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Engineering Update #41: Talking to your appliances

January 16, 2014 2:16 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

In this week’s episode sponsored by Mouser: Communicating with your smart appliances: The LG HomeChat service allows homeowners to more or less talk to any smart appliances in their home from a cell phone. NASA’s newest primate robot...

Half-baked products & junk clones

January 15, 2014 2:24 pm | by Chris Fox, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Much like CES 2013, there were a few high points, a few low points, and lots of people. Too many people. Aside from the mass scale, International CES 2014 had an inherent problem. Reporting from the show floor for an engineering publication, I’m inclined to look for the truly innovative, mold-breaking, and disruptive technologies.

CES 2014: The weird, strange, and unique

January 15, 2014 2:19 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor, photography by Melissa Spivak | Blogs | Comments

Every trade show has these — the oddball products, tech demos, and general weirdness that accompanies any large gathering of people vying for your attention. Sometimes, the exhibits exude innovation and leave a positive lasting impression on all who beheld its splendor. And ... sometimes they become the butt of jokes for years to come. The following is the weirdest, strangest, and otherwise unique products I saw at CES 2014.

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Top 10 from CES 2014

January 15, 2014 1:13 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

CES 2014 broke records, as CES seems to do every year, and with the massive amount of people and the overflowing number of vendors, it’s easy to miss a lot. That’s why editors Chris Fox and Jason Lomberg traveled to Las Vegas and compiled the Top Ten from CES 2014.

Photos of the Day: Google builds a 'Nest' for future of smart homes

January 15, 2014 8:51 am | by MICHAEL LIEDTKE, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

When our Internet-connected gadgets and home appliances all learn to talk to each other, Google wants to be at the center of the conversation. This imagined future is still a few years away, but Google is already preparing with its $3.2 billion acquisition of high-tech thermostat and smoke-detector maker Nest Labs.

Bluetooth Smart for connected gadgets

January 14, 2014 4:56 pm | by Sid Shaw, worldwide business and marketing manager, Texas Instruments | Texas Instruments | Articles | Comments

The introduction of Bluetooth low energy technology as part of the Bluetooth specification v4.0 has tremendously expanded the types of products using Bluetooth connectivity. Designed from the very beginning for ultra-low power, Bluetooth low energy uses short bursts of data transmission instead of a continuous stream....

Off-line PWM controllers features integrated power MOSFET

January 14, 2014 3:41 pm | Allegro Microsystems, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Allegro MicroSystems, LLC introduces a new family of off-line PWM controllers that incorporate both a sense MOSFET and a current mode PWM controller IC. This new series is offered by Allegro and manufactured and developed by Sanken Electric Co., Ltd. in Japan.

Hot tech at CES: Sensor hub solutions

January 14, 2014 1:34 pm | by Chad Lucien, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Hillcrest Labs (www.HillcrestLabs.com) | Hillcrest Labs | Articles | Comments

Hillcrest Labs believes sensor hubs will be all the rage in consumer electronics this year and will be seen in mobile, wearable and Internet of things (IoT) devices. Let’s explore why. The latest generation of smartphones uses sensor-based functionality such as motion gestures as key differentiating features.

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Design tool app enables selection of the best inductor

January 14, 2014 1:02 pm | Coilcraft | Product Releases | Comments

Coilcraft has announced its new RF and Power Inductor Product Finder App for Apple and Android smart phones. This free application enables users to quickly select the best inductor for their design and order free evaluation samples, all from their mobile phone.

What is the Smart Home? What is the Really Smart Home?

January 14, 2014 11:01 am | by Cees Links, founder and CEO of GreenPeak | Articles | Comments

We are currently experiencing the first phases of the Smart Home with much more to come as the Really Smart Home finally becomes a reality. The adaption of ZigBee remote controls and ZigBee set top boxes by most of the world’s cable TV and broadband service providers is the launching platform for the rolling out of various Smart Home-Connected Home services....

China video sites confident public will pay

January 14, 2014 9:56 am | by LOUISE WATT, Associated Press | News | Comments

When media studies student Liu Zhiqi settles down to watch a movie or TV drama at the home of the San Francisco family she lodges with, she misses the convenience of downloading content for free like in China. For Liu, an on-demand streaming service such as Netflix isn't worth the $7.99 a month subscription. "As a Chinese, I am not used to paying to watch TV..."

Reference design kit includes a complete API

January 13, 2014 3:14 pm | Texas Instruments | Product Releases | Comments

Movea, Xm-Squared, and Texas Instruments (TI) demonstrated their new G-series high-performance multisport wearable solution at the Movea stand during CES. The G-series takes user experience to the next level with this energy-optimized solution for highly accurate activity tracking and advanced sports and sleep monitoring....

The hottest gadgets of CES: 3-D printers to 4K TVs

January 13, 2014 10:28 am | by PETER SVENSSON & RYAN NAKASHIMA, Associated Press | News | Comments

The biggest gadget trade show in the Americas wrapped up on Friday in Las Vegas after swamping the city with 150,000 attendees. This year, "wearable" computing was big, along with various 3-D technologies, especially 3-D printing. Wearable devices in the shape of smartwatches and head-mounted displays have been a staple of the show for a long time...

