Diego, California. This wearable sensor pack uses Wi-Fi technology and is claimed to allow doctors using a tablet or smartphone to remotely monitor patient vital signs with the accuracy of an intensive care unit.  Read More

Taking a child's temperature could be as easy as scanning a barcode (baby: Shutterstock, p...

Is smartphone evolution at a standstill? Today's batch of phones have ultra-sharp displays, zippy performance, and great cameras. What's left? One man hopes that the next big thing will be infrared sensors.  Read More

The always on, voice activated, connected Ubiquitous Computer – or Ubi for short – is now ...

Following a very successful funding campaign on Kickstarter, the Ubiquitous Computer – or Ubi for short – has just entered the pre-order stage ahead of expected shipping early next year.  Read More

The Magic Finger proof-of-concept prototype

A trip on public transport or to the local coffee shop might give the impression that touchscreens are everywhere, but scientists at Autodesk Research of the University of Alberta and the University of Toronto are looking to take the ubiquity of touch interfaces to the next level. They are developing a “Magic Finger” that allows any surface to detect touch input by shifting the touch technology from the surface to the wearer’s finger.  Read More

MIT has developed pencil 'leads' that can be used to draw gas sensors onto paper

We’ve already seen a pen with silver-based ink, that lets its user draw electrical circuits on ordinary paper. Now, scientists from MIT have brought similar “hands on” technology to the humble pencil – they’ve compressed carbon nanotubes together to form a pencil lead substitute, that has been used to draw gas sensors onto regular paper imprinted with gold electrodes.  Read More

Smart sutures that contain ultrathin sensors to detect when a wound is infected.(Image: Jo...

Sutures have come along way from the days of silk and catgut, but now they’re poised to make their biggest change in 3,000 years. They’re getting smart. John Rogers, professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has invented a “smart” suture that contains ultrathin sensors that can detect when a wound is infected and may one day be able to actively promote healing as well.  Read More

Netatmo's Urban Weather Station consists of Wi-Fi-connected indoor and outdoor modules

There is no shortage of smartphone apps that compile information from official weather monitoring sources, but if you’re looking to get some info on conditions closer to home – or inside it – then the Urban Weather Station from Netatmo could fit the bill. Designed specifically for iOS devices, (but also supporting Android devices), the cylindrical units monitor a range of environmental elements inside and out. Netatmo also hopes to use the Wi-Fi-connected devices to create “the largest weather and air quality monitoring network ever established.”  Read More

Details of ChemCam (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL)

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has already fired its laser over 500 times as it studies its surroundings as engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) calibrate its sensors. In a classic example of “waste not, want not” Curiosity concentrated its activity on a patch of rocks that were uncovered by the rocket backwash of the sky crane that delivered the unmanned explorer to the Martian surface on August 6.  Read More

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