The Biometric Wallet

Palm vein scanners could eventually replace your wallet with your hand

9 min read
Illustration of a hand.
Illustration: Bryan Christie Design

One of the most notorious ATM scams in Japan started at a posh golf club in the green hills of Gunma prefecture. In 2004 a ring of thieves that included a club employee installed tiny cameras in the club’s locker room to record members typing in their four-digit locker codes. Then, while the golfers were out on the links, the thieves opened the lockers and used “skimming” devices to copy data off the magnetic stripes on club members’ bank cards.

The crooks transferred the data onto the mag stripes of blank cards. Then they started testing those cards in ATMs, checking to see how many of the golfers had used the same four-digit number for both their locker codes and their bank personal identification numbers (PINs). The answer: plenty. By the time the police arrested seven members of the gang in January 2005, the crooks had stolen more than 300 million yen (nearly US $4 million) from more than 300 victims.

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Mojo Vision Puts Its AR Contact Lens Into Its CEO’s Eyes (Literally)

With batteries on board and communicating wirelessly, the augmented reality contact lens reaches a major milestone

6 min read
closeup of eye with contact lens containing electronic components

Mojo Vision CEO Drew Perkins wears one of the company’s augmented reality contact lenses.

Mojo Vision

Editor’s note: In March, I looked through Mojo Vision’s AR contact lens—but I didn’t put it in my eye. At that point, while non-working prototypes had been tested for wearability, nobody had worn the fully functional, battery-powered, wirelessly communicating, device. Today, Mojo announced that its augmented reality lens had gone on-eye—specifically, on the eye of Mojo Vision CEO Drew Perkins, on 23 June.

“I’ve worn it. It works....and it was the first ever on eye demonstration of a feature complete augmented reality smart contact lens,” reported Perkins in a blog post. “The final technical hurdle to wearing the lens was ensuring that the power and radio communications systems worked without wires. Cutting the cord [proved] that the lens and all major components are fully functional and reduce many of the technical challenges in building a smart contact lens.”

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Explosive Power Beats Even Moore’s Law

The power of destructiveness is the most impressive metric of modern technology

2 min read
A photo of a nuclear explosion with islands in the foreground.

On 30 October 1961, the Soviet Union detonated the Tsar Bomba hydrogen bomb, which had the destructive power of 50 megatons of TNT, or 210 petajoules.

Alamy

The rising number of components on a microchip is the go-to example of roaring innovation. Intel’s first microprocessor, the 4004, released in 1971, had 2,300 transistors; half a century later the highest count surpasses 50 billion, for the Apple M1 Max—an increase of seven orders of magnitude. Most other technical advances have lagged behind: During the entire 20th century, maximum travel speeds rose less than tenfold, from about 100 kilometers per hour for express trains to 900 km/h for cruising jetliners. Skyscrapers got only 2.4 times as tall, from the Singer Building (187 meters) to the Petronas Towers (452 meters).

But there is one accomplishment that, unfortunately, has seen even higher gains since 1945: the destructive power of explosives.

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Modeling Microfluidic Organ-on-a-Chip Devices

Register for this webinar to enhance your modeling and design processes for microfluidic organ-on-a-chip devices using COMSOL Multiphysics

1 min read
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Comsol

If you want to enhance your modeling and design processes for microfluidic organ-on-a-chip devices, tune into this webinar.

You will learn methods for simulating the performance and behavior of microfluidic organ-on-a-chip devices and microphysiological systems in COMSOL Multiphysics. Additionally, you will see how to couple multiple physical effects in your model, including chemical transport, particle tracing, and fluid–structure interaction. You will also learn how to distill simulation output to find key design parameters and obtain a high-level description of system performance and behavior.

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