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Making smartphones smarter with see-through sensors

June 19, 2014 8:17 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Your smartphone's display glass could soon be more than just a pretty face, thanks to new technology developed by researchers from Montreal and the New York-based company Corning Incorporated. The team has created the first laser-written light-guiding systems that are efficient enough to be developed for commercial use....

AEC-Q101-Qualified proximity and ambient light sensor is fully integrated

June 18, 2014 8:17 pm | Vishay Intertechnology | Product Releases | Comments

A new AEC-Q101-qualified, fully integrated proximity and ambient light optical sensor with an operating temperature range to +105°C was announced by the Optoelectronics group of Vishay Intertechnology, Inc.

This drone is made from chocolate

June 18, 2014 3:31 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Yes, someone actually built a chocolate quadcopter. And no, the DoD hasn’t investigated potential military applications (that I know of). A flying treat like this probably wouldn’t survive harsh environments (greater than 20°C) or soldiers’ stomachs, but it could redefine the “candygram”....

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Photos of the Day: Building a chocolate drone

June 18, 2014 12:32 pm | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

An intrepid DIYer built a quadcopter made of at least 40% chocolate. The best part is: This chocodrone actually flies! The unnamed artiste filmed the creation process – and the ensuing flight – using a GoPro Hero 3. She coats the wings in a thick layer of cocoa and uses molded chocolate for the lower frame....

HotSpot: How your private data is used online

June 16, 2014 4:33 pm | Videos | Comments

Researchers in the Decentralized Information Group (DIG) at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) are developing a new web technology that would allow you to track how your private data is used online. The new protocol, “HTTP with Accountability,” or HTTPA ...

These E Ink shelf labels could save retail

June 16, 2014 1:18 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

E-commerce has many intrinsic advantages over brick-and-mortar, but the fundamental difference is similar to print vs. online journalism — the ability to make dynamic changes. One can, and one can't. Which makes electronic shelf labels — incorporating E Ink and similar technology — a paradigm shift for retail....

3 reasons you’d kill yourself with a lightsaber

June 13, 2014 11:02 am | by JF Stackhouse, Engineerjobs.com | Blogs | Comments

When I was eight years old, there was only one thing I wanted more than for someone to invent the lightsaber. I wanted one to fall off the back of a truck and land in my front yard.Fortunately, neither occurred; lightsabers are dangerous, poorly designed, and unstable. Here are three of the many reasons they should be preemptively outlawed....

Engineering Newswire: DARPA’s air-to-ground warfare

June 13, 2014 9:38 am | by Alex Shanahan, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

DARPA’s new Persistent Close Air Support program is providing warfighters with advanced digital tools for situational awareness and targeting in place of legacy communications systems and traditional paper maps. The system safely coordinates troop positions, while simultaneously providing close air support for ground forces....

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The role of smart TVs in gaming

June 12, 2014 4:52 pm | by Chad Lucien, SVP, Sales & Marketing, Hillcrest Labs, www.hillcrestlabs.com | Articles | Comments

TVs have long been at the center of the video game industry. From first person point-and-shoots to family-friendly tennis matches and high-speed racing games, game consoles connected to TVs have dominated the gaming scene for decades. This has changed now that smartphones and tablets have become gaming platforms....

Down with pink: The rise of female STEM toys

June 12, 2014 3:09 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

You may have noticed my habit of blogging occasionally about how gendered toys have the ability to affect children. Whether the topic is limiting the skills sets girls develop while playing or failing to introduce STEM as a career option because those are “boy’s” toys, it’s always been an interesting discussion, to say the least.

Engineering Update #62: The first commercial drone

June 12, 2014 11:20 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration approved the first commercial drone, AeroVironment'S RQ-20A Puma AE, a small hand-launched UAS with endurance of 3.5 hours and the capability to extend its range with solar or fuel cell options. It also includes electro-optical and infrared cameras....

Processors target industrial imaging, audio and automotive applications

June 12, 2014 11:15 am | Analog Devices, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Analog Devices (Norwood, MA) introduced the ADSP-BF70x Blackfin processor family that provides 800 MMACS of processing power at less than 100 mW. The eight-member family includes up to 1 MB of internal SRAM, eliminating…

Photos of the Day: SID Display Week 2014

June 11, 2014 1:29 pm | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

SID Display Week is the industry’s annual celebration of all things optoelectronics, and this year the wagon train rolled in to sunny San Diego. (I was suffering. Seriously.) Here’s a handful of highlights from SID 2014, including a laptop utilizing QDEF quantum dot technology, Color IQ TVs, and E-Ink applications....

