make bug-eye optics
and imaging systems built into cellphones
and other small devices sport small single
lenses that produce relatively poor images.
Researchers working to improve the quality
of these lenses are turning to the compound
design of insect eyes for inspiration. An
artificial compound eye based on an array
of microtelescopes shows promise.
Someday you will be able to ask your computer what's
going on in the world and it will scan dozens of
news sources and give you a concise summary of the
day's events. A prototype multi-document summarization
system brings this vision closer to reality with
an algorithm like the one Google uses to sort out
Assessment: Overly smart buildings
The latest iteration of the intelligent building
promises energy savings, health benefits, security
and other advantages, but its complexity could short-circuit
things. Sound familiar?
shifts plastic's shape
Mix a pair of plastics, one of which reacts to ultraviolet
light, and the result is a handy shape-shifting
material that promises to provide surgeons with
intelligent sutures and stents.
laser beam demoed
Crossing corkscrew- and cone-shaped lightwaves yields
a corkscrew beam that promises new ways to use light
to manipulate particles.
chemical sensor gains speed
Measuring the way carbon nanotubes store electric
charges is key to fast, sensitive chemical sensors.
cells make micromotors
People who are trapped by circumstances often feel
like they are going around in circles. Making this
literally true for microorganisms could expand the