research

Smart object-recognition system could spy on your milk in the IoT

Smart object-recognition system could spy on your milk in the IoT

Computers that can identify objects without requiring any human training are now a possibility, as researchers figure out how to teach AIs to intuit the key features and differences between faces, objects, and more. The new algorithm, developed by engineer Dah-Jye Lee of Brigham Young University, avoids human calibration by instead giving computers the skills to learn how to differentiate themselves: so, rather than the operator flagging individual differences between, say, a person and a tree, the computer is given the tools to identify the differences on its own, and then use them moving forward.

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Micro-windmills could charge your iPhone with waving

Micro-windmills could charge your iPhone with waving

Forget angels dancing on the head of a pin, recharging tomorrow's mobile devices could be a question of how many micro-windmills can you fit on a cellphone cover, with one team of researchers looking to harness the wind on a tiny scale to keep your iPhone topped up. Smitha Rao and J.-C. Chiao of UT Arlington developed the 1.8mm-wide windmills as a way of working around limits on traditional wind power generation, like size and safety. Instead of one big turbine, the pair envisage devices covered with hundreds of tiny versions.

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Solar cell project creates hydrogen fuel and bypasses batteries

Solar cell project creates hydrogen fuel and bypasses batteries

Batteries are a distraction: the best way to store excess solar energy for nighttime use is using it to create "solar fuels" that rely on energy-dense chemistry, one research team has concluded. The prototype takes a cue from plants and uses a new type of solar cell that relies on the sun's energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The latter is released, but the former can be stored and then later used for power, including potential in fuel-cell cars. Best of all, the system requires no external power source in order to work its hydrogen-generating magic.

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Banking mobile apps largely vulnerable, reveals IOActive study

Banking mobile apps largely vulnerable, reveals IOActive study

Personal banking apps make managing a checking or savings account easy, eschewing the need for a laptop or firing up a browser. Whether they keep your personal data secure is another matter, however, one that IOActive Labs Research says needs more attention. In a recent study, the research group looked into forty different so-called home banking apps from what it says are the world's top 60 most influential banks, none of which were specified by name.

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The Wearable Medic: GERO and figuring Parkinson’s from Fitbit

The Wearable Medic: GERO and figuring Parkinson’s from Fitbit

There's a suspicion among many that wearable tech is simply today's digital navel-gazing; a self-indulgent and meaningless set of metrics bordering on narcissistic over-obsession. The quantified self could soon become a whole lot more meaningful, however, if startup GERO has its way. Building on groundbreaking research by the Human Locomotome project, the Russian company says it can use the data from wearables like Fitbit's Force and Jawbone's UP to identify chronic conditions such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, depression, and even type 2 diabetes, simply from the way we move. SlashGear caught up with GERO's co-founders at CES as they shift things out of stealth mode.

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