MyLiFi lamp delivers secure internet via LEDs

MyLiFi is a lamp that provides a secure, wireless, radiowave-free internet connection to nearby devices, all through the data-transferring power of LEDs. It’s a simplistic, industrial-style desk lamp that beams broadband to a dongle, which users connect to their laptops or mobile devices — and boom, they have secure, fast internet. Data is transferred between the bulb and the dongle via invisible, blinking LEDs, which means the lamp doesn’t need to be on in order to provide a connection.

LiFi is a fairly new concept, but it promises to provide faster speeds than Wi-Fi and it’s unhackable, unless the intruder has a direct line of sight to the actual connected light bulb. MyLiFi, for instance, hits up to 23Mbps, compared with an average of 10Mbps for Wi-Fi.

MyLiFi comes from French company Oledcomm, and CEO Benjamin Azoulay envisions multiple use cases for this kind of technology. LiFi can be handy in hospitals, which demand a radiowave-free environment and tight security over patient information. Or, it can be good for gaming fans, since the connection is faster and more stable than Wi-Fi.

MyLiFi ships with an app that lets users control the lamp and turn off internet connectivity whenever they want. The lamp is available for pre-order now via Indiegogo, starting at $700.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2018.

from Engadget

JBL adds Google Assistant to its Everest line of headphones

Samsung-owned Harman International just announced three new models for its JBL Everest line of wireless headphones. The over-ear 710GA, on-ear 310GA and in-ear 110GA all include Google Assistant (hence the GA designation), giving you voice control over your music, phone calls and notifications. All three models will be available this spring for $250, $200 and $100, respectively.

Once you’ve connected either model to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth 4.1, you can use Google Assistant by touching a sensor on the ear cup or earbud. You can then say things like, "volume up," "tell me about my day" or "play some pop music." The over-ear 710GAs have a 25-hour battery, the 310GA boasts a 20-hour battery, while the 110GAs have an 8-hour rating. These aren’t the first headphones optimized for Google Assistant, of course. That honor belongs to the Bose QC35 over-ear model.

"Adding the Google Assistant models to the Everest line is another step we’re taking to pair JBL’s legacy of award-winning sound with a growing line-up of voice-controlled devices," said Harman’s Jessica Garvey in a statement. "Having Google Assistant on JBL Everest GA headphones means you can stay connected to more of what matters to you, whether that’s enjoying music, getting information about the world around you or managing your daily tasks – just by using your voice."

Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2018.

from Engadget

A Romantic Partner’s Scent Can Alleviate Stress

The human sense of smell is perhaps our most underrated ability.
The power of scent may not get the credit it deserves because we experience it differently than our other senses. Rather than proceeding directly to the thalamus—the seat of consciousness—like other sensory signals, scent information travels to parts of the brain associated with emotions and memory. Therefore, much of the information we receive through our noses is experienced subconsciously.
Consider this: It has recentl

from Discover Main Feed

Why One Man Has Spent Years Building a Boeing 777 Out of Paper

Quick. Imagine a paper airplane. Got it? It’s a folded up piece of standard 8 1/2 by 11-inch printer paper, right? A sort of three-dimensional hieroglyph of an airplane made of paper. How boring of you.

Now try imagining an airplane. A Boeing 777, the long range model to be exact. Think of the wing flaps moving, the landing gear unfolding, the reverse thrusters for the engines. You know, the details that let you hurtled through the atmosphere at 600 miles an hour. Now imagine building all of it at 1/60th the normal size and doing it with just one material: paper. Manila folders to be exact again. Also, some glue.

This is the paper plane designer Luca Iaconi-Stewart has been building, on and off, for nearly a decade. “It even blows my own mind,” he says. “I don’t know how I’ve done a lot of it.” Watch the video above to see the incredible details like hair-thin strands of paper that make up hydraulic lines on landing gear and the 300 plus seats, each about the size of a gumdrop, that Iaconi-Stewart has laid out in the cabin. They don’t recline, he admits but there are other mesmerizing parts that do move like the cabin doors, the retractable landing gear, complete with suspension, and wing flaps.

What began as a school project years ago has morphed into an oft torn apart and then rebuilt model. It’s garnered a healthy Youtube following of fellow aviation and modeling buffs who cheer at Iaconi-Stewart’s fastidious attention to detail and fidelity in such a limited material. In this age of Minecraft and computerized avionics simulations, it might seem anachronistic to devote so much time to such a fussy analog project. But that’s exactly what Iaconi-Stewart likes about it and has kept him going. “I really enjoy the sense of calm and mediation that it brings when I really get into the building process,” he says. “It’s really exhilarating when you get to the end and you see a component coming to life.”

from Wired Top Stories

Garmin Speak Plus mixes Amazon Alexa with a dash cam

Don’t think it’s enough to have Amazon Alexa in your car? Garmin thinks it has a better proposition: throw in a dash cam. Its new Speak Plus includes the same voice assistant that offers directions, music playback and other hands-free controls, but it also tucks in a camera that can both record "incidents" (read: collisions) and deliver alerts. It’ll warn you if you’re too close to a car, if you’re drifting out of your lane or if that gridlocked traffic has finally started moving.

The Plus continues to pair with your smartphone to get online, and can use either Bluetooth or an aux cable to pipe music to your car’s audio system. An OLED screen provides basic navigation details so you don’t miss a turn.

