Paul Green thinks that automotive design engineers ought to include the elderly in their safety and usability evaluations of telematic devices for navigation and communication. The senior research scientist from the University of Michigan says that older drivers need more time to make driving maneuvers, but the time required for telematics is even greater. "Much larger differences are found responding to warnings, entering data, and reading displays," he says. Studies indicate that 1) drivers aged 65 to 75 years take 40% longer to respond to warnings than drivers 18 to 30; 2) older drivers take 33–100% longer to read maps; and 3) older drivers use nearly 80% more time to enter information into a navigation system. For more information, visit the University's website at www.umich.edu.
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.
Microchip recently released the 3D TouchPad, the first USB PC Peripheral device that couples 2D multi-touch input with 3D air gesture technology. The company seeks the help of developers to further enhance the capabilities of the technology.
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
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