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Power Harvesting Sensor Patch Uses Your Body As a Battery

Power Harvesting Sensor Patch Uses Your Body As a Battery

Photo: Evan Ackerman/IEEE Spectrum In theory, wearable electronics are great. In practice, they’re great—until you have to charge them, at which point they become annoying. We’re counting on wireless power to come along and save us all, but in the meantime, there are other creative ways to keep lower power devices running. At CES last week, […]

Hands-On with Ultrahaptics' Invisible, Touchable Controls

Hands-On with Ultrahaptics' Invisible, Touchable Controls

Photo: Evan Ackerman/IEEE SpectrumPrototype of a tactile gesture control stove top from Ultrahaptics Last year at CES, we experienced a very cool demo from Ultrahaptics of an ultrasound-based gesture interface that provides invisible tactile feedback in mid-air. This year, Bristol, England-based start-up is showing how their technology can be embedded into devices like cars, stereos, and stoves. […]

Non-Invasive Nerve Stimulator Tamps Down Brainwaves That Cause Migraines

Non-Invasive Nerve Stimulator Tamps Down Brainwaves That Cause Migraines

Photo: iStockphoto Scientists in Boston say that vagus nerve stimulation—currently a treatment for epilepsy, but under investigation for a broad host of other ailments—suppresses the spread of an important neurophysiological phenomenon called cortical spreading depression. And it does it much faster than phramaceuticals. Cortical spreading depression (CSD) occurs in migraines, and when it spreads to […]

Lessons from CES: How VR Can Avoid the Fate of 3D TV

Lessons from CES: How VR Can Avoid the Fate of 3D TV

Photo: Stephen Cass/IEEE SpectrumCES attendees line up for a chance to try the latest version of the Oculus Rift VR headset, which should finally start shipping to consumers by April. “Your quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little and it will fail, to the ruin of all.” So says Galadrial […]

Why Wireless Power is the Most Exciting Thing at CES 2016

Why Wireless Power is the Most Exciting Thing at CES 2016

Illustration: iStockphoto The reason that people like me keep coming back to CES isn’t to see slightly bigger televisions, incrementally upgraded laptops, or ridiculous niche gadgets that only a handful of bleeding-edge techies in the known universe might ever actually use. Fundamentally, CES is about the tantalizing promise of the next big thing. The major […]

CES is Dead. Long Live CES

CES is Dead. Long Live CES

Photos: IEEE Spectrum Recently, every new year occasions a certain amount of grumbling about CES in some techie circles. Pundits fear CES has become over-managed, with carefully choreographed exercises in PR replacing real tech news. It’s certainly true that the show has undergone some gentrification, as mainstream interest in what was once a deeply geeky […]

CES: The Engineer’s Scorecard

CES: The Engineer’s Scorecard

Photo: Andrej Sokolow/Corbis Once upon a time, world-changing technologies flowed from the wants and needs of large institutions. The government or a large company would develop something (or have someone invent it for them)—say, a computer small enough to fly a spacecraft, or a way to amplify long-distance conversations in telephone exchanges—and then eventually the […]

Processor With Photonic Interconnects Built

Processor With Photonic Interconnects Built

Photo: Glenn Asakawa/University of Colorado Chip designers would love to use light beams rather than copper wires to move data between microprocessors. Such optical interconnects would overcome the bandwidth bottleneck inherent in the wires and take full advantage of the leaps in processor speed, but marrying two very different technologies—electronics and photonics—has been a high […]

VR Glove Powered by Finger Motions

VR Glove Powered by Finger Motions

Photo: Politecnico di Torino Tom Cruise would have looked much less cool in the 2002 film Minority Report if he’d swiped through images on his computer display with gloves that required clunky data cables or heavy battery packs. A real-world glove promises to bring that sleek Minority Report–style future one step closer by harvesting energy from the wearer’s finger motions. The prototype […]

Flourescent Camera Pill Could Hunt for Cancer in Your Guts

Flourescent Camera Pill Could Hunt for Cancer in Your Guts

Photo: University of Glasgow A swallowable camera pill is the first to use fluorescent light to help detect cancer in the human throat or gut. The new device made by Scottish researchers could replace the clumsy endoscope “snake” cameras often used to check out a patient’s innards. Existing camera pills rely upon visible light to illuminate […]