Browsing: Innovations

Google is working on small devices — including one designed as a ring — that people would need to log onto all of their online accounts, Wired reported. Such devices could add a layer of security to online email, banking and other accounts, but they could also add another necessity for people to carry around in their purses or wallets. Google’s security team are experimenting with extra log-in hardware because they thought passwords aren’t enough to deter hackers anymore, Wired reported. Because of the increasing sophistication of hacks, everything that is now password-protected might in the future require some kind of…

Military leaders and laundry-plagued mothers both have reason to rejoice over an improvement in the development of liquid-repelling surfaces. For the first time, lab researchers have created a  “superomniphobic” coating that resists not only water and juice but everything from blood to hydrochloric acid. Past coatings focused on resisting Newtonian fluids such as water or apple juice but had more trouble with oils and alcohols. The new coating can handle both Newtonian fluids and non-Newtonian fluids such as blood, yogurt and gravy — paving the way for truly stain-free clothing, suits that shrug off bacteria, even protective garments resistant to corrosive…

Drivers have a new tool to help local enforcement find dangerous drunks on the road. The DuiCam is a free smartphone app that records other drivers and makes it easy to send an identifying photo to authorities. Frank Vahid, a computer science professor in the Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California, Riverside, said he created DuiCam (as in “DUI camera”) after learning that nearly 30 Americans a day die in vehicle crashes that involve drunken drivers . Drivers mount their iPhones or Android phones to their windshields or dashboards and activate the app. (Most mounts cost less than $20.)…

If you have an aging parent who lives alone, a new mobile app and paired monitor patch could provide invaluable peace of mind. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), SecuraTrac unveiled its SecuraFone Health app, which, when used with the company’s SecuraPatch, can alert you and others when a loved one falls. The new app was a finalist in the CES Mobile App Showdown, an event that draws crowds at the show year after year. Winners were determined by audience applause. While MyScriptCalculator’s   handwriting-recognition genius took first prize in the app showdown, Securafone Health got plenty of applause. The demo drove home…

Whether it’s playing music, charging your phone, or automating your home, there’s always a green way to to do it. And these gadgets spotted at CES in Las Vegas not only keep you off the grid, but they do it in style. The Rugged Rukus from Eton (above) may be one of this year’s “gadget spam,” a wireless speaker, but this one has a few extra features. The whole top side is a solar panel, so it charges itself when you leave it outside. Then you can use it to play music via Bluetooth or cable, or plug in your phone to…

After controlling small satellites in the International Space Station this morning (Jan. 11), two teams of high school students took home top prizes for their programming skills. The teams were part of the Zero Robotics SPHERES Challenge, an annual competition that asks students to program bowling ball-size satellites to perform maneuvers related to current space-exploration problems. This year’s competitors had to mimic cleaning up broken satellites and other unwanted debris humans have put into orbit around the Earth, but haven’t brought back down again. Such “space junk” increases every year, which is a problem for new satellites that people want to…

A new startup hopes to give brick-and-mortar stores some of the same traffic statistics that online shops already have, MIT Technology Review reported. The new system, called Euclid, records anybody carrying a smartphone or tablet by recognizing the signal such devices give off when they recognize the store’s Wi-Fi. Euclid’s tracking gives storeowners data such as how long people linger in the store, how many people visit the store repeatedly and what percentage of passersby come in. Of course, websites already have such numbers — and more — gathered from online cookies. Physical stores’ visitor data are often much less sophisticated, however.…

Chemist Mingming Ma was working to make a plasticlike material for electrodes when he noticed his plastic was doing something strange. When he put a piece of it in his hand, it would curl up on itself and creep along his palm. “I put it in my own hand and I found the polymer [material] curved and it’s, like, traveling in my hand,” Ma told TechNewsDaily. “So I wanted to find out what’s the reason, what’s the mechanism of this movement?” Ma soon learned that the moisture from his skin drove the material, a film made of two different kinds…

LAS VEGAS — Bret Boyd has just returned from a big game hunting trip to South Africa where he put the TrackingPoint, a precision-guided long range rifle, to the test. He was able to take down a type of antelope called an eland at 649 yards, a type of gazelle called a springbok at 1,099 yards and a blue wildebeest at 1,103 yards. Boyd is a skilled hunter, but surpassed his own long-range shooting abilities with the aid of technology. “Long-range shooting is hard,” Boyd explained to TechNewsDaily at this week’s Showstopper event, part of the weeklong parade of new…

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