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Consumer Products Category Winner

Universal Proprietary Water Purifying/ Conditioning Multimedia Jim Jablonsky J&M Associates Hatfield, PA This inexpensive and easily operated filter system removes heavy metals, arsenic, mercury, bad tastes, and offensive odors. It consists of a composite mixture of metal oxide, carbon, and zeolite multimedia that has been processed into a nano material suitable for incorporation into inexpensive filter paper. The filter paper has a pore size between 1 and 5 microns. The filter element is inserted in the drinking cap of a bottle of water. The water can be poured through the center of a filter, and the impurities are chemically bound to the nano multimedia material, which produces a pleasant water taste of consistent nature. The materials also remove bacteria and reduce viral contamination. Flavor tapes can be added after the filter, enhancing the bottled water experience. This will help attract kids to a healthy alternative to soda. The multimedia materials have a great affinity for heavy metals, arsenic, mercury, and odor and taste removal and pass current “TCLP” tests to produce a stabilized matrix suitable for local disposal without the fear of recontamination from this concentrated filter source. These tests have also shown great resistance to fouling and need no prior pH adjustment, which makes this process suitable for bottled water as well as for point-of-use tap water purification. The product has great potential in the third-world market, since it can purify many different water streams from almost all sources. The filter elements can be manufactured on a very large scale. A disposable system for purifying home tap water would open new untapped markets for the first bottled water manufacturer to embrace this product. For more information, contact the inventor at jmassoc@erols.com. Honorable Mentions Adaptive Kayaking Fixtures for the Highly Disabled Mark Theobald High Seas Productions Camarillo, CA This series of adaptive kayak paddling aids is designed for people with incomplete quadriplegia, who are often able to use certain muscles in their arms, wrists, and hands. The device holds the paddle up for the kayaker and keeps the paddle blades oriented in the vertical position. The paddle is duct-taped to the fixture, and paddlers need only be able to push or pull to successfully use them. Those lacking gripping ability are assisted with gloves. The device can be attached to an unmodified rental kayak in one minute. An adjustable, forward-mounted boom can be tipped forward during boarding or exiting. Moveable Braille Timepiece David Chavez Costa Mesa, CA Current Braille timepieces only help the user orient the watch hands in relation to the watch face, but can lead to an inaccurate time assessment. Digital devices use sound to communicate the time, thus inhibiting the user from checking their watch unnoticed. Haptica is a moveable Braille timepiece that provides a quick and accurate time reading by displaying a real-time readout in Braille using a military-time format. The wearer scans along the Braille channel with their finger to check the time.

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2008 Create the Future Design Contest Grand Winner

This year’s seventh annual NASA Tech Briefs “Create the Future Design Contest,” presented by Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp., recognized innovation in product design in six categories: Consumer Products, Machinery & Equipment, Medical, Safety & Security, Sustainable Technologies, and Transportation. On the following pages, you’ll meet the Grand Winner, as well as the winners and honorable mentions in all six categories. Congratulations to this year’s winners, and thanks to all of the engineers who submitted their creative design ideas. To view the contest entries online, visit www.createthefuturecontest.com.

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Life-Saving CPR Device Wins Create The Future Design Contest

LifeBelt® CPR, a new device that makes it easy for anyone to perform high-quality CPR compressions in the event of cardiac arrest, has won the $20,000 grand prize in the 2008 Create the Future Design Contest sponsored by Tech Briefs Media Group and Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. Lifebelt was among a record 1,091 entries in the seventh annual contest.

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Using Virtualization to Secure Mobile Device Designs

Mobile devices are increasingly coming under attack from malicious applications. As more complex operating systems (OS), such as Symbian, Windows Mobile, and Linux are used in handsets, providing security updates and identifying new vulnerabilities has become more complicated. Addition ally, frequent patching and rewriting of code to keep one step ahead of hackers undermines the utility and longevity of legacy software. What developers really need is an environment that is inherently safe from attack and provides the appropriate level of security for all code running in the target device. Secure, segregated areas for critical code must be combined with secure communications in order to provide protection for mobile devices.

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StackableUSB™ Adapting PC Technology to the Embedded Market

Embedded systems and desktop PC’s have had a love hate relationship over the years. The PC has been the source of significant technological advances that have enabled embedded systems to evolve to their current levels of sophistication, using the faster processors and highly-integrated functionality of the CPU cores available today. Additionally, the PC world has also spun off I/O buses, both serial and parallel, that have enabled embedded systems designers to expand and configure their system I/O. On the other hand, the embedded industry has often been wary to adopt PC technology due to the short life cycle some PC technologies experience.

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Making the Move to Digital in Machine Vision

Analog cameras dominated the early years of machine vision systems, offering adequate performance, a simple interface, and a moderate price. Technology advances, however, are now tipping the scales in favor of digital cameras for most new and many legacy applications. Dropping prices, standardized interfaces, and opportunities for customized preprocessing are making the analog to digital transition painless and profitable.

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Increasing System Flexibility Using FPGAs

The proliferation of FPGAs into the embedded computing industry has opened up many new pathways for designers to design cost-effective systems that will withstand technology upgrades, changes in application requirements, and requests for low volumes for system components. Because it allows a user to update functionality after the device has left the manufacturer, FPGA technology gives embedded designers the flexibility to configure both customized and standard products. They can rethink the way systems are constructed and build ones that significantly advance existing technologies and blaze new paths for cutting-edge embedded systems.

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