By Sarah ParsonsPosted 05.13.2011 at 11:44 am 0 Comments
Hydrogen fuel cells have exploded onto the market as convenient chargers for your handheld devices. Plugged in via USB ports, the cells don't have to rely on wind or sun to stave off irritating "battery low!" messages.
In the five years that Popular Science has run the Invention Awards, we’ve seen a lot of remarkable things come out of people’s garages. Some are designed to treat the sick or save the planet. Others are simply fun to play with. But no matter what the purpose, the brilliance of the inventions and the dedication of the individuals behind them are always inspiring.
By Ryan BradleyPosted 05.12.2011 at 2:44 pm 0 Comments
Humans are not good at delivering drugs. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and pharmacy techs can mix pills up, provide too many or too few, or fail to dispense them quickly enough. In some cases, controlled substances disappear from hospitals, bound for the black market. Medication errors lead to some 1.5 million “preventable drug-related injuries” every year, at a cost of $3.5 billion, a report by the National Academies found. The stakes are highest in trauma units, where lifesaving drugs must be given within the “golden hour”--when medications are most effective.
Imagine bringing down World of Warcraft enemies with merely an icy stare. A new laptop prototype, developed jointly by Lenovo and eye-tracking specialist Tobii, is the first notebook you can control with your eyes. The 15-inch computer can run gaze-based apps that automatically close when you look away and reopen when you look back, or games that let you aim weapons with your eyes.
After 159 days on the International Space Station and a 50-minute reentry, NASA commander Scott Kelly and two Russian flight engineers, Oleg Skripochka and Alexander Kaleri, landed with a gentle thud in rural Kazakhstan on March 16. High winds dragged their Soyuz capsule several feet before it came to a rest.
Plenty of once-amazing technologies like the Sony Walkman and Betamax now belong in a museum, and every year the pace of obsolescence gets faster--something not everyone is happy about. Analysts predict that video, music and cellphones are the next categories likely to see familiar equipment die off in the years ahead.
If you’re looking to gin up a project that can interface with the world--say, a device that tells the weather using sensors--you’re probably going to need a microcontroller, a simple computer system on a circuit board that consists of a processor, memory and an input/output system. They are the centerpiece of many of my past PopSci projects, such as a desk clock that keeps superaccurate time by pulling in a signal broadcast from an atomic clock.
Pushing back the night with light of our own making was the first and greatest of humankind's achievements. What a thrill it must have been to discover that the setting sun no longer had to mean darkness and fear. We've come a long way since that first campfire, but it's just recently that technology has topped the most advanced form of open-flame light.