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Tag Archives: Technology

Thumb-Worn Ring Can Diagnose STDs In Minutes

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If you have multiple sexual partners, the responsible thing to do is to get tested for STDs on a somewhat regular basis. Despite knowing this, a large number of people avoid doing so, perhaps out of fear of the associated stigma. Whatever the reason, anything that can be done to encourage these stragglers to get tested is a good thing, and the Hoope Ring hopes to help with that. It’s a thumb-worn ring that’s able to detect four STDs (syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis) in less than a minute.

Users start by using Hoope’s electric pulse generator to numb their skin. They then press a button on the ring, which causes its single-use retractable needle to come out. That needle is then used to draw a blood sample, which is carried by capillary action to the ring’s lab-on-a-chip.

There, the blood flows through four microfluidic channels, in which it’s exposed to different antigens that have been synthesized to catch antibodies associated with each of the targeted diseases. If any of those antibodies are present and thus captured, an electrochemical reaction occurs which is detected by the onboard electronics.

The Hoope then wirelessly transmits the data to an app on the user’s smartphone, which tells them what disease has been detected, and where in their community they can go for treatment.

Of course we’re a little puzzled that the tech needs to be in the form of a ring, since there’s very little chance you’ll want to wear this more than once… and rings are meant to be worn over extended periods of time. But it’s a small complaint for what promises to be a potentially very useful device. It’s still under development, but when ready sometime next year, it should cost around $50 and come with three needle/lab-on-a-chip cartridges.

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[ Source ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Cellphone Skin Could Capture Its Own Radio Signals, Harvest Some Energy

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It’s claimed that up to 97% of a cellphone’s radio signals are simply lost, most of the time simply trying to find nearby towers, or just staying connected to your router. Researchers at The Ohio State University are developing a product that could extend current battery life by up to 30% by harvesting a portion of these wasted signals.

There are some products newly on the market that harvest stray radio signals to charge tiny wireless devices such as temperature sensors. But the Ohio State invention is many times more powerful and efficient, said Robert Lee, professor of electrical and computer engineering.

To communicate, today’s portable devices broadcast radio signals—that is, high-frequency AC—a portion of which the Ohio State rectifier system captures and converts back to DC. Its trick is to siphon off just enough of the radio signal to noticeably slow battery drain, but not enough to degrade voice quality or data transmission.

The researchers are currently working on a skin that could be applied to your phone and would do the job of harvesting this lost energy. But the aim is to eventually work at the OEM level, directly with phone manufacturers, to help them extend devices’ battery lives. When and if it ever does make it to market, the engineers expect it to cost around $100.

[ PhysOrg ] VIA [ DamnGeeky ]

SensorWake Alarm Wakes You Up With Nice Scents

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Typical alarm clocks rely on loud, jarring sounds to wake you up. It’s effective, but it’s also a pretty rough way to get your day started. Guillaume Rolland, an 18-year-old French entrepreneur, thought there was a better way to go about it and created SensorWake. It’s an alarm clock that releases a scent, and in testing is able to wake 99% of people up within 2 minutes. Scents are stored in special replaceable pods, and range in variety from “Continental breakfast: Espresso & Hot Croissant” to “Candy Rush: Sweet peach & Strawberry candy”. If you fail to wake up after 3 minutes, then SensorWake will revert to a backup audible alarm so you don’t miss your important meeting. Each scent pod lasts up to 60 times. You can get in on the action with an $89 pledge, which includes a 2-capsule pack.

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[ Project Page ]

Someone 3D Printed A Save Button

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I don’t want to live in this world anymore.

Ok, so maybe it’s a hoax. Maybe it’s real, and some kid just has no idea that the “save button” used to be an actual thing. Whatever the explanation is, one thing is certain: I’m old. If you saw the above and realized this scenario is, sadly, totally possible, then you too are old, my friend.

The “not wanting to live in this world” comment? That’s just age-related depression; it happens at 30, and that’s a fact.

Ok, moving on…

VIA [ NoPuedoCreer ]

Orbit1 Brings Electroplating To The Home

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You may have bought a 3D printer, and that’s all well and good, but maybe you’re growing tired of making plastic objects. Plastic is great and all, but you know what’s nicer? Metal. Now, with the Orbit1 Tabletop Electroplater, you can take a freshly printed object, and plate it in Copper or Nickel, with options for Gold and Palladium if the company’s crowdfunding goes well. The way it works starts with you polishing and finishing your object as well as you can. Then you have to spray it with a conductive paint and wait a few minutes for it to dry. When that’s done, just dip it in the electroplating solution and wait as the process completes. An app will allow you to track progress, and in as little as a few minutes or up to a couple of hours (depending on the desired thickness of the coating), you’ll have a metal object that you printed at home.

