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Menlo, Germany

News Article | March 17, 2015
Site: www.techradar.com

Microsoft has made very little fanfare about its first wearable, the Microsoft Band, which is a shame because the device is impressively comprehensive as an activity/health tracker, and it's now coming to the UK. The device will be available to buy on April 15 for the price of £169.99, with pre-orders opening today. While the Band packs in a number of 'smartwatch' features, including text, email and call notifications, the real focus is put on its fitness capabilities, working alongside Microsoft's Health platform. The Microsoft Band is laden with a wide range of sensors, allowing it to track , sleep, and of course steps. The Band is only available in black but you'll be able to change the colour and design of the watch face. It also works with Windows Phone 8.1, iOS 8.1.2 and later and Android 4.3 - 5.0, though you'll have to be paired with a Windows Phone if you want to talk to Cortana on your wrist. A recent update introduced a new cycling mode that tracks your biking adventures using the heart rate monitor and GPS. There's also a quick-read feature that displays messages on the screen one word at a time if you fine the display a bit too small for digesting emails. Microsoft Health has already partnered with fitness services like RunKeeper, MyFitnessPal and MapMyfitness, but will also have a unique partnership with health and well-being organisation Nuffield Health for the UK launch. We've been spending a bit of time playing with it in the UK and have updated our Microsoft Band review to reflect that, but we'll be adding more thoughts to it as we get to spend more time with the wearable.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2013

During the last decades atomic clocks and frequency standards have become an important resource for advanced economies with impact ranging from satellite navigation (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo) to high speed communication networks, where they ensure synchronisation of data packets at ever higher bit rates. In this field the wake of the new millennium has been marked by the invention of frequency comb technology, a discovery so important that it was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2005. Femtosecond comb technology enables two major advances (i) a factor of 1000 improvement in sensitivity and accuracy over current atomic clock technology and (ii) the possibility to create a precision frequency synthesizer ranging from the Hz level up to 10^17 Hz or even higher, i.e. covering the electromagnetic spectrum from DC to the soft x-ray regime. The technological impact of this current development is likely to be tremendous, opening new applications, e.g. in relativistic geodesy, where ultraprecise clocks sense the gravitational potential via the redshift arising from general relativity. This might open new markets in oil and mineral exploration, supervision of CO2 sequestration and hydrology and climate research. However the technologies associated with optical clocks and frequency standards are still in the laboratory stage and experts in the field are desperately needed for developing commercially viable systems and applications. This ITN is addressing this issue by implementing a training programme covering all aspects from the atomic reference and ultrastable lasers to frequency comb synthesis, precision frequency distribution and commercial system technology. It focuses on technological developments enhancing the technology readiness level of the new optical atomic clocks, enhancing the chance that they are picked up by the commercial sector. At this initial stage the vehicle will be space technology, which is promising the first high-precision applications.

Albrecht R.,Saarland University | Bommer A.,Saarland University | Deutsch C.,Kastler-Brossel Laboratory | Deutsch C.,Menlo Systems GmbH | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

We report on the coupling of a single nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center in a nanodiamond to a fiber-based microcavity at room temperature. Investigating the very same NV center inside the cavity and in free space allows us to systematically explore a regime of phonon-assisted cavity feeding. Making use of the NV center's strongly broadened emission, we realize a widely tunable, narrow band single photon source. A master equation model well reproduces our experimental results and predicts a transition into a Purcell-enhanced emission regime at low temperatures. © 2013 American Physical Society. Source

Steiner M.,University of Cambridge | Meyer H.M.,University of Cambridge | Deutsch C.,Kastler-Brossel Laboratory | Deutsch C.,Menlo Systems GmbH | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

We present the realization of a combined trapped-ion and optical cavity system, in which a single Yb+ ion is confined by a micron-scale ion trap inside a 230 μm-long optical fiber cavity. We characterize the spatial ion-cavity coupling and measure the ion-cavity coupling strength using a cavity-stimulated Λ transition. Owing to the small mode volume of the fiber resonator, the coherent coupling strength between the ion and a single photon exceeds the natural decay rate of the dipole moment. This system can be integrated into ion-photon quantum networks and is a step towards cavity quantum electrodynamics based quantum information processing with trapped ions. © 2013 American Physical Society. Source

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA.2010.2.2-01 | Award Amount: 2.72M | Year: 2011

A range of new applications will be enabled by ultra-precise optical clocks, some of which by using them in space, near or far distant from Earth. They cover the fields of fundamental physics (tests of General Relativity), time and frequency metrology (comparison of distant terrestrial clocks, operation of a master clock in space), geophysics (mapping of the gravitational potential of the Earth), and potential applications in astronomy (local oscillators for radio ranging and interferometry in space). We propose to (1) develop two engineering confidence ultra-precise transportable lattice optical clock demonstrators with relative frequency instability < 110-15/root(tau)1/2, inaccuracy < 510-17, one of which as a breadboard. They will be based on trapped neutral Ytterbium and Strontium atoms. Goal performance is about 1 and 2 orders better than todays best transportable clocks, in inaccuracy and instability, respectively. The two systems will be validated in a laboratory environment (TRL 4) and performance will be established by comparison with laboratory optical clocks and primary frequency standards. (2) We will develop the necessary laser systems (adapted in terms of power, linewidth, frequency stability, long-term reliability, and accuracy), atomic packages with control of systematic (magnetic fields, black-body radiation, atom number), where novel solutions with reduced space, power and mass requirements will be implemented. Some of the laser systems will be developed towards particularly high compactness and robustness. Also, crucial laser components will be tested at TRL 5 level (validation in relevant environment). The work will build on the expertise of the proposers with laboratory optical clocks, and the successful development of breadboard and transportable cold Sr and Yb atomic sources and ultrastable lasers during the ELIPS-3 ESA development project Space Optical Clocks (SOC).

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