Sudden infant death syndrome, or crib death, is responsible in the United States for around 2,225 deaths a year of children from birth to 12 months. But German researchers have developed a stretchable, printed circuit board that could be fitted into a one-piece sleeper and would signal an alarm if a baby stops breathing. Investigators at the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM in Berlin have figured out how to make the flexible, wearable circuit board from polyurethane, a plastic often used as a sealant. They fitted it with sensors that monitor breathing in the chest and stomach areas, and ironed it onto baby-size PJs.
Some engineers just can’t wait until they graduate to start innovating. Here’s one recent example: After watching a man with a speech impairment struggle to make a supermarket cashier understand him, three Ukrainian computer science students, who call themselves the QuadSquad, designed gloves fitted with 15 sensors that can understand the hand and finger gestures used in sign language.
Scholarships that target students interested in engineering provide an excellent way to help pay for the rising costs of higher education. Since engineering scholarships are plentiful and come from a variety of sources, such as corporations, non-profits, foundations, institutions, and governmental bodies, future engineers have a host of opportunities available to them.
Smartphone addicts everywhere will rejoice at Google’s latest portable technology innovation: reality-enhancing eyeglasses. The glasses are a product of Google X, the company’s secretive experimental research lab.
The specs function much like a smartphone or tablet computer, but without the extra bulk or the screen interface. Using voice-activation, they offer wearers the latest information pertaining to their surroundings, such as weather, transportation info, and directions to the nearest coffee shop. They even have a built-in camera that allows users to snap photos of interesting sights and to video chat with friends (watch concept video above to see them in action). According to the New York Times, the glasses could be on sale as early as next year, retailing for around the price of a new smartphone.
Ever dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur? If so, you’re in good company – over half of U.S. millennials (ages 18 to 34) say they want to start a business or already have done so, according to a recent survey from the Kaufmann Foundation. Even more exciting is the fact that nowadays, starting a business does not necessitate leaving school, as more and more universities are striving to accommodate entrepreneurial students.
In this new eGFI blog series, we bring you four inspiring stories of undergraduate engineering students who have successfully patented their original ideas, teamed up with classmates and professors to launch businesses, and navigated the startup world, all while keeping up with their coursework.
So step aside, Bill Gates – the days of dropout turned entrepreneur may be numbered.