Your cellphone does not in itself cause cancer. But in the daily sea of radiation we all travel, there may be subtler dangers at work, and science is only just beginning to understand how they can come to affect people like Per Segerbäck so intensely
By James Geary
Posted 03.04.2010 at 11:39 am 84 Comments
Per Segerbäck lives in a modest cottage in a nature reserve some 75 miles northeast of Stockholm. Wolves, moose and brown bears roam freely past his front door. He keeps limited human company, because human technology makes him physically ill. How ill? On a walk last summer, he ran into one of his few neighbors, a man who lives in a cottage about 100 yards away. During their chat, the man's cellphone rang, and Segerbäck, 54, was overcome by nausea. Within seconds, he was unconscious.
The future of touchscreen interfaces is: you? A project between a Carnegie Mellon researcher and a couple of creative thinkers over at Microsoft Research have created Skinput, a Bluetooth-enabled device that allows you to use your own skin as a peripheral input device for devices like cell phones, MP3 players or gaming consoles.
Smart phones have become all the rage among U.S. warfighters who want to stay in contact with each other and drone buddies, but their phones still rely upon having available 3G or Wi-Fi networks. That may change with a new mobile system that create a direct network between two Google Android phones without an additional server, according to Technology Review.
CES may be over, but in our post-technalia hangover we’re still discovering a few small wonders that flew under the radar last week, not least of which is this RCA Airnergy, a small USB device that harvests electrical power from Wi-Fi signals.
All those cancer concerns surrounding cell phones may have to make room for good news. Astonished scientists found that electromagnetic radiation from cell phones not only boosted the memories of young mice, but even reversed Alzheimer's symptoms in old mice. Their study marks the first to investigate how long-term electromagnetic radiation affects memory function.
If TMZ.com and Kate Moss have taught us anything, it’s that there’s a lot of cell phone video footage out there. Unlike TMZ.com and Kate Moss, researchers at Microsoft’s Labs in Cairo, Egypt are doing something cool with all that content , combining feeds from multiple phones capturing the same scene into multi-angle, live online broadcasts.
Tethering your phone's data connection to your laptop (and the fact that the iPhone can’t do it – thanks AT&T) is all the rage right now, but despite the convenience of the mobile Web, such connections are still comparatively unreliable. But the geeks over at Microsoft Research have come up with Cool-Tether--a seemingly obvious, yet novel way to pool multiple cellular data connections into a single, faster and more reliable Wi-Fi hotspot that can be shared by all.
Cell phones have increasingly become mobile labs and tech tools for researchers, and now NASA has gotten in on the act. A postage-stamp-sized chemical sensor allows iPhones to sniff out low airborne concentrations of chemicals such as ammonia, chlorine gas and methane.
A puff from a "sample jet" helps sense any airborne chemicals. That information gets processed by a silicon chip consisting of 16 nanosensors, and then passes on to another phone or computer through any Wi-Fi or telecom network.
We know, we know: turning a cell phone camera into a microscope isn't exactly a technological breakthrough. In fact, our Best of What's New coverage last year included the CellScope, a cell phone add-on developed at UC Berkeley packing high-powered optics allowing users to transmit images to far-away health centers for diagnosis. But researchers at UCLA have upped the ante, creating a $10, off-the-shelf microscope addition for cell phones that dispenses with the microscope optics altogether.
Google's Android does a lot more these days than just smart phones and nifty mobile gadgets. An Internet pioneer is using the platform to launch a interplanetary Internet protocol on Earth that could harden wireless networks against delays in data transmission.
When we saw the Motorola Cliq and the way it married all your contacts simply in one place (a la the Palm Pre), we finally saw the light at the end of the Android tunnel. This morning, that light got even brighter with Android 2.0--the next iteration of Google's mobile software.
Google's Android operating system for cell phones could allow soldiers to track fellow squad members and even unmanned drones in real time on a map -- as long as the humans and robots are on their buddy list.
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.