For behind the scenes pictures, stories and special contests, follow us on Facebook!
Subscribe:

Tag Archives: sensors

DropTag Sensor Could Keep A Check On Heavy Handed Parcel Delivery Personnel

diagram

There’s been a spate of news lately concerning UPS or Fedex truck drivers mistreating and mishandling various parcels. Whether it’s a Fedex guy throwing a box over a fence or a a UPS dude tossing the parcel at the door, it’s pretty clear that the integrity your goods often lies in very human hands. So, UK-based Cambridge Consultants (which we’ve mentioned before) have developed the DropTag. It’s a Bluetooth-enabled sensor that can automatically tell a smartphone equipped with the related application whether the package being delivered to you has been mishandled. Most people don’t take the time to open a package and inspect the goods while the delivery man is still in the door, which means they can’t send it back right away and have to deal with that hassle later on. With the DropTag, a simple scan of your phone is enough to tell you if you need to take a closer look at your products.

It’s not currently a mass market product, but they will be demonstrating a prototype at Hannover MESSE, April 8-12.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

New Sensor Constantly Monitors Bicycle Tire Pressure

Cars with TPMS sensors are pretty common these days. These are the ones that tell you when you’re getting a flat tire, by constantly monitoring the pressure within. It’s smart, and safe, and about time cyclists got the same treatment. The BTPS sensor aims to do just that, connecting to your smartphone and informing you of the pressure of your tires accurately, between 0 and 174psi. Admittedly, the device is more useful as a convenient indicator of tire pressure; it sure beats having to bend down every time. And since many road bikes need a regular air adjustment, the simple phone-glance convenience is appreciated.

“The BTPS unit itself consists of a pressure sensor, circuit board, and battery. When used with tubeless tires, it is mounted on the rim tape. If tubes are being used, it’s stuck right onto the tube, like a patch.” Currently weighing only seven grams (0.25 oz), it shouldn’t affect your ride in the least. It’s going through funding with Kickstarter though, and is quite far from its goal. Still, if you want one for yourself, a $140 pledge will get you a pair of tubeless-specific BTPS units.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Party Buzzer Works Only While Drunk

Who said that tech hardware has to be useful all the time? What’s wrong with having a bit of pointless fun with it? The Buzzed Buzzer contains an alcohol sensor and will only work if it detects booze on your breath. Use enough of these at a party to ensure that anyone that looks like they’re having fun, is actually having fun. Well… not that you can’t have fun without alcohol, but you get our drift. Using a $16 Teensy 2.0 Microcontroller, a $5 MQ-3 Alcohol Gas Sensor, and a handful of other easily obtainable supplies, the Buzzed Buzzer is a surefire way to have drunk peeps making noise, eager as drunk people often are to prove their drunkenness. Unfortunately, this is not a product you can purchase at a store; the link at the bottom will lead you to very detailed instructions on how to make your own.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

ShockBox Is A G-Meter For Potential Head Injuries

Playing contact sports is all fun and games (literally) until someone gets a concussion, or worse. It’s not always easy to tell between the player that’s laying on the ground because he got the wind knocked out of him, or the one that needs medical attention because his brain got a shakeup. The ShockBox is a special sensor that is meant to be placed either on or inside a helmet, and it contains two things: an accelerometer and a Bluetooth radio. Should any one player experience a severe hit, a signal is immediately sent to a paired smartphone (say, the coach’s) with impact data and analysis. It uses long range Bluetooth, so the device has a range of up to 100m, and one smartphone can pair with up to 128 sensors at once. This means you could conceivably monitor an entire team, and provide medical assistance when needed. ShockBox installs with 3M double sided tape, which is provided with your $149 unit. Yeah, that’s a lot of money to fork over when you’re decking out an entire high school football team, but if you’ve got the budget, you don’t want to be skimping on safety.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Helmet Sensor Device Calls For Help When You Crash

If your ride comes to an abrupt end in the city, chances are there will be some living soul calling EMTs quickly. But the same can’t be said if you venture out on some secluded nature path and have a violent encounter with a tree trunk. The ICEdot Crash Sensor is a motion detector that can sense when you’ve crashed, and even evaluate the severity of that crash. Once paired through Bluetooth with its related application, the device will sound an alarm and initiate a countdown. If you don’t deactivate the alarm within the specified time the app will contact your emergency numbers and relay information about your location, as well as how serious a condition you might be in and other critical medical details (diabetes, allergies, etc.). Hopefully this way you won’t bleed out in some ditch. We like it: it’s smart and can’t hit the market soon enough. Unfortunately, availability is slated for “sometime next year” at roughly $200, which isn’t cheap and is pretty far from now, but hey, better late than never.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ DVice ]

