When MC Hammer rapped ‘You can’t touch this’ little did he know of the work being carried out by a group of scientists at Bristol University. The team led by Dr Ben Long and colleagues Professor Sriram Subramanian, Sue Ann Seah and Tom Carter have produced an ultrasonic sound system able to generate 3D shapes in mid-air that can be felt.
Tactile Holograms - [Link]
by Stanford University @ phys.org. For decades, the mantra of electronics has been smaller, faster, cheaper. Today, Stanford engineers add a fourth word – taller.
At a conference in San Francisco, a Stanford team will reveal how to build high-rise chips that could leapfrog the performance of the single-story logic and memory chips on today’s circuit cards.
Those circuit cards are like busy cities in which logic chips compute and memory chips store data. But when the computer gets busy, the wires connecting logic and memory can get jammed.
The Stanford approach would end these jams by building layers of logic atop layers of memory to create a tightly interconnected high-rise chip. Many thousands of nanoscale electronic “elevators” would move data between the layers much faster, using less electricity, than the bottle-neck prone wires connecting single-story logic and memory chips today.
Researchers combine logic, memory to build a ‘high-rise’ chip - [Link]
by Richard Moss @ gizmag.com:
We’ve already seen artificial skin capable of sensing touch and prosthetics that sense texture, but now a group of Korean scientists has come up with a stretchable electronic skin that “feels” in three dimensions. The artificial skin is made from arrays of microscopic domes that interlock and deform when pressed. It can detect the intensity, location, and direction of pressure, whether from an object or a mere gust of wind.
Electronic skin can sense the direction in which it’s being touched - [Link]
by Nick Lavars:
While the stench of rotting food would cause you to stop from chowing down, chances are it became unfit for consumption some time before those funky aromas wafted through your nostrils. Chemists at MIT have been working on a wireless, inexpensive sensor that, among other things, identifies spoiled food early by detecting gases in the air. It then shares its data with a smartphone, potentially alerting users to that soon-to-be moldy fruit in the bottom of the fridge.
Wireless sensor alerts your smartphone as food begins to spoil - [Link]
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has published the specs for the next generation of Bluetooth devices. Bluetooth 4.2 has a few improvements that will be of particular interest to developers of IoT devices. The biggest change is support for an Internet Protocol Support Profile (IPSP) which enables IPv6 for Bluetooth. This means that wearable or IoT devices (based on Bluetooth Low Energy) will not need to be paired with a smartphone or tablet to gain access to the cloud, they will have access to the internet via a Bluetooth/WiFi enabled router.
What’s new with Bluetooth? - [Link]
Amy Norcross @ edn.com:
HRL Laboratories, based in Malibu, CA, recently tested a prototype neuromorphic chip with 576 silicon neurons aboard a tiny drone measuring 6×6×1.5 inches and weighing 93 grams. The project was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
The drone, custom built for the test by AeroVironment of Monrovia, CA, flew between three separate rooms. The aircraft was able to process data from its optical, ultrasound, and infrared sensors and recognize when it was in a new or familiar room.
Smart chip mimics human brain functions - [Link]
by Ben Coxworth @ gizmag.com:
Someday soon, your milk carton may be able to tell you that the milk has spoiled, or your bandage may indicate that it needs changing. These and other things could be made possible by a new technique developed at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, which allows disposable electronics to be printed on a variety of surfaces, using an existing T-shirt printer.
Disposable electronic circuits produced with a T-shirt printer - [Link]
by Suzanne Deffree @ edn.com:
Intel announced its 4004 processor and its chipset through an ad in Electronic News on November 15, 1971, making them the first complete CPU on one chip and the first commercially available microprocessor.
The building-block 4004 CPU held 2300 transistors. The microprocessor, the size of a little fingernail, delivered the same computing power as the first electronic computer built in 1946, which, in contrast, filled a room. Full technical details for the 4004 can be found in this January 1972 EDN story on the technology: One-Chip CPU available for low-cost dedicated computers.
Intel 4004 is announced, November 15, 1971 - [Link]
In a serious case of out-of-the-box thinking, a design team at Roost in Sunnyvale California have come up with a method to add Wi-Fi connectivity to your old smoke or carbon monoxide alarm by just swapping batteries. Your smoke detector uses a 9 V PP3-type battery right? The new Roost battery contains 9 V lithium cells together with a processor and Wi-Fi chip in the standard PP3-sized battery outline. It monitors the battery voltage and power drain to alert you via Wi-Fi and a smartphone app when the alarm has been triggered, even if you are not at home.
New Battery Smarts-up your Smoke Detector - [Link]
by Junko Yoshida @ edn.com:
As automotive electronics takes center stage at Electronica this week in Munich, a “microcamera” module recently designed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for driver-assistance applications is expected to enjoy the spotlight.
The new camera module — an image sensor with optics mounted on a printed circuit board — measures 16x16x12 cubic millimeters. It is visibly smaller than current-generation driver-assist cameras, whose edge lengths are “20x20x20 cubic millimeters (without optics),” according to a Fraunhofer press release.
CogniVue, Fraunhofer debut supersmall camera at Electronica - [Link]