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Welcome to the IEEE Future Directions Tech Blog.

The spinach plant is calling me

Researchers at MIT have managed to morph spinach plants into sensors, able to detect a variety of substances.  They did this by embedding carbon nanotubes into spinach leaves creating a hybrid electronic systems they call “plant nanobionics”.  The carbon nanotubes can be designed to change their behavior when hit by a …

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Working on Climate

Yesterday I attended the Climate KIC Summit 2016. In Frankfurt it was cold, sleet, not a good background in terms of climate, at least for an Italian guy. The cold weather was not also conducive to the main theme of the Summit, the global warming of the Planet, mostly due, in …

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Guess what you’ve got there!

The Apple Watch does not have a digital camera to take pictures of what you see, nor selfies. You don’t need to suffer any more. CMRA is about to release (early 2017) a band for the Apple Watch with two video camera, one facing you with a 2Mpixel sensor and the …

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A billion years of battery power ….

Batteries have increased their performances, but that would have not been sufficient if electronics, as its performances grew, didn’t manage to slash the power budget "per activity". Present electronics is several orders of magnitude less "energy hungry" than the first transistors. Actually, in the 80ies, several observers predicted that the …

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Turning gold into … gold

In previous posts dealing with eWaste I pointed out the figures on the huge (and growing) volumes involved and how much value is hidden in eWaste. In just one day of "decommissioned" smart phones there are 127kg of gold, 1361kg of silver, 90kg of palladium and 63,500kg of copper. This means …

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A new type of display

eInk was the third type of alternative display technology that won the mass market, after the CRT and the LCDs (in all their nuances, including OLEDs). It found a niche in the eReader for its very low power consumption. Colour versions have been available but they didn’t really succeeded because of …

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On the path to 5G

Yesterday I was at the EIT Digital-IEEE joint workshop, where we had the participation of academia, industry and research institute from several Countries each and all with a strong interest in fostering innovation of the whole ecosystem that is aggregating around the future communications and information infrastructures (telecoms and data networks alike), …

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Supercapacitor tram

The first tram powered by supercapacitors has rolled out of production line in China, in the province of Hunan. The tram has no need for a connection to a power line, it is catenary free, its supercapacitors get recharged during the stops on the way. A 30” stop is enough to fully …

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