News Article | February 22, 2015
LG had a good 2014, posting record quarterly shipments and doubling its annual profits. The company released some eye-catching smartphones (and smartwatches), but much of its success came down to solid, affordable mid-range devices. With Mobile World Congress, the telecom industry’s biggest event, taking place next week, LG has revealed four new mid-range products ahead of time that will be important for its continued success in 2015. The devices range from four-inches (Joy), to 4.5-inches (Leon), 4.7-inches (Spirit), and five-inches (Magna). Each is available in 3G and LTE flavors. The three larger phones are all powered by a 1.2GHz chip (3G models) or 1.3GHz quad-core chip (4G versions) with Android (5.0) Lollipop installed out of the box. The main difference is each one’s camera and battery capacity. The LG Magna, Spirit and Leon each offers an eight-megapixel rear camera, which drops to five-megapixels on the 3G model. The Magna packs the highest quality front-facing camera (five-megapixels), followed by the Spirit (one-megapixel) and Leon (VGA camera). The Joy is the entry-level model, with a choice of 1.2GHz quad-core or 1.2GHz dual-core processors, and a five-megapixel rear camera and front-facing VGA on both versions. LG often debuts new features and design ideas with its high-end devices first. True to form, a number of settings from its top phones made their way into this mid-range line-up, including the hand-triggered selfie timer ‘gesture shot’, and ‘glance view’ for pulling up important notifications. There is no confirmed price for the phones at this point, but you can be sure they will be significantly cheaper than the likes of Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s soon-to-arrive Galaxy S6. The four new LG phones will begin hitting the retail market in “selected” countries from this week, the Korean company said. “For millions of consumers around the world, the deciding factor on which smartphone to buy isn’t how fast or how big it is but how balanced it is. With our new mid-range smartphones, more and more customers will be looking to LG for their next handsets,” commented Juno Cho, head of LG Mobile, in a statement.
Researchers at RMIT University and the University of Adelaide, both in Australia, have joined forces to create a stretchable nano-scale device that can manipulate light. This required combining the University of Adelaide researchers' expertise in the interaction of light with artificial materials with the materials science and nanofabrication expertise available at RMIT University. By utilizing nanoscale crystals, the device was able to manipulate light to such an extent that it could filter specific colors while still being transparent. This technology could one day lead to lenses that can filter harmful optical radiation without interfering with vision; more advanced versions could transmit data and gather live vital information or even show information like a head-up display. The light manipulation relies on creating tiny artificial crystals termed ‘dielectric resonators’. These crystals are just 100–200nm in size, a fraction of the wavelength of light or over 500 times thinner than a human hair. "Manipulation of light using these artificial crystals uses precise engineering," explained Withawat Withayachumnankul at the University of Adelaide's School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. "With advanced techniques to control the properties of surfaces, we can dynamically control their filter properties, which allow us to potentially create devices for high data-rate optical communication or smart contact lenses. The current challenge is that dielectric resonators only work for specific colors, but with our flexible surface we can adjust the operation range simply by stretching it." According to Madhu Bhaskaran, co-leader of the functional materials and microsystems research group at RMIT, the devices were made on a rubber-like material used for contact lenses. "We embed precisely-controlled crystals of titanium oxide, a material that is usually found in sunscreen, in these soft and pliable materials," she said. "Both materials are proven to be bio-compatible, forming an ideal platform for wearable optical devices. By engineering the shape of these common materials, we can create a device that changes properties when stretched. This modifies the way the light interacts with and travels through the device, which holds promise of making smart contact lenses and stretchable color changing surfaces." According to Philipp Gutruf, RMIT researcher and lead author of a paper describing this work in ACS Nano, the major scientific hurdle that needed to be overcome was combining high temperature-processed titanium dioxide with the rubber-like material, and achieving nanoscale features. "With this technology, we now have the ability to develop lightweight wearable optical components which also allow for the creation of futuristic devices such as smart contact lenses or flexible ultra-thin smartphone cameras," he said. This story is adapted from material from RMIT University, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier. Link to original source.
