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Wearable 'Q Sensor' Helps Monitor Stress Levels

A new wristband from the MIT Media Lab-spawned company Affectiva can purportedly detect stress levels in the wearer, and give cues to their emotional state. The Q Sensor operates similarly to a polygraph by detecting electrical changes in the user's skin. When a person is excited, worried or upset, moisture begins to gather under the skin's surface, often as a prelude to sweating. The Q Sensor...

Can You See Me Now? MIT's Cheap Eye-Exam Attachment for Cell Phones

A team of MIT Media Lab researchers has created a simple and cheap device that performs on-the-spot eye exams. The Near-Eye Tool for Refractive Assessment (NETRA) is a small plastic device that attaches to a cell phone screen. Users peer into it, and press buttons on the phone until a set of green lines overlaps with a set of red lines on the screen. In less than two minutes, the software...

Spotlight on Sourcing at Greener Gadgets

As the global economy strengthens its grip, consumers (and even some manufacturers) are led further and further away from the origins of the products they consume. And, of course, the greater distance a product travels to get to us means a larger carbon footprint, further damaging the environment. At the Greener Gadgets conference last week, design competition prize winner John Healy and guest...