This Week’s Top 5 Engineering Technology Articles

Hello all! My top engineering technology picks of the week include two must-haves for cyclists to improve safety, the development of the wheelchair and the advancement of fingerprint scanners for healthcare and security. Have a great weekend!

Ctrl One Smart Glasses Auto Tint to Suit Lighting Conditions

A technology originally developed for the military, tinting lenses have come a long way to consumer products. The ability of the lenses to transition from transparent for regular use to sunglasses in outdoor lighting improves the users experience with a set of glasses instead of worrying about both a regular pair of glasses and sunglasses. However, a Dutch company figured that athletes don’t have a strong pair of glasses, especially for cyclists and runners. The Ctrl Ones e-Tint glasses have a long battery life and are rain and sweat resistant. They are even designed with bullet proof/basllistic lens — while it probably won’t stop a bullet, it’ll stop small pebbles.

Garmin’s Varia Radar Warns Cyclists About Traffic They Can’t See

Staying on the cycling path, this next article covers a product that isn’t completely new, but it is extremely important for bike riders that are concerned with automobile traffic. Driving on roadways, competing with automobiles can be an extremely nerve racking adventure in some parts of the world. However, Garmin is attempting to even the playing field for bicyclists. The Varia rear view bike radar detects vehicles up to 140 meters behind the cyclist and presents that information to the rider so they are aware of possible issues behind them.

This is just another great addition to the Garmin Varia product range. Already, Varia has a smart lighting system that adapts to both speed and weather as well as a tail light system that will alert following traffic of a decrease in speed.

Wall Street Journal
The Wheelchair Gets a Makeover—and a New Name

With the motorized wheelchair just having celebrated its 60th year, engineers are looking at many ways to change the design to improve the life of the user. These “personal mobility devices” are getting to the point of being able to climb stairs, navigate trains and lighter and easier to maneuver. Many of the breakthroughs enabling engineers to design these new technologies involve improved software, batteries, sensors and lower-cost hardware. Many of these technologies would have been developed by engineers — in many cases those using simulation software to develop these advancements.

These continuous developments could significantly help those who require a wheelchair to become much more independent. However, as technology becomes more advanced, it is only a matter of time until those in wheelchairs are as independent until those without a wheelchair.

Ultrasound Fingerprint Scanners Amplify Security

It seems like every couple of months, a company is announcing that they have been hacked and personal information has been compromised. As alarming as that can be, we are storing more private information on smart devices and credit cards. While security has improved, it is still far from perfect. However, an engineer from the University of California, Davis and his colleagues may have developed an idea for an upgraded fingerprint scanner that understands a greater depth than standard devices with a smaller failure rate. The tech relies on ultrasound and can be incorporated into consumer electronics.

This improvement uses sound to read the fingerprint, rather than a faulty and easily fooled standard fingerprint scanner. It’ll be interesting to see if this technology helps improve the security of electronics in the dangerous age of security hacks.

Huffington Post
This Pill Dispenser Is Designed To Fight Addiction

Fingerprint scanning was an important topic this week. Students at Johns Hopkins built a device aimed at eliminating drug abuse. A high-tech design ensures the correct distribution of drugs with a fingerprint scan, while an internal timer dispenses the pills in the correct dosage at the proper intervals. The unique design is also tamper-resistant, designed with a super-strong steel alloy — tests to open it with a hammer, hacksaw, drill and other tools broke at least one drill bit.

This innovative design incorporates fingerprint technology to combat a serious problem for many individuals. By relying on the sensors and other tech embedded in the dispenser, it could significantly reduce the number of abuse or overdose cases of prescription medications.

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