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A 3D tablet

April 23, 2012


You can expect to see the third dimension coming to a tablet soon, Technology Review Hello World reports, such as a forthcoming Qualcomm tablet that uses MasterImage’s open-source 3-D display, which supports iOS, Android, or Windows.

A 3D window into living cells, no dye required

January 27, 2014


University of Illinois researchers have developed a new imaging technique that needs no dyes or other chemicals, yet renders high-resolution, three-dimensional, quantitative imagery of cells and their internal structures using conventional microscopes and white light.

Called white-light diffraction tomography (WDT), the imaging technique opens a window into the life of a cell without disturbing it and could allow cellular biologists unprecedented insight into cellular processes, drug effects and stem cell… read more

A 3D-printed mini jet engine that performs at 33,000 RPM

May 13, 2015

Credits: GE Aviation

GE engineers have made a simple proof-of-concept 3D-printed mini jet engine that operates at 33,000 rotations per minute.

The backpack-sized jet engine was built over the course of several years to test the technology’s abilities and to work on a side project together.

“We wanted to see if we could build a little engine that runs almost entirely out of additive manufacturing parts,” says one of the engineers.… read more

A 3D-printed Moon base baked from lunar dust

March 20, 2013


Space architects have unveiled a concept for a 3D-printed Moon base called SinterHab near the lunar south pole. Modules would be constructed from lunar dust by microwave sintering and contour crafting, built by a large NASA spider robot.

Unlike an earlier, more bulky concept using a mobile printing array of nozzles on a 6 meter frame to spray a binding solution (glue) onto… read more

A 3D-printed navy?

May 23, 2013

The Northrop Grumman-built Triton unmanned aircraft system completed its first flight on May 22, 2013. Could a future version be 3D-printed? (Credit: Northrop Grumman by Bob Brown)

Instead a carrying spare parts, space-constrained U.S. Navy ships in the future might carry 3-D printers and bags of various powdered ingredients, and simply download the design files needed to print items as necessary, according to the Armed Forces Journal,

“Perhaps closer at hand is a distributed global production network in which sailors and Marines send an email with a digital scan or design for a

read more

A 3D-printing pen

February 25, 2013


Have you ever wished you could just draw a object in the air and have it magically printed out? 

WoobbleWorks has created 3Doodler (a Kickstarter project), the world’s first “3D printing pen” to do just that.

As you draw, it extrudes ABS plastic (the material used by many 3D printers) in the air or on surfaces — no software or computers required.

The… read more

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

June 21, 2012


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


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 99% biodegradable computer chip

May 29, 2015

A cellulose nanofibril (CNF) computer chip rests on a leaf. (credit: Yei Hwan Jung, Wisconsin Nano Engineering Device Laboratory)

University of Wisconsin-Madison and U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) researchers have jointly developed a wood chip in an effort to alleviate the environmental burden* of electronic devices.

Well, actually, a wood-substrate-based semiconductor chip. They replaced the silicon substrate portion in a conventional chip with environment-friendly cellulose nanofibril (CNF). CNF is a flexible, biodegradable material made from wood, as the researchers note in an… 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:

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 alternative to costly, rare lithium

October 13, 2015

Potassium ions (purple) are compatible with graphite electrodes (black) and can function in a charge-discharge cycle, researchers have shown (credit: Oregon State University)

Overturning nearly a century of a scientific dogma, Oregon State University chemists have now shown that  potassium could potentially replace rare, costly lithium in a new potassium-ion battery.

“For decades, people have assumed that potassium couldn’t work with graphite or other bulk carbon anodes in a battery,” said Xiulei (David) Ji, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor of chemistry… read more

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

June 23, 2013


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

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