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Will tomorrow’s wearables be powered by flexible transistors?

ReadWriteWeb - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 2:00pm

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed an incredible light, flexible, and fast new type of transistor that could very well power the future of wearable technology.

This transistor operates at a record 38 gigahertz, with simulations showing that it could reach speeds of as much as 110 gigahertz. This puts them on part with even some of the fastest computers.

See also: E-skin might be the slightly creepy future of wearables

How these transistors are created is also unique. It involves a reusable mold created with nanoimprint lithography and cutting the membrane with a nano-knife.

This gives you a small, ultra-thin and flexible transistor that can be used in a greater range of applications while providing extraordinary performance.

Not only that, but because the mold can be reused, it can be used to scale production in a process called roll-to-roll processing which will enable semiconductor manufacturers to produce devices on a roll of flexible plastic, in mass quantities.

Not only that, but their ultra-narrow design makes it possible to pack more transistors into a narrow space.

New transistors to benefit wearables?

One type of product that can be made with this technology: wearables.

Because these electronics are flexible and thin, they are a perfect candidate for the world of wearables where weight and flexibility are of critical importance.

Wearable fitness trackers, heart monitors, smart clothing, watches, and more could be made using these flexible transistors without sacrificing in power or performance. In fact, they might even make them inherently more powerful.

Here’s the downside. This technology isn’t ready for commercial production yet. There is still a lot of research to be done, and there hasn’t yet been any official estimates as to when it might be ready for prime time.

Even today, engineers are struggling to find new ways to make wearable devices smaller, thinner, lighter, and more powerful. We’ve reached a point where if we want to make a more minuscule computer, we’re going to have to create new technologies to do so.

With this, and other technologies on the horizon, it’s safe to say for all the great devices on the market, we’ve seen nothing yet.

The post Will tomorrow’s wearables be powered by flexible transistors? appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories: Technology

SpaceX Intends To Send a Red Dragon To Mars As Early As 2018

Slashdot - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 1:24pm
Reader MarkWhittington writes: SpaceX has announced that it intends to send a version of its Dragon spacecraft, called "Red Dragon," to Mars as early as 2018. The mission, to be launched on top of a Falcon Heavy rocket, would be the first to another planet conducted by a commercial enterprise. The flight of the Red Dragon would be the beginning of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's long-term dream of building a settlement on Mars.Ars Technica reports: According to the company, these initial test missions will help demonstrate the technologies needed to land large payloads propulsively on Mars. This series of missions, to be launched on the company's not-yet-completed Falcon Heavy rocket, will provide key data for SpaceX as the company develops an overall plan to send humans to the Red Planet to colonize Mars. One of the biggest challenges in landing on Mars is the fact that its atmosphere is so thin it provides little braking capacity. To land the 900kg Curiosity rover on Mars, NASA had to devise the complicated sky crane system that led to its "Seven Minutes of Terror." A Dragon would weigh much more, perhaps about 6,000kg. To solve this problem, SpaceX plans to use an upgraded spacecraft, a Dragon2 powered by eight SuperDraco engines, to land using propulsion.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Erupting Russian Volcanoes Could Make a Mess of Your Flight

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 1:18pm
It is as volcanically busy as ever in the remote Kamchatka Peninsula, and even relatively small eruptions in the region could impact aircraft. The post Erupting Russian Volcanoes Could Make a Mess of Your Flight appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Neural Nets Got You Confused? Try This Interactive Chart

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 12:34pm
Daniel Smilkov, a member of Google's Big Picture Research Group, and Shan Carter, who creates interactive graphics for The New York Times, created it. The post Neural Nets Got You Confused? Try This Interactive Chart appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Gartner: Global IoT security spending to hit $348m in 2016

ReadWriteWeb - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 11:45am

The rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the tandem acceleration in malicious attacks on connected devices will drive worldwide expenditures on IoT security by 24% this year to $348 million. And that’s the good news; according to a new report that momentum is expected to accelerate significantly after 2020.

