Electronic Gadgets

"Gadget" is a catch-all word these days for nifty devices. We've covered the basics, such as clocks & watches, plus delved into the world of present-day and future high-tech gadgets, such as digital jewelry and restaurant pagers.

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Drivers who can pass roadside sobriety tests -- by touching their noses or walking a straight line -- may still be over the legal limit for blood alcohol and be a hazard on the road. Breathalyzers help police find out who's really driving drunk.

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.

Electronic ink promises to be an amazing, breakthrough technology that we will all be using in five years -- it will completely change books and newspapers. Learn all about it.

By Kevin Bonsor

Many radio-controlled clocks automatically sync their time with the atomic clock in Boulder, Colorado. How do they do it?

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We all know it, and it always makes us cringe -- it's that terrible howling of a PA system. Everyone calls it feedback -- what's "feedback"?

Curious about how a self-winding watch works? Take a look at the mechanics inside a self-winding watch.

Indiglo watches convert electricity directly into light through the very efficient process of electroluminescence. Find out how it works!

Microphones have been around in some form for more than 150 years. Modern mics incorporate fiber optics, microchips, and even lasers to suit a variety of audio needs.

By Mark Boyer & Talon Homer

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Nearly every item that you purchase from a grocery store, department store or mass merchandiser has a UPC bar code on it somewhere. Ever wondered why?

By Marshall Brain

Magnetic recording is the backbone of