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Best of 2011: Our Top Stories

The Most Popular, Interesting, Weird, or Just Plain Cool eGFI Blog Posts of 2011

2011 was another busy year for engineers all over the world. From inventing a device that turns air into water to exploring the oceans in a tiny submarine, scientists and engineers are exploring uncharted territory.

Like last year, we at eGFI have chronicled the most awe-inspiring innovations and stories, so in case you missed one, we present:

The Most Popular, Interesting, Weird, or Just Plain Cool eGFI Blog Posts of 2011

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Catching Thieves With Butterflies

The wings of Costa Rica’s beautiful blue morpho butterfly are so iridescent their shimmer can be spotted more than a half mile away. Yet they contain no pigments. Instead, they have nanostructures that reflect and refract wavelengths of light to produce the vivid blue hue.

Researchers at Canada’s Simon Fraser University have developed a printing method that produces nanoholes 1,500 times thinner than a human hair that can, like the morpho’s nanostructures, each trap a single light wave.

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It’s Here! The 5th Edition of
Engineering, Go For It

Like our new magazine cover? Snatch up the 44″ x 25″ poster

What do the blockbuster movie Avatar, high-performance sports gear, the Angry Birds phone app, and pollution-eating bacteria have in common? They are among a host of fascinating innovations developed by engineers and featured in the newest edition of the American Society for Engineering Education’s (ASEE) Engineering, Go For It magazine.

The publication is now available in our online store. You can find a free preview of the magazine here.

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Movies That Watch You

Going to the movies is always fun, but would you still enjoy it if you knew the movie was watching you?

Soon, movie theaters may be equipped with cameras that will use facial recognition technology to monitor which way you are facing; if you’re laughing, scared, or bored; and if you came alone or with friends.

In order to monitor facial expressions, the theater cameras will illuminate the audience with infrared beams and create 3-D stereoscopic images of each viewer. Aralia Systems, a British security firm, received a $350,000 grant to develop the system.

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A 3D Display Made from Water Drops

In science and engineering, sometimes the most creative inventions are the outcome of happy accidents. Such is the case with the Aqualux 3D, an innovative 3D display technology that resulted when researchers at Carnegie Mellon were attempting to improve the functionality of car headlights under rainy conditions. They discovered that layers of water could make the perfect medium for a truly 3-dimensional, interactive screen.

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