Surfing and science are something of an odd mix, but we’ve seen time and time again that the two subjects to together like, well, salt and water. The latest high-tech stick to hit that briney mix comes from a team at UC San Diego, who outfitted a board with eight sensors on the bottom that measure the speed of the water as it rushes beneath. All are controlled by a waterpoofed computer embedded in the nose, which transmits data wirelessly to an Eee PC left sadly on the beach while its partner splashes around in the waves. The goal is to attempt to determine what level of flex is optimal and, once determined, to create the ultimate board and rule the world… the surfing world, at least.
More info here.
A few weeks ago, People Power introduced a kit it calls SuRF, for Sensor Ultra-Radio Frequency, that helps connect household appliances and gadgets to a wireless network in your house. What that means is that you could monitor your microwave, Playstation and coffee machine in real time, check their levels of energy consumption, and make apps to control how they behave. Ultimately, that could lead to substantial savings of energy and money.
The $150 SuRF is a developer’s kit, which means you can’t simply buy it, plug it into your refrigerator, and start cutting your energy consumption in half: You have to connect it to your gadget or appliance and then build an app to make it work.
SuRF consists of two boards with long-range 900-MHz radios, powered by the Texas Instruments CC430 platform. “Lower frequencies let you penetrate walls and go much further than the standard 2.4-GHz frequency,” says David Moss, People Power’s director of device engineering.
He brings out two pairs of wireless network transmitters and receivers. One pair operates on 2.4 GHz, the frequency used in many wireless devices. The other are SuRF boards running at 900 MHz. We place one of each type in the room, and walk out to the front yard with the other two. The signal from the 2.4-GHz source dies out soon. SuRF is still blinking after almost a hundred feet.
More info here and here.