CHAMPAIGN, Ill. A computer that can recognize users faces, and even their moods. A method of delivering vaccine by a single pill that would eliminate the need for booster shots. An electronic "nose" that could be used by physicians to monitor dialysis patients and diagnose disease and by USDA inspectors to ensure fish is fresh.
These are just some of the emerging technologies that will be on display during the "i emerging" event Thursday (Oct. 25) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The event, to be held from 12:15 to 5:30 p.m. in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, 405 N. Mathews Ave., Urbana, is for investors and will showcase some of the most promising technologies and young technology companies on the campus. Those attending "i emerging" will be able to visit eight laboratories and hear business-plan presentations involving cutting-edge technologies.
In the laboratory of engineering professor Wen-mei Hwu, for example, guests will be able to see his work on new ways to provide better high-speed wireless Internet access. With the products being developed by Hwu, a hotel could offers its guests wireless interface cards that would allow people to connect to the Internet with their laptop computers.
In engineering professor Joseph Lydings lab, the work is focused on creating molecular electronics and merging them with silicon technology. Eventually, Lydings research team hopes to be able to build molecular circuits a fraction of the size of todays computer chips, with even greater processing power.
Students doing research with Gary Eden, a professor of computer and electrical engineering, formed a company called Caviton to explore the many applications for micro-gas discharges.
The tiny burst of light created when a charge encounters a tiny pocket of molecular gas could be used as a light source for small medical probes. The reactions also could be used to monitor factory emissions and develop high-resolution video displays.
Work in the laboratory of Matthew Wheeler, a professor of animal science, focuses on microfluidic devices for assisted reproduction. Wheeler's automated process eliminates the many opportunities for human error in in vitro fertilization, dramatically increasing the success rate. In agriculture, the technique would allow livestock producers to create thousands of embryos in the time it now takes to create a few dozen.
The event is sponsored by the university Office of the Vice President for Economic Development and Corporate Relations, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research on the Urbana campus in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, the Illinois Coalition, the Illinois Technology Enterprise Corp., and techCommUnity.