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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk

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Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics


Steven Keeping gained a BEng (Hons.) degree at Brighton University, U.K., before working in the electronics divisions of Eurotherm and BOC for seven years. He then joined Electronic Production magazine and subsequently spent 13 years in senior editorial and publishing roles on electronics manufacturing, test, and design titles including What’s New in Electronics and Australian Electronics Engineering for Trinity Mirror, CMP and RBI in the U.K. and Australia. In 2006, Steven became a freelance journalist specializing in electronics. He is based in Sydney.


Shaping Smarter Cities: IIoT Irrigation Monitoring Key to Indoor Agriculture Success Steven Keeping
Agribusiness is a habitual early adopter of high-tech, and now IIoT is becoming the newest tech to be embraced by Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA).

Non-Invasive Blood Glucose Measurement Remains Just Out of Reach Steven Keeping
According to the International Diabetes Federation’s 2015 report, an estimated 415 million people suffer from diabetes.

Developed to Solve Short-Range Communication Problems, Bluetooth 5 Poised to Solve Long-Range IoT and IIoT Needs Steven Keeping
One has to admire the flexibility exhibited by the custodians of Bluetooth, the popular short-range 2.4-GHz wireless technology. Enhancements to the standard’s specification sanctioned by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) have allowed it to evolve in directions that the inventors can scarcely have imagined. This combination of foresight—and a little luck—have brought considerable commercial success for the technology and could see it expand to northwards of three billion annual shipments as early as next year, according to analyst IHS.

Smart Grids Overcome Renewable Energy Variability and Uncertainty Steven Keeping
Building smart grids takes time, but the good news is that this can be done without interrupting current Renewable Energy initiatives.

Helping the IoT Cross the Chasm Steven Keeping
Business schools teach would-be marketing executives about the major stages in a product’s lifecycle. A key lesson covers the critical transition between initial sales to relatively few early adopters and the device’s take-up by the mainstream market. Variously described as the “void”, “desert,” or perhaps most familiarly “chasm” (named for Geoffrey A. Moore’s bestselling book about marketing and selling disruptive products, Crossing the Chasm), it’s the point at which a product has gained some momentum but not enough for mainstream consumers to start buying it in big numbers. Many promising inventions from start-ups and established firms alike have disappeared without a trace into the chasm, closely followed by cash flow drying up.

Formula E Spikes Interest in Electric Vehicles Steven Keeping
Electric vehicles feature some impressive technology but suffer from an image problem that’s proving to be a drag on popularity. Sales of EVs (cars driven by one or more electric motors powered by batteries recharged from an external electricity supply) are tiny compared to consumption of conventional autos. Although over a million EVs have been sold since 2008, the entire fleet makes up just 0.1 percent of global vehicle numbers.

Why Inventiveness is More Important Now Than Ever Steven Keeping
The buzzword “innovation” has become something of a mantra for the technology sector, designed to stimulate the out-of-the-box thinking needed to come up with winning products against ever tougher competition. But innovation is perhaps as wrong a mantra today as it was in the seventeenth century when, according to an article in The Atlantic, innovators were more likely to have their ears cut off and be thrown into jail than celebrated. What we need today, more than ever, is not innovation, but invention.

Building a Business Case for the IoT Steven Keeping
Those of us of a certain age survived in the period before the Internet, yet, such has been the transformative power of the technology, even we have difficulty working out how. But today’s Internet is just the beginning; extending it to billions of tiny, inexpensive sensors that continuously generate useful data will exponentially multiply the network’s power and its influence over daily life.

Standards Fight Holds Back Wireless Charging Steven Keeping
Today’s wireless charging is like commuting to work by bicycle: great in principle but a pain in practice. Cycling promises fitness, no gas bills and freedom from public transport schedules but the reality involves dodging cars, inhaling truck fumes and arriving in the office disheveled. Similarly, wireless charging has the potential (excuse the pun) to free consumers from the tedium of finding the correct charger from the dozens of incompatible units in the kitchen drawer and to cut through the Gordian knot of power cables lurking under the office desk. Yet wireless charging systems remain thin on the ground and compatible mobile devices are rarer still.

Domestic Microgenerators Present Utilities with New Challenges Steven Keeping
The century-old U.S. electricity grid is the largest interconnected machine on Earth. But this infrastructure––comprising more than 9,200 electric generating units with more than 1,000 gigawatts of generating capacity connected to nearly 300,000 miles (483,000 km) of transmission and distribution lines––is facing the largest disruption in its history as the way power is generated undergoes a revolution.

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