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Welcome to the IEEE Future Directions Tech Blog.

Old lang syne

Just run onto an interesting "flash back" article on the evolution of storage and processing celebrating the 50 years of the Moore’s Law. Although it does not contain anything new, it is about history not about the future, seeing all the past flowing by in just two minutes (the time it took …

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Stretching ICT beyond science?

I have been seeing in these last 30 years technology advancement that defied my belief, robots that perform surgery, cars driving themselves, ubiquitous telecommunications, instantaneous access to world information, smart materials that regain their shape and so on. I dreamed about these things when I was young but that was science …

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Micro-fabrication for quantum chips

Researchers at Honeywell International and Georgia Tech Research Institute seem to have solved the problem of creating a chip that can trap ions to be manipulated by laser beams. The construction of a quantum computer involves managing ions and this requires the creation of electromagnetic fields that in terms requires electrodes at the …

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Turning your smartphone into a microscope?

Researchers at the University of Houston have found a way to create a very cheap (3 cents) lens that can be easily attached to your smartphone camera just by sticking it on the lens of the camera. The lens is made of polydimethylsiloxane (plastic…), PDMS,  and is produced using an ink-jet like printer. …

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3D printing can save lives

3D printing allows for accurate creation of objects that would close to impossible to create in other ways. Doctors at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital have used 3D printing to save three children from tracheobronchomalacia, a condition that makes breathing impossible because the airways leading to the lungs collapse blocking …

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The more we know, the more complex it looks

The brain, and not just ours, has always been seen as a tremendously complex machine. As we improve our ways to look at it we get more and more information on its working, however rather than shedding light on the way it actually manages to perform all its diverse activities …

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Printing silicon at low temperatures

Printed electronics is old story: it has been created several years ago and we have quite a number of applications for it. It is cheap and easy to manufacture requiring basically an ink-jet printer. The key is the ink: it has to be a solution that once printed can provide …

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3D scanning made cheap

We have a number of very accurate 3D scanning products that are used every day, as an example by museums to make 3D copies of statues.  They have two characteristics: 3D scanning is slow and expensive. It is ok for this sort of application but it does not work for …

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Bacterial Farm mimicking photosynthesis

Scientists at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, LBNL, Kavli Energy Nanosciences Institute and UC Berkeley have reported on the ACS journal Nanoletters a way to use artificial photosynthesis to convert sunlight into chemical energy, similarly to what plants are doing (they produce carbohydrates). Plants harvest 130 Terawatts to produce 115 billion …

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Detecting quantum errors

Quantum computers are a reality from a scientific point of view but are far from there from a technical and engineering point of view: in other word we know how they work, what we can do with them but we have not been able, so far, to build one that …

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