Mission Impossible self-destructing gadgets not so impossible

February 22, 2017

A new self-destruct mechanism can destroy electronics within 10 seconds through wireless commands or the triggering of certain sensors. Many government agencies and corporations would value such an extra layer of security for computing devices that might get lost or stolen. But past experiments with self-destructing electronics have either relied on new specialized chip designs or have taken far longer than 10 seconds. By comparison, the new self-destruct mechanism proposed…


Electronics of today pale in comparison to yesterday’s

February 21, 2017

Billions of people have come to see the companies providing these gadgets as the most innovative, and the people who head those companies as the most exalted, of all time. ‘Genius’ is a starter category in this discussion. But clever and appealing though today’s electronic gadgets may be, to the historian they are nothing but the inevitable fifth-order elaborations of two fundamental ideas: electromagnetic radiation, the theory of which was…


DNA switch sparks advancement of nano-electronics

February 20, 2017

Much like flipping your light switch at home—only on a scale 1,000 times smaller than a human hair—an ASU-led team has now developed the first controllable DNA switch to regulate the flow of electricity within a single, atomic-sized molecule. The new study, led by ASU Biodesign Institute researcher Nongjian Tao, was published in the advanced online journal Nature Communications. “It has been established that charge transport is possible in DNA,…


Now we’re talking…

February 14, 2017

Even though there are still some kinks to iron out, automatic speech recognition is on the verge of becoming people’s chief means of interacting with their principal computing devices. Strange to think it was the butt of jokes as little as ten years ago. With the anticipation of the age of voice-controlled electronics, MIT researchers have built a low-power chip specialized for automatic speech recognition. Whereas a cellphone running speech-recognition…


Learning to play with LEDs

February 8, 2017

How would you feel about learning to play guitar through fiber-optic LED lights? Sounds cool doesn’t it, well now with Fret Zeppelin this is a reality. Instead of relying on an instructor or a specialized beginner’s guitar, Fret Zeppelin fits onto an already existent full-sized guitar of a player’s choosing. Once on the guitar, players can pick whatever song they want to learn through the Fret Zeppelin’s companion iOS /…


Ingestible electronics powered through gut fluids

February 7, 2017

Now ingestible electronics which travel through the gut within pill-like capsules, can release drugs, whilst recording the temperature, pH and other vital signs, and even capture video footage. However, most current ingestible electronics rely on conventional batteries, many of which require toxic materials. But a new study finds that swallowable electronics could be powered for days inside the body by harvesting energy from chemical reactions within the stomach. Scientists have…


Cobalt grid reliably programmed at room temperature

February 3, 2017

Scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition, they have discovered that for every hole (‘antidot’), three magnetic states can be configured in a nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grid. The results have been published in the journal Scientific Reports. Physicist Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure…


Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 launched

January 16, 2017

Raspberry Pi have launched two versions of Compute Module 3. The first is the ‘standard’ CM3 which has a BCM2837 processor at up to 1.2GHz with 1GByte RAM, the same as Pi3, and 4Gbytes of on-module eMMC flash. The second version is what we are calling ‘Compute Module 3 Lite’ (CM3L) which still has the same BCM2837 and 1Gbyte of RAM, but brings the SD card interface to the Module pins so…


First single-sided acoustic tractor beam is 3D printable

January 5, 2017

The first single-sided acoustic tractor beam—that is, the first realization of trapping and pulling an object using sound waves from only one direction was developed with help by Asier Marzo, then a doctoral student at the Public University of Navarre last year. Now a research assistant at the University of Bristol, Marzo has lead a team that adapted the technology to be, for all intents and purposes, 3D printable by…


Printable electronics with nanowire ‘inks’

January 4, 2017

Duke University scientists are brewing up conductive ink-jet printer ‘inks’ to print inexpensive, customizable circuit patterns on just about any surface, by suspending tiny metal nanoparticles in liquids. Printed electronics, which are already being used on a wide scale in devices such as the anti-theft radio frequency identification (RFID) tags you might find on the back of new DVDs, currently have one major drawback: for the circuits to work, they first…