• It can be difficult, digging out your keys or wallet when your hands are full. Well, if an experimental new 3D-printed "smart ring" reaches production, such digging may no longer be necessary.
  • Robots are now regularly used in applications such as picking purchased items from shipping warehouses … but most of them still can't see through walls. That said, a new bot is essentially able to do so, with a little outside help.
  • Rugby is a chaotic game at the best of times, so it can be difficult to gauge when illegal actions such as forward passes occur. That's where a new "smart rugby ball" comes in, which is packed with sensors that record its movements.
  • We've recently seen a number of battery-free implantable biosensors, that are activated by the handheld device that reads them. Scientists have now created another such sensor, that's smaller than any that have come before.
  • In order for surgeons to maintain sterility in the operating room, they certainly shouldn't be using touchscreens. A new wearable, however, may allow them to navigate content such as preoperative planning diagrams, without touching the screen.
  • Engineers at MIT are developing a way to turn the humble RFID tag into a light-powered sensor for the internet of things.
  • It was just last year that we heard how scientists from Stanford University had designed a skin-worn sensor that measures stress via cortisol levels in the sweat. Now, researchers from that same institute have announced a similar sensor that tracks other vital signs.
  • No-one likes to queue at airport check-in lines, it eats into your holiday time, and can be both boring and tiring. Now British Airways has signed up for ViewTags, reusable electronic baggage tags that can be attached to luggage before holiday-makers get to the airport.
  • Science
    ​Essentially cheap, battery-less, sticker-type devices, RFID tags transmit a signal when temporarily powered up by the electromagnetic signal from a reader device. Now, thanks to experimental new technology, they could be used to bring "smart" functionality to plain ol' analog objects.
  • Science
    ​Currently, if you're trying to digitally track someone's movements, a depth-sensing camera such as the Microsoft Kinect is one of the best ways to go. Researchers are developing a potentially better system, however, which involves attaching cheap sensors to the person's clothing.
  • Science
    While it's kind of people to set up hummingbird feeders in their back yards, some scientists are wondering if the practise may be causing more harm than good. In an effort to better understand the issue, researchers equipped a group of the birds with tags that were read by devices at feeders.
  • Science
    ​Passive RFID (radio frequency identification) tags are small, inexpensive, battery-less labels that are already used to track and identify a wide variety of items. If MIT's experimental RFIQ system enters general use, they may also soon allow consumers to check if food products are contaminated.
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