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Transducers

Using bone conduction, the Dreampad delivers audio only the person lying on it

There are many people who find a little music helps them drift off to sleep at night. Conversely, there are many people who don't. The Dreampad from Integrated Listening could be just the thing for couples with a foot in each camp.  Read More

Will the F1 be among the last of McLaren's cars to have windshield wipers? (Photo: McLaren...

Windshield wipers are life-savers, but also can drive one to distraction with their incessant streaking and chattering. Well, the tyranny of the wipers may soon be over. McLaren Automotive’s chief designer Frank Stephenson told The Sunday Times that the performance motoring company is investigating the use of "ultrasonic force fields" to replace windshield wipers in automobiles. While Stephenson referred to a military source for McLaren's tech, there appears to be very little public information on how such force fields might clean a windshield during a storm, so I'm taking a look at the patent history to see how this might be accomplished.  Read More

Scientists have created an underwater speaker for use in studying dolphin communication (P...

While there’s little doubt that dolphins are saying something to one another with all their clicks, squeals and whistles, we’re still not entirely sure just what it is that they’re communicating. We may be getting closer to figuring it out, however, as Japanese scientists have created an underwater speaker that’s capable of playing back the creatures’ entire acoustic range. The next step - see how they respond.  Read More

Tristan Lawry's ultrasonic system is theoretically able to transmit data and power through...

Given the deepwater working conditions endured by submarines, one of the last things most people would want to do is drill holes through their hulls. That’s exactly what is necessary, however, to allow power and data to flow to and from audio and other sensors mounted on the exterior of the vessels. Not only do these holes present a leakage risk, but they also diminish the hull’s structural integrity, and the submarine must be hoisted into drydock in order for any new sensors to be added. Now, a doctoral student at New York’s Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) has come up with a method of using ultrasound to transmit power and data wirelessly through a sub’s thick metal hull – no holes required.  Read More

A new system monitors underground soil acoustics to predict landslides

People living in landslide-prone areas will be glad to know that a new technology has been developed which monitors soil acoustics to determine when a landslide is imminent. The system consists of a network of sensors, buried across a hillside considered a risk. As soil moves within the hillside, it creates noise – the more the amount of movement, the louder the noise. When that noise reaches a threshold level, the system sends a text message warning to local authorities, that a landslide is about to occur.  Read More

Could a tiny piezoelectric generator provide convert enough energy from walking to power y...

Could walking or running generate enough energy to power your cell phone or GPS device? Dr. Ville Kaajakari has developed an innovative piezoelectric generator prototype small enough to be embedded in the sole of a shoe that's designed to produce enough power to operate GPS receivers, location tags and eventually, even a cell phone.  Read More

Earthquake tactile transducers deliver a lot of bang for your buck to enhance your movie-w...

For home theater enthusiasts or gamers who enjoy the deep thud of a good subwoofer but want a little more “jolt” without the extra noise, Earthquake Sound Corp. has added to its range of tactile transducers with the Q10B and MQB-1 that, when fitted to a theater chair or platform, can virtually loosen your fillings. Along with visualizing and hearing, low frequency sound adds a third sense which brings people further into the realm of virtual reality of movies and games.  Read More

AVL DiTEST DPM 800: dynamic pressure measurement for motorsport

With many auto racing formulae now requiring engines to last many races or a whole season, the new AVL DPM 800 (DPM stands for Dynamic Pressure Measurement) is a gadget many autosport race teams will be keen to get their hands on - it's an in-cylinder pressure transducer that comprises a proprietary Piezo spark plug system with built-in pressure sensor which will enable engine tuning and the accurate gauging of wear rates and potential longevity as the season progresses. The DPM 800 will cost EUR 6550 when it is launched at the Autosport Engineering Show at NEC in Birmingham next week - an absolute bargain compared to what it offers.  Read More

The Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display lets users feel holographic raindrops

Star Trek’s Holodeck has just became a little closer to reality with news researchers from the University of Tokyo have developed a technique that allows 3D holograms to be “touched”. By blending a holographic display, a couple of Nintendo Wiimotes and an ultrasound phenomenon called acoustic radiation pressure, the researchers were able to create the Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display - a system that can give the feeling of holographic raindrops hitting an outstretched hand or a virtual creature running across a palm.  Read More

The Long Range Acoustic Device

When Somali pirates armed with RPGs attacked the luxury cruise ship Seaborn Spirit in November 2005 it wasn't armed troops or the threat of artillery that deterred the attack, it was sound waves. The ship was fitted with a clever bit of tech called the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), a system which can emit painfully loud sound frequencies that are concentrated in a narrow beam and easily direct them at a target, not unlike using a spotlight. LRAD was originally developed for enforcing safe zones around US military vessel, but as Gizmag's David Greig learns, the potential applications of the sometimes controversial technology go well beyond protecting assets on the water.  Read More

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