Space Engineer Justine Haupt’s DIY Rotary Cell Phone

In an attempt to remedy the harm of an always-on lifestyle, Brookhaven National Laboratory astronomy instrumentation engineer Justine Haupt stripped a mobile phone down to its essentials in order to assemble her handheld rotary cellphone. For the DIY invention, three years in the making, Haupt paired a rotary mechanism from an old Trimline telephone with a microcontroller and Adafruit Fona 3G cell transceiver. She then …

Google Launches Assistant Interpreter Mode

Available today on iOS and Android, Interpreter Mode translates conversations in real time through a process similar to Google’s preexisting Translate page. According to the company, the feature can be prompted by saying phrases like, “Hey Google, help me speak Thai” or “Hey Google, be my German translator.” Simply recite a phrase and an automated process will translate it and play it back in the …

Skin for Computers Modeled After Real Human Flesh

Bristol Interaction Group’s biomimicry research project, Skin-On Interfaces, has delivered the uncanny: skin for electronics that’s modeled after and closely resembles real flesh. Composed of silicone layers, molded with human-like wrinkles, the epidermis can be squeezed, stroked and twisted. These actions trigger a reaction from the grid of electrode wires (the same as you’d find in any smartphone touchscreen) beneath the skin. In many ways, …