Not surprisingly, the addition of the camera raises the price. The Speak Plus will sell for $230 when it ships on January 22nd ($200 if you pre-order by January 20th), or well over the $150 for the original Speak. However, it might make more sense. Many people are content with mounting their phone and using its built-in assistant, and there’s not much point to Speak if you have a vehicle with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. However, dash cams are a different story — this gives you some useful safety and insurance features in addition to keeping your eyes on the road while you drive to an unfamiliar destination.

Garmin Speak Plus

Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2018.

Source: Garmin

from Engadget

Gut Check: Gas-Sniffing Capsule Charts The Digestive Tract

These large capsules, which can be swallowed, measure three different gases as they traverse the gastrointestinal tract.

Courtesy of Peter T. Clarke/RMIT University

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Courtesy of Peter T. Clarke/RMIT University

These large capsules, which can be swallowed, measure three different gases as they traverse the gastrointestinal tract.

Courtesy of Peter T. Clarke/RMIT University

To study the human gut and the microbes that live within it, scientists have a couple of options. They can grab a small piece of tissue from the gastrointestinal tract or collect a sample of fecal matter.

Neither way is ideal, says Jack Gilbert, a microbiologist and director of the Microbiome Center at the University of Chicago. “By studying [the sample], you’re changing it, just by observing it, because you have to cut it out and analyze it,” he says.

But a third way may become available to both scientists and clinicians. It’s an ingestible electronic capsule that senses certain gases released in the human gut – some of the same stuff that you may already be familiar with when it eventually passes into the open air.

The capsule’s creator, electrical engineer Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh, a professor at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, says that the device has already begun revealing secrets about the human gut.

To test the capsule, Kalantar-Zadeh enlisted 26 healthy volunteers – one being himself. Each person ate the same diet to help rule out food as a cause for different results, except for two volunteers who ate a high-fiber diet and two others who got one with little fiber.

“We didn’t have any problems,” he says. But they did notice some oddities. For one, Kalantar-Zadeh says that the pill’s data showed some curious oxygen measurements in the stomach. Apparently the stomach was releasing harsh oxidizing chemicals along with typical stomach acid to aid digestion. “It’s a very simple phenomenon, but nobody had ever observed it before,” he says.

The results of the testing were published Monday in the journal Nature Electronics.

At roughly an inch long and half an inch wide, the electronic pill looks something like the biggest multivitamin a human could reasonably swallow. Curled around its tiny batteries is an antenna that beams data out of the body where it can be viewed on a nearby smartphone.

A membrane on the capsule’s nose lets gases through to a sensor that detects concentrations of oxygen, hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Kalantar-Zadeh says those three gases were picked because they provide important information about the gut.

By sensing oxygen content, for instance, the pill can figure out where in the gut it’s located. Oxygen starts off high in the stomach and drops off throughout the intestines. When the pill senses an oxygen-free environment, it knows that it’s finally made it to the colon and soon will exit.

The other two gases give researchers information about the gut microbiome’s activity wherever the capsule happens to be in the digestive tract. In this case, carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas are both byproducts of fermentation, a process many bacteria use to digest food and create energy, Kalantar-Zadeh says. “Looking at how fast these gases are produced, where they are produced and what types of gases are produces gives us clear information about the activity of the microbiome,” he says.

The researchers are forming a company that will continue clinical testing of the device for efficacy and safety. Kalantar-Zadeh stands to receive a royalty for sales of the capsule. “We’re not doing this for profit,” he says. “The only thing we want to see is benefit for people.”

The capsule will cost $30 to $40 to produce at scale, Kalantar-Zadeh says, but they don’t know the retail price.

The capsule may have some far-reaching applications, says University of Chicago’s Gilbert, who wasn’t involved in the development of the device. “Any ability to monitor the production or consumption of chemicals in the environment of the gut is incredibly powerful,” he says. “This device is just limited to carbon dioxide, hydrogen and oxygen, but that alone is an exciting potential for this to be linked to further research of the gut.”

For instance, being able to monitor gut bacteria activity like this could one day help clinicians better diagnose certain diseases. “So for someone with irritable bowel or colitis or even someone with the potential of developing colon cancer,” he says. “Are there changes in gas concentrations along the tract and can we correlate [them] to whether they develop the disease or not? That would be cool. I could think of 17,000 of these examples.” Of course, it would take years of careful research and development to fulfill that potential, and it might not pan out.

The data might also give scientists a fresh look at how different people respond to certain foods, says Kyle Berean, an electrical engineer at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia who also worked on the device. We rely on microbes to break down certain foods – like starches or complex proteins – so that we can absorb the nutrition.

Too little bacterial activity is inefficient, but too much can be dangerous. What that proper level is – and how to achieve it with the right food – might be different for everyone, Berean says. “We keep hearing about individualized diets,” he says. “This provides an opportunity to see how your body is actually interacting with that food.”

The gas-sniffing capsule isn’t the only attempt to probe the human gut in real time. The Food and Drug Administration cleared the way for a swallowable capsule camera in 2014. And a group at MIT has experimented with a pill that could be used to collect vital signs as it travels through the digestive tract.

“There’s an ongoing effort to develop these platforms,” Gilbert says. But he says that this report is a proof of concept that opens the door to new means of understanding the gut. “The gut is right inside us, but it’s as far away as Mars in terms of getting inside and seeing what’s happening in real time. This is a potential tool by which we can finally analyze that.”

Angus Chen is a journalist based in New York City. He is on Twitter: @angRChen.

from NPR Topics: News