An engraving of a heart.
Nearly half of patients with congestive heart failure who are hospitalized and then discharged end up back in the hospital within 90 days. Could a toilet seat help prevent this from occurring?
An apparently unidentified object detected on a Navy plane’s infrared camera.
U.S. Department of Defense/Navy Times
During a military mission, whether in peace or in war, the inability to identify an object within an area of operation represents a significant problem.
Planes have many sensors, supplying all kinds of useful data.
A pilot and researcher knows that airplanes are full of sensors – and finds a way onboard computers can use the data to detect equipment failure and tell pilots what's a real emergency and what's not.
Distribution center for the UK grocer Sainsbury, Waltham Point, England.
Globalization is making it harder to identify and trace outbreaks of foodborne illness. Technology can help, but consumers may also have to rethink their food choices.
‘At your service’.
From offshore oil and gas to the homes of people with disabilities, this is emerging as one of the most exciting areas of tech.
A self-driving car heads into the woods.
One-third of roads in the U.S. are unpaved; plenty more have faded or obscured road markings. Today's self-driving vehicles can't go on them, and will need new algorithms to handle those conditions.
Different skin tones need different amounts of UV light to activate vitamin D in the skin.
UV ratings indicate risk of skin damage – but they're based on pale skin. New wrist bands designed for six different tones of skin provide a more personalised way to track safe UV exposure.
Imagine using synthetic DNA as a sensor recording device.
One way to make sensors small is to make them out of something that's incredibly small in the first place, such as DNA.
Autonomous vehicles are information-rich platforms thanks to the range of sensors on board that track, monitor and measure everything.
Sensors that monitor everything a self-driving vehicle does can help determine who is responsible in the case of an accident – the manufacturer, the service centre or the vehicle owner.
Fitness trackers report their location and map the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert.
Screenshot of Strava Heat Map
It's not just fitness trackers – mobile phones can reveal users' whereabouts too, even with location tracking turned off.
Drones being used to find survivors after an earthquake in Ecuador in 2016.
Stand by for drones, robots and sensors to the rescue.
Is this an impostor trying to break into your phone with his voice?
You can log in to your smartphone by talking to it. Current security systems don't protect enough against imitators. The best way to ensure voice authentication is secure is to start with the sound.
Dr. Kofi Amegah of the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, installing a small air sensing unit built by the University of Massachusetts.
Citizens and activists are using cheap off-the-shelf sensors to collect their own data on air pollution. It's a promising trend, but these devices have serious technical limitations.
Connecting cities should serve all citizens, not just a few.
Illustration via shutterstock.com
Design will make the difference between smart city projects offering great promise or actually reinforcing or even widening the existing gaps in unequal ways their cities serve residents.
A hydro-responsive thread can be used with sensors to monitor body functions.
Alonso Nichols, Tufts University
Flexible, easy to make, inexpensive, stretchable and simple to coat with nanomaterials, threads are also very commonly used by doctors already.
Microsoft Kinect's cheap sensors could create low-cost 3D computer models of crime scenes.
Humidity levels can mean life or death for insects.
Detecting drier or wetter conditions is crucial for insect survival. We've long known they can do this – now researchers have discovered the genetic and neural basis for their humidity-sensing system.
These backpacked pigeons are patrolling London’s skies.
Pigeon Air Patrol
This low-cost way of monitoring air quality is appealing, but there needs to be acknowledgement of their weaknesses as well as strengths.
Still a few kinks to be worked out.
We can already track plenty of body data, but to really make a difference, wearables need to consistently collect clinically valuable information that can be used to improve health.
Tractors may have revolutionised farming but to protect biosecurity, farmers could do with some extra help.
New technology to tackle biosecurity challenges down the track is one of the five megatrends identified in today’s CSIRO report Australia’s Biosecurity Future: preparing for future biological challenges…