Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

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MIT Finger Device Reads to the Blind in Real Time

July 14, 2014

“Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are developing an audio reading device to be worn on the index finger of people whose vision is impaired, giving them affordable and immediate access to printed words.

The so-called FingerReader, a prototype produced by a 3-D printer, fits like a ring on the user’s finger, equipped with a small camera that scans text. A synthesized voice reads words aloud, quickly translating books, restaurant menus and other needed materials for daily living, especially away from home or office.”

Read full article at Boston.com

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The Drone Survival Guide

July 14, 2014

Our ancestors could spot natural predators from far by their silhouettes. Are we equally aware of the predators in the present-day? Drones are remote-controlled planes that can be used for anything from surveillance and deadly force, to rescue operations and scientific research. Most drones are used today by military powers for remote-controlled surveillance and attack, and their numbers are growing. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) predicted in 2012 that within 20 years there could be as many as 30.000 drones flying over U.S. Soil alone. As robotic birds will become commonplace in the near future, we should be prepared to identify them. This survival guide is an attempt to familiarize ourselves and future generations, with a changing technological environment.

This document contains the silhouettes of the most common drone species used today and in the near future. Each indicating nationality and whether they are used for surveillance only or for deadly force. All drones are drawn in scale for size indication. From the smallest consumer drones measuring less than 1 meter, up to the Global Hawk measuring 39,9 meter in length.

Concept and design by Ruben Pater.

The Drone Survival Guide

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The Paper Birds of Diana Beltran Herrera

July 14, 2014

See +++ HERE
www.dianabeltranherrera.com

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A new industry born from the disaster — LED indoor farming

July 14, 2014

Humans have spent the last 10,000 years mastering agriculture. But a freak summer storm or bad drought can still mar many a well-planted harvest. Not anymore, says Japanese plant physiologist Shigeharu Shimamura, who has moved industrial-scale farming under the roof.

Working in Miyagi Prefecture in eastern Japan, which was badly hit by powerful earthquake and tsunamis in 2011, Shimamura turned a former Sony Corporation semiconductor factory into the world’s largest indoor farm illuminated by LEDs. The special LED fixtures were developed by GE and emit light at wavelengths optimal for plant growth.

The farm is nearly half the size of a football field (25,000 square feet). It opened on July and it is already producing 10,000 heads of lettuce per day. “I knew how to grow good vegetables biologically and I wanted to integrate that knowledge with hardware to make things happen,” Shimamura says.

Read full article at GE

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The Olfactory Future: Share the Smell of a Delicious Meal or a Hideous Flatulence Remotely and in Real-Time

June 21, 2014

Could you send olfactory messages in the future? Could you capture the scent of a delicious meal or something unpleasant and share it? Probably soon but for now, we are beginning to hear (or smell) about devices able to diffuse over 300,000 unique aromas. Among some of these devices entering the market and our consciousness, there are the apparently real, like the oPhone; and the hoaxy, like the Google Nose. Designer Lloyd Alberts has created an speculative product based on the Google Nose. It is called the Sniffer and it is featured in Next Nature.

“There is a landfill somewhere filled with all the products that have miserably failed in their quest to deliver a high quality aromatic communication experience (Smell-O-Vision, Odorama, iSmell, etc).” Lets take a smell at the Ophone. Developed by the inventor and Harvard professor David Edwards and his ex-student developer Rachel Field. According to their Indiegogo writeup:

What is the oPhone?

The oPhone is a revolutionary device that, in combination with our free iPhone app “oSnap”, allows you to send and receive electronic aroma messages. Think of it as a kind of telephone for aromas. With the oPhone, you can now bring complex scent texting into your mobile messaging life, and share sensory experience with anyone, anywhere.

How it Works

The oPhone DUO is able to diffuse over 300,000 unique aromas thanks to the small, inexpensive circular cartridges we call oChips, that fit inside the device. The oPhone DUO works with 8 oChips and each oChip contains 4 aromas – so the oPhone DUO works with 32 primitive aromas. They last for hundreds of uses, sort of like link cartridges, but for aroma. You can swap them in and out and capture any scent for which we have designed an oChip. And while we are starting with oChip families (what we call “aromatic vocabularies”) around specific foodie and coffee experiences, we will soon be diversifying these in exciting ways.

Using oSnap with oPhone is like using an aroma palette with a paintbrush and canvas. You will want to try your hand at it, or as we say, “aroma doodle”. And with the oPhone, you’ll quickly get the hang of how it all works.

Find the oPhone.
www.onotes.com

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TellSpec: What’s in your food?

June 10, 2014

The TellSpec laser scanner appears, at least in its demo form, to have potential. The device is a raman spectrometer that uses an algorithm to calculate what’s in your food. You point the laser at a potato chip for instance, and the accompanying app on your smartphone gives you a read-out of the ingredients.

The creators raised more than $380,000 on Indiegogo at the end of last year. Now the company has to take some big steps towards getting the device on store shelves.

According to TellSpec: TellSpec is a three-part system which includes: a spectrometer scanner, an algorithm that exists in the cloud; and an easy-to-understand interface on your smart phone. Just aim the scanner at the food and press the button until it beeps. You can scan directly or through plastic or glass. TellSpec analyzes the findings using the algorithm and sends a report to your phone telling you the allergens, chemicals, nutrients, calories, and ingredients in the food. TellSpec is a fast, simple, and easy-to-use way to learn what’s in your food. We need your help to make it smaller and manufacture it as a handheld device.

Image via Bloomberg BusinessWeek

We Took The Laser Scanner That Tells You What’s In Your Food Out For A Spin

Is this the future of dieting? The gadget that can tell you how many calories are in your dinner just by scanning it.

Also:

SCiO, the Pocket Molecular Sensor

NODE by Variable Technologies

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12-year-old invents Braille printer using Lego set

May 22, 2014

A 12-year-old student from California has created a Braille printer by repurposing parts from a Lego set. Shubham Banerjee, a seventh-grade student from Santa Clara, Calif., developed the Braille printer using toy construction Lego pieces. The low-cost invention could be an accessible solution for blind and disadvantaged people across the globe, Banerjee said.

The printer, dubbed Braigo (short for Braille with Lego), was created from the Lego Mindstorms EV3 set, which retails for $349. Banerjee also added $5-worth of additional materials, which means the finished product costs about $350. This makes Braigo much more affordable than other Braille printers, which can retail for more than $2,000, according to Banerjee. [10 Inventions That Changed the World]

The innovative youngster developed Braigo to prove it is feasible to make an inexpensive Braille printer, he said. Banerjee now plans to make the project open-source, by releasing the design free-of-charge to the online community.

“I’ll make this Braille printer and make the steps and the program software open to the Internet, so anyone who has a set can make it,” Banerjee said in a YouTube video about the Braigo project.

The printer is programmed to produce the letters “A” through “Z” in Braille. It takes roughly seven seconds to print each letter, according to Banerjee. In a video uploaded to YouTube, Banerjee demonstrates how to print the letter “Y,” and then shows how simple it is to combine letters to form words, like “cat.”

“This is so easy even my little sister can do it,” he said. Enhancements can be made to the printer’s software, and Banerjee said he now plans to program Braigo to print the numbers one to 10.

The Lego Group has already voiced their praise for the project, tweeting: “We’re very proud. Impressive work for a great cause!” An estimated 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide, and 90 percent of these individuals live in developing countries, according to the World Health Organization. An inexpensive Braille printer could bring affordable, 21st-century computing to millions of people facing visual impairment, Banerjee said.

Via Mother Nature Network