The solar-cell pushers have been touting for quite some time the fact that the costs of solar cells have now nearly reached capital-cost parity with other sources of electrical energy. Parity is assumed to be a dollar a peak watt of capacity or thereabouts. But is that really true?
In the early days of white-emitting LEDs, the available chip packaging materials were ones developed decades earlier for use with red- and green-emitting devices. Unfortunately, when using those materials for blue-based white LEDs (blue LED + phosphors), unexpected problems arose.
Standard incandescent lamps convert almost all the power they consume into radiation (basically, heat). Unfortunately, only about 5% of this emission is in the visible spectrum, making them very inefficient light sources. On the other hand, since almost all the power is radiated away, there is little need for thermal management.
I’m standing in the taxi queue at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, having to squint ahead to gauge my wait. The cause of my discomfort: a horrible, blue-LED array-based outdoor luminaire ahead of me and above, spilling light in all directions and casting a putrid smear of yellow-green color against a nearby wall of the terminal, and directly into my eyes.
As a novelist, Daniel Suarez spins dystopian tales of the future. But on the TEDGlobal stage, he talks us through a real-life scenario we all need to know more about: the rise of autonomous robotic weapons of war. Advanced drones, automated weapons and AI-powered intelligence-gathering tools, he suggests, could take the decision to make war out of the hands of humans.
If we want our opinions to be easily influenced by something, watching movies is the solution. Movies are a form of art that is globally used for entertainment purposes. Science fiction films that exhibit unusual and odd actions and gadgets are the ones doing big businesses on the box office.
I have been in the LED business for almost twenty years, and each year I hear a comment along the lines of “LEDs are a commodity product”. What’s the definition of a commodity product? It’s one that is very cheap, undifferentiated, anybody can make it, and margins are low.
A few weeks ago I mentioned that an eminently qualified historian of technology has written a biography of Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), the inventor of the eponymous Tesla coil, the induction motor, and numerous other ingenious contraptions. While Tesla has been the subject of numerous popular biographies and even a film or two...
“Ten bucks for a light bulb?!”, exclaims my daughter in response to my estimate of the ‘tipping point’ price for LED-based lighting products for the residential consumer. She, like many consumers, has yet to internalize that the real cost of ‘inexpensive’ conventional light bulbs is energy consumption, and that LEDs pay back on this aspect right away.
Any time a new, disruptive technology enters the public sphere, concern is raised about almost every conceivable aspect. This is especially the case for lighting wherein each and every one of us has a base of experience and, likely, some opinions. While it is certainly prudent to scrutinize any new technology from a health and use perspective...
Google Glass is a huge step forward, but trendy eyewear isn’t everything. Sometimes, you gotta think about health. “Smart” eyewear has just collided with smart vision correction — and no, I’m not talking about the prescription-based versions of Google Glass that are in development.
Last week, I wrote about how our continuous improvement and process improvement tools and methods can be used any time and discussed the Parameter Diagram or P-diagram as an example. Let’s continue that thread and look at the ubiquitous usefulness of the problem statement.
PD&D Executive Editor David Mantey recently published the article “Is It Possible to Bring Manufacturing Back to the U.S.?” The article offers some good insight on the reshoring debate, as well as some common misinterpretation of the subject. Mr. Mantey and his subject Mr. Young acknowledge that reshoring, or not offshoring, has become a viable alternative in the consciousness of the business world.
The global economy is on the upswing in 2013, which means semiconductor companies have a great opportunity to reap the benefits. According to analyst firm IHS, revenue is expected to grow 6.4 percent this year after two straight years of decline.
For those who live alone, good medical care is all the more important. The machine-to-machine (M2M) communications business is growing, and the prevalence of wireless connectivity could push down the price of healthcare for the elderly, especially — but at the greater cost of human interaction.
Counterfeiters are adaptable and constantly incorporating solutions that can void the latest countermeasures adopted by the electronics manufacturers and their supply chain. In some cases, the counterfeits are very hard to differentiate from the original component.
A virtual reality (VR) headset by the name of Oculus Rift made a big splash on Kickstarter, raising a stellar $2.43 million to get development kits into the hands and on the noggins of game developers. And now that the units have started to ship, people in the gaming community are getting treated to video after video of people wearing the goggles and trying to explain just how floored they are....
Students of military strategy learn quickly the advantages of choosing when and where to fight, rather than wasting resources on trivial issues. An impartial observer would wonder about the wisdom of the excessive rhetoric, over-the-top hyperbole, and political posturing surrounding the medical device excess tax.
Under Armour is always a great example of innovation as a whole. The company began with an idea, a need and pure hunger to be the best, and it has become the ultimate American success story. UA has a candid approach to roundtable conversations. They sit down and talk about a technology’s strengths and weaknesses; ponder the potential length of time-to-market; and have heart-to-heart conversations to explain the contract.
On Tuesday, May 7, Syria disappeared from the Internet. It went offline in a targeted act of censorship, yet the blanket of silence fell over the entire country. While severe government crackdowns often happen halfway across the globe, the ripple effect is spreading farther all the time.
There are many ways we transform questions and uncertainty into confidence, new products, or innovative solutions. Experimentation and trial is one that many seem compelled to avoid. Give respect to the power of trial and experimentation, and to its risks. Right now I’m working on a project with a friend of mine and it strikes me how differently we approach the development of our vision.
Karma certainly is a swift vixen, isn't she? I was a few hours removed from editing Meaghan Ziemba’s column, Smartphone Shakes, for the latest issue of Wireless Design & Development magazine (PD&D’s sister) when I was retelling the story of her troubles following an incident involving a barroom toilet and her smartphone — nothing pairs well with such sleazy settings, particularly electronics.
In his article, “Should Engineers Be Licensed,” posted on www.pddnet.com Monday, April 22, Karl Stephen presented an interesting question that generated a great many comments and some debate among readers. Perhaps a way to answer the question is to answer the question phrased differently.
On April 30, the World Wide Web turned 20. Oh, how the years pass us by. When we think about how people use the Internet today, some of us cringe. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pervade every virtual inch, enticing thousands to waste countless hours of their lives....
A few months ago, my wife bought a lamp at an office-supply place to light up the table where my father-in-law plays dominoes with us. He’s 87 and his eyesight isn’t what it used to be, so having lots of light in the right place is important. The ceiling light doesn’t quite do the job.