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High-density card edge connectors are offered in low profile, ultra-thin, and high temperature versions

June 11, 2014 11:43 am | Sullins Connector Solutions | Product Releases | Comments

Sullins Connector Solutions, Inc. (San Marcos, CA) announced the expansion of their portfolio of high-density 0.050" (1.27 mm) contact center card edge connectors to include the FMBx Series. The new series features high-temperature and low profile ultra-thin devices accommodating…

Gyroscope offers ±4000 dps full scale range

June 11, 2014 9:33 am | Product Releases | Comments

InvenSense (San Jose, CA) announced the world's widest full scale range (FSR) 3-axis MEMS gyroscope for high impact wearable applications. The ITG-3701 also offers the smallest size, lowest profile and lowest power, ideal for wearable applications in sports and concussion analysis....

Are small cells the answer to the Internet of Things spectrum crunch?

June 11, 2014 9:11 am | by Greg Fischer, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Broadband Carrier Access, Broadcom Corporation | Articles | Comments

Recently, the technology industry has been abuzz with talk about the Internet of Things (IoT), a term used to describe an ecosystem of consumer electronics and appliances that have the ability to connect to the network and communicate with one another....

Lightfair 2014 rewind

June 10, 2014 3:53 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Osram Opto Semiconductors, Thomas Research Products, Wago Corporation | Blogs | Comments

Lightfair 2014 was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, June 1-4. Every year, this show presents a variety of luminaires and fixtures for the industrial, home, buildings, and outdoor markets along with a healthy mix of component vendors showing off their discrete and modular products that enable the amazing new lighting products. In this age of Internet of Things (IoT), exhibitors continued their march toward...

This is what the terminator line looks like from the ISS

June 9, 2014 10:27 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

NASA has been very into social media lately, and I could not be more excited. It’s a great way to inspire younger generations and remind everyone why the space program—despite its not insignificant costs—is so important. NASA has been capitalizing on the “space is cool again” trend...

Scientists explore using trees to clean pollution

June 9, 2014 9:06 am | by By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI, Associated Press | News | Comments

Before Houston and its suburbs were built, a dense forest naturally purified the coastal air along a stretch of the Texas Gulf Coast that grew thick with pecan, ash, live oak and hackberry trees. It was the kind of pristine woodland that was mostly wiped out by settlers in their rush to clear land and build communities...

Vodafone report sparks global surveillance debate

June 9, 2014 9:04 am | by PETER SVENSSON, AP | News | Comments

Telecommunications company Vodafone's report on government surveillance of its customers in 29 countries reveals more than first meets the eye — and is raising questions from Dublin to Delhi about how much spying on email and telephone chats happens in secret.

Maximize shelf life with a one-time, push-button switch

June 6, 2014 11:57 am | by Michael Hartshorne, Texas Instruments | Texas Instruments | Blogs | Comments

Many modern portable devices must be shipped with a battery installed so that a customer can power it up initially without any battery installation or charging. Any excessive current “leakage” from the components connected to the battery may result in a dead device in the hands of a customer.

Engineer's 'Switch from Hell' began GM recall woes

June 6, 2014 9:31 am | by DEE-ANN DURBIN and TOM KRISHER AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

Inside General Motors, they called it "the switch from hell." The ignition switch on the steering column of the Chevrolet Cobalt and other small cars was so poorly designed that it easily slipped out of the run position, causing engines to stall. Engineers knew it...

Rural clinics increasingly turn to telemedicine

June 6, 2014 9:24 am | by REGINA GARCIA CANO, Associated Press | News | Comments

Fifty years in farming had given Tom Soukup a few brushes with his own mortality, but after a cow pinned him against a wall, death felt closer than ever. He lay on the muddy ground and began to pray, every gasp feeling like a stab to the chest.

Beastie Boys awarded $1.7 million in Monster case

June 6, 2014 9:22 am | by LARRY NEUMEISTER, The Associated Press | News | Comments

It's a rap: The Beastie Boys have won $1.7 million in a copyright violation case against the maker of Monster Energy drink.Thursday's ruling ends a case in which the two surviving members of the band testified about their staunch opposition to the use of their music in commercial endorsements

Verizon to Netflix: Stop blaming us for bad video

June 6, 2014 9:20 am | by PETER SVENSSON, AP | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon Communications Inc., the country's fourth-largest home Internet service provider, sent a letter to Netflix Inc. on Thursday, telling it to stop blaming Verizon for bad video quality or face a lawsuit.

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