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Tag Archives: Technology

The Unexpected Health Benefits of Owning the New Moto 360 Smart Watch

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This article is a collaboration with Creative Wire. -Ed.

Technology never stands still, and with all the developments within smart technology in recent years, it feels like it’s moving forward faster than ever before.

It’s an exciting time not just for the developers and the industry itself, but for us – the consumers – who have already seen huge improvements in wearable technology, most specifically smart watches.

If you’re in any doubt as to what a smart watch is, here’s the deal – these little wrist-worn gadgets tell the time, and can also (if you’ve connected it via Bluetooth to your smartphone) receive messages, social media updates and notifications, and some can take phone calls too. You’re also able to control things like the music that’s playing on your smartphone.

Like any bit of tech kit, every smartwatch differs, and the compatibility of each particular smartwatch varies. At present, the jury is out as to whether smartwatches are set to take the tech world by storm, but whereas previous early generation smartwatches might have proved a little lacklustre, these days they are picking up the pace and making the world stand up and take notice.

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Bang & Olufsen Releases The BeoLab 90, An $80,000 Speaker Set

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For the same amount of money you’ll spend on Bang & Olufsen’s new Beolab 90, you could buy 4 average new cars. Or put a sizeable down payment on a luxurious home. But if you already have the cars, and the home, and more money in your account than most people make in a lifetime, these speakers sure look like the bee’s knees. Aside from their fantastic design, the BeoLab 90 packs a host of fascinating features that would be sure to liven up the mega parties you’re probably already throwing in your fancy mansion.

The most interesting of these is what the company calls Beam Width Control, which allows you to precisely direct the sound to any place in your room; if you want to fill it up entirely, pick the 360 degree setting and sit back as the speakers blast away from their 8,200 Watt powerhouse (produced by 14 ICEpower and four class D amplifiers), or have them point at the living room only, for instance. Microphones on the set pick up the sound reflected off your walls, and with active Room Compensation adjust the settings so you automatically get the best sound possible. The whole thing can be controlled with the included remote or with a companion app on your smartphone, which gives you the ability to save presets and set the ambiance at the touch of a button.

And yeah… it’s 80 grand.

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[ Product page ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

One Sensor Cameras Are On The Way Out: Meet the L16, A Camera With 16 Lenses and Sensors

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A few years ago we told you about the Lytro camera, an innovative new type of camera that let you shoot first, and focus on your subject later. Now we’re finding out about L16, a 16 sensor and lens device that represents yet another advance in the field of photography. It does all that the Lytro does, and more.

Using a new approach to folded optics design, the Light L16 Camera packs DSLR quality into a slim and streamlined camera body. It’s like having a camera body, zoom, and 3 fast prime lenses right in your pocket. With 16 individual cameras, 10 of them firing simultaneously, the L16 captures the detail of your shot at multiple fixed focal lengths. Then the images are computationally fused to create an incredible high-quality final image with up to 52 megapixel resolution.

Using sophisticated depth-mapping technology, Light lets you adjust focus and depth of field even after a photo is taken, all the way to f/1.2. With built-in, 35-150mm true optical zoom, you get right into the scene without fuzziness or pixelation. Low-light conditions bring out the best in Light’s imaging engine. You get beautifully-lit photos, even as the day’s light starts to fade.

It’s a fascinating product, in a small enough form factor that you could carry it around with you in your pocket. But like any new technology, you’ll have to pay for the privilege of being among the first to own it: it’s $1,299 as a pre-order, and $1,699 full retail. And you’ll have to wait until Summer 2016 to get one.

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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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