As you logged in to write a comment this morning, think about where your smartphone was sitting. Was it next to your keyboard, where you could ensure you didn’t miss any notifications? If so, your phone could track everything you wrote. It could use the accelerometer to detect keyboard vibrations, deciphering every word of your insightful anonymous commentary. A hacker could conceivably use it to find out everything you write, with up to 80 percent accuracy, researchers say.
A new app can automatically tag your smartphone photos with a wide range of attributes, picking out not only the people but the context of the picture, including emotions, weather conditions and type of activity.
Plenty of gadgets we take for granted come to us via the space program — GPS, cordless tools, the Fisher space pen. But NASA doesn’t always have to reinvent the wheel; sometimes off-the-shelf technology can serve the space agency just as well. Take the accelerometers in the iPhone, for example. Why build a space station-specific device when there’s already an app for that?
New tiny force sensors made out of paper cost just four cents apiece, possibly enabling cheap microelectromechanical devices in anything from consumer electronics to medicine.
Harvard professor George Whitesides developed the paper accelerometers using chromatography paper, tiny sliver and carbon contact pads, and vinyl stencils. The process is so cheap and easy that the sensors could be disposable.
Think of the Acceleglove as a socially-acceptable Power Glove for adults. Laced with acclerometers on each finger, the glove comes with an open source SDK that allows for it to control virtually anything--provided you can write the code for it.
A class project pairs a microprocessor and some accelerometers with the classic drawing toy
By Dave Prochnow
Posted 04.23.2008 at 1:08 pm 1 Comment
SparkFun Electronics is showcasing a recent class project from Alex Dow at the University of Colorado. Derived from a box full of SparkFun widgets, Mr. Dow was able to concoct a digitally controlled Etch-a-Sketch.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.