An Information Week article reported Gartner’s latest predictions on the IoT security market in a new market report released this week entitled “Forecast: IoT Security, Worldwide, 2016”.

“Gartner forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015, and will reach 11.4 billion by 2018,” said Gartner research director Ruggero Contu. “However, considerable variation exists among different industry sectors as a result of different levels of prioritization and security awareness.”

The Gartner report sees moderate IoT security spending in the next few years as the technology continues to establish itself. It predicts respectable spending growth that will increase to $547 million in 2018 and to $841 million in 2020.

However, after 2020 the report expects IoT security spending to take on much greater momentum, “as improved skills, organizational change and more scalable service options improve execution.”

The adoption of IoT technology in both consumer and industrial sectors will also be a major growth accelerant in connected devices.  And as the proliferation of connected devices accelerates, IoT vendors will be forced to prioritize a radically evolving set of security challenges.

Gartner sees IoT the root of 25% of attacks by 2020

Gartner’s report anticipates that over 25% of identified security attacks on enterprises will be IoT-related by 2020. Yet with less than 10% of IT security budgets expected to be allocated to IoT by then, a dangerous security mismatch is looming.

In light of budget restrictions, vendors will struggle to create immediate security fixes and so will likely focus excessively on exploits and vulnerabilities. But Gartner predicts that the industry’s preoccupation with putting out IoT security fires will distract them from finding long-term security solutions.

In order to properly secure IoT, enterprises will “focus more and more on the management, analytics and provisioning of devices and their data,” said Contu. “IoT business scenarios will require a delivery mechanism that can also grow and keep pace with requirements in monitoring, detection, access control and other security needs.”

He adds that cloud-based security services are vital to the ensuring that IoT technology reach its full potential in strength and scale. Gartner predicts that by 2020 half of all IoT implementations will employ some type of cloud-based security to satisfy regulatory and reliability demands.

The post Gartner: Global IoT security spending to hit $348m in 2016 appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories: Technology

Man the hoses: GreenIQ partners with Nest to prevent fires

ReadWriteWeb - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 8:01am

Smart irrigation controller GreenIQ is integrating its Smart Garden Hub with Nest’s Protect, that firm’s smoke detector and alarm.

When Nest Protect detects a fire, it will alert the Smart Garden Hub, which will activate sprinklers to avoid a garden fire. In the event of an emergency, the hub will activate any outdoors lights to alert the family and neighbors to the event.

See Also: SensorUp is the IoT therapist for your dysfunctional device family

The sprinklers will remain on for 20 minutes, unless the user manually turns them off. Users can also set the GreenIQ sprinklers to continuously run regardless of the Nest Protect’s status, to ensure that all areas in the garden are damp.

Over 2,500 people lose their lives and 12,000 suffer injuries from house fires in the United States annually. As well, with extreme drought conditions in several western and southern states, small fires can quickly spread through dried out gardens and threaten neighborhoods.

GreenIQ hopes that the integration will lower that number, and also lower the amount of direct property loss due to fire damages, which was estimated at $7.3 billion last year.

GreenIQ wants you to feel more connected to your garden….and safer

“It has always been our mission to help make gardens smarter and allow people to feel more connected to their green spaces,” said Odi Dahan, founder and CEO of GreenIQ. “Our integration with Nest is taking it one step further by not only helping our customers save money and conserve water, but also helping to decrease any anxiety people may have about potential fires.”

GreenIQ Smart Garden Hub is one of a growing list of garden IoT systems, focused on ensuring plants and grass have enough water to grow while lowering the amount of water used everyday. The system offers a smart analytics platform to tell the customer how much water should be used, the most optimal position for sprinklers, and the best ways to keep their garden alive, all from the smartphone app.

The post Man the hoses: GreenIQ partners with Nest to prevent fires appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories: Technology