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Gadget Watch: iPhone case lets you see heat

January 13, 2014 10:18 am | by PETER SVENSSON, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Remember the alien with heat vision in the movie "Predator"? You, too, can now stalk people in the jungle by their heat signatures — or check your home's insulation for leaks, whichever is most useful to you. FLIR Systems Inc. is launching its first consumer product, an iPhone jacket that contains a heat camera.

Gadget Watch: The desk that tells you to stand up

January 13, 2014 10:13 am | by PETER SVENSSON, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Sitting down all day is bad for you, or so doctors say. There's been a burst of interest in standing desks, but they're not that easy to use, and it's hard to motivate sitters to stand. Stir, a company founded by a former Apple engineer, says it has the answer: a table that will nudge you to stand, with a gentle, one-inch rise and fall of its surface.

Photos of the Day: 3-D printing set to break out of niche

January 13, 2014 9:23 am | by PETER SVENSSON, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Some of the oddest items on display this week at International CES gadget show were edible, origami-like sculptures made of sugar, their shapes so convoluted as to baffle the eye. The treats are one of many signs that we'll all be getting a taste of 3-D printing soon -and the phenomenon won't be relegated to the realm of engineers and tech enthusiasts.

Photos of the Day: A self-righting, all-electric motorcycle at CES 2014

January 10, 2014 3:06 pm | by Chris Fox, Managing Editor PDD | Articles | Comments

The C-1 from Lit Motors was presented at CES 2014 as an all-electric, self-righting motorcycle, even though the enclosure makes it look more like a smart car. Using two gyroscopes, the vehicle is able to keep itself upright at a stand-still, and also provides greater stability during riding and the occassional bump in the road.

2-axis gyroscope optimized for optical image stabilization

January 10, 2014 10:48 am | Stmicroelectronics | Product Releases | Comments

STMicroelectronics has introduced a new 2-axis gyroscope specifically optimized for optical image stabilization in smartphones and digital still cameras. Benefiting from compact dimensions of just 2.3x2.3x0.7mm, the L2G2IS can be easily integrated into the next generation of stabilized camera modules, where the dimensions of the components are critical. At a size 50% smaller than the previous generation by area and 60% smaller by volume, the L2G2IS still provides the high performance demanded by the applications and consumers.

App Watch: Query your human network with Jelly

January 10, 2014 10:43 am | by BARBARA ORTUTAY, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Jelly is an app for when you walk by a tree and want to know what type of tree it is, so you snap a photo of it and ask your Facebook and Twitter friends. Jelly is an app for when you wonder if you should trim your beard, so you snap a photo of said beard and ask your Facebook and Twitter friends.

Gadget Watch: Look around in Sony's video headset

January 10, 2014 10:22 am | by RYAN NAKASHIMA, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A virtual-reality headset from Sony almost puts you inside a video by allowing you to widen your view when you turn your head up, down or side to side. Sony's $1,000 "Wearable HDTV" worked as intended in a demo. But a few quirks made me believe it'll still be a while before we can really step into a recorded video scene and look around for ourselves.

Photos of the Day: Massive TVs at CES

January 9, 2014 4:37 pm | by Chris Fox, Managing Editor PDD | Articles | Comments

Ultra HD televisions from TCL are one of many curved and massive-sized televisions present at CES this year. These new TVs may be the hip trend at CES 2014, but the real story is where the components of these mediocrely innovative technologies will lead us in the not-so-distant future.

Engineering Update #40: Augmented reality contact lenses

January 9, 2014 2:09 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

In this week’s headlines: Wearable electronics take the spotlight at CES: Several companies are expected to unveil wearable computing devices at CES that are easier to use, extend battery life, and tap into the power of gestures, social networks, and cloud computing.  An open-source platform for mind-machine melding...

Few 'wearables' balance fashion and function

January 9, 2014 11:20 am | by By PETER SVENSSON, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Gadget lovers are slipping on fitness bands that track movement and buckling on smartwatches that let them check phone messages. Some brave souls are even donning Google's geeky-looking Glass eyewear. For the technology industry, this is exciting time, but also a risky one. No one really knows whether the average consumer can be enticed to make gadgets part of their everyday attire.

Gadget Watch: Case makes iPhone a BlackBerry clone

January 9, 2014 11:19 am | by RYAN NAKASHIMA, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

If you love your iPhone but would prefer a physical keyboard, Typo could be for you. But you might want to order soon. BlackBerry, the company that made physical typing on mobile devices an addictive craze, is suing Typo Products LLC, accusing it of copying its world-famous keyboard.

December 15 2013: Special Issue

January 9, 2014 10:33 am | Digital Editions | Comments

We decided to do something a little bit different with our December 15 issue this year, so with that in mind: Welcome you to a very special edition of ECN. While you’ll see a few of your favorites including Everything E (page 10) and Leading Off (page 8), you might notice a few sections are missing. That’s because we decided to focus this issue on four different areas in the Electronic Design field.

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