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Google Glass could help stop emerging public health threats around the world

February 27, 2014 1:10 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

The much-talked-about Google Glass — the eyewear with computer capabilities — could potentially save lives, especially in isolated or far-flung locations, say scientists. They are reporting development of a Google Glass app that takes a picture of a diagnostic test strip and sends the data to computers, which then beam back a diagnostic report to the user. The information also could help researchers track the spread of diseases.

ARM-based SoC family adds memory options for advanced smart energy, home automation

February 27, 2014 9:38 am | Silicon Laboratories Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Silicon Labs (Austin, TX) expanded its ARM-based Ember ZigBee system-on-chip (SoC) portfolio delivering desirable wireless performance, energy efficiency and reliability for the Internet of Things (IoT). The EM358x family includes six SoC products that combine

Photos of the Day: Hotel smartphone "keys"

February 27, 2014 9:00 am | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

Starwood Hotels & Resorts wants to replace traditional plastic room keys with smartphone apps. The app would allow guests to skip check-in and go straight to their rooms. The idea of keyless entry is nothing new — see: keyless vehicle entry, industrial security, office ID cards, etc. — but applying it to hotels is certainly novel.

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Hotel smartphone "keys" are a horrible idea

February 27, 2014 8:53 am | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

One forward-thinking hotel chain wants to replace those easy-to-lose, plastic room keys with a smartphone app. It’s a horrible idea. OK, let’s back up. That chain is Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which is one of the savvier hotel options out there. Starwood is smart about making the most of new and popular technology.

Photos of the Day: The Armatix iP1 smart gun

February 26, 2014 2:37 pm | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

The Armatix GmbH .22 iP1 smart gun system works in conjunction with a wristwatch. Both the gun and watch contain RFID chips which communicate with each other and unlock the pistol. Without the watch, the gun won’t operate. In 2002, New Jersey passed a controversial gun-control that required all guns to contain personalization technology....

Tiny camera sees for the blind

February 26, 2014 2:19 pm | by Melissa Fassbender, PD&D Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

We have the hardware and software capabilities to develop devices that are approaching the same level as human vision. The devices can recognize objects, scenarios, and context. According to Erez Na'aman, OrCam Technologies vice president of engineering and business development, OrCam took this technology in hand....

Incentives are coming for payments by phones

February 26, 2014 1:47 pm | by ANICK JESDANUN, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Many people use their smartphones to watch video, play games and wake them up in the morning. Some even use them to generate digital boarding passes to fly. So why not use phones to buy stuff at retail stores as well? A variety of mobile wallet systems store credit or debit card information....

Connector features 500 contact points/inch

February 26, 2014 11:21 am | Fujipoly America | Product Releases | Comments

Fujipoly’s (Carteret, NJ) 2005 Zebra Connector is constructed from alternating layers of conductive carbon and non-conductive silicone that are as thin as 0.0004” (0.010mm). This unique construction allows for 500 conductive layers per inch making it ideal for densely packed boards.

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NanoMarkets report projects smart glass sales to the automotive sector to reach $3.2 billion by 2019

February 26, 2014 10:33 am | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

Industry analyst firm NanoMarkets has published a new report, “Smart Glass Opportunities in the Automotive Industry – 2014” covering the market for smart glass in the automotive sector.  In this report the NanoMarkets says it expects this market to reach $2.1 billion by 2019, compared with $1.0 billion in 2014.

Phone makers look to emerging markets for growth

February 26, 2014 10:09 am | by ANICK JESDANUN, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Here's the rub for companies: A good part of the key markets they serve already own smartphones and use them to connect various Internet services. How do you grow from there? Services from Facebook to Firefox are looking to emerging markets for the next few billion people.

What's a bitcoin? A look at the digital currency

February 26, 2014 10:03 am | by RAPHAEL SATTER, Associated Press | News | Comments

Early Tuesday, the world's most established exchange for bitcoin disappeared from the Internet, sending the price of the virtual currency tumbling and prompting fears that the world's biggest experiment in electronic cash could soon be strangled by fraud or regulation.

TiVo founders try to reprogram Internet video

February 26, 2014 9:56 am | by MICHAEL LIEDTKE, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

The founders of DVR pioneer TiVo are shifting their focus from broadcast TV to broadband Internet as they introduce a new device designed to make it easier for people to find and manage video. The sequel gets underway Tuesday with the release of the Qplay, a box that sorts and streams video clips compiled from all over the Internet.