Hi-Tech Powered Pet Door Gives Your Pooch Freedom

Owning a canine is as much fun as a barrel of monkeys, but it is also a lot of work. We’re not going to list the ways owning a dog is hard because frankly, you’re not so dense as to not know what we mean. We’re really just looking for a way to segue onto the above product, the “Powered Pet Door, PX-1.” It’s a door that lets your dog go in or out of the house, but doesn’t simultaneously offer an entryway to any small, limber and motivated robber. The powered door opens when an ultrasonic collar worn by your dog is within range, so only your pooch has access. And it doesn’t just unlock: it actually opens. You can set the range at which the collar activates the mechanism, as well as decide if it works as “out only”, “in only” or both. It accommodates pets up to 100 lbs and can be installed on your existing door. Just cut a hole, screw this in, and you’re set.

We think it’s a rather smart way to give your dog the freedom to do its business, rather than have to get up at some ungodly hour to watch Fido excrete in the backyard.

It’s $270.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gear Patrol ]

Battery Powered Drill Features Gyro Sensor For Automated Drilling Direction

You’d think that setting the direction in which your drill bit rotates isn’t a particularly demanding task, but you’d be wrong. At least, it’s demanding enough that it strikes us as worth removing, especially if it can be done cheaply and elegantly. The Black & Decker Max Gyro features a “gyro sensor” that knows its own orientation and uses this information not only to determine whether you’re trying to screw in or out, but also to set the speed at which it does so. It’s very intuitive: turn the thing clockwise to screw in, with the speed increasing as you increase the angle of your hand. And of course, it works exactly the same way in reverse.

Now we’re not talking about a serious, industrial strength drill here. It’s a 4V model and will be perfect for light jobs but nothing more. Still, its Li-Ion battery will hold a charge up to 18 months, so you can just toss it in a drawer and forget it until you need to hang a painting or something. It’s $40 and will be available starting November 1st.

Hit the jump for a video of the thing in Japanese, as well as links.

Continue Reading

The Swedes Design An Invisible Helmet. No, Really.

Some will tell you that wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle isn’t cool. It’s like turning your head into a giant mushroom, they’ll say. And it’s true. It’s also true that wearing your brain on your outside is bad: this kills the human. What if we told you that you could have your cake and eat it too? Well, two Swedish ladies have spent the last 7 years, and gone through several million dollars in funding developing Hövding, an invisible helmet. Ok, invisible is a bit of a stretch. What it really is, is an airbag that you wear in a collar around your neck. Carefully calibrated sensors detect when you’re in the middle of a crash, and in under 0.1 seconds a canister of Helium pierces and inflates a strong nylon hood that completely wraps around your noggin. This should keep the brains on the inside. What’s best is that when this happens, sensor data is stored in the device’s memory for the 10 seconds before and after impact, providing you with a “ride data recorder” of sorts. This could help authorities figure out what happened in case the helmet isn’t enough to keep you alive.

Sounds wonderful, but of course there are drawbacks. The same fold who think regular helmets are uncomfortable will likely balk at a thick collar around their necks. And then, there’s cost: $600 or so for this admittedly cool tech is a lot of dollars to spend when you can just buy a regular helmet for $30. Still, early adopters with lots of disposable income could dig it.

Hit the jump for a video and links.

Continue Reading

Lapka, For The Hippiest Of Hippies

We’re all for being eco-conscious. But when you get so far out that you feel the need to carry around dedicated sensors to sniff out potential enemies to your granola lifestyle, we worry a little. The Lapka is an admittedly beautiful set of such sensors, whose purpose is to tell you in great beauty and elegance the following: the amount of Nitrites in your food and water (to sense their non-organic provenance), the amount of EMF radiation in your immediate surrounding (so you may find a spot with less “electromagnetic pollution”), a temperature and humidity sensor (to inform you whether you’re currently sitting in an optimal personal climate), and the amount of radioactivity in your surroundings (ok, we’re cool with this). They call it a Personal Environment Monitor. The various sensors will communicate with an equally beautiful application on your iPhone and keep you informed of just how outraged you should currently be at the insalubrity and innapropriateness of whatever place you happen to find yourself in. Unless of course you’ve moved to the country, far from everything, including electricity. At which point… why even have a phone, really?

We’re not sure on price, but it should be available later this year.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Werd ]