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This steering wheel accessory lets you surf the web (and kill pedestrians) while driving

March 12, 2014 12:44 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

We all like to text our friends, write memos, watch movies, and change diapers while behind the wheel, but how do we do so ergonomically? The AutoExec Wheelmate Work Tray allows you to be productive, keep your eyes off the road, and do so efficiently.

Photos of the Day: Outlandish products and gadgets

March 12, 2014 9:25 am | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

What’s better than waking up to the smell of bacon? The correct answer is “absolutely nothing.” And if you put a strip of frozen bacon inside this device before you hit the sack, all your dreams (the bacon-themed ones) will come true. The clock is made with a mini-oven....

This personal drone shocks intruders with 80,000 volts

March 12, 2014 8:56 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Who needs a gun when you have CUPID? And by Cupid, I don’t mean that fat cherub that comes out around February 14th to shoot people with arrows — though the shooting part isn’t that far off. This CUPID, which stands for Chaotic Unmanned Personal Intercept Drone, is actually a personal security safety UAV.

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The 10 most outlandish gadgets

March 11, 2014 12:37 pm | by Daniele DeAngelis Walker, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

Most tech gadgets are nothing short of miraculous. But I think these are nothing short of ridiculous. 1. Wake'n Bacon, 2. Caffeine Machine, 3. Solar Hat, 4. Magic Wand Remote, 5. BeerPager, 6. iTypewriter, 7. WheelMate, 8. Spy Pen, 9. Text Message Chandelier, 10. iSmell.

Why it’s time for a useful Internet of Things

March 11, 2014 11:41 am | by Matthias Poppel, Chief Operation Officer, EnOcean | Blogs | Comments

It was one of the hot trends at CES show: Communicating devices and objects. There were a toothbrush, a fridge, or even a garbage can that send information to the smart phone. It shows two things: First, there are many technical possibilities today to realize the Internet of Things.

Development kit aids in the development of motor-control applications

March 11, 2014 10:27 am | Zilog | Product Releases | Comments

Zilog (Milpitas, CA) introduces its new MultiMotor Series Development Kit to aid in the development of motor-control applications using an assortment of Zilog MCUs designed specifically for motor control environments. Zilog’s Z16FMC MCU-based MultiMotor Series Development Kit...

Photos of the Day: Influential women in engineering

March 11, 2014 9:28 am | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

Rear Admiral Grace Hopper served in the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) in World War II and developed the first compiler for a computer programming language in the 1950s. She was also one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer and created the term “debugging”.

High-speed CMOS DDR2 SDRAMs are offered with 512-Mb and 1-Gb densities

March 10, 2014 3:45 pm | Alliance Memory, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Alliance Memory (San Carlos, CA) introduced a new line of high-speed CMOS double data rate 2 synchronous DRAMs (DDR2 SDRAM) with densities of 512 Mb (AS4C32M16D2) and 1 Gb (AS4C64M16D2, AS4C128M8D2) in

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Synchronous buck regulator offers switching frequencies to 1.5 MHz and 95 percent efficiency

March 10, 2014 2:57 pm | Vishay Intertechnology | Product Releases | Comments

Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. (Malvern, PA) expanded its microBUCK family of integrated synchronous buck regulators with a new 4 A device offering high programmable switching frequencies of up to 1.5 MHz and a wide input voltage range of 4.5 V to 15 V. The high switching frequencies

Ethernet module designed for cost-effective control of CNC machines

March 10, 2014 10:18 am | Product Releases | Comments

Brainboxes (Liverpool, England) announces the launch of the ED-204, a new flexible, highly-integrated digital networking module for industrial machine control. This device combines a dual-port Ethernet switch, an Ethernet to RS-232 serial interface, and an Ethernet to 4-channel digital I/O....

Engineering Newswire: Body mounted joystick gives astronauts touch feedback

March 10, 2014 9:27 am | by Alex Shanahan, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Today on Engineering Newswire, we're getting touchy feely with a body-mounted joystick, 3D-printing heart attack predictors, and installing a fifth eye. This episode features touchy feely body joysticks: To help astronauts experience touch-based feedback in weightlessness...

Photos of the Day: Apple's CarPlay

March 10, 2014 9:09 am | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

Back in June of last year, Apple unveiled the “iOS in the Car” — a program to interface with in-car systems — during the opening keynote of the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Last week, Apple announced a name change to “CarPlay”....

