University of Michigan engineering researchers have developed infrared technology that doesn’t need bulky cooling equipment to work.
“We can make the entire design super-thin,” said Zhaohui Zhong, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. “It can be stacked on a contact lens or integrated with a cell phone.”
Infrared light starts at wavelengths just longer than those of visible red light and stretches to wavelengths up to a millimeter long. Infrared vision may be best known for spotting people and animals in the dark and heat leaks in houses, but it can also help doctors monitor blood flow, identify chemicals in the environment and allow art historians to see Paul Gauguin’s sketches under layers of paint.
Unlike the visible spectrum, which conventional cameras capture with a single chip, infrared imaging requires a combination of technologies to see near-, mid- and far-infrared radiation all at once. Still more challenging, the mid-infrared and far-infrared sensors typically need to be at very cold temperatures.
Graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms, could sense the whole infrared spectrum—plus visible and ultraviolet light. But until now, it hasn’t been viable for infrared detection because it can’t capture enough light to generate a detectable electrical signal. With one-atom thickness, it only absorbs about 2.3% of the light that hits it. If the light can’t produce an electrical signal, graphene can’t be used as a sensor.
I am not a big fan of Google Glass or running (basketball is my sport, and I also swim to stay in shape) but this is a pretty cool product combining those two things (you can also use it for biking and skiing): Race Yourself.
You can have your previous runs added into your view using Google Glass. This product is in development.
Sono is a conceptual gadget to turn windows into sound cancelling filters (similar to noise cancelling headphones). A microphone listens to noise coming in and then a speaker sends out sound waves to cancel the noises that have been set to cancel. In this way they are even cooler than noise cancelling headphones as you can tune the filter to let in birds singing and filter out car alarms, etc.
Very cool, I hope this becomes a gadget we can buy (it is only conceptual now). Read more at Dyson design award site.
Noise canceling works not by blocking sound but by using properties of the wave pattern of sound to send sound waves that add to the existing sound waves to effectively eliminate the sound wave – thus we don’t hear anything. This is know as Active noise control or active noise reduction. It isn’t blocking the noise but adding other sound waves that combine with the noise you want to filter to eliminate the sound wave – it actually doesn’t eliminate it, as countering the sound wave exactly is not likely possible, but it results in a very limited sound.
Active noise reduction is best for low frequency sound (due to the nature of waves – low frequency has longer wave lengths). My guess is this will mean this product has difficulty blocking high frequency sound nearly as well as it will do with low frequency sounds.
The Chromebook Pixel looks very interesting. It would be much better if it would work with Ubuntu and had a much larger hard drive. This goes with Google’s desire for great internet connectivity at all times but that just ins’t true for the vast majority of notebook users – including me.
If someone would provide this same hardward (with a bigger hard drive) and that worked with Ubuntu I would get it (if I hadn’t just bought a MacBook Pro). But I would consider getting it when I am ready for a new computer.
I think Chrome OS makes sense for Google to invest in (even though it is not really a great model right now for most users). But I think Google is foolish in ignoring users that want a better notebook operating system.
The 3 Doodler, from Wobble Works presents the opportunity to print your own creations in 3D. 3Doodler is the world’s first and only 3D Printing Pen. Using ABS plastic (the material used by many 3D printers), 3Doodler draws in the air or on surfaces. It’s compact and easy to use, and requires no software or computers. You just plug it into a power socket and can start drawing anything within minutes.
Template allow the 3Doodler to print your very own artist-designed 3Doodles.
The Ink (i.e. ABS/PLA plastic): The 3Doodler uses 3mm ABS or PLA plastic as its “ink” – just like a 3D printer. Each 3Doodler backed on Kickstarter comes with at least one bag of plastic; each bag will contain ten 1ft strands of plastic; and each 1 ft strand produces approximately 11 ft of 3Doodling fun… yes, you read that right, a foot of plastic goes a very long way in the 3Doodler.
Wobble Works plans to offer plastic sold in strands (making it easy to switch colours and create different styles), but 3Doodler-compatible plastic is also available in 1kg spools from between $30 to $55 from a variety of sources. They are not mistreating customers like the old fashion printer companies do with broken by design print cartridges, $8,000 a gallon ink and the like.
As of right now (in the first 24 hours of launch) on Kickstarter they have $449,797 pledged (with an original goal of $30,000).
I am planning on getting an Apple MacBook Pro Retnia with 15″ screen. I love my Macbook Air but want a bigger screen (also I need more ram and a bigger hard drive). You can purchase Apple MacBook’s via Amazon at a discount. You can even add extended Applecare coverage via Amazon.
The retina version obviously offers the retina screen resolution, which is awesome, but it also is much lighter than the old style MacBook pro with the integrated DVD drive. So I will also get an external mac superdrive (DVD drive) for the few DVD I need to watch.
If you want a portable laptop and don’t need the larger screen I think the Macbook Air is exceptional. Along with the iPhone, the Air, is one of the most awesome gadgets available.
Nite Ize Gear Ties let you hold things in place using bendable wire coated in rubber. Available in 3″, 6″, 12″, 18″, 24″, and 32″ lengths in various colors.
I think the coolest advantage of these ties is using the rigid nature to hold things in place – such as holding your flashlight at the right angle while you reach into a small space with both your hands free.
Supplies: 1/2 cup acrylic paint (choose any color you like, or mix colors together to make the perfect shade!), 1 tablespoon unsanded grout (this can be purchased at most hardware/home improvement stores, we got ours at Home Depot), mixing cup or bowl, spoon, paint brush and an object or board you plan to paint on.
Once your chalkboard has fully dried be sure to slate the surface before using it for the first time. To slate a chalkboard lightly rub chalk along the surface and then lightly rub it off.
Very cool. I suppose paint might stretch the definition of a gadget but one of the nice things about having your own blog is you get to decide what fits. This is a pretty cool idea so I included it.