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    Silicon cochlea mimics human sound detection

    By Richard Wallace | February 25, 2016

    Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 3.50.50 PM

    Robots and other machines may soon have auditory abilities that mimic human hearing thanks to recent developments in neuromorphic engineering at a Swiss-based research institute.

    According to a recent presentation by Shi-Chi Liu at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco, the Institut für Neuroinformatik, University of Zürich has developed a neuromorphic auditory system or ‘silicon cochlea’ that uses just 55 microwatts of power to detect sound in a humanlike way.

    Internet of Things

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      The IOT Library: Cutting the cord and going ‘totally wireless’

      By Richard Wallace | February 24, 2016

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      Increasingly, what we think of as the Internet of Things is, in actuality, the ‘Wireless Internet of Things.’ Engineers and product designers today are eschewing wires for waves, especially for data transmission, interconnection, and communications, much of it over Bluetooth, ZigBee, Wi-Fi live and other wireless protocols.

      Look no further than this week’s Mobile World Congress for working examples of this next-wave wireless design trend and its inevitable outcome.

      Smart Wearable Things

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        Zuckerberg, wearable technology steal Mobile World Congress limelight

        By Richard Wallace | February 22, 2016

        Zuckerberg, wearable tech in Mobile World Congress limelight

        Industry watchers in Barcelona this week for Mobile World Congress are closely tracking new product offerings and technology developments in smart wearable things. “We could see hearables, VR and smart home launches at the show” one advance write-up of the MWC noted.

        Indeed, no sooner had the mobile congress began when online dispatches like this proclaimed VR the star of the show:

        “Virtual reality dominated the world’s biggest mobile phone show today, with one of its most influential proponents, Mark Zuckerberg, making a surprise appearance at a Samsung media event” where the Facebook CEO predicted that virtual reality would be the next big thing to “change the way we live and work and communicate”.

        Smart Wearable Things

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          Smartwatch shipments clock the mighty Swiss timepiece

          By Richard Wallace | February 21, 2016

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          As noted in a post here last year, (Smart silicon ticks like sands of time for watchmakers) when it comes to the smartwatch, Switzerland’s mechanical watch industry has been pretty much whistling past the graveyard for years.

          Today, just a few weeks before Baselworld 2016, it’s not the spectre of the smart watch that’s haunting Swiss watchmakers, it’s actual numbers.

          The Connected Automobile

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            The IoT Library: Hybrids and electrics – the electronic car in the modern age

            By Richard Wallace | February 18, 2016

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            If you want to experience the future, take a ride in an electric or hybrid gas-electric vehicle. The moment you enter one of these amped-up electronic wonders it’s as if you leave the past behind.

            As well it should: the smoke belching gas guzzling internal combustion engine is seeing its final days – at least regarding the modern automobile. The closing of this chapter of automotive history reminds me of a telling anecdote from a writers blog about the American industrialist most associated with the early days of the automobile.

            Internet of Things

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              The IoT library: Infrared LEDs boost machine vision, day and night

              By Richard Wallace | February 18, 2016

              Screen Shot 2016-01-30 at 4.22.14 PMThe night has a thousand eyes; and so too, the day.

              Increasingly these watchful eyes are part of security cameras and other full-spectrum imaging and sensing systems where improved visibility has become a design mandate due to less-than-ideal lighting conditions.

              For these applications, designers are now integrating infrared LED components into their systems for the express purpose of secondary illumination.