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An apparently unidentified object detected on a Navy plane’s infrared camera. U.S. Department of Defense/Navy Times

Why is the Pentagon interested in UFOs?

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. vaalaa/Shutterstock.com

Too many airplane systems rely on too few sensors

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.
A self-driving car heads into the woods. Matthew Doude

Driving autonomous cars off the beaten path

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.
Autonomous vehicles are information-rich platforms thanks to the range of sensors on board that track, monitor and measure everything. Uber

Who’s to blame when driverless cars have an accident?

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.
Is this an impostor trying to break into your phone with his voice? Georgejmclittle/Shutterstock.com

Protecting your smartphone from voice impersonators

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. Kofi Amegah

Can we rely on DIY air pollution sensors?

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

How to ensure smart cities benefit everyone

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.
Still a few kinks to be worked out. Cory Doctorow

Will next-generation wearable sensors make us healthier?

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. Ben McLeod/Flickr

Go with the grain: technology to help farmers protect crops

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…

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