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Crystal Ball

Electronic nose

Scientists at the University of Manchester have invented a new device which remotely monitors bad odours and methane gases at waste landfill and water treatment sites. The device, which works like an electronic nose, can be of use to many communities and waste management companies. It has four sensors which analyse the composition of gases in the air which is sucked into the device at regular intervals and then profiled. The profile is then sent via a built-in GPS modem to a remote computer. Based on the concentration of various chemicals, the system is able to determine whether methane gas or odours have reached an unacceptable level.

Dual-lens camera

At the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Eastman Kodak introduced the world’s first dual-lens digital still camera, the Kodak Easyshare V570. Its ultra-wide-angle lens, coupled with its optical zoom lens, produces a total 5X zoom range, providing more options to help snappers capture the perfect shot ' group photos, scenic landscapes and close-ups. Other consumer digital cameras don’t offer such a wide angle of view, and their all-glass, stacked prism lenses never extend from the camera body.

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