Archive for the ‘Gadgets’ Category

It’s an Arduino-based speed detector

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

Flash / Arduino Based Speed Detector from Mike Chambers on Vimeo.

Mike Chambers built this excellent looking arduino-based speed detector. An Arduino measures the time it takes an object to travel between two points, which is then relayed back to a computer (or smart phone), where it is converted into average speed and presented in a clear manner. The concept for the project is simple, however he wins big points for putting it all together into a working package.

courtesy: Arduino Blog

Wireless explanations

Friday, October 29th, 2010

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Consumers today can choose from WHDI, wireless HD, WiDi, wireless USB and Wi-Fi Direct. Confused? Check out our guide to these emerging wireless streaming-media technologies.

WHDI

Wireless Home Digital Interface, or WHDI, was finalized in 2009 to give consumers a way to link the PC to the TV. Think of it as the wireless equivalent of HDMI. The technology has a latency of less than 1 millisecond, which means it’s good enough not just for watching movies but should also work well to stream games from your browser to the TV.

WHDI can stream 1080p video at up to 3 Gbps (gigabits per second). All you need is a wireless HDI dongle that can plug into your laptop and a little receiver that goes behind the TV. That set will cost about RM464.48 and will be available early next year.

Meanwhile, TV makers such as Sharp and LG are rolling out TVs with built-in support for WHDI standard.

Slowly, the WHDI consortium hopes to convince PC makers integrate WHDI chips into laptops, similar to the way Wi-Fi chips are built in today.

WirelessHD

While other wireless technologies focus on streaming content from the PC to the TV, WirelessHD targets the most common electronic eyesore in homes: the black HDMI cables that snake out from behind the TV towards the set-top box, PC or the DVD player.

If built into TV sets, WirelessHD can offer fast data transfers of up to 10 GBps to 28 Gbps. That makes it the fastest of the lot for point-to-point data transfer.

So far, TV makers such as Panasonic, LG and Vizio have said they will offer wireless-HD–enabled sets by the end of the year. (more…)

These Tiny Magnetometers Detect Fields Generated by Human Heart!

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

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How can i imagine this tiny and ‘poor’ little thing can help a human life? hmm… I’m still thinking.

At the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) scientists have been working on microfabricated atomic magnetometers capable of detecting faint magnetic fields. The devices, about 1cm3 in size, were taken to the Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Berlin, Germany where supposedly resides the most magnetically isolated building in the world. Using the tiny magnetometers, investigators were able to detect the magnetic signature of human heartbeats, perhaps opening up the possibility for a new modality to complement ECG.

Courtesy of MedGadget.com

iPort turns iPad and iPod touch into in-wall touchscreens

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

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Photos courtesy of The Unofficial Apple Weblog

With iPad, home automation would be much easier system to be installed and implemented – and the price would be more affordable.

iPort has introduced two new products in its Control Mount Series for the Apple iPad and iPod touch.  The CM2000 Control Mount for iPad and the iPort CM100 Control Mount for iPod touch both integrate the handheld Apple touchscreen products in an in-wall frame, transforming them into in-wall touchscreens for display of weather, news, stocks and many other preferred Apps.

The CM100 also transforms the iPod touch into an in-wall Internet radio source, and connects to any stereo or audio/video receiver.  Users can download their choice of any Internet radio apps available in the Apple App Store and play the audio back through any connected stereo system.
The CM2000 (US$499) and CM100 ($250) may be installed in either a vertical or horizontal orientation, depending on the functionality and design of the room.  When installed into the iPort, the iPad and iPod touch remain constantly charged.

Courtesy: The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Macsimum News

Arad Metering Technologies Conserves Water via Battery-Operated Drones

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

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Illustration by Chris Philpot

The word drone may sounds related to any contemporary sci-fi flicks, or images of attacks carried out remotely on hostile lands, or even your high-school biology teacher’s voice. We don’t expect a drone to help us save water, but that’s what Arad Metering Technologies intends to do. The Israeli company’s battery-operated drone is one of the novel tools it’s deploying to help consumers and companies conserve H2O — and to make money.

Such an idea would come out of Israel is no coincidence. The country is poor in water and rich in tech innovation, much of it born of constant military conflict. Israel pioneered the use of unmanned aerial vehicles after it lost many fighter jets in the 1973 war. But Arad’s drones don’t fight: They read data from the company’s patented water-meter system to detect leakage or, in irrigation systems, drought.

