3-D Printed Cap Detects When Milk Goes Bad

biohazardWhen exactly does your milk go bad? There’s a helpful “sell-by” date printed on the packaging to give you an idea of the liquid’s shelf life. But at best, that date is an educated guess. Of course, sometimes it’s really obvious when milk has gone sour. But sometimes, it’s not so easy to tell. Fortunately for me, Jen has a keen skill for detecting when food products have gone bad. But on my own, I know I’ve consumed my fair share of food items that were probably better sent down the drain or into the trash.

Once again, new technology comes to the rescue in the battle against spoiled milk. Using 3-D printing, engineers have developed a cap that can be used with milk jugs to determine when the milk has gone bad. The cap uses a special sensor that’s able to detect changes in electrical signals caused by the proliferation of bacteria. To test your milk, all you need to do is tip the container until some of the milk comes in contact with the cap. From there, the cap will indicate if the milk is still good or not.

Researchers are hoping to find ways to expand this technology to other food products, eventually including things like Internet connectivity so food sensors can report directly to computers or smartphone apps. Finally, we’ll able to use an actual product of science to know when our leftovers have become an actual science project of their own!

3-D Printed Headphones Are Here

3-D headphonesAs more and more people are consuming audio like music and podcasts on the go, the need for headphones has increased. But many headphones are either easy to lose or they stop working after a short period of time. I know I’ve been stuck many times over the years having to face a long bus ride with a fully charged media player and a portable set of headphones that no longer work, no matter how much I manipulated the audio cord and connection jack. Now, getting that next pair of headphones might be as simple as firing up the nearest 3-D printer.

These headphones are the work of designer Maxime Loiseau and they use an innovative design in terms of an electronic device being created with 3-D printing. The process uses what’s called “roll to roll” manufacturing, making the parts very thin. In fact, these 3-D printed headphones are made from only eight pieces, where a typical set of phones could require up to 50 individual parts.

Since these headphones are made with “printed electronics,” there’s need for only one wire for each headphone. And if you’re worried that these headphones will sound weak, don’t. The speakers are made with piezoelectric cells that provide quality comparable to traditional headphones.

The headphones are powered by Bluetooth and they use a lithium-ion battery. The battery is also made as part of the 3-D printing process. These headphones were presented during New York Design Week 2015. They are likely to go thru some tweaking and modifications before hitting the production line. Check out this video to see the production process in action.

Immersis Takes Gaming to Another Level at CES

Immersis logoVideo games have come a long way since the days of blocky bits bouncing ’round on a TV set. The unrealized dream of gaming has always been to transport the player to worlds otherwise unreachable in reality. And while gaming sound and graphics have improved dramatically, those improvements are still stuck on a flat, two-dimensional screen. French developers Immersis are working on a new projector system that brings gaming environments out of that two-dimensional state and into an entire room.

Scott spoke with Daniel from Immersis. Daniel showed off a miniature mockup of the full-sized Immersis projector and he explained that the Immersis system will consist of the full-sized version of their special HD protector that’ll work with either a console gaming system or PC to project the gaming environment onto all of the walls surrounding a player, putting that player right in the center of the action.

Immersis is launching the product thru Kickstarter and the company has already reached its goal of raising $100,000 thru the crowdfunding platform. Daniel believes that Immersis will be able to bring the projector to market by November of this year and that the retail price will be $2500.00.

Interview by Scott of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the TechPodcast Network.

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Ultra-D Moves Beyond 3-D at CES

Ultra D Logo3-D TV and gaming has been touted as the next big thing for years in consumer electronics. But the technology hasn’t ever truly caught on. One factor that’s slowed the adoption of in-home 3-D is the fact that users have to wear special glasses to experience the 3-D effect. StreamTV Networks hopes that its new Ultra-D product will become the standard in home-based 3-D viewing.

Nick caught up with Zach, Games Director for StreamTV Networks. The pair talked about the company’s Ultra-D offering. StreamTV Networks has partnered with Epic Games, developers of the Unreal gaming engine, as well as other software developers. Zach explained that Ultra-D is a glasses-free 3-D system that uses a blended lenticular design that works with a 140-degree viewing angle so it looks great from all sides. (When a viewer moves out of the range of 3-D, the picture changes to a standard 2-D display.) Ultra-D is currently only available to developers but it’s likely to make its way to consumer products soon.

Interview by Nick of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the TechPodcast Network.

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Sculpteo Unveils 3D Printing Batch Control at CES

Sculpteo previewSculpteo is an online 3D printing service. They offer high quality printing in 10 different materials and a variety of finishing options. Small businesses, designers, and startups can use Sculpteo to produce a 3D printed item for them. Doing so just got a little easier. Sculpteo has unveiled a new feature – Batch Control.

