Can you build a cool gadget that you think you could sell? If so, check out this forum for aspiring inventors: The MAKE/Design News Gadget Freak Design Contest, sponsored by Alibre, Allied Electronics and Texas Instruments. The idea is to create a gadget, which incorporates electronic components and involves sensing, motion, timing and/or networking elements and document your build. The contest winner gets $1,000 and a chance to sell their gadget in kit form in the Makers Market (with setup and monthly fees waived for six months). So come on–what have you got to lose? Go to for official rules and to see examples of some of the coolest projects DN gadgeteers have come up with and good luck!
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
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