sensors

Japanese companies including Sony, car makers freeze production following earthquakes

Japanese companies including Sony, car makers freeze production following earthquakes

The southern Japanese island of Kyushu has been struck by two serious earthquake in the last few days, causing some significant damage to the region. As a result, several local companies with factories in the region have decided to temporarily halt production as part of an effort to make sure their facilities are safe. This includes Sony's camera sensor factories in the cities of Nagasaki and Kumamoto, which was hit the hardest by the quakes.

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TappLock is a padlock with a fingerprint sensor to open

TappLock is a padlock with a fingerprint sensor to open

Now that we're living in the age of sufficient fingerprint sensors, devices like the TappLock are on the rise. The creators of the TappLock have embedded a fingerprint sensor (aka a fingerprint reader) into a padlock, allowing the user to do away with keys altogether. This system, they suggest, will allow you to "never worry about losing your keys, forgetting your combination code, or getting your locks picked again." That is, until the device's sensor malfunctions. But that'll never happen, right?

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Apple patents fingerprint uploads and cloud storage

Apple patents fingerprint uploads and cloud storage

Apple patent shows methods for iPhone to save fingerprint information, upload to the cloud, and download on another iPhone. Filed in August of 2015, this patent appears to have been a "continuation in part" of a patent application from July of 2013, a patent which has now been "abandoned" in favor of this new listing. This new patent application suggests that Apple devices with fingerprint sensors would first collect fingerprint information, as they do today, but that they would also be capable of uploading that information to the cloud for storage.

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Chinese researchers working on a car driven by your brain

Chinese researchers working on a car driven by your brain

If human-less self-driving cars of the future creep you out, then this latest experimental automotive technology from China might offer you some respite. Or freak creep you out even more. Researchers from the port city of Tianjin have revealed what they claim is the country's first ever car to be driven without the use of human hands or feet but with a driver still in control. All it takes is some brain power. And some highly specialized equipment, of course.

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Sony confirms $155M purchase of Toshiba image sensor business

Sony confirms $155M purchase of Toshiba image sensor business

Following rumors and negotiations over the last few months, Sony has confirmed today that it is buying the image sensor business of fellow Japanese tech giant Toshiba for 19 billion yen, or roughly $155 million. This comes after Sony's decision in early October to spin off its own sensor division into a separate company, now called Sony Semiconductor Solutions. This, along with the Toshiba purchase, will allow Sony to secure itself as the dominant provider of camera and smartphone sensors.

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This Sona wearable puts stress top of the health hit-list

This Sona wearable puts stress top of the health hit-list

Wearables start-up Caeden has just announced a smart bracelet called Sona. It features some of the same technology one would expect in the sea of smartwatches already available, but instead of focusing on presenting the time and notifications, or tracking fitness stats, the Sona's goal is to help wearers manage stress and improve both mind and body wellness. The wearable is for both men and women, and along with ditching a screen, takes on a simple, fashionable appearance with leather and metal.

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Sony confirmed to be in talks to buy Toshiba’s image sensor business

Sony confirmed to be in talks to buy Toshiba’s image sensor business

Confirming a report from earlier this week by Japanese business newspaper Nikkei, Sony has announced that it is in fact in negotiations with Toshiba to acquire the latter's CMOS image sensor business. No pricing or other financial details were shared at this point, but the move is sure to improve Sony's own image sensor division, recently seen as one of their most successful and important businesses.

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Sony image sensor division spun off into new company

Sony image sensor division spun off into new company

Sony has said that as part of a restructuring effort, the company's image sensor division is being spun off into a separate company, now called Sony Semiconductor Solutions. The image sensor operations have been among Sony's fastest growing and most successful businesses in recent years. The company's announcement details that Sony Semiconductor Solutions will focus on image sensors, and be separate from groups that work on Sony devices.

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New Android Sensor Hub chip promises more data for less power

New Android Sensor Hub chip promises more data for less power

Smartphones today are loaded with sensors that, if we could wear them comfortably on our wrists or shoulders (and some do), we might have no need for dedicated fitness trackers anymore. But all that functionality comes at a price, primarily in processing power and ultimately in battery life. Google has cooked up a way to provide incur less power consumption while actually collecting more sensor data. It is called the Sensor Hub and it could very well represent the next trend in Android smartphones in the future.

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Bosch sensor points drivers to empty parking spots

Bosch sensor points drivers to empty parking spots

Trying to find a free parking spot can be difficult, especially for those who live in large cities. Some solutions that have tried to solve this have surfaced over the years, but Bosch has a new method that seems the most practical -- it involves sensors placed in parking spots. When the spot is empty, the sensor flags the parking space as free in related software that drivers can use.

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Wilson has a smart basketball that know when you score

Wilson has a smart basketball that know when you score

Plenty of wearables these days have settings for tracking different sport activities, but what if you just want to shoot some hoops and not have to deal with a wristband and configuring options? That's where Wilson Sporting Goods steps in. The company has unveiled its Wilson X Connected Basketball, which has a sensor inside that can detect and track when you make your shots. The ball looks and feels almost exactly like a "dumb" basketball, and it pairs with an iOS app (Android is in the works) for stat tracking.

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Self-driving car lidars can be spoofed by $60 gadget

Self-driving car lidars can be spoofed by $60 gadget

Autonomous cars naturally rely on a variety of sensors in order to determine and navigate through its environment. Apparently, one of the most expensive sensors available can be foiled a a cheap, makeshift setup. Software security researcher Jonathan Petit demonstrated how a laser radar or lidar, specifically one from the IBEO Lux, could be tricked into seeing phantom cars, pedestrians, or walls, which could effectively paralyze the self-driving vehicle from moving or at the very least prevent it from being able to accurately analyze its surroundings.

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