Batch Control gives users more control over the quality and pricing of multi-unit orders. It includes:

* Visualization of your entire order inside the printer
* Optimized positioning of your models to give you the best price
* Instant per-unit pricing comparison when you change the quantity of prints
* Two levels of print resolutions to modify the thickness of the print layers
* Three finishes (including glossy varnish, satin polish, and double polish)
* Ability to control the direction of print layers within your objects by adjusting the z-axes orientation of your models
* Preview simulation of each layer of your print to ensure everything is correct

Batch Control also helps customers save up to 35% by ordering multi-unit batches that are optimized for the 3D printing process. It makes it more cost effective for you to order higher volumes of 3D printed objects. You can check out Sculpteo at CES 2014 at LVCC, South Hall 3, Booth # 31417.

Staples Will Sell 3D Printers Soon

Staples LogoStaples announced that it has become the first major retailer in the United States to sell 3D printers. Those of you who have become interested in getting your very own 3D printer won’t have to wait too much longer to purchase one from Staples.

Staples will begin offering a limited number of The Cube 3D Printer from 3D Systems by the end of June of this year. The Staples website has the price set at $1,299.99. It comes in five different colors: magenta, blue, green, silver, and white. The announcement includes the following details about the 3D printer:

The Cube 3D Printer, ready to use right out of the box, features Wi-Fi, is compatible with Mac or Windows, and comes with 25 free 3D templates designed by professional artists, with additional templates available online.

…The Cube 3D Printer can print items up to 5.5” x 5.5” x 5.5”, using material cartridges in 16 different colors including metallic silver, glow in the dark, and vibrant and neutral colors. Users can either print from a template or create a design using Cube’s own software, Cubify Invent, sold separately. Staples makes printing with the Cube easy, by offering all of the essential accessories, including recyclable ABS and compostable PLA plastic cartridge refills, replenishment Cube Sticks, which are used to stabilize the object being printed, and replacement Cube Print Pads.

3D Printed Airplane Takes Flight

3D printers have become all of the rage these days and there are plenty of good reasons for that.  After all, these devices can do some pretty amazing things like creating spectacular architectural models and even working gears that are ready to go immediately upon render.  But how about printing a model airplane that can actually fly?  Yes, they can now do that also.

This isn’t a small model either – it has a 6.5 foot wingspan.  It was created by students at the University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and they have posted a video of the model actually taking flight.  This isn’t the first time that 3D printer device has accomplished this feat, but it may be the first time it has been pulled off by students.

The era of 3D printing has certainly arrived and we are seeing better and more advanced projects appearing all of the time.  We certainly aren’t at the point where we can print a real aircraft, but medical devices are already being developed using these incredible pieces of hardware.

"Printed" plane and creators

Source: UVA Today

Metaio Augmented Reality at The Gadget Show

Metaio logoThere’s no doubt that augmented reality (AR) is hot area at the moment, with several exhibitors at Gadget Show Live showing off products and software. Metaio is one such company and it provides AR software for Vuzix‘s high-tech glasses.

Vuzix

Sascha Kiener from Metaio gave me an impressive demonstration of the their product. I put on a pair of glasses and when I was shown a picture of a T-Rex, a 3D image of the dinosaur appeared out of the picture. There didn’t seem to be anything special about the dinosaur picture and the illusion worked regardless of the orientation of the picture, so you could turn the picture to turn the dinosaur. All very clever.

In the interview, Sascha talks to me about augmented reality and some of the prospects for the future.

SoftKinetic Gesture Recognition Platform

SoftKinetic CameraMicrosoft can rightly claim to have brought gesture recognition to the consumer market through Kinect for Xbox in 2010, but SoftKinetic has been in the business since 2007, providing hardware and software solutions for the consumer electronics and professional markets. Andy and Courtney find out more from Virgile Delporte.

SoftKinetic are team of mathematicians, 3D imaging specialists, software engineers and game designers that have developed both hardware and software components of an end-to-end solution that can be incorporated into new products. The 3D middleware platform, iisu, lets content and video game developers, arcade and fitness equipment manufacturers develop their next interactive product or solution without needing a deep understanding of how the technology behind gesture recognition actually works.

If you want to have a play, SoftKinetic’s DepthSense Professional Kit, which includes a camera, is available from their store for just $499.

Interview by Andy McCaskey and Courtney Wallin of SDR News and RV News Net.

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Gunnar Digital Performance Eyewear

Gunnar Phenom EyewareGunnar‘s digital performance eyewear is a range of spectacles designed for people who spend too much time in front of a screen. Typically stylish and yellow-lensed, Todd occasionally wears a pair of Gunnars while doing the GNC show.

Joe Croft dropped in to show off the latest specs and Gunnar currently has a four-way line-up with Advanced Computer, Advanced Gaming, Premium 3D and Advanced Outdoor eyewear. As you might guess, three out of the four are primarily for indoor use only.

The Advanced Computer eyewear is for those people who use computer screens all day and the glasses help with the typical symptoms of prolonged computer use, such as a lowering in the blink rate leading to dry eyes, tired eye muscles from short range focussing and poor light quality from fluorescent lights. The technology in Gunnar glasses addresses each of those issues to make the eyes more comfortable while using a computer screen.

The new Spring 2012 collection is now out at Gunnars. Prices from $80 – $300 for standard lenses. Budget up to $700 for custom prescription lenses from Zeiss.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Steve Lee of Netcast Studio for the TechPodcast Network.

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