Compact, wearable GPS tracker
‘i’m Here’ is a cute little GPS tracker that ensures you lose nothing. It is so small that it can be simply put into a bag or suitcase, or worn as a pendant, enabling you to track everything from your handbag to your cat, child or grandmom. Suppose you do not remember where you left your handbag, simply ping the ‘i’m Here’ tracker inside it to immediately get its location in response. Using the desktop or mobile version of ‘i’m Cloud,’ you can see its location on a map too. Apart from pinging the ‘i’m Here’ device, it is also possible to request the location from the ‘i’m Cloud’ panel.
You can also set up the device to get constant updates on its location. You can locate it for free the first200 times. Thereafter, you need to pay a very, very nominal price per ping. The device will be available in India from May 2013, for less than Rs 10,000.
Inside: The device is very small, measuring just 3.7×3.7×1.5 cm3. It has a built-in rechargeable Li-Po 300mAh battery, which can be charged via USB and gives a standby time of two to three days. i’m Here works using a built-in Zeromobile SIM for GSM connectivity. The GPRS module is quad-band 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, multi-slot class 10, mobile station class B and GSM phase 2/2+ compliant. It uses USDD protocol for information exchange. The GPS receiver is a 42-channel, GPS L1 C, A code, high-performance STE engine. GPS functionality is extremely fast, and the time-to-first-fix just around 30 seconds for cold starts and one second for hot starts.
Alot of equipment work quite well but fail us in emergencies. However, nowadays the trend seems to be in favour of designing equipment for emergencies. We read about SpareOne battery-powered emergency phone in the February issue of EFY, and now here is an emergency clock radio that gives storm warnings and updates.
Eton Corporation’s ZoneGuard+ looks like a simple clock cum radio but whirrs into action when there is a storm ahead. The LED lights turn from green to orange to red depending on the intensity of the emergency, and the warning is broadcast on all the modules. While the package comes with one base station and two wireless modules, you can add any number of modules—even one for every room—to make sure you are always alert.
Inside: ZoneGuard+ features an LCD display, speakers, AM/FM radio, digital tuning, alarm clock and AC/battery power. Specifc-area message encoding (SAME) data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA, is used for detecting storms. You just need to enter your SAME county code and if there is a warning, watch or advisory, it will be displayed and broadcast on all the modules. You can set up to 25 locations. Wireless modules, which are powered by a pair of AAA-size batteries, work within a range of 50 metres around the base station.
World’s first 3D direct ear scanner
Lantos 3D digital ear scanner is apparently the world’s first inra-aural 3D scanning system. The small handheld device produces a 3D image of the patient’s ear canal. Rather than providing a fxed image, it shows the changes that take place in the shape of the canal as the patient moves or swallows, and a lot of other data about the ear canal wall that manufacturers can use to improve the fit and design of in-ear devices. It can also beused by hearing device makers to understand the human ear better. Lantos’ device is likely to be available commercially sometime this year.
Inside: The Lantos scanner uses a fiberscopeenclosed in a conforming membrane, which is inserted into the ear canal. The conforming membrane is then filled with an asorbing medium, causing the membrane to expand and conform to the shape of the ear canal. The fiberscope then retrcts to generate a dynamic, 3D image of the ear canal in real time. The entire scan takes less than 60 seconds, after which the images are processed.
The Lantos scanner is based on a new technology called ‘emission re-absorption laser-induced fluorescence’(ERLIF), developed by Dr Douglas Hart at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Using the intensity measurement of two different wavelength bands of fluorescent light as they travel through an absorbing medium, ERLIF generates a highly-accurate 3D map. The medium selectively absorbs one wavelength band over the other. Thus the intensity ratio of the two wavelengths as they travel through the medium can be measured using a standard camera.