Category: electronics

The chemical-sniffing setup will send data to the Web so doctors and patients can get a better sense of what causes attacks.

One out of every 12 people in the U.S. have asthma, and the number of people diagnosed with the chronic and sometimes fatal disease grows each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Asthma attacks can be triggered by a variety of inhaled substances, from natural sources including pollen and pet dander as well as chemical compounds such as household cleaners and air pollution. To help people with asthma identify and avoid the chemical irritants that cause asthma attacks, AT&T labs researchers are developing a sensor that can sniff the air for known asthma triggers. Continue reading

Internet, computing and networking technologies are now integral to many people’s lives, generating ever-increasing amounts of digital information. Data storage experts estimate that by 2020, 35 zettabytes—35 x 1021 bytes—of digital information will require storage that is safe, reliable and above all, quickly accessible. “Storage is the most likely issue to inhibit the capability and performance of a computing system,” explains Yong Khai Leong at the A*STAR Data Storage Institute. “Current hard disk drives consume significant energy and release a lot of heat.” Continue reading

Engineer Dallas Goecker attends meetings, jokes with colleagues and roams the office building just like other employees at his company in Silicon Valley.

But Goecker isn’t in California. He’s more than 2,300 miles away, working at home in Seymour, Indiana.

It’s all made possible by the Beam — a mobile video-conferencing machine that he can drive around his company’s offices and workshops in Palo Alto. The five-foot-tall device, topped with a large video screen, gives him a physical presence that makes him and his colleagues feel like he’s actually there. Continue reading

A new approach to processing ‘big data’ creates succinct representations of huge data sets, so that existing algorithms can handle them efficiently.

In computer science, the buzzword of the day is “big data.” The proliferation of cheap, Internet-connected sensors — such as the GPS receivers, accelerometers and cameras in smartphones — has meant an explosion of information whose potential uses have barely begun to be explored. In large part, that’s because processing all that data can be prohibitively time-consuming. Continue reading

The 8-cm-long silica-on-silicon photonic chip in the center of the picture served as the 4-photon QBSM. Arrays of single-mode fibers are glued to the left and right sides of the chip. For viewing purposes, a red laser is coupled into two of the single mode fibers (right side of picture), which illuminate a portion of the on-chip interferometric network. Continue reading

Scientists from the University of Tübingen, working with colleagues from Tel Aviv University and the Kiel University have proposed [1] and experimentally demonstrated [2] a new type of superconducting element – named the φ-Josephson junction. Implemented in cryogenic devices, this element will make superconducting electronic circuits work practically “by themselves” and improve functionality. The scientists have published their results in the journal Physical Review Letters. Continue reading

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has developed a prototype system to help flights avoid major storms as they travel over remote ocean regions. The 8-hour forecasts of potentially dangerous atmospheric conditions are designed for pilots, air traffic controllers, and others involved in transoceanic flights.The NCAR-based system, developed with funding from NASA’s Applied Sciences Program, combines satellite data and computer weather models to produce maps of storms over much of the world’s oceans. The system is based on products that NCAR has developed to alert pilots and air traffic controllers about storms and related hazards, such as turbulence and lightning, over the continental United States. Continue reading

We are getting extremely close to having a fully functioning wrist PC. While many people are using smart phones today as they would a PC, it cannot always be convenient to constantly be pulling out your phone in order to check on text messages, e-mails and other alerts. Luckily there is now a solution. Continue reading