MIT researchers are developing a new textile fiber that can "hear" and produce sound. They've published their latest breakthroughs in the scientific journal Nature Materials. From MIT News:
Applications could include clothes that are themselves sensitive microphones, for capturing speech or monitoring bodily functions, and tiny filaments that could measure blood flow in capillaries or pressure in the brain...
"You can actually hear them, these fibers," says Noémie Chocat, a graduate student in the materials science department. "If you connected them to a power supply and applied a sinusoidal current" – an alternating current whose period is very regular – "then it would vibrate. And if you make it vibrate at audible frequencies and put it close to your ear, you could actually hear different notes or sounds coming out of it."
In addition to wearable microphones and biological sensors, applications of the fibers could include loose nets that monitor the flow of water in the ocean and large-area sonar imaging systems with much higher resolutions: A fabric woven from acoustic fibers would provide the equivalent of millions of tiny acoustic sensors.
Drone manufacturer DJI published a white paper proposing a kind of license plate for drones in the form of a wireless identifier that the buzzing UAVs would be required to broadcast. The paper describes a possible way to balance the privacy of drone operators with perceived public concern about whose controlling the bots buzzing overhead. […]
Over at The Nib, excellent historical cartoonist Andy Warner, author of the wonderful Brief Histories of Everyday Objects, tells the story of how the Unicode Consortium brings new emoji into our online lives. From The Nib: Read the full comic: “Want a New Emoji? Good Luck.”
The public bathroom at Beijing’s Temple of Heaven Park now has a toilet paper dispenser outfitted with a camera and facial recognition technology to prevent toilet paper theft. From the New York Times: Before entering restrooms in the park, visitors must now stare into a computer mounted on the wall for three seconds before a […]
Thread count isn’t like one of those deceiving metrics like camera megapixels or Facebook friends—more threads are always better if you can afford them. If price was no object, we would all be snoozing soundly bundled up in 1.8 kilo-thread sheets every single night. Guess what? Price doesn’t have to be an object with this […]
Maybe it’s entirely because of podcast ads, but drag-and-drop tools like Squarespace have gotten immensely popular in recent years. While it’s definitely a great tool for any non-coders who want to get a small website up and running quickly, managing content with a primarily visual interface can become a pain once you have more than […]
When you can’t wait for the world’s longest meeting to end, the mindless leg bouncing makes your boredom obvious and just annoys everybody else. Everyone knows the TPS reports need the damn cover sheet, but some sadistic colleague keeps forgetting, probably on purpose just to eat into your lunch hour. Enough is enough!While serving a […]