Using off-the-shelf 3D printing tools, silver nanoparticles, and cell culture, scientists at Princeton University have created a functional bionic ear that can detect radio frequencies far beyond the normal human range.
"In general, there are mechanical and thermal challenges with interfacing electronic materials with biological materials," said Michael McAlpine, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton and the lead researcher on the project. "Previously, researchers have suggested some strategies to tailor the electronics so that this merger is less awkward. That typically happens between a 2D sheet of electronics and a surface of the tissue. However, our work suggests a new approach -- to build and grow the biology up with the electronics synergistically and in a 3D interwoven format." … Read more
Headlamps are undeniably useful, but they are typically dull-looking entities with an emphasis on function rather than fashion. That's changing with Princeton Tec's Spectrum program for customizable headlamps.
Princeton Tec gave me the opportunity to customize a $35 Fuel light. I could have gone with something tasteful, like black and gray. Instead, I went '80s retro with a mix of pink, green, yellow, orange, and blue. It's the Cyndi Lauper of headlamps.
The Fuel has four LEDs that spit out 43 lumens. There are three brightness settings and a flashing setting. It runs on three AAA batteries and goes for up to 146 hours.
The headlamps are hand-assembled in the U.S. to your color specifications. The online design process gives you a very accurate idea of what the final product will look like.
There are 10 colors to choose from, ranging from screaming orange to subdued gray. You can select different colors for each individual part, including the body, battery door, end cap, and bracket.… Read more
A network of dashboard smartphones that monitors traffic lights and congestion can tell drivers when to slow down to avoid idling, cutting fuel use by 20 percent, according to researchers at Princeton University and MIT.
SignalGuru (PDF) collates traffic data from images captured by dashboard smartphones.
It also graphically shows drivers how fast to go to avoid stopping at the next light; a commercial version would have audio suggestions. The system could also be developed to advise motorists to take a side street to avoid congestion ahead.
The researchers deployed iPhones on car dashboards in Cambridge, Mass., and in Singapore. In the former, where traffic signals with fixed schedules are used, SignalGuru could predict when lights would change with an error margin of two-thirds of a second. In Singapore, which has signals that adapt to traffic volume, the error increased to one second up to just over two seconds. … Read more
The Studio 360 radio show will broadcast an interview this weekend with Edgar Choueiri, a professor of applied physics at Princeton University. Professor Choueiri is the director of Princeton's Program in Engineering Physics and the chief scientist of the university's laboratory for advanced spacecraft propulsion. Right, he's a rocket scientist, but he's also an audiophile.
Professor Choueiri told Studio 360 host Kurt Andersen that stereo playback over loudspeakers is a deeply flawed concept because crosstalk corrupts the natural transmission to the brain of 3D cues that exist in all stereo recordings. Crosstalk occurs in normal stereo … Read more
Edgar Choueiri is a professor of applied physics at Princeton University, where he is the director of the Engineering Physics Program and the chief scientist of the university's laboratory for advanced spacecraft propulsion (the Electric Propulsion and Plasma Dynamics Lab). Right, he's a rocket scientist, but he's also an audiophile.
Professor Choueiri's Pure Stereo system is a "Revolutionary Technology for Audiophile-Grade 3D Audio." I was treated to a demonstration in Professor Choueiri's lab in Princeton, so I can tell you it really works. The professor played a variety of commercial classical and rock recordings, including Led Zeppelin, over a pair of closely spaced speakers (see photo). The sound spread to the full width of the room, and projected sound forward. He also played recordings he made, including a "haircut" with the sound of "scissors" snipping away all around my head. Professor Choueiri's 3D claim is no hype; Pure Stereo sounds amazing.
The technology can be used with any stereo system, and can operate in any resolution, including high, 192-kHz sampling rates, at 32-bit resolution. Pure Stereo is also compatible with analog sources like turntables and FM radios. Professor Choueiri doesn't equate Pure Stereo (two speakers only) with surround-sound systems that produce envelopment from multichannel music or movie soundtracks from five or more speakers. Pure Stereo's goal is to create more accurate spatial reproduction from two-channel recordings.… Read more
Rumors that three universities had banned the use of Apple's iPad ran rampant across the blogosphere last week, leaving some to wonder whether the device had some type of hidden problem.
Those rumors, it turns out, were false.
However, iPad owners at all three--Cornell, Princeton, and George Washington universities--have faced varying degrees of connectivity issues.
CNET contacted all three institutions, and they all categorically denied that the iPad was ever banned on their campuses.
"Absolutely not," Steve Schuster, interim executive director of information technologies at Cornell, told CNET. "In fact, I checked around and I don'… Read more
An interesting report from Princeton University regarding its pilot program to test Kindle DX units in an academic environment has revealed something notable: namely, that Kindles still feel awkward to students currently in college. Feedback from some students complained about the Kindle's annotation system being "too slow" to keep up with the thinking of a reader who wants to effortlessly mark up text. Others called the entire Kindle device "a poor excuse for an academic tool."
This matches a fear I've had since using my iPhone as a makeshift mini-Kindle, replacing my own reading of paper books for recreation and research: while I enjoy the portability and capacity that e-readers provide, their lack of tangible material creates a helpless feeling for those who enjoy note-taking, highlighting, or otherwise interacting with their books. Unlike my iPhone, however, the Kindle DX was intended to be a savior for universities, an educational aid to rival the old textbook industry. According to this first wave of Princeton feedback, however, it still has a long way to go.
Rather than focus on size or screens, maybe the real holy grail for e-readers of the future lies in finding ways to make digital text as easy to interact with as possible. Apple, we hope you're listening, because if the doorway's open for you to take over the e-reader industry with your magazine-redefining tablet, this might be the best path to true success.… Read more
By now, many prospective college students have received responses from all the colleges to which they've applied. But now comes the hard part: deciding where to go.
Luckily, there are some sites that help them in that endeavor and provide them with valid insight before they make their final decisions. Even better, these sites can also help those who haven't applied yet and are starting their initial research.
For the high school junior who is considering applying to different colleges or the high school senior who needs to make a decision, these sites are outstanding resources.
BeRecruited: BeRecruited is designed specifically for the high school athlete. Instead of waiting for a team to find the student, BeRecruited gives them an opportunity to find colleges across the United States that have the kind of athletic program for which they're looking. They can then upload information about themselves and their high school athletic performance to attract the attention of team recruiters.
CampusExplorer: CampusExplorer allows students to search more than 6,000 colleges in the United States to find which campus is right for them. They can search by area, curriculum, or type of school. The site provides information on the size of the school, what it offers to students, and the attendance cost. It even has advice on getting into the school from students who have asked questions about the college on Yahoo Answers.
Cappex: Cappex requires students to sign up and create a personal profile that includes grades, extracurricular activities, and SAT/ACT scores. Once that profile is completed, they can search for colleges, learn about the schools in which they're interested, and use a handy tool called "What are my chances?" to help them determine if they really have a chance at being admitted to a particular school.
CollegeAnswer: Owned by college financial-aid company SallieMae, CollegeAnswer provides students with information about all facets of college admittance. From basic research on schools to information on paying for a college education, the site has it all. It provides in-depth information about colleges, including their demographics and attendance costs. But where it really shines is in its information about college life in general. It's an outstanding resource for prospective and current students.… Read more
Google taps ‘Family Guy’ guy for Web series … Read more