Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), US, have designed a low-power, low-cost, rice grain-sized, magnetic sensor that can detect magnetic field changes as small as 50 picoteslas ' 1,000, 000 times weaker than the earth's magnetic field, reports Applied Physics Letters. This battery-powered device ' based on the principles of the chip-scale atomic clock ' is similarly sensitive but 100 times smaller in size than currently used atom-based sensors. It can be used in hand-held devices for sensing unexploded ordnance about 12 metres away. A vapour of rubidium atoms, held in a transparent cell, acts as the sensor by detecting the change in energy levels of electrons.
Soon you will be able to buy a portable navigation system that'll show traffic conditions. Pioneer, a US firm, will offer the AVIC-N2, that combines an upgradable entertainment and navigation system, reports NYTNS. The virtual instrument dials on the display show time electrical system voltage, the road's slope and the compass heading. The satellite traffic information includes more than 130 channels of XM Satellite Radio programming.