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— Science

New acoustic levitation device goes out of alignment to expand potential applications

Acoustic levitators are already pretty intriguing devices, in that they use opposing sound waves to suspend small objects in mid-air. Now, however, scientists from Brazil's University of São Paulo have created what they claim is a better acoustic levitator. It's less fussy about the exact orientation of its components, making it more feasible for use in practical applications. Read More
— Science

Sound-steered cyborg cockroaches could help save human lives

If you're ever trapped in a collapsed building and are calling for help, you might want to think twice before squashing any cockroaches that wander your way – one of them might have been sent to find you. Researchers from North Carolina State University are currently laying the groundwork for such a scenario, by getting cyborg-like "biobot" cockroaches to move towards sounds. Down the road, such insects may be used to locate victims at disaster sites. 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

Mobile phones could be charged using sound

Four years ago, we first heard about how Korean scientists had proposed using sound to charge mobile phones. They explained that it could be done via a piezoelectric effect, in which zinc oxide nanowires converted sound-caused vibrations into electricity. At the time, the researchers couldn't generate enough of a current to actually charge a phone. Now, however, scientists from Nokia and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) have succeeded in doing so. Read More
— Science

Acoustic bottle beams hold promise for acoustic imaging, cloaking and levitation

Using a technique that has possible applications in acoustic cloaking, sonic levitation, ultrasonic imaging, and particle manipulation, scientists at the University of California Berkeley claim to have produced a "bottle" beam of acoustic energy in open air that can precisely redirect sound waves. Able to bend these waves along set trajectories without the need for waveguides or other mechanical assistance, the bottle beam is also able to flow around objects in its path while maintaining its shape. Read More
— Good Thinking

Audio Engineer's Hoodie lets you stay warm and look cool

Have you ever faced the problem of wanting to wear both a hoodie and over-the ear-headphones at the same time? I'm guessing not, because it's not exactly a problem most people face most days. However, judging by the positive response to a garment of clothing designed to solve this problem, it seems there are people out there who have faced this dilemma ... and who haven't yet figured out that you can wear headphones underneath a hoodie. Read More