Researchers from MIT's Microsystems Technologies Laboratories have built a new power supply system designed specifically for powering electronic sensors, wireless radios and other small devices that will eventually connect the Internet of Things. While most power converters deliver a constant stream of voltage to a device, MIT's new scheme allows low-power devices to cut their resting power consumption by up to 50 percent. The MIT system was announced at International Solid-State Circuits Conference earlier this month and maintains its efficiency at a very broad range of currents from 500 picoamps to 1 milliamp. "Typically, converters have a quiescent power, which is the power that they consume even when they're not providing any current to the load," Arun Paidimarri, one of the postdocs who worked on the project said. "So, for example, if the quiescent power is a microamp, then even if the load pulls only a nanoamp, it's still going to consume a microamp of current.
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Or they would, if engineers could figure out how to capture that power. Most prototypes for wave-energy converters have been massive and costly, or else they're torn apart during violent storms at sea. But a Swedish company called CorPower Ocean may finally have a solution. Tests show its new buoy can produce three times as much electricity as the best rival tech, with a far more practical design. For starters, it's relatively small: Whereas other devices can stretch hundreds of feet across and weigh well over a thousand tons, CorPower's bobbing red machine is a mere 26 feet in diameter.
With working from home on the rise, many of us find ourselves sitting more than ever. Unfortunately though, working from a chair or a couch all day can be associated with a variety of health concerns. These range from less energy and focus to more serious issues like back pain and reduced blood circulation. Is standing up at your desk the answer? Well, a study by the CDC found standing just 66 minutes a day could reduce back and neck pain by 54% and even improve our mood.