1. Nanorods Emit and Detect Light, Could Lead to Displays That Communicate via Li-Fi
Moonsub Shim/University of Illinois
In recent years, the hot application for quantum dots has been as a replacement for light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as a backlight source for liquid crystal displays. But now, an international team of researchers has produced engineered nanorods that each feature a quantum dot capable of emitting and absorbing visible light. With this advance, quantum dots could someday yield mobile phones that can “see” without the need of a camera lens or communicate with each other using Light Fidelity (Li-Fi) technology.
2. Could Mobile Health Apps and Wearables Actually Make People Sicker?
A recent opinion piece about wearable tech for infants pulls no punches: “There is no evidence that consumer infant physiologic monitors are life-saving, and there is potential for harm if parents choose to use them.” That wasn’t just any random person’s judgement. The article was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and was authored by two pediatricians and an expert from the ECRI Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the rigorous evaluation of medical procedures and devices.
3. Medtronic's CardioInsight Electrode Vest Maps Heart's Electrical System
The 252-electrode device could help doctors pinpoint the locations of electrical malfunctions in the heart that cause irregular heartbeats.
4. New Terahertz Transmitter Shines With Ultra-Fast Data Speeds
The tiny CMOS-based transmitter can send data packets wirelessly at rates as high as 105 gigabits per second.
5. Millimeter-Scale Computers: Now With Deep Learning Neural Networks on Board
University of Michigan micro-mote computers—tiny, energy efficient computing sensors that can do analysis on board—aim to make the Internet of Things smarter without consuming more power.
Willie Jones is an associate editor at IEEE Spectrum. In addition to editing and planning daily coverage, he manages several of Spectrum's newsletters and contributes regularly to the monthly Big Picture section that appears in the print edition.