NASA Sensor Technology helps recreational boaters make waves

  • Author: Gadget Mania
  • Filed under: Wireless
  • Date: Apr 30,2010

As summer approaches, NASA-developed wireless sensor technology is giving recreational boat owners safer and more accurate readings of how much fuel is in their tanks. The NASA-developed magnetic measuring system also has potential use in planes, trains and automobiles.

Senior scientist Stan Woodard of NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and Bryant Taylor, an ATK Space Division electronics technician at Langley, created a wireless fluid-level measurement system. It eliminates the need for any electrical component or circuit to be in contact with combustible fuel or fuel vapors. The wireless measurement system is simple to use and install. It is already in use by commercial and recreational boaters.

“This fundamental technology could be used to design an unlimited number of sensors for a variety of measurements,” Woodard said. “Just think about anything that you would want to measure. Don’t be surprised when you see this technology commercially available in your home or cars.”

Originally developed by NASA to retrofit aging aircraft with safety equipment, the technology is a spinoff for designing and using sensors without the shortcomings of many commonly-used liquid storage measurement systems. Read the rest of this entry »


Cisco introduces Valet Home Wireless products

Breakthrough Simplicity Makes Wireless Accessible for Everyone

Cisco is pairing its wireless technology leadership with Flip Video’s simplicity-in-design approach to launch Valet(TM) — a breakthrough new product line that makes home wireless simple and accessible for everyone. Valet is designed to transform how families use the Internet in their homes so they can enjoy the freedom of wireless access without the traditional frustration and complexity of setting up a home network.

“Valet is home wireless made easy,” said Jonathan Kaplan, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco Consumer Products. “With complementary backgrounds and expertise, our Cisco and Flip teams have combined forces to change the rules for home wireless with a product line that empowers consumers to easily set up, enjoy and manage all of their wireless devices anywhere in their homes.”

Untapped Home Wireless Market

While consumer demand for wireless products is on the rise with a tremendous array of new devices in the market, research from IDC(1) reveals that only one-third of US homes are currently set up for wireless use. This surprisingly slow adoption of home wireless is largely due to the complexity of current offerings that are too technical for the average consumer to install and manage on their own. At the same time, the demand for wireless-enabled products – such as mobile phones, gaming systems, and music players – is extremely strong according to ABI Research data that reports more than 264 million of these types of devices shipped worldwide in 2009.

“Consumers have felt powerless and frustrated with the entire process of home wireless, but with Valet we are tearing down the walls and opening it up to everyone,” added Kaplan. “The market for wireless-enabled products is exploding and now mainstream users will be able to take full advantage of all the new opportunities.”

Quick Set-Up and Simple Management

Valet is the first wireless product line to make it simple for anyone to set up and manage their own home wireless network. Consumers simply insert the included Easy Setup Key right into a USB port in their PC or Mac and the Cisco Connect software takes over. Unlike other wireless products that require 20 to 30 complicated steps to set up a single computer, Cisco Connect takes you through three steps from start to finish. The Easy Setup Key retains all setup information and can be easily inserted into additional home computers to seamlessly add them to the home’s wireless network.

Personalized Wireless Experience

Once set up, Valet gives consumers a simple way to manage their family’s home wireless experience. The included Cisco Connect software makes it easy to: 1) add additional devices to the network, 2) set parental controls, 3) provide Internet access for guests on a separate guest network and 4) customize personal security settings such as passwords.

Valet also provides a new level of control for parents with simple tools to manage their family’s online experience. Valet’s Cisco Connect software lets parents easily set controls on the fly, so they can modify web usage for certain days and times of the week, or even for temporary periods. For example, if teens are spending too much time on social networks or gaming systems, parents can modify their wireless access so that they cannot go online after 9:00 pm on weeknights. Internet access for each personal device connected to a Valet – from a computer, to a gaming system, to a smartphone – can be individually controlled or changed as needed for the particular child or teen, including blocking inappropriate web content.

In addition, Valet makes it easy to set up guest wireless access when friends or family come to visit. With a completely separate wireless connection, guests can use their laptops or mobile phones around the house, while the main Valet home network remains secure and private.

Price and Availability

The new Valet line is offered in two models – Valet and Valet Plus – based on the size of the home and the mix of wired and wireless devices. In addition, there is a simple Valet Connector to update older computers without built-in wireless capabilities or to upgrade to Wireless-N. Valet users have access to Cisco’s award-winning 24/7 phone support in the unlikely event they have a question or problem. The Valet product line is available immediately at Amazon, Staples, thevalet.com and soon at Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart and other leading retailers.

For small to medium-sized homes with primarily wireless — Valet devices. MSRP: $99.99

For medium to large-sized homes with a mix of wireless — Valet Plus and wired devices. MSRP: $149.99

Upgrades an older computer to wireless and ideal — Valet Connector complement to Valet or Valet Plus. MSRP: $79.99

(1) IDC, Worldwide Home Networking 2010-2014 Forecast, Doc # 222355, March 2010


Magellan Announces Exclusive Sponsorship of Geocaching.com’s 2010 Cache In Trash Out (CITO) Events

Magellan announced the launch of the Magellan eXplorist GC, the first dedicated GPS device for geocaching that includes out-of-the-box paperless geocaching, pre-loaded with the most popular geocaches in the world, a brilliant color screen, rich graphics and an easy to use interface all packed into a rugged and waterproof device, that connects seamlessly to www.geocaching.com. The Magellan eXplorist GC will ship in April.

