HotSpot Episode 34: Safety that’s Not Annoying

Mon, 10/14/2013 - 10:41am
Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development

On this week's episode of WDD’s HotSpot, brought to you by OKW Enclosures:

  • Nest Labs is back with their new Nest project smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. Traditional alarms can be touch and extra annoying, so Nest Labs’ design provides an early warning with an actual human voice accompanied by a yellow light, which tells you where smoke is and when CO levels are rising. If it’s a false alarm, just stand under it and wave your arm to silence the warning. No more of this. This new design also sends messages to your phone if an emergency occurs, or if the batteries are running low. It’s safety that’s not annoying.
  • The 66th and final antenna has been delivered to the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), observatory, completing the construction phase and beginning a new era of discoveries in astronomy. All 66 ultra-precise millimetre/submillimetre-wave radio antennas are expected to be working together as one telescope by the end of this year, in an array that will approximately stretch for up to 10 miles.
  • A novel sensing algorithm that allows detecting the effect of Alzheimer’s disease in unconstrained everyday motion behavior, has been developed by the Medical Faculty and the Faculty for Computer Science and Electrical Engineering of Rostock University and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) Rostock. According to the interdisciplinary joint study, the method achieves an accuracy of 91% with the algorithm using spectral features of motion signals that are obtained by unobtrusive accelerometers worn by the subjects during their normal everyday activities.
  • UCLA researchers have created a portable smartphone attachment that can be used to perform sophisticated field testing to detect viruses and bacteria. Weighing less than half a pound, this cellphone-based imaging platform could be used for specific and sensitive detection of sub-wavelength objects, including bacteria and viruses, enabling the practice of nanotechnology and biomedical testing in field settings and even in remote and resource-limited environments.

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