This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that innovation.
Computer Vision App Monitors Diabetes
Researchers at the University of Cambridge (UK) developed computer vision techniques to read and record glucose level, time, and date displayed on a typical glucose test via the camera on a mobile phone. The technology, which doesn't require an Internet or Bluetooth connection, works for any type of glucose meter, in any orientation, and in a variety of light levels. It also reduces waste by eliminating the need to replace high-quality non-Bluetooth meters, making it a cost-effective solution. The team created a free mobile phone app, called GlucoRx Vision. Users simply take a picture of their glucose meter and the results are automatically read and recorded, allowing much easier monitoring.
Contact: Sarah Collins
+44 (0)1223 765542
In-Air Multi-UAV Docking
NASA Langley Research Center developed a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) design that is a multi-vehicle concept with a large “parent” UAV that permits smaller “child” UAVs to dock wingtip-to-wingtip while in flight.
The parent UAV is VTOL and operates as a wing-borne vehicle. The children UAVs resemble the parent but at smaller scale and can be deployed from the wing-borne parent unit, perform their task, and re-dock before the full assembly returns to base.
Contact: NASA's Licensing Concierge
Digital Communication Through Touch
Instead of inserting a card or scanning a smartphone to make a payment, a new technology from Purdue University enables someone to simply touch the machine with their finger; the body acts as the link between a card or smartphone and the reader or scanner. The new technology would add the convenience of making a secure payment in a single gesture without having to take a device out of your pocket. The technology could also replace key fobs or cards that currently use Bluetooth communication to grant access into a building. Instead, a person might just touch a door handle to enter.