Geocaching is a high-tech version of a “treasure hunt,” where adventure seekers use GPS technology to hide and find physical objects, solve location-based puzzles, and share experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people of all ages and promotes a strong sense of community and support for the environment.

The Magellan eXplorist GC GPS receiver is made exclusively for geocaching with an intuitive interface and the ability to sort and search thousands of geocaches. The device has multiple fun and familiar graphics, such as smiley faces for logs and merit-based awards to show off your geocaching expertise.

“Magellan, a leader in GPS and navigation for more than 20 years, is pleased to introduce a dedicated GPS device for geocaching that exceeds the expectations of both novice and seasoned geocachers,” said Justin Doucette, Director, Outdoor Product Marketing for Magellan. “The Magellan eXplorist GC offers an amazing geocaching experience that includes a full end-to-end solution, from accessing geocaching.com to finding hidden treasures all around you to documenting your adventures and sharing with a growing user community of enthusiasts.”

Powered by two AA batteries, the device can provide up to 18 straight hours of outdoor adventure along with a highly-sensitive SiRFstarIII GPS chipset that provides 3-meter accuracy. Geocachers can easily mark finds and quickly add field notes. Additionally, the product comes pre-loaded with common outdoor GPS features such as waypoint creation, a worldwide basemap, active tracking and trip odometer.

The Magellan eXplorist GC GPS device will be introduced at an M.S.R.P. of $199.99. The unit will ship with a USB cable and 2 lithium disposable AA batteries. With the purchase of a Magellan eXplorist GC GPS device customers will receive a 30-day free premium membership to www.geocaching.com. Details and conditions of this offer are available at www.magellangps.com/exploristgc.

Magellan, the exclusive 2010 sponsor of Geocaching.com’s Cache In Trash Out (CITO), will host a CITO event in the San Francisco Bay Area in the month of April. CITO is an ongoing environmental initiative supported by the worldwide geocaching community, dedicated to cleaning up parks and other cache-friendly places around the world to help preserve the natural beauty of our outdoor resources. Details will be available soon at www.magellangps.com.


Wireless Projectors With Mac OS Support Available with Audio and Control

InFocus® Corporation, the industry pioneer in digital projection technology, announced a major enhancement to its wireless solution that eliminates the need to have wired connections between laptops and select InFocus projectors, with support for Mac OS and audio.

Based on wireless technology from Wisair, a leading provider of single-chip based UWB and Wireless USB solutions, the InFocus DisplayLink(TM) Wireless system, allows presenters to easily connect to InFocus DisplayLink-enabled projectors and share HD content on the big screen without wires.

Successfully launched in August 2009 with initial support for Windows OS platforms, the system is now made available for MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air platforms with audio support. These enhancements enable broader deployment of the InFocus DisplayLink Wireless system to educational and additional markets, where Mac platforms are widely used.

MacBook platforms do not have VGA or HDMI connectors, which are the most common connectors in Projectors. For a complete audio-video experience today, Mac users need to connect at least 3 cable adapters: (1) a mini-DisplayPort or mini-DVI to VGA adapter cable (2) a VGA cable that connects to the projector for the video and (3) yet another cable for the audio.

The new InFocus wireless solution allows Mac users to transfer video, audio and also the projector’s control, via a single wireless link with a single adapter that connects to a USB port, available in ALL MacBook platforms.

The system will be available with Mac OS support at the end of March 2010.

User’s Benefits:
Convenience – travelling salespeople, teachers and lecturers using Mac mobile platforms are no longer bound to projectors by cables and no longer require a bunch of wires for audio and video connectivity – this along with the projector control are transferred over the wireless link with an adapter that connects to a USB port on the Mac platform.
Simplicity – the Wireless DisplayLink adapter contains all the necessary software in an onboard Flash driver, supporting a true plug and project experience. Both Wireless DisplayLink adapters are powered via the USB connectors so no external power is required.
Flexibility – Because they are about the size of your average USB thumb drive, they’ll fit into any briefcase, laptop bag or accessory pouch. Both male and female adapters are designed to connect and rotate to three different positions for maximum flexibility in tight spaces.
Performance – with a one-to-one connection between any MacBook and InFocus DisplayLink enabled projector, the Wireless DisplayLink adapters provide crisp and clear images delivered with fast and reliable Ultra Wide Band (UWB) technology.
Complete – enjoy presentations, video and online content projection with audio playback on the projector’s built-in speakers for complete audio visual experience. In addition, the system supports the InFocus laptop control application, enabling users to control the projector over the wireless link without the need to physically access the projector.
Security – the USB compliant adapters have a proprietary relationship and are factory pre-paired to ensure secure transmissions over a 128 bit encryption protocol – project seamlessly and securely.

Wireless System’s key features:
— Point to point wireless connectivity based on reliable UWB radio link
— Universal solution for MacBook platforms with an adapter that connects to a USB port for audio, video and control
— Connectivity from anywhere in the boardroom, classroom or lecture hall, from distances of up to 30 ft
— Pre-paired adapters (MacBook Adapter and projector are already associated with each other upon purchase) for hassle-free, plug and project operation
— Onboard Flash driver in the MacBook Adapter contains all the required drivers and speeds up software installation
— High speed connectivity that does not load the WiFi network in the office or at home and does not degrade its performance, for simultaneous operation and projection of Internet content
— Wireless audio and video (wireless system supports up to 2048×1152 and 720p video, actual resolution depends on the projector model)
— Mac Leopard (10.5) and Snow Leopard (10.6) OS support

Source: Wisair


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