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A 50 gigapixel camera five times better than 20/20 human vision

June 21, 2012

gigapixel_camera

By synchronizing 98 tiny cameras in a single device, engineers from Duke University and the University of Arizona have created a prototype camera that could capture up to 50 gigapixels of data (50,000 megapixels) and images with unprecedented detail.

The AWARE-2 camera’s resolution is five times better than 20/20 human vision over a 120 degree horizontal field.

By comparison, most consumer cameras are capable of taking photographs with sizes ranging… read more

A $74 PC

May 21, 2012

allwinner_a10_android_4.0_mini_PC_MK802

A Chinese manufacturer has introduced the Model MK802, a $74 USB thumb-drive sized computer, liliputing reports, beating the FXI Cotton Candy PC on a stick to market (it will be available soon for $200).

The MK802 is available from AliExpress for $74, or less if you order in bulk. It has a 1.5 GHz Allwiner A10 processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, USB… read more

A Minority Report interface for the rest of us

November 17, 2010

Toscanini's on-screen interface

Toscanini, free software that runs on Texas Instruments’ “Wireless Watch Development Tool” — an accelerometer-equipped, programmable sports watch that costs $50 — provides a bridge between your movements and digital instruments like synthesizers and keyboards, or anything else you can control from your computer through a MIDI connection.

See the video here.

A bandwidth breakthrough

October 23, 2012

Speed test (credit: Speedtest.net)

Academic researchers have improved wireless bandwidth by ten times — not by adding base stations, tapping more spectrum, or cranking up transmitter wattage, but by using algebra to banish the network-clogging task of resending dropped packets, Technology Review reports.

By providing new ways for mobile devices to solve for missing data, the technology not only eliminates this wasteful process but also can seamlessly weave data streams from… read more

A Bang, a Whimper, and Another Bang?

April 16, 2008

The relatively quiet black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy could one day reignite, spewing forth so much radiation that the sky would never darken.

That grim scenario has become more likely based on a new survey by Liverpool John Moores University astronomers. They used data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to survey spectral lines from 360,000 relatively nearby galaxies. Nearly 20% showed active galactic… read more

A baseball cap that reads your mind

May 19, 2008
(Chin-Teng Lin, et al./IEEE)

A team of researchers from Taiwan has designed a non-invasive mobile and wireless EEG-based brain-computer interface (BCI) system for continuously monitoring high-temporal resolution brain dynamics without requiring conductive gels applied to the scalp.

The system has online EEG signal acquisition and real-time signal processing. It can be used in many applications, such as alerting drivers to drowsiness.

The cap contains five embedded dry electrodes on the… read more

A battery made of wood: long-lasting, efficient, environmentally friendly

June 23, 2013

wood_fibers

University of Maryland researchers have developed and tested a battery with anodes made of tin-coated wood that are a thousand times thinner than a piece of paper.

Using sodium instead of lithium (which is used in many rechargeable batteries) makes the battery environmentally benign. Also, while sodium doesn’t store energy as efficiently as lithium, its low cost and use of commonly available materials would make… read more

A Battery-Free Implantable Neural Sensor

November 6, 2009

(Brian Otis, University of Washington)

Electrical engineers at the University of Washington have developed an implantable neural sensing chip that needs less power, drawing power from a RFID reader radio source up to a meter away.

The NeuralWISP is a collection of smaller, more low-power components, such as a specialized signal amplifier, on a circuit board just over two centimeters long. A future version will integrate all components onto a single chip that’s one… read more

A Better Artificial Skin

January 12, 2007

University of Cincinnati scientists have grown artificial skin cells, using collagen scaffolds. They could ultimately produce a type of artificial skin that can sweat, tan, and fight off infection more effectively.

A better brain implant: listening to single neurons

November 12, 2012

SEM image of a fully assembled, functional microthread electrode (credit: Takashi Kozai)

A thin, flexible electrode developed at the University of Michigan is 10 times smaller than the nearest competition and could make long-term measurements of neural activity practical.

This kind of technology could also be used eventually to send brain-computer-interface (BCI) signals to prosthetic limbs, overcoming inflammation caused by larger electrodes, resulting in damage to both the brain and the electrodes.

Existing electrodes are stiff and enormous… read more

A Better Brain Scanner

July 20, 2007

New brain scanners promise to deliver images of higher resolution than any now available from a commercial instrument.

By using multiple sensors placed close to the head, the device can generate accurate images in less time, which could ultimately aid in the diagnosis of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and epilepsy.

MRI machines in medical centers typically have up to 12 coils, but the new devices under development have… read more

A Better Bug for Biofuels

September 25, 2009

Researchers are developing genetically engineered microbial sources of biofuels that do not rely on food sources or agricultural land, unlike ethanol made from corn or sugarcane.

A better insulator for miniaturized integrated circuits

July 24, 2001

Highly insulating new honeycomb material may allow microelectronic integrated circuits to be made even smaller, increasing the power of microchip and computer technology.
When electronic devices get very small, insulating silica films must be shrunk to the same proportions. Too thin, they become leaky and electrical currents seep out, creating problems such as crosstalk between different parts of the circuit.

Leakage could become a problem once the dimensions of… read more

A Better Network for Outer Space

October 27, 2008

Having designed the networking protocols that launched the Internet, Vint Cerf now wants to put the same kind of robust communications network in outer space.

A Better Recommendation Engine

November 8, 2007

Cleverset thinks it has the secret to the next-generation recommendation system.

It weighs the importance of the relationship among individual shoppers, their behavior on the site, the behavior of similar shoppers, and external factors. Using these ever-changing relationships, Cleverset’s system serves up products that are statistically likely to match what the customer will find interesting.

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