This Cheap Sensor Will Tell Your Phone When Food Goes Bad

Some MIT eggheads invented a very impressive and very inexpensive sensor that stands to protect you against anything from a bomb to a bad pack of beef. And it's so simple. The new sensor is just a modified near field communication (NFC) chip that can detect the presence of specific gases with the help of carbon… » 12/08/14 5:30pm 12/08/14 5:30pm

How a Medical Stress Sensor Evolved Into a Beautiful Wearable For All

Seven years ago, an MIT professor named Rosalind Picard developed a wristband called iCalm to help autistic kids manage stress by measuring electrodermal activity on the skin. Today, Picard and her team want to put their device in your hands. What happened in between is a fascinating story about the role of accidental… » 11/19/14 2:03pm 11/19/14 2:03pm

Zurich Installed 4,500 Street Sensors to Count Every Car in the City

Congestion pricing—the implementation of high tolls to keep cars out of congested downtown areas—is one of the most effective ways to reduce traffic and emissions. Zurich's plan goes above and beyond that, using a network of sensors to track the number of cars that enter its downtown and prevent more cars from… » 10/16/14 3:41pm 10/16/14 3:41pm

Human-Sensing Fan Only Blows Where There Be People

Nothing puts a strain on your local power grid like a hot, humid summer day. In many cities rolling blackouts are needed to cope with the strain, so it makes sense that companies would start developing smarter cooling devices. Quirky's Aros air conditioner is leading the charge, but this smarter oscillating fan is… » 5/16/14 4:20pm 5/16/14 4:20pm

A Graphite Sensor That's Drawn On with a Regular Pencil

Who of us hasn't wished for their own Purple Crayon like Harold's? While this new graphite-based piezoresistive sensor won't make your home come alive with creatures from your imagination, it will provide an inexpensive, easily-applied means of measuring mechanical stresses. You'll just need a pencil and paper. » 2/28/14 6:20pm 2/28/14 6:20pm

These New Sensors Will Turn Passenger Jets Into Flying Weathervanes

Despite our best efforts, accurately predicting the weather remains about as easy as accurately predicting the next winning Powerball numbers. But with the installation of a new type of humidity sensor, the fleets of commercial passenger jets that inhabit our skies could soon provide meteorologists an unprecedented… » 12/16/13 12:20pm 12/16/13 12:20pm

Brave New Interface: A Fleet of Dust-Sized Sensors Embedded In Your…

A few weeks ago, we wrote about a tiny micro-bot designed to be injected into a patient’s eye and controlled via magnet—a speck-sized eye surgeon. This week, a group of Berkeley researchers published a study positing a similar concept, except the ‘bots are inside your brain. And they’re the size of dust particles.… » 7/16/13 3:40pm 7/16/13 3:40pm

Radical New Image Sensor Turns your Entire Display Into a Digital Camera

Researchers at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria have developed a new kind of image sensor that could one day revolutionize the form factor of digital cameras. Instead of a postage stamp-sized digital eye, the sensor is a flat, flexible, transparent plastic sheet that could be invisibly overlayed on… » 2/22/13 12:40pm 2/22/13 12:40pm