Connect with us

Entertainment

Scientists develop ‘acoustic fabric’ that can ‘hear’ your heartbeat 

Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a fabric that can “hear” a person’s heartbeat via high-tech fibers.

The fabric could also be incorporated into maternity wear to help monitor a baby’s fetal heartbeat and can be used to monitor one’s heart and respiratory condition.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

“Wearing an acoustic garment, you might talk through it to answer phone calls and communicate with others,” said Wei Yan, the study’s lead author as an MIT postdoctoral student, in a statement released by MIT.

“In addition, this fabric can imperceptibly interface with the human skin, enabling wearers to monitor their heart and respiratory condition in a comfortable, continuous, real-time, and long-term manner,” added Yan, now an assistant professor at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

The fabric was designed to work like a microphone, converting sound first into mechanical vibrations, then into electric signals, similar to the way the human ear works.

Though on a small scale, all fabrics vibrate in response to audible sounds. In order to capture these imperceptible signals, the MIT researchers created a flexible fiber designed from a “piezoelectric” material that, when woven into a fabric, bends with the fabric and produces an electrical signal when bent or mechanically deformed. This provides a means for the fabric to covert sound vibrations into electric signals.

Fabrics are traditionally used to dampen or reduce sound. This can be seen in its use to soundproof concert halls or carpeting living spaces. Examples include soundproofing in concert halls and carpeting in our living spaces.

Inspired by the human auditory system, the team tried to create a fabric “ear” which is soft, comfortable, durable, and able to detect sound.

“It feels almost like a lightweight jacket — lighter than denim, but heavier than a dress shirt,” said one of the team’s researchers Elizabeth Meiklejohn, who wove the fabric using a standard loom.

She sewed one panel to the back of a shirt, and the team tested the fabric’s sensitivity to directional sound by clapping their hands while standing at various angles to the shirt.

“The fabric was able to detect the angle of the sound to within one degree at a distance of three meters away,” co-author Grace Noel noted.

The researchers envision that a directional sound-sensing fabric could help those with hearing loss to tune in to a speaker amid noisy surroundings.

“It can be integrated with spacecraft skin to listen to (accumulating) space dust, or embedded into buildings to detect cracks or strains. It can even be woven into a smart net to monitor fish in the ocean. The fiber is opening widespread opportunities,” said Yan.

“This research offers quite literally a new way for fabrics to listen to our body and to the surrounding environment,” said co-author Yoel Fink.

“The dedication of our students, postdocs, and staff to advancing research which has always marveled me, is especially relevant to this work, which was carried out during the pandemic.”

The research was partly supported by the US Army Research Office through the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies, National Science Foundation, Sea Grant NOAA.

Read more:

Nose swabs still best method to test for COVID-19: Study

Robot capable of ‘hearing’ through transplanted locust ear, Israeli study finds

Solar power more feasible than nuclear to power potential Mars settlements: Study

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Entertainment

Lindsay Lohan celebrates birthday as married woman to Dubai resident Bader Shammas

Actress Lindsay Lohan is celebrating her 36th birthday on Saturday as a married woman.

The “Freaky Friday” star said she was the “luckiest woman in the world” in an Instagram post Friday that pictured her with financier Bader Shammas, who had been her fiance.

“I am stunned that you are my husband,” Lohan said in the post, adding that “every woman should feel like this everyday.”

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

The couple had announced their engagement last November. People magazine and Entertainment Tonight confirmed there had been a wedding, but no details were offered.

While still single a few years ago, Lohan told Entertainment Tonight that she was looking for “a smart businessman” and someone who doesn’t like the spotlight. Shammas’ Instagram account is private.

The “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen” actress and sometimes singer has worked through some sobriety issues in recent years, and has recently filmed a romantic comedy that is due to be released on Netflix later this year.

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Dutch university gets cyber ransom money back with interest

A Dutch university that fell victim to a massive ransomware attack has partly received back its stolen money, which in the meantime more than doubled in value, a news report said on Saturday.

The southern Maastricht University in 2019 was hit by a large cyberattack in which criminals used ransomware, a type of malicious software that locks valuable data and can only be accessed once the victim pays a ransom amount.

“The criminals had encrypted hundreds of Windows servers and backup systems, preventing 25,000 students and employees from accessing scientific data, library and mail,” the daily De Volkskrant said.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

The hackers demanded 200,000 euros ($208,000) in bitcoins.

“After a week the university decide to accede to the criminal gang’s demand,” the paper said.

“This was partly because personal data was in danger of being lost and students were unable to take an exam or work on their theses,” it said.

Dutch police traced part of the ransom paid to an account belonging to a money launderer in Ukraine.

Prosecutors in 2020 seized this man’s account, which contained a number of different crypto currencies including part of the ransom money paid by Maastricht.

“When, now after more than two years, it was finally possible to get that money to the Netherlands, the value had increased from 40,000 euros to half-a-million euros,” the paper said.

Maastricht University will now get the 500,000 euros ($521,000) back.

“This money will not go to a general fund, but into a fund to help financially strapped students,” Maastricht University ICT director Michiel Borgers said.

The investigation into the hackers responsible for the attack on the university is still ongoing, De Volkskrant added.

Read more:

Cyberattack hits Norway, pro-Russian hacker group fingered

Explainer: EU agrees rulebook for ‘Wild West’ crypto markets

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Singer R. Kelly sues Brooklyn jail for putting him on suicide watch

R. Kelly on Friday sued the Brooklyn jail that has housed him since his racketeering and sex crimes conviction, saying it wrongly put him on suicide watch after he received a 30-year prison sentence despite knowing he was not suicidal.

In a complaint filed in Brooklyn federal court, the 55-year-old multiplatinum R&B singer said officials at the Metropolitan Detention Center ordered the watch after his June 29 sentencing “solely for punitive purposes” and because he was a “high-profile” inmate.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Kelly’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean quoted a prosecutor as saying the jail’s legal counsel had told her that “per the psychology department, is on a psych alert for various reasons, such as age, crime, publicity and sentencing.” No timetable was provided.

Bonjean wasn’t satisfied with the explanation. “Simply put, MDC Brooklyn is run like a gulag,” she wrote.

Kelly said the “harsh conditions” he faced led to “severe mental distress,” and amounted to cruel and unusual punishment that violated the US Constitution’s Eighth Amendment.

He is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, though the docket suggests Kelly is seeking $100 million.

The jail did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Known for the 1996 Grammy-winning hit “I Believe I Can Fly,” Kelly was convicted last September on one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which bars transporting people across state lines for prostitution.

Prosecutors said Kelly exploited his stardom and wealth over two decades to lure women and underage girls into his orbit for sex, with the help of his entourage.

Kelly said he was also put on suicide watch after his conviction.

Ghislaine Maxwell, another inmate at the Brooklyn jail, was placed on suicide watch on June 24, four days before being sentenced to 20 years in prison for aiding financier Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of underage girls.

Maxwell’s lawyer said the British socialite had been given a “suicide smock” and deprived of clothing, toothpaste and soap though she too was not suicidal.

Friday’s filings did not say what specific conditions Kelly faced.

Kelly still faces an August trial in Chicago federal court on child pornography and obstruction charges, and various state charges in Illinois and Minnesota.

Read more:

R&B singer R. Kelly handed 30-year prison sentence for sex crimes

UK prosecutors charge actor Kevin Spacey with sex crimes

Ghislaine Maxwell handed 20-year prison sentence for sex trafficking

Continue Reading

Trending