We’ve seen some fairly small electric cars in recent years, such as those made by Tango
, and of course, smart
. All of those automobiles are absolute monsters, however, compared to what scientists from Swiss research group Empa have created. Working with colleagues at the Netherlands’ University of Groningen, they’ve built a one-of-a-kind electric car that measures approximately 4 x 2 nanometers.
Remember back in the old days, when nano-scale motors were a clunky 500 nanometers
across? That record was subsequently broken with a 200-nanometer model, but has now been broken again, by a motor that’s just one
nanometer wide. By comparison, the width of a human hair is about 60,000 nanometers. The new motor, created by scientists at Tufts University in Massachusetts, is reportedly the first one ever to consist of a single molecule.
Pentax has announced the first pocket-friendly interchangeable lens camera to sport its new bayonet lens mount. The company says that its Q mount is about a third less in diameter than the more familiar K-mount, thanks to a reduction in the distance from the lens mount surface to the image sensor and by tweaking the size of the lens image circle to be proportionate to the sensor. The Pentax Q also makes use of a compact camera-sized sensor and sacrifices the onboard optical viewfinder, mirror box, focusing plate and autofocus sensor to help keep proportions to a minimum - making it about the same size as my Umbra credit card case. Other features of note include a programmable dial on the front for quick access to frequently-used settings, the ability to shoot full high definition video and a built-in flash that can pop up to help reduce red-eye.
Medigus has developed the world's smallest video camera at just 0.039-inches (0.99 mm) in diameter. The Israeli company's second-gen model (a 0.047-inch diameter camera was unveiled in 2009) has a dedicated 0.66x0.66 mm CMOS sensor that captures images at 45K resolution and no, it's not destined for use in tiny mobile phones or covert surveillance devices, instead the camera is designed for medical endoscopic procedures in hard to reach regions of the human anatomy.
manufacturer Foremay has announced a new addition to its OC177 storage family. Despite being smaller than a U.S. quarter coin, the company's first disk-on-chip (DOC) solution will be available in capacities up to 64GB, supporting both standard IDE or SATA host interface, in addition to complying with ATA-7 specifications. The new DOC drive is mounted directly onto a motherboard which, the company says, negates the need for a separate storage drive while offering devices some rugged credentials.
There are several options out there when it comes to taking a portable music player in the pool or to the beach. You could opt for a waterproofed iPod
or a dedicated player like Speedo's Aquabeat
, but if you really want to downsize then Fitness Technologies diminutive UWaterG2 might be worth a look – it's billed as the smallest fully waterproof MP3 player around.
With cameras pretty much standard equipment on mobile phones nowadays, a lot of people don’t bother with the extra hassle of carrying around a separate one, even if it means sacrificing picture quality for convenience. While we can’t comment on the picture quality, the Poco PRO from Iain Sinclair certainly seems to tick the right boxes in the specs department and won’t be too much trouble to cart around thanks to its credit card-like dimensions.
Because battery technology hasn’t developed as quickly as the electronic devices they power, a greater and greater percentage of the volume of these devices is taken up by the batteries needed to keep them running. Now a team of researchers working at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT) is claiming to have created the world’s smallest battery, and although the tiny battery won’t be powering next year’s mobile phones, it has already provided insights into how batteries work and should enable the development of smaller and more efficient batteries in the future.
Anyone who subscribes to the view that good things come in small packages would no doubt be impressed by the winners of this year’s design contest held at Sandia Labs for novel and educational microelectromechanical systems
(MEMs). The big, or should I say exceedingly small, winners were the world’s smallest chessboard, which is about the diameter of four human hairs, and a pea-sized microbarbershop that is intended to service a single hair.
OmniVision has developed a 1/6-inch, native HD, 2 megapixel CMOS sensor capable of delivering full 1080p high definition video at 30 frames per second. Likely headed for webcams, notebooks and video conferencing technology later in the year, the tiny OV2720 sensor is also claimed to provide best-in-class low light sensitivity and is capable of removing image contamination.