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Top 5 articles regarding gadgets and appliances in 2012

By Rob Aid
4 January 2013

top-5-2012-gadgets_0Unfortunately, we haven’t covered as many gadgets as in previous years, but we’re going to change that in this year by introducing gadgetry reviews and articles closely related to gadgetry and appliances. There are some new players on the market which mostly remained the same regarding fanaticism about the brand wars, and there is a trend of increasing number of relatively affordable and simplified robotic toys and RC vehicles which are finding their way to consumer homes.

These are the 5 most read gadget and home appliance news and articles that were published in 2012:

5. Multi-touch table educational games improve learning

multi-touch-table-educational-gamesAn interdisciplinary team consisting out of computer scientists, biologists, and cognitive psychologists at Harvard, Northwestern, Wellesley, and Tufts, conducted a pair of studies where they investigated the actual learning outcomes of educational games in both formal and informal settings. The results revealed that educational games succeeded at making the process of learning difficult material engaging and collaborative.

The users were tested by playing a game on a tabletop multi-user touch-screen which allows simultaneous use by several users who can cooperate or independently work on a single project. The table accommodates multiple users and can also interact with markers (physical objects like cards or blocks) that are placed onto its surface. Two collaborative educational games, named Phylo-Genie and Build-a-Tree, were tested on pairs of college students as well as on families in a busy museum environment.

4. Small LED projector projects sharp images on uneven surfaces

fraunhofer-mini-LED-projector-1.jpgResearchers from the Fraunhofer IOF in Jena, developed a LED projector technology able to project sharp images on uneven surfaces. Unlike other miniature projectors, this technology is unique due to its capability to project images from an angle without distortion or affect on sharpness of projected image. Modeled after compound eyes in insects, the projector enables crisp and clear image projection, even if projected at a very flat angle with the beams illuminates the table surface at a diagonal.

The projector consists of hundreds of tiny microprojectors in an array used to form a complete image. In the simplest case of usage, when the image is projected vertically onto a level surface, hundreds of these tiny projectors cast the same image onto the viewing surface and create a sharp and bright picture. In a more complicated scenario where the device is positioned at sharp angle to the projecting surface, each little projector shines a slightly different image, which in superposition with other images from other small projectors results as a sharp overall picture. The resulting image is created from a function of the angle at which the image is projected, and of the geometry of the surface the image is projected on.

3. Longevity of light bulbs and how to make them last longer

light-bulb-longevity-robaidThis was the second article about light bulbs which was investigated and written to help in consumer’s struggle to buy a light bulb which lasts at least as long as the box you bought it in claims it will. However, the longevity of light bulbs is usually much shorter than it is declared on their package and the article describes how you can try to make your light bulbs last longer without shifting to other type of lighting.

Article covers increasing longevity of 3 major types of lighting used today: incandescent, CFL and LED light bulbs. An important fact is that there are many variations of light bulbs that are using the same technology, and their longevity as well as ways to prolong it was generalized.

2. Wireless power outlets for smarter smart homes

hexabus-smart-wireless-power-outletsA group of researchers from Fraunhofer Institute who developed an Internet-enabled wireless power outlet that support the new IPv6 Internet protocol. The wireless smart socket has integrated security of the system with the AES-128 advanced encryption standard used to transmit the data. Current system enables a 30 meters (nearly 100 feet) distance between the power outlet and the router.

The researchers plan to improve this with multihop networking capability that would allow linking of these power outlets in series, thus enabling the router to pass messages from one to another and extending the range of the communication system – a solution that could be of interest to businesses for their office buildings and industrial sites.

1. Definite guide for declaration found on light bulb packages

light-bulbs-storeAside the fact we’re switching from incandescent light bulbs to more energy efficient lighting options such as Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) and Light-Emitting Diodes bulbs (LED bulbs), there are new emerging “hybrid” incandescent bulbs which manage to achieve 30 percent higher efficiency compared to traditional light bulbs. That means we should stop referring to watts and use lumens as the amount of light a light bulb is declared to emit.

We published this article to unravel the meaning of information found on light bulb packages. It reveals how declared longevity, watts, volts, kelvins and lumens define the way a light bulb should perform.

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