prototypes

Liquid-OLED displays could allow non-standard shapes & longer lifespans

Liquid-OLED displays could allow non-standard shapes & longer lifespans

Alright, as images go this one isn't the most eye-catching we admit, but the technology it's explaining is far more exciting.  Researchers in Japan have developed what they're calling a Liquid-OLED, and just like the gooey fruit-flavored chocolates your mother loves it has a liquid center rather than the traditional solid-state one you'd find in traditional OLEDs.  The benefit, they claim, is that Liquid-OLED displays could be more easily curved, and even refilled should the organic layer degrade over time.

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Pressure-sensitive QWERTY keyboard demo’d by Microsoft Hardware [Video]

Pressure-sensitive QWERTY keyboard demo’d by Microsoft Hardware [Video]

Pressure sensitivity in musical keyboards is nothing new - pressing the keys harder results in a louder note, just as if you sit down with ever-increasing force on a piano - but until now it's not something we've seen on regular QWERTY keyboards.  That could all change, if Microsoft Hardware decide to put their pressure-sensitive keyboard into production: developed as a prototype for the UIST 2009 student innovation contest, it can track 8-bit pressure information across all of its keys.

Video demo after the cut

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Foxconn suicide compensation increased with yearly stipend

Foxconn suicide compensation increased with yearly stipend

News earlier this week that Foxconn had reportedly given around $44,000 compensation plus an Apple laptop to the family and girlfriend of Sun Danyong, the engineer who committed suicide after losing an iPhone prototype, was met with disappointment at what was seen to be an unfairly low amount.  Now an anonymous company official has revealed that Sun's parents will be paid not only a 360,000 yuan lump sum ($52,600) but a further 30,000 yuan ($4,385) every year until they die.

Hon Hai security official turned in after iPhone prototype suicide

Hon Hai security official turned in after iPhone prototype suicide

The Apple/Foxconn saga continues, and after the official statement from Cupertino yesterday tipped "investigations" into the death of 25-year old Foxconn engineer Sun Danyong there are now reports that a security official working for the majority stakeholder in the manufacturer has been suspended and handed over to Chinese government authorities.  In an official statement from Foxconn, they confirmed that the Hon Hai security official - identified only by his surname, Gu - has been turned in, and that the company "welcomes public discussion" on how they might improve their management.

Cellphone Microscope could ID diseased samples in developing world

Cellphone Microscope could ID diseased samples in developing world

A team of US scientists have developed a prototype portable microscope that would allow a cellphone camera to help diagnose potentially fatal diseases in blood and sputum samples.  The University of California team strapped a DIY microscope to a 3.2-megapixel Nokia N73, using cheap off-the-shelf parts that can nonetheless make out objects 1.2 micrometers across; a red blood cell is usually 6-8 micrometers in width.

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Apple “saddened” by Foxconn engineer suicide; waiting for investigation results

Apple “saddened” by Foxconn engineer suicide; waiting for investigation results

After news yesterday that a Foxconn employee in China had committed suicide after losing a valuable iPhone prototype, Apple have released a comment.  Talking to CNET, Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet said "We are saddened by the tragic loss of this young employee, and we are awaiting results of the investigations into his death.  We require our suppliers to treat all workers with dignity and respect."

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