GPS has been a very useful technology for positioning users in an outdoor environment. However, telecommunication researchers have not been able to attain GPS-like accuracy indoors. In the last few years,companies like Google, Microsoft, Qualcomm and Apple have focused on indoor localization. Research teams at universities also have attacked the problem. Practical solutions are converging, and a localization application is expected to be in the market soon.
A team of electrical engineers at Duke University have developed a wirelessly powered telemetry system. Their system features a chip that is light enough to attach to a flying dragonfly. The chip can transmit the electrical signals from neurons in real time. In the past, telemetry systems were too heavy and had to be used on immobilized dragonflies.
According to an electrical engineer team at Duke University, metamaterials can theoretically make it possible to improve wireless power transfers to small devices, such as laptops or cell phones, and eventually to larger applications, such as cars or elevators. Metamaterials are fabricated exotic composite materials that are engineered to exhibit properties not readily found in nature. Theoretically, metamaterial can improve the efficiency of recharging devices without wires.
In a single day, a solitary grad student at a lab bench can produce more simple logic circuits than the world’s entire output of silicon chips in a month. So says a Duke University engineer, who believes that the next generation of these logic circuits at the heart of computers will be produced inexpensively in almost limitless quantities. The secret is that instead of silicon chips serving as the platform for electric circuits, computer engineers will take advantage of the unique properties of DNA, that double-helix carrier of all life’s information.
Duke University engineers have created a new generation of lens that could greatly improve the capabilities of telecommunications or radar systems to provide a wide field of view and greater detail. But the lens they fashioned doesn’t look anything like a lens. While traditional lenses are made of clear substances – like glass or plastic – with highly polished surfaces, the new lens looks more like a miniature set of tan Venetian blinds. Yet its ability to focus the direction of electromagnetic rays passing through it dramatically surpasses that of a conventional lens, the engineers say.