News Article | August 30, 2010
Things are about to get noisy in the cloud computing world, as this week marks VMworld San Francisco, VMware’s user conference. For VMware, it represents a chance to show off its market position in virtualization, its ability to attract partners (and also potential competitors) to exhibit, and its roadmap to lead the IT industry to a world of private and public clouds. For the rest of the industry, it’s a chance to piggyback on the epicenter of buzz and hope to be heard above the noise of the crowded space. Here are some product areas to watch: Data Center and Management Products. vSphere and vCenter — mainstay products for VMware that provide the underlying platform and management for virtual compute environments — will see plenty of attention. The bulk of the lab sessions focus on these two products, ensuring more folks are trained on the stuff that sells today. Collaboration. I’m personally looking forward to any additional Zimbra-related announcements. VMware already announced the Zimbra appliance, an intriguing twist likely to boost channel sales. See more at The Cloud Collaboration Wars Ramp Up. Developer Tools. With Redhat leveraging JBoss as a Platform-as-a-Service foundation, VMware should have plenty to say about the software acquired from SpringSource, which now falls under VMware’s application development product category. SpringSource is at the core of VMware’s Open PaaS strategy, and we may see more along the lines of the partnerships VMware has already announced with Google and Salesforce.com. Cloud Computing. Perhaps the most telling measure of success for VMware at this show will be its ability to draw attention to its new cloud software offering. For the last several years, Amazon has held the crown of cloud computing king, although its software isn’t shared, only accessed via an API. Microsoft emerged with Azure, which will be great for Windows-centric customers. Then Rackspace recently launched Open Stack to build a Linux and LAMP-stack like open source approach to cloud stacks. Along the way, smaller companies like Eucalyptus, Cloud.com, and more recently, Nimbula have emerged. Now it’s VMware’s turn to remind us that it put virtualization into cloud computing to begin with, and that its integrated approach of empowering the data center for private clouds, the service providers for public clouds, and every hybrid flavor in between is the way to go. VMware has a lot going for it, and its anticipated cloud computing stack offering dubbed “Project Redwood” could quickly emerge as a formidable player in the choice and evolution of cloud stacks. The company’s expertise across enterprises and service providers will be useful for implementing the hybrid cloud strategies so many companies envision. VMware has not disappointed in terms of the breadth of its vision, and what was born as a provider of hypervisors has now grown into one of the most powerful infrastructure software companies on the planet. The company’s tentacles now reach far beyond hypervisors and into development frameworks, collaboration tools and the cloud. Let’s see what else it has in store. Related GigaOM Research (sub req’d): VMware’s Cloudy Ambitions: Can It Repeat Hypervisor Success? Gary Orenstein is Host of The Cloud Computing Show.
Home > Press > New sensors to combat the proliferation of bacteria in very high-humidity environments Abstract: The engineer Aitor Urrutia has received his PhD with these devices that combine nanotechnology and fibre optics for use in hospitals or on industrial premises. The Telecommunications Engineer Aitor Urrutia-Azcona has designed some humidity sensors with anti-bacterial properties that combat the proliferation of micro-organisms in environments where the humidity level is very high, such as hospitals and industrial premises for foodstuffs or pharmaceutical products. These devices combining nanotechnology and fibre optics are part of his PhD thesis read at the Public University of Navarre (NUP/UPNA). Humidity is one of the most controlled and most monitored aspects nowadays owing to its great importance in a whole range of industrial processes or in areas such as food monitoring, air quality, biomedicine or chemistry, explained Aitor Urrutia, who is from Auritz/Burguete, but who currently resides in Irúñea-Pamplona. Yet problems remain in terms of measuring and monitoring it in specific situations such as environments where the humidity level is very high. The proliferation of bacteria in such environments where the humidity is very high is common and this leads to the formation of biofilms which are ecosystems made up of these microorganisms attached to a surface. This leads to the problem known as biofouling which causes the deterioration of many materials and devices, affects their performance and cuts their service lifetimes. Right now, the costs arising out of biofouling are very high mainly because of the maintenance work or replacement of equipment, pointed out Urrutia. When considering this widespread problem, in his PhD thesis Aitor Urrutia set about building new humidity sensors that would have antibacterial properties for applications that function in environments where the humidity is high and which are conducive to bacterial growth, and thus prevent the creation of biofilms and overcome biofouling. Combining nanotechnology and fibre optics To develop the various humidity sensors, Aitor Urrutia based himself on the combination of the latest advances in nanotechnology (new materials and new manufacturing techniques for coatings and nanoparticles) over new fibre optic configurations. The sensors developed are made up of an optic structure to which coatings with a thickness of less than one micron are applied, pointed out the new PhD holder. Thanks to the embedded silver nanoparticles included, these coatings provide the sensors with two additional functionalities: antibacterial properties and increased sensitivity. That way, the new sensors developed have longer service lifetimes and perform better. What is more, these fibre optic sensors offer additional