Infocus LP540 (http://rbi.ims.ca/3860-546). Even the best PowerPoint presentation can suffer if the projector is mounted at a sharp angle producing a distorted image called the keystone effect. Besides having several features including front, rear, and ceiling projection methods, InFocus LP540 projector uses an Analog Devices iMEMS accelerometer to accurately measure the projection angle in any given setting. The accelerometer provides the tilt angle data to the Digital Keystone Correction software in the controller, which automatically determines the level of correction necessary (up to ±25 degrees) to digitally resize the image and provide a square and undistorted image. For more info on Analog Devices' iMEMS accelerometers, go to http://rbi.ims.ca/3860-547.
Notepad Computer Knows Which Way is Up
Toshiba Portégé M200 (http://rbi.ims.ca/3860-550). The graphics capability of the M200 Tablet PC allows a speaker to add hand-written notes or diagrams to a document during a presentation or meeting—so long as the computer knows which side is up. By integrating a low-cost, compact, dual-axis accelerometer into the design, engineers made it possible to determine the orientation. The tilt input from Analog Devices'±2g, accelerometer also allows users to view the top and bottom of a web page by simply tilting the computer up and down. Tilting the notebook from left to right while viewing an eBook or digital magazine automatically turns the page, thanks to the signal from the accelerometer. For more info on Analog Devices' ADXL311 accelerometer, go to http://rbi.ims.ca/3860-551.
Self-Orienting Camera Phone
The V401D by Mitsubishi Electric (http://rbi.ims.ca/3860-548). Engineers at Mitsubishi realized it would be great to know which side of a cell phone is up when taking photos with it. To distinguish the portrait from the landscape mode in their 2G cell phone handset with integrated camera, they selected a low-g CMOS-based MEMS accelerometer to sense tilt. In addition to sensing the phone's position, the accelerometer made possible a pedometer feature to count the steps and measure the distance traveled. In the future, engineers plan to use it as an input for games. Unfortunately, the V401D is currently available only in Japan. For more info on the MEMSIC CMOS Thermal Accelerometer, go to http://rbi.ims.ca/3860-549.
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.