The Science of Certain Things

Turn your iPhone into a microscope for about $10. New York City taxicab extreme makeover. The bedbug detective is an electronic nose for detecting the critters.

by / July 7, 2011

Wireless Charge

Volvo is participating in an inductive charging project where one of its new C3 electric models will be altered so energy can be transferred wirelessly to the car’s battery via a charging plate buried in the road’s surface. The self-charging time for a completely discharged battery is about 90 minutes.
Source: Volvo

2:46 Quakebook

This collection of essays, artwork and photographs tells the story of the 8.9 magnitude Japan earthquake through the eyes of individuals who endured the disaster and journalists who covered it. Contributions include stories of how Skype and other technologies kept loved ones in touch and abreast of the tragic event. The idea for 2:46 Quakebook, which may be downloaded for free, started on Twitter. Proceeds from sales of printed copies will go to Red Cross Japan.

Taxi of Tomorrow

In May, Nissan’s NV200 won New York City’s Taxi of Tomorrow contest, a quest to find a customized vehicle for the city’s landscape. The vehicle has more passenger room than any city taxi on the road to date, and its smooth ride is designed for passenger comfort, which NYC passengers reported as most important to them. Other features include a transparent roof, charging stations for mobile devices, a high fuel efficiency rating and built-in GPS navigation.
Sources: and

Sleep Tight …

… and don’t let the bed bugs bite. After an onslaught of bed bug infestations in Ohio, New York City and Florida, a mechanical engineer created the The Bed Bug Detective — a handheld device that’s programmed to sniff out bedbugs’ pheromones in the air, much like some trained dogs are used to sniff out certain insects. The device costs $200. Source:

iPhone Microscope

Using tape, rubber and a tiny glass ball, researchers transformed an iPhone into a powerful microscope to image blood cells. An additional clinical-grade cell phone spectroscope may even measure vital signs. Future upgrade plans include fluorescent microbe detection and an app to stitch images and determine blood oxygenation levels. Cost? 10 bucks.

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