Want to make your loved one a nice ring? This is the way to go. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be something you printed; you could make a gold plated tree leaf for all you care. The machine itself will set you back a hefty $1,999, while the electroplating solution works out to about $2 per gram, in Copper. That’s a heck of a lot, but could be a nice investment for someone looking to start a small business, maybe an Etsy shop or something. If the funding is completed, expect delivery by August 2016.

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This Smart High Heel Shoe Features An e-Ink Display

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Imagine a pair of high heel shoes that can change appearance to match your outfits. The Volvorii shoes are just that. Featuring an e-Ink display and a Bluetooth module, they can change their look to some degree at the touch of button. Just… connect your shoes to your smartphone and pick from any of the available patterns that might best suit your outfit that day. Granted the panel is in black and white, and it’s not the entirety of the shoe that’s covered, but still. Being able to switch up your footwear’s look in a couple of seconds is functionality you don’t find elsewhere. The shoe even comes with two fasteners (one in front, the other in back) that allow you to further customize the look, allowing you to add ankle straps or a monogrammed plate or jewelry. It’s a really cool concept, but one that will cost you a $249 pledge with a December delivery date… if the project is successful, which it is far from being at the moment.

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Goodyear Is Developing An Electricity-Generating Tire

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Think for a minute about how much energy is wasted in a car. All that gas it burns to get it rolling is almost entirely dissipated and lost as heat in the brakes as it slows back down, while the rest goes to combatting air resistance and drivetrain inefficiencies. By some accounts “only about 14%–30% of the energy from the fuel you put in a conventional vehicle is used to move it down the road.” Newer electric vehicles have started harvesting some of that energy back through regenerative braking, but Goodyear is taking things a couple of steps further by developing a special tire that itself generates power. The concept is called BHO3, and it takes both the friction heat as well as the deformations the tire undergoes while driving to generate an electric current, which is then presumably fed back into the car’s batteries.

To do this, the BHO3 is lined with a fishnet pattern of thermo/piezoelectric material. This net turns the heat into electrical current, and its piezoelectric properties also allow it to harvest energy from the tire as it deforms during driving. To keep the tire from overheating, there’s also a cooling system in the sidewalls.

It’s only a concept at the moment so don’t expect to see it on the road any time soon. But it’s nice to know people are constantly working to wean us off fossil fuels.

[ Press Release ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Aeryon HDZoom30 Camera Can Be Mounted On A Drone, Spots Faces From 1,000 ft. Away!

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Privacy will soon become a concept taught in history class, considering we’re constantly developing better technology at least partly designed to take it away from us. The Aeryon HDZoom30 Camera is a 620g camera with 30X optical zoom and up to 60X digital zoom on a 20MP sensor, which means it can focus on objects as far at 1,000 ft. away with enough sharpness to recognize a face. It’s mounted on a 3-axis stabilized gimbal which makes the video pretty smooth even from that far away, and since it weighs barely more than 1 lb., it can easily be mounted on a drone. The image below, for instance, pictures the HDZoom30 on Aeryon’s Skyranger drone. And if you want to get an idea of just how mind bending the zooming abilities are, we recommend watching the video.

We’re not sure how much it costs but it’s probably not cheap. Then again, it’s probably incredibly less expensive than the traditional stabilized telephoto lenses mounted on helicopters that law enforcement have been using for years. And that means that soon enough you’ll probably be able to buy one at your local Best Buy.

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Grasp Can Perch An Instructor On Your Shoulder, Enables Easy Remote Coaching

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Let’s say you have to learn some complex manual task, like rebuilding an engine. There are many ways you could go about doing this, from being taught in person, to reading myriad steps in a specialized manual. With Grasp, you can add yet another: remote instruction. This device perches on your shoulder and beams your activities to an instructor, who could be anywhere in the world. “It has a mic, a camera and a laser pointer, all powered by an Arduino Yún board, to make real-time remote teaching more hands-on.” Created by Copenhagen designer Akarsch Sanghi, the concept behind Grasp “provides the mentor with a real time insight into the learners environment through the coupling of a first person point of view and an instructional laser pointer. Therefore, the mentor can communicate to the person learning via the device and instruct using the laser pointer. It is the idea of having a companion looking over your shoulder and instructing you while learning something new irrespective of distance.”

It’s a novel idea, and one which could have many applications in an educational setting. Unfortunately, there appear to be no solid commercialization plans at the moment. You can, however, follow Akarsch’s work on his website.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]