Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Communications
April 22nd, 2015
7:02
 

Ikea will sell both furniture with wireless charging built-in, and accessories that can be added to existing furniture using Qi technology.

blog ikea

The Qi standard is designed to charge devices at a distance of up to 4 cm (1.6 in), which means the phone will have to be placed in a specific spot marked by a “plus” sign.  The current Qi specifications are geared toward low-power devices but one day plan to provide the technology that could feed up to 2,000 Watts wirelessly, which would be ideal for kitchen appliances.

At a cost of an extra EUR 20 (US$22.45) on their wireless furniture, would you make the investment?  Prices for the wireless charging kits to convert existing furniture will start at EUR 30 (US$ 33.70).

 

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April 17th, 2015
5:38
 

With the almost continual reliance on staying connected nowadays, a dead cell phone battery can be a catastrophic event in one’s daily life.  Remembering to charge that device to keep it functioning has been added to the list of daily items on almost everyone’s “to-do” list.  Now there’s a possible solution to that dilemma…

Tejas Shastry’s busy creating AMPY, a device he and fellow Northwestern Ph.D. students Alex Smith and Mike Geier invented in class. They say it’s a cure for the dead cell phone, turning energy from a person’s physical movement, called kinetic energy, into battery power.

Smith said. “The secret for AMPY really came from taking somewhat existing technology and shrinking it into a form factor that can fit right here in your pocket.”

 

Read about this invention, profiled by CBS News, here:

Run, walk, bike your way

 

to a full charge

 

Not only is this concept a great way to relieve your brain of having to remember to add charging your cell phone into your everyday routine, it’s got the added benefit of stimulating your physical activity to new heights.  The payoff isn’t just being fit and toned, but having a working phone to brag about your exercise accomplishments, as well!  And you’re being ‘green’ by not consuming electricity to recharge your phone!

If you’re interested in this gadget, the unit – along with various accessories – can be pre-ordered on their site:  AMPY cell phone charger logo    Estimated ship date: July 2015, base pricing cost ~$100 USD

 

 

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April 16th, 2015
13:18
 

DIY electronics are all the rage these days.  A new kit called MESH (Make, Experience, Share) is intended to make coming up with your own clever projects easier than ever.  From customized alarm clocks to trash cans that thank you for recycling, it’s claimed to open up a host of possibilities for amateur inventors.

MESH is a creative DIY platform that lets you make your own “smart projects” in just minutes.  No coding required!  Simply drag and drop.

Do you have any processes that you’d like to build a solution for?  Maybe MESH is something useful for the project you are working on.

There is a wealth of information about this new kit here.  Sets are available to order for $119 and above. Delivery of the first kits is estimated for May. View the video below for a guide to some of MESH’s key features.

YouTube Preview Image

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April 15th, 2015
6:22
 

Continuous strides are being made in the field of healthcare.  Research has taken on challenges that were thought to be insurmountable.  New technology is enhancing the methods by which ‘care and cure’ may be offered.

Read this compelling story on a life-changing gadget developed by Tom Bieling.

The glove that transmits

 

‘touch’ over the internet

 

“Bieling, a researcher at the Design Lab in Berlin, has developed a glove kitted out with fabric pressure-sensors. By translating a tactile hand touch alphabet into digital text, the mobile glove could eliminate the necessity of hand-to-hand physical contact for deaf-blind communication. Even better, because a great deal of online communication is text-based, the glove could act as a translating device that allows people who are deaf-blind to communicate freely with anyone – and for anyone to communicate with them.”

Tactile glove

In the current version, users can adjust the intensity and speed of the incoming tactile messages according to their reading skills (Design Research Lab)

 

Is there a job waiting for you in Berlin? Check and see: http://www.design-research-lab.org/jobs/

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April 14th, 2015
13:44
 

This new product kinda seems too far out to be true, but I guess technology is taking leaps and bounds….  I thought the wrist-worn smartwatch was amazing…  now there is iSkin.  This experimental system allows users to control mobile devices using flexible, stretchable stickers that adhere to your skin.

blog iSkin

An iSkin sticker is used to control the playback of music (Photo: Saarland University)

Developed by a team from Saarland University in Germany and Carnegie Mellon University in the US, the silicone iSkin stickers contain capacitive and resistive sensors that respond to being touched. They can be made in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and temporarily applied almost anywhere on the body via a medical-grade adhesive.

This sticker can be removed, rolled up and put away for another time when needed.

It amazes me what students are capable of developing!  Or as the old proverb states…  “Necessity is the mother of invention”

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