Snap-action switch includes electrical life of 100,000 cycles typically

March 6, 2014 3:47 pm | Cit Relay & Switch | Product Releases | Comments

The CIT Relay & Switch (Minneapolis, MN) SM3 Series snap-action switch offers choice a of single pole single throw or a single pole double throw circuit. This UL/CUL recognized switch is available in 0.110" quick connect, solder lug, PC terminal and right angle PC termination.

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Why is ZigBee green?

March 6, 2014 11:44 am | by Cees Links, CEO and Founder of GreenPeak, ZigBee Alliance Member | Blogs | Comments

One of the biggest challenges that consumers and service providers will have in the future is maintaining a wide range of sensor and control devices located throughout the smart home. For ease of use and installation, it makes much more sense to have these powered by either batteries or by energy harvesting technologies.

Photos of the Day: Botball robotics competition

March 6, 2014 8:55 am | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

Botball is a series of workshops and worldwide competitions that, according to their site, engage "middle and high school aged students in a team-oriented robotics competition, and serves as a perfect way to meet today’s new common core standards."

What would you do without your smartphone?

March 5, 2014 4:56 pm | by Daniele DeAngelis Walker, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

Imagine a world without smartphones. Everybody you see is talking into thin air. Holograms of people are popping up everywhere. You bump into everything, not because you’re too busy texting but because you’re too busy looking at your glasses instead of through them. That world might soon become a reality.

Smart grid for electric vehicle fleet

March 5, 2014 9:42 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Being able to charge 30 electric cars at once requires ingenious energy management. Researchers are incorporating  renewables into the design of a smart grid for Germany’s largest charging station. The network of charging stations for EVs is becoming more tightly meshed.

‘Battery fuel gauge’ integrated circuits reduce measurement errors to below ± 2.8 percent

March 4, 2014 12:35 pm | On Semiconductor | Product Releases | Comments

ON Semiconductor (Phoenix, AZ) has introduced a new family of complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) ‘battery fuel gauge’ integrated circuits that provide accurate measurements of the remaining power level of one-cell lithium-ion (Li+) batteries commonly used in a wide range of portable electronics....

Watch kids react to rotary phones

March 4, 2014 10:52 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Watching kids befuddled by legacy technology is like shooting fish in a barrel — easy, but oddly enjoyable. And the “Kids React” series on YouTube runs with that premise, and one of their latest subjects — rotary phones — will make even 30-something college grads feel old.

Photos of the Day: GE's home of the future

March 4, 2014 9:22 am | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

The smart faucet in GE's Home 2025 not only dispenses filtered water, but also ice and carbonated water, vitamins and various beverages. Just place your finger on the faucet and the built-in hydration sensor lets you instantly see your hydration level.

This is what happens when you put a go-pro on a pelican’s beak

March 4, 2014 7:53 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

There have been some insane advances in the technology behind video cameras in the past few years. Video cameras have caught onto the miniaturization trend, but as the size shrinks, the capabilities grow. This means lighter cameras that are able to shoot and store videos with high-quality images.

Volvo Cars and Apple forge global alliance

March 3, 2014 10:25 am | News | Comments

Volvo Car Group (Volvo Cars) and Apple Inc. (Apple) are joining forces to make Apple’s widely-used and hugely admired operating system available to drivers, bringing together one of the world’s most progressive car companies and the world’s most famous technology company.

7 things I’ll need for my house in 2025

March 3, 2014 7:47 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

I can’t wait to live in GE’s home of the future. (Last week, I talked about the car I must have, so it seems fitting that my next topic be about my dream house. As with the car, this is assuming an unlimited budget and available technology.) Last week, I headed to Allentown, PA to the Da Vinci Science Center in order to see an exhibit called Home 2025.

Class-D amplifiers keeps evolving

February 27, 2014 3:54 pm | by Jun Honda, Director Audio Systems Engineering, International Rectifier | International Rectifier | Articles | Comments

Class D is redefining the trade-offs in audio power amplifier design, simultaneously delivering smaller size and higher power density with better sound than Class AB audio systems. Class D also has the advantage of offering low distortion and more stable dynamic response....

Big step for next-generation fuel cells and electrolyzers

February 27, 2014 2:33 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

A big step in the development of next-generation fuel cells and water-alkali electrolyzers has been achieved with the discovery of a new class of bimetallic nanocatalysts that are an order of magnitude higher in activity than the target set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for 2017.

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