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Color By Phone

Hewlett-Packard's HP Labs has developed a color-matching technology that could change the way people shop for products that require color coordination, such as clothing and cosmetics. Consumers use their mobile phones to take pictures of themselves or objects, and then send the pictures to HP servers. Within seconds, the consumer receives a text message with a color recommendation for matching makeup to their skin tone, or for finding the right color for a sweater or paint. Instead of sitting down with a consultant at a makeup counter, a shopper photographs herself with a mobile phone camera while holding a specially designed color reference chart obtained at a makeup counter or from a magazine. The picture is uploaded to HP servers, and software compares the values of the color-reference chart in the picture with the accepted values for those colors. Face-detection software finds the person's face and color-corrects it for lighting discrepancies. The color is then compared with a database of 260 women with different skin tones. In seconds, the consumer receives a text message recommending the makeup color that looks best on the woman in the database with a similar skin tone. The technology works with any mobile service on any mobile phone equipped with a camera. The technology could be used to find the correct color for furniture, rugs, and paint, and for healthcare providers and others needing a high level of color or image coordination. Visit here for more info.

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Techs of the Week

Powerful atomizers are made using high-output rotary discs with output of 20,000 to 24,000 droplets per second, without altering the droplet size and disc parameters. Assembly of several discs in a row on a rotary shaft produces powerful aviation- and ground-based atomizers. The atomizers can be used in agriculture as an orchard sprayer, in vineyards, in putting out forest fires, in medicine, and for military purposes such as deactivation of a contaminated territory or for fast atomization of non-lethal weapons. Click here for more info. A patented technology produces unlimited quantities of electrically charged liquids and aerosols. The atomizer/spray gun technology (electrical control of droplet size, low-pressure atomization, droplet/aerosol-particle self-dispersion, target wrap-around) includes powder paint coatings, nanofiber generation at orders of magnitude higher throughputs than has been feasible, one-pass ultrafiltration, and clean combustion of fuels. Click here for more info. The Technologies of the Week describe inventions offered for license through the yet2.com marketplace. Search over $2.5 billion of licensable technologies at www.yet2.com.

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Bomb-Sniffing Yeast

Researchers at Temple University's School of Medicine have developed a new biosensor that "sniffs out" explosives and could one day be used to detect landmines and deadly agents such as sarin gas. The sensor is made of a genetically engineered yeast strain with mammalian (rat) olfactory-signaling machinery that was genetically linked to the expression of green fluorescent protein. They cloned into the yeast cells individual rat olfactory receptors. When the receptor "smells" the odor of DNT, an ingredient in the explosive TNT, the biosensor turns fluorescent green. The team is now perfecting the utility of the biosensor to improve its response time. The potential therapeutic applications extend beyond the detection of chemical agents, and include screening of experimental medicines. The biosensor soon will be incorporated into a handheld or remote device that can be left at a location and monitored from a distance. The research was sponsored by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Read the full story here.

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MATERIAL ANALYSIS AND IDENTIFICATION

KeyMaster Technologies, Inc., develops and markets specialized, hand-held X-ray fluorescence (XRF) instruments and unique tagging technology used to identify and authenticate materials or processes. NASA first met with this Kennewick, Washington-based company as the Agency began seeking companies to develop a hand-held instrument that would detect data matrix symbols on parts covered by paint and other coatings. Since the Federal Aviation Administration was also searching for methods to detect and eliminate the use of unapproved parts, it recommended that NASA and KeyMaster work together to develop a technology that would benefit both agencies.

Posted in: NTB, Spinoff

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Innovate and Win!

The 2007 Create the Future Design Contest, presented by SolidWorks Corp. and NASA Tech Briefs, is open for entries in these categories: Machinery, Equipment, and Component Technology; Consumer Products; Medical; Safety and Security; Transportation; and Sustainable Technologies. Co-sponsored by COMSOL Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the sixth annual contest recognizes outstanding innovations in product design, awarding a Grand Prize of $20,000, and six First Prizes (one from each category) of Hewlett-Packard engineering workstations. Entrants may elect to have their entry posted on the contest Web site, and the 10 most-visited entries will each be awarded $250. All qualified entrants will receive a Create the Future Design Contest T-shirt. All entries must be received by October 15, 2007, so submit your design idea today. Click here for guidelines and the official entry form.

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Technology Business Briefs

New Method of Agile Reduction of Radar Cross-Section Using Electromagnetic Channelization This technology will become a more versatile and cost-effective supplement to the existing stealth technology currently deployed. It might turn into the most effective radar defensive technology available for all branches of the military and commercial sectors. Click here for more info. Sensors Determining Conditions in an Absorbent Item This technology calculates the time remaining before the rising pH will trigger toxic microbial and biochemical effects. Many products monitor and display pH shifts, but there is no other known technology that predicts when a given pH level will be reached. Click here for more info. The Technology Business Briefs portray licensing or selling opportunities intermediated by NextTechs. NextTechs Technologies, LLC is a Global Technology Investment Bank engaged in technology offers and needs intermediation in over 41 industries and 141 research disciplines. Search NextTech's Technology Portfolio here.

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Supercomputing On-Demand

At the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California San Diego, Caltech computational seismologist Jeroen Tromp can give the public movies that tell the story about earthquakes in a language that's easy to understand, revealing waves of ground motion spreading out from the earthquake. He can deliver these movies in just 30 minutes with the help of a supercomputer at SDSC, which has introduced OnDemand, a new supercomputing resource that will support event-driven science. "This is the first time that an allocated National Science Foundation (NSF) TeraGrid supercomputing resource will support on-demand users for urgent science applications," said Anke Kamrath, director of user services at SDSC. In addition to supporting important research, the system will serve as a model to develop on-demand capabilities on additional TeraGrid systems in the future. TeraGrid is an NSF-funded computing grid linking some of the nationís largest supercomputer centers. Event-driven applications that will use OnDemand include making movies of Southern California earthquakes, systems that will help give near-real-time warnings based on predictions of tornado or hurricane paths, and predicting the most likely direction of a toxic plume released by an industrial accident or terrorist incident. Visit here for more info.

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