Fingerprint security convenient, but not flawless

February 26, 2014 9:48 am | by ANICK JESDANUN, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S5 smartphone will be at least the third to have a fingerprint sensor for security but it's alone in letting you use that for general shopping, thanks to a partnership with PayPal. The sensor brings convenience for entering passcodes and could encourage more people to lock their phones. But fingerprint security isn't foolproof.

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We don't need "smart" gun control

February 26, 2014 7:01 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The nation is about to mediate a very serious gun control debate, and it has nothing to do with “assault weapons.” Rather, the advent of “smart” guns could bring about the mandated obsolescence of “dumb” firearms. Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) has introduced legislation that would mandate all new guns be “personalized”....

Lazy kids play with lazy toys

February 26, 2014 6:37 am | by Chris Fox, PD&D Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Hasbro recently announced that it was revamping the Transformer product line. As the popular shape-shifters approach their 30-year anniversary, and will star in yet another movie, the company has enlisted a design and engineering team for an overhaul.

Bi-directional battery switch in WCSP package saves 91 % PCB space over discrete MOSFETs

February 25, 2014 3:18 pm | Vishay Intertechnology | Product Releases | Comments

Vishay Intertechnology (Malvern, PA) introduced a new 6.5 mΩ bidirectional battery switch with slew rate control for low-voltage battery isolation in portable electronics, healthcare devices, and instrumentation. Designed to save 91 % PCB space compared to using discrete MOSFETs in these space-constrained applications...

Photos of the Day: The UAE's drone delivery service

February 25, 2014 9:49 am | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

While the U.S. struggles to adopt rules and regulations for domestic drone usage — putting Amazon’s planned 30-minute drone delivery service on the backburner for years, possibly decades — the United Arab Emirates plans to introduce their own fleet of drone couriers.

Why the self-driving car will be the greatest technology of all time (seriously)

February 24, 2014 10:00 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

I am in desperate need of a self-driving car. We’re talking desperate. I would pay a considerable amount of money — in this circumstance not only does the self-driving car exist, it is widely available and I have hit the lottery — for a self-driving car.

Are electric vehicles worth it?

February 24, 2014 9:16 am | by Daniele DeAngelis Walker, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

Last year alone, the U.S. sold almost 100,000 plug-in electric vehicles. That’s nearly double the purchase rate of 2012. But as more consumers and experts grow to love EVs, at least as many vehemently hate them. Are electric vehicles a worthwhile investment or just another craze?

Evolution in US cellphone plans over past year

February 24, 2014 9:03 am | by ANICK JESDANUN, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

In the old days, U.S. wireless customers typically paid $100 or $200 for a phone and agreed to a two-year service contract. Although the phone actually cost hundreds of dollars more, wireless companies made up for it through the monthly service fees for voice, text and data. T-Mobile decided last spring to stop subsidizing phones and padding the service fees.

Engineering Update 46: The United Arab Emirates' drone delivery service

February 24, 2014 8:52 am | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

Consumers who fell in love with Amazon's 30-minute drone delivery service but can't wait for the mountain of red tape and regulations standing in the way of "Amazon Prime Air" now have an alternative — move to the United Arab Emirates!

FCC’s re-write of Net Neutrality rules will likely come up short

February 22, 2014 12:30 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Blogs | Comments

There’s good news on the Net Neutrality front, and then there’s not-so-good news. First, the good news: On Wednesday, February 19, the Federal communications Commission announced it would not challenge the Federal Court’s ruling that vacated the FCC’s 2010 Open Internet rules and would instead rewrite its rules.

Scientists create powerful artificial muscle with fishing line

February 21, 2014 3:21 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Researchers are using fibres from fishing line and sewing thread to create inexpensive artificial muscles that could be used in medical devices, humanoid robots, prosthetic limbs, or woven into fabrics. In a study published today in Science, international researchers...

New apps may help detect seizures, treat strokes

February 21, 2014 3:06 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Two new smart phone applications may help people detect epileptic seizures and get better stroke treatment, according to two studies released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, April 26 to May 3, 2014.

Vibration energy the secret to self-powered electronics

February 21, 2014 2:45 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

A multi-university team of engineers has developed what could be a promising solution for charging smartphone batteries on the go — without the need for an electrical cord. Incorporated directly into a cell phone housing, the team's nanogenerator could harvest and convert vibration energy from a surface....

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