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Will medical devices and all-laser manufacturing advancements enable the age of longevity?

August 6, 2014 7:57 am | by Stefan Zschiegner, Raydiance | Comments

Perhaps the only advances in medical technology which excite more than today’s minimally invasive devices and procedures are the ones that will come to market over the next several decades. Medical futurists speak with credibility about the prospect of human beings born today living 150 years....

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Listen to the world’s first 3D-printed saxophone

August 6, 2014 7:26 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

It’s official. We can now 3D-print anything. At this point, we’ve had 3D-printed skulls, some candy, and a few odds and ends, but Olaf Diegel has created the world’s first 3D-printed saxophone. Instruments are particularly difficult to print because so much of the sound requires the perfect usage of air....

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What engineers think about retirement

August 5, 2014 8:00 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor and Eileen Whitmore, Art Director | Comments

Retirement, that Golden Age of relaxation and hard-earned rest where you get to prop up your feet on the porch and yell at the neighborhood kids to get off your lawn. ECN wanted to know what our engineers had planned for their golden years, but as it turns out most of you are pretty happy to be working.

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When is Fly-Buck the right choice for your isolated power needs?

August 4, 2014 3:27 pm | by Vijay Choudhary, Texas Instruments, www.ti.com | Texas Instruments | Comments

The Fly-Buck™ converter (or isolated buck converter) is becoming very popular as a low power isolated bias solution because of its simplicity, ease-of-use, low component count, and the availability of wide-Vin integrated regulators like ...

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BGAs and package on package

August 4, 2014 8:21 am | by Screaming Circuits | Comments

A few years back, we built a small handful of Beagleboards ourselves, just to showcase our POP capabilities. It's hard to believe that we did that back in 2009. The Beagleboard has undergone a few iterations and spawned the Beaglebone since then, but 0.4 mm pitch is still pretty small....

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The F-35 will cost a fortune

August 4, 2014 8:02 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Comments

Captain Obvious? Is that you? I’m sure this comes as no surprise, but the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is expensive. Very expensive. So expensive that, according to one estimate, the money spent on the program could buy every ...   

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Big guys finally see the “white”

August 4, 2014 7:35 am | by Mike Krames, CTO, Soraa | Comments

More than one year after Soraa demonstrated it, the importance of whiteness rendering is now being noticed by the larger lighting manufacturers. Perhaps the most notable imitation, from Philips mixes in some violet-emitting with blue-emitting LEDs....

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Introducing the “Forget Me Not” challenge

July 31, 2014 2:20 pm | by Christian DeFeo, eSupplier and Innovation Manager, element14 | Comments

The Internet of Things (IoT) is bringing newfound connectivity to our daily lives. Some think of it as a catalyst for the next industrial revolution. With IoT we can receive news from around the world on a variety of platforms, start our cars with the push of a button and place a coffee order from our smartphone during the morning commute – all before arriving at work. So, the question of the moment is: What’s next?

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This first-aid kit is a must-have

July 31, 2014 8:55 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

The Clever Medkit is a first-aid kit to end all first-aid kits. This over-the-top technologically advanced kit is technically designed for businesses, but I would consider this for a home purchase because I am a germaphobe and hypochondriac. (Yesterday, I used a Lysol wipe on my pens.) So, let’s walk through the process of injuring yourself and using this bad boy.

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Display glass chamfer: Complex design challenge or all-laser solution?

July 31, 2014 8:22 am | by Dr. Michael M. Mielke, Chief Scientist, Raydiance | Comments

Remember the Apple iPhone 5 video of Jony Ive describing his “diamond cut chamfered edges?” If you’re not a mechanical engineer, this may have been the first time you heard the term “chamfer.” It turns out that chamfers are critical design aspects of nearly all portable consumer devices, including smartphones and tablets....

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This helmet lets fighter pilots ditch their night vision goggles

July 28, 2014 9:41 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

Military jobs are synonymous with stress, but one of the most stressful jobs even by military standards is that of the jet fighter pilot. Not only are they required to process a lot of operational information very quickly, they must do it while wearing headgear that can strain the head and neck the faster the plane flies....

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The robot says you flunked: Algorithms vs. judgment

July 25, 2014 11:29 am | by Karl Stephan, Consulting Engineer, Texas State University, San Marcos | Comments

Harvard and MIT have teamed to develop an artificial-intelligence system that grades essay questions on exams. The way it works is this. First, a human grader manually grades a hundred essays, and feeds the essays and the grades to the computer. Then the computer allegedly learns to imitate the grader....

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This Army helicopter can fit in your pocket

July 25, 2014 8:36 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Comments

It weighs 16 g, can fly for up to 20 minutes, and fits in the palm of your hand. It’s the Prox Dynamics PD-100 Black Hornet, a mini helicopter which uses embedded cameras and a digital data link to provide real-time video for ground troops. Information is king on the battlefield....

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Thread paves the way for IEEE 802.15.4 and IPv6

July 24, 2014 3:28 pm | by Cees Links, CEO and Founder of GreenPeak Technologies | Comments

Recently, Google/Nest, together with Samsung, ARM, Yale Security and others, announced a new standard “Thread”. Sort of. Thread is not really a new standard, but more of an education and certification program that combines a set of existing standards into a “single” package....

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Design to a standard

July 24, 2014 11:57 am | by Jonathan Seckler, PoE Subcommittee Marketing Chair, Ethernet Alliance; Product Marketing Director, Dell | Comments

More and more often these days, developers have to design their solutions with communications in mind. The Internet of Things (IoT) is an expansion of the network concept — adding machine-to-machine communications to the network and broadening the possibilities for many consumer and enterprise applications....

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