advantages such as their biocompatibility, immunity with respect to electromagnetic interference, their low cost, size and weight, and the possibility of long-distance measuring, according to Urrutia, whose PhD thesis was supervised by the lecturers in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Francisco J. Arregui-San Martín and Javier Goicoechea-Fernández. The new humidity sensors developed could be integrated into a wide variety of sectors, such as, for example, health centres and hospitals to monitor human respiration, among other applications; on premises and in chambers used in processes in the foodstuff and pharmaceutical industry; in biotechnology and home automation; and in the monitoring of structures or cavities that are difficult to access, such as cooling towers or off-shore facilities. Full bibliographic information P. J. Rivero, A. Urrutia, J. Goicoechea, F. J. Arregui, (2015) "Nanomaterials for functional textiles and fibers," Nanoscale Research Letters 10 (1) 501: 1-2,. doi:10.1186/s11671-015-1195-6 About Elhuyar Fundazioa Elhuyar Fundazioa is a Science and Technology Foundation. Its first mission is to make science accessible to ordinary people and work with our language euskara. Within our product we have dictionaries, University books, web-pages, journals, radio programs and TV programs. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
Your smartphone could one day be replaced by an electronic display laminated to the back of your hand, if the inventors of a new ultrathin "e-skin" have their way. For the first time, Japanese scientists have demonstrated a superflexible electronic skin (or e-skin) display, made from organic electronics, that doesn't degrade when exposed to air. And crucially, the researchers used processes similar to the way organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays are manufactured for conventional smartphones and TVs. Organic electronics, made from carbon-based polymers, hold huge promise for wearable devices because they are far lighter and more flexible than traditional electronics made from inorganic materials, such as silicon and gold. But OLEDs and organic light detectors normally degrade in air, so they typically need bulky protective coatings that decrease their flexibility. [Body Bioelectronics: 5 Technologies that Could Flex with You] Now, a team from the University of Tokyo has developed a unique method to create a protective coating that can shield the electronic components from the air while remaining thin enough to stay flexible. "Our e-skin can be directly laminated on the surface of the skin, allowing us to electronically functionalize human skin," said Takao Someya, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Tokyo, and author of a paper on the new device published April 15 in the journal Science Advances. "We think that functionalizing the skin may replace the smartphone in the future," Someya told Live Science. "When you carry an iPhone, it is a bulky device. But if you functionalize your own skin, you don’t need to carry anything, and it's easy to receive information anywhere, anytime." Previous organic electronic displays have been built using glass or plastic base materials, or substrates, but their flexibility was limited by their thickness. [Important to point out thickness is the problem] Other, thinner versions have been manufactured, however, these materials have not been stable enough to endure in air for more than a few hours. Someya's group was able to extend the device lifetime to several days by creating a protective film, called a passivation layer, which consists of alternating layers of inorganic silicon oxynitride and organic parylene. The film shields the device from damaging oxygen and water vapor but is so thin that the entire device is just 3 micrometers (millionths of a meter) thick and highly flexible, the researchers said. For comparison, a strand of hair is about 40 micrometers thick. Substrates this thin can be easily deformed by the high-energy processes needed to produce the ultrathin, transparent electrodes that connect the components, Someya said. So, the group's second innovation was to optimize these processes to reduce the required energy to a level that did not damage the ultrathin materials. In the near future, this technology could be used to monitor people's health, Someya said. To demonstrate its potential, his team created a device consisting of red and green OLEDs and a light detector that could monitor the concentration of oxygen in a human subject's blood when the e-skin is laminated to the person's finger using highly flexible adhesive tape. [Bionic Humans: Top 10 Technologies] The scientists also created both digital and analog displays that could be laminated to the skin, and all of the devices were flexible enough to distort and crumple in response to body movement, without losing their functionality. "The potential uses range from information display to optical characterization of the skin," said John Rogers, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois, who also works on developing e-skin but was not involved with the new study. "Opportunities for future research in this context include the development of power supply systems and of wireless schemes for data communication and control." By employing materials and processes that are already used in the industrial production of OLED displays, Someya said the group's work should be able to transition smoothly to large-scale production. Hyunhyub Ko, an associate professor of chemical engineering at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea who also researches e-skin, agrees that this method could eventually be applied to the manufacturing of commercial products. "The formation of [an] ultrathin and flexible passivation layer is a challenging task," Ko told Live Science. "Their fabrication process includes the solution coating and chemical vapor deposition methods, and thus can be scaled up for commercial products." Copyright 2016 LiveScience, a Purch company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.