Television of the Future – Customizable & in 3D

The MPEG-H 3D Audio standard will allow television viewers to individually customize their TV audio by changing the volume of dialog and background noise elements independently of one another. © Fraunhofer IIS/Boxler/Schilling

The MPEG-H 3D Audio standard will allow television viewers to individually customize their TV audio by changing the volume of dialog and background noise elements independently of one another. © Fraunhofer IIS/Boxler/Schilling

The next generation of Ultra High Definition televisions (UHDTV) offers not only crystal-clear images, but also perfect sound. At the IBC trade show (September 11-15 in Amsterdam), Fraunhofer researchers are presenting a TV audio system based on the recently published MPEG-H 3D Audio standard, which lays the groundwork for the television audio of the future. Besides offering immersive audio capability, this new technology allows viewers to customize the audio playback of the television or other devices. Read More →

Let’s Explore the Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT

The term Internet of Things (IoT) is thrown around quite a bit these days so I thought I’d write a general introductory-level post today. Let’s start with defining the term. Engineers would argue that the IoT refers to a network of physical objects that are embedded with electronics in order to exchange data with manufacturers, operators or other connected devices. While each of these devices has a unique identity, it also is able to operate within the existing infrastructure provided by the Internet. Read More →

First Steps for Hector the Robot Stick Insect

Elastic joints and six legs that function like those of a stick insect: Hector is the only walking robot of its kind in the whole world. Photo: Bielefeld University

Elastic joints and six legs that function like those of a stick insect: Hector is the only walking robot of its kind in the whole world. Photo: Bielefeld University

A research team at Bielefeld University has succeeded in teaching the only robot of its kind in the world how to walk. Its first steps have been recorded in a video (see below). The robot is called Hector, and its construction is modelled on a stick insect. Inspired by the insect, Hector has passive elastic joints and an ultralight exoskeleton. What makes it unique is that it is also equipped with a great number of sensors and it functions according to a biologically inspired decentralized reactive control concept: the Walknet. Read More →

The Future of Molecular Electronics

MEimg

The emerging field of molecular electronics could take our definition of portable to the next level, enabling the construction of tiny circuits from molecular components. In these highly efficient devices, individual molecules would take on the roles currently played by comparatively-bulky wires, resistors and transistors. Read More →

On Digital and Analog Signals

Signals

Have you ever wondered why some people claim that music stored on vinyl discs sounds so much better?  Is digital music really worse than analog?  There are many differences between the two mediums- the heart of the distinction lies in the difference between digital (discrete) and analog (continuous) data. Read More →

Could Water Be Used to Charge a Cell Phone?

Research 2014

A research team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently found that water droplets can generate an electric charge when repelled from a superhydrophobic (ultra-waterproofed) metal surface. This technology may be used to develop portable devices that can harness the humidity from surrounding air, converting it into enough electricity to charge battery-powered electronics like cell phones. Read More →

Using Insects to Advance Cybernetics

Credit: UNIST/American Chemical Society

Credit: UNIST/American Chemical Society

While a majority of the attention on cybernetic technology has been paid to human test subjects, more researchers are now looking into what the interface between animals and machinery might soon look like. Graphene and carbon nanotubes have been melded together into a single mesh that works on a monolithic architecture. This flexible electronic device can then actually interface with living things. Read More →

Let’s Explore Quantum Teleportation

quantum teleportation2

Quantum teleportation is perhaps the closest that modern technology has come to developing a sort of teleporter for transmitting physical objects across distances without the use of some physical method of moving them. Quantum teleportation involves transmitting the exact state that an atom or photon exists in, and then using this data at a different site to reassemble it. This quantum information cannot travel faster than the speed of light, since it depends on classical communication. Read More →

Crystal Quantum Memories – Quantum Communication

© ShutterStock

© ShutterStock

Research into the strange phenomenon known as quantum entanglement – once described as ‘spooky’ by Albert Einstein – could revolutionize ICT over the coming years, enabling everything from ultra-fast computing to completely secure long-distance communications. EU-funded researchers are carrying out cutting-edge work on quantum technologies, with one team recently demonstrating a key breakthrough in extending the range of quantum communications. Read More →

Track Your Concentration with Innovative Headband

Melon comes in black or white.

Melon comes in black or white.

Are you on a quest for greater self-awareness or simply a productivity junkie seeking to frugally extort every second out of the day?  The Melon headband quantifies the brain’s focus during any activity of your choosing to better understand your working habits. Together with its proprietary mobile app, Melon gives insight into the brain’s response to various stimuli: action, environments, emotions, or whatever behavior you decide to measure, and visually records the data. Read More →