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Showing posts from May, 2014

Photonics for sensing: short list of 18

For as much as sensing technology is already enhancing our lives, the future promises even more.
Take that smartphone, for example.
Currently, it contains several very useful sensors. But, noted Tim Day, CEO/CTO of Daylight Solutions during a session on “The Future of Sensing” at the recent SPIE DSS event in Baltimore, by 2020, it’s easy to envision hundreds of sensors on such a device.
Demands for personal fitness monitoring and personalized medicine are big drivers, Day said.
Today’s sensors can tell us a lot. For example: How quickly did I go from jog to sprint today compared to yesterday? How close am I to my destination? What is that constellation?
But we want to know much more: blood sugar levels, temperature, blood pressure, air quality, and on and on. And we will be able to, via wearables (see Scientific American on that topic) and other technology using photonics.
Looking at what’s in or close to being available to the consumer now, at the SPIE DSS Expo FLIR and Opgal were s…

Climate change: what scientists say

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has issued a bold call for action related to climate change. With the publication of a report on the subject entitled “What We Know,” the organization delivers an assessment of current climate science and impacts that emphasizes the need to understand and recognize possible high-risk scenarios.
But the organization ups the ante. CEO Alan Leshner, in a letter to members 14 May, says that it’s not enough to simply issue another report. Leshner’s letter says it’s time to “change the conversation from whether the earth is warming to just how we are going to work together to alter the course our planet is on.” He calls on scientists to work together to alert the United States and the world to “severe outcomes that could occur through inaction or continued resistance to change.”
The report cites polls in which a large minority of Americans still think there is significant disagreement among scientists about whether global warmi…