The World Bank estimates that water wastage costs utilities $14 billion a year worldwide; in developing countries, 200 million more people could be served by the water lost to leaks and theft. Arad CEO Dan Winter says this is largely a consequence of how the business works in places where water is cheap or untaxed: “You train people to abuse water because they pay very little.”

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Photos courtesy of Arad Technologies LTD

With this innovation, instead of meter reading – it can provide real time monitoring of water supply infrastructures. Its technology can find irregularities — a pipe failure, an unusually low flow rate, or a too-constant one that could indicate a leak — in a few hours, rather than every 60 days as with a typical meter reading.

Arad’s system is built around what looks like a standard meter. The difference is on the inside, where you’ll find 3G wireless technology, a microcontroller, and 20-year batteries. Every 11 to 30 seconds, the system transmits data, which can be picked up by a drone (best for quickly covering big distances in remote areas) or by a drive-by or fixed-base reader. The data are then analyzed by computer to gauge how much water has been consumed, how much was lost, and even where tampering may have taken place. As a result, companies can save both water and man hours.

The possibilities for Arad’s services go far beyond water should be covering abilities to monitor everything from municipal infrastructure, such as traffic lights, to security-camera networks — basically any complex system prone to localized failures and waste. Arad has its own way, to proof drones could be associated with saving, not destroying; life, not death.

Courtersy: Tree Hugger, Fast Company

Open source satellites

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

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After three years of research and one year of experience as a satellite engineer, Song Hojun has found that it is possible to launch and operate a personal satellite at a fairly reasonable price. In addition, he has for the past five years been exploring ways to integrate the concept of a personal satellite project into cultural contexts and into his artistic practice.

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All the satellite-related systems (except for the rocket to launch it) are DIY programs — designed so that regular people may also have the chance of developing and eventually launching their own.

Song have presented this system and how it works at the Machine Project, Los Angeles on 2010, 25th April.

For the people who want to study or getting a clearer picture of the involving mechanisme, they can download Song’s book from Google Books here.

Courtesy: Open Source Satellite Initiative via Make

Do It Yourself a RFID immobiliser

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

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This guy, [andrew_h] has put together this slick anti theft device for his car. This RFID immobiliser is used to keep the car engine from starts unless you swipe an RFID tag. Depending on how well you hide it, and how well the person stealing the car knows you, they would have no reason to suspect that they have to swipe the tag. Even if someone steals the car while it is already running, they won’t be able to re start the engine if they shut it off. Guys, you should try this one if you have any car to experiment with, or you have to steal a car to do this.. kidding! All steps, schematics and PCBs are available.

Available at Instructables.com via Hack A Day

Build a 9-digit Pulse Counter for under $20

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

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Roughly, at $20 to build? This 9 digit pulse counter is an excellent example of home built tools. Josh, the builder found himself repairing a device and in need of a pulse counter. With the components cheaply available, he just built his own. He says that it has a few limitations, like display brightness, but overall it seems to do the job well. All the stuffs, steps and even PCB can be downloaded from his site at your own will.

Courtesy of Imsolidstate

How to decode infrared transmission

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

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Alright, here we’re going for chapter on Manchester Encoding. Brian J Hoskins did just that when building this RC5 decoder. This protocol is widely used in television remote controls. You use them on a daily basis, don’t you think it’s time you understood what’s going on? Check out his writeup and learn the dark art of invisible light communication. Or just skip the learning and follow this how-to.

courtesy: Hack a day

Automated rain barrel watering system

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

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To some crowds, irrigating a small garden is a relatively relaxing and sometimes therapeutic activity, well if you are a botany/biology nerd or desperately really need a hobby – but going away for any length of time can present a problem. The simple solution of course is to purchase a hose-bib/timer package from Home Depot for about $30 and set up a small drip system to efficiently water each plant or row of plants (rather than a wasteful sprinkler system). Going along with conserving water is using a rain barrel collection system to capture rain for later use thus eliminating or more likely reducing treated water consumption.

Adding a rain barrel complicates the system significantly as there isn’t much water pressure at its spigot compared to a standard city spigot which has somewhere around 40 psi. Also, if the barrel is empty, you don’t want your plants to die and thus you need to be able to detect that the barrel is empty and switch to city water.

Courtesy: HAXORYOURMOTHERHARDRIVE