science + technology news

‘Smart car’ model predicts the behavior of human drivers

June 15, 2011

The researchers test their algorithm using a miniature autonomous vehicle traveling along a track that partially overlaps with a second track for a human-controlled vehicle, observing incidences of collision and collision avoidance.	 (Credit: Melanie Gonick.)

MIT researchers have developed a software system for “smart cars” that predicts the behavior of other human drivers, to prepare for a world where the road is shared by both human and artificially intelligent drivers.

They tested their algorithms with toy-sized cars on a miniature track.

The key of their research is to create a system that carefully evaluates drivers based on their behavior and flags… read more

Smart Cards Track Commuters

October 8, 2003

Civil rights campaigners have expressed concerns about new smart travelcards that track a London commuter’s movements and store them in a database.

Smart cellphone would spend your money

June 15, 2003

Intelligent agents now being developed for the new generation of 3G phones will watch how you use your mobile and learn to anticipate your next move, for example retrieving online information, making restaurant or hotel reservations, or buying travel tickets.

They will recognize when you have a trip coming up in your diary and then ask if you want it to check the availability of flights and hotels.

Smart chips making daily life easier

August 18, 2003

The Smart-Its Project has a vision to tag almost any object in the home with microchips to make peoples’ daily lives easier.

For examples, the sensors would recognize if has fallen on the floor or can’t stand up, which is less intrusive than cameras.

‘Smart’ cities will likely link devices intelligently

May 17, 2011

Smart City

The Cocoon (Cooperative Sensor Communications) project, based on the vision of “smart” cities in which all devices within municipal areas are intelligently linked to one another, is being implemented by researchers at TU Darmstadt and the University of Kassel in Germany.

The backbone of a “smart” city is a communications network consisting of sen­sors that receive streams of data, or signals,… read more

‘Smart clothes’ for personalized cooling and heating

Could cut energy use of buildings and homes by at least 15 percent
July 14, 2015

Garment-based printable electrodes developed in the lab of Joseph Wang, distinguished professor of nanoengineering at UC San Diego, and lead principal investigator of ATTACH. (credit: UC San Diego)

Instead of heating or cooling your whole house, imagine a fabric that will keep your body at a comfortable temperature — regardless of how hot or cold it actually is.

That’s the goal of an engineering project called ATTACH (Adaptive Textiles Technology with Active Cooling and Heating) at the University of California, San Diego, funded with a $2.6M grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’sread more

Smart clothing: memory-storing fiber could lead to smart fabrics and wearable electronics

September 27, 2011

Switching Function2

Scientists at the Center for Nanotechnology at NASA Ames Research Center have developed a new flexible memory fabric woven together from interlocking strands of copper and copper-oxide wires. It may soon enable smart fabrics and wearable electronics.

This design easily lends itself to textiles because it naturally forms a crossbar memory structure where the fibers intersect. The researchers developed a reversible, rewritable memory… read more

Smart coating for military vehicles being developed

December 26, 2002

The New Jersey Institute of Technology has received a U.S. Army contract to develop a nanotech-based smart coating that would enable military vehicles, if corroded or scratched, to detect and heal themselves. The vehicles could also change color on the battlefield, creating instant camouflage and rendering tanks, helicopters and military trucks virtually invisible.

The coatings could also reduce the sensitivity of explosives and thus make them safer for soldiers… read more

Smart contact lens feels the pressure of glaucoma

July 10, 2008
Prototype lenses with pressure sensors (Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co)

University of California, Davis researchers have made a contact lens with a built-in pressure sensor that could help monitor conditions such as glaucoma and ocular hypertension.

PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane, the organic polymer traditionally used for contact lenses) usually cannot conduct electricity or have complicated features, so they developed new techniques to embed conducting circuits with circuit features of 10 micrometers. A transparent sensor could be worn continuously, sending… read more

Smart contact lenses for health and head-up displays

January 11, 2011


Smart contact lenses aren’t intended to improve vision. Instead, they will monitor blood sugar levels in people with diabetes or look for signs of glaucoma.

The lenses could also map images directly onto the field of view, creating head-up displays using arrays of tiny LEDs for the ultimate augmented reality experience, without wearing glasses or a headset.

Smart drug implant has batteries included

December 1, 2008

A “biobattery” magnesium medical implant doubles as a battery as it corrodes, and could power targeted drug release.

Smart Dust

March 27, 2003

“Smart dust” devices — tiny wireless microelectromechanical sensors (MEMS) that can detect everything from light to vibrations — would gather data, run computations and communicate the information using two-way band radio between motes at distances approaching 1,000 feet.

Potential commercial applications range from catching manufacturing defects by sensing out-of-range vibrations in industrial equipment to tracking patient movements in a hospital room.

Smart Dust Collecting in the Enterprise

October 28, 2003

Smart Dust — cubic millimeter-sized sensors, or “motes” — is making its way from the research labs and into the enterprise, courtesy of companies like Intel.

It combines radio frequency communication technology and MEMS to monitor situations where humans may not be able to go.

Smart dust gets magnetic

December 2, 2004

University of California at San Diego researchers have demonstrated a method to control and mix tiny amounts of liquids by encasing the chemicals in smart dust — silicon particles and magnetic nanoparticles.

A chemical coating causes the silicon particles to surround water droplets, and the dust changes color depending on the chemicals it is in contact with. This allows researchers to identify chemicals encased by the smart dust. The… read more

Smart dust may help save energy

May 29, 2001

Sand-grain-sized sensors that can measure ambient light and temperature, linked to a wireless network, could help conserve energy, say researchers at UC Berkeley.

Each room in an office building might have hundreds or thousands of these “motes,” which would tie into a central computer that regulates energy usage by turning off lights and air conditioning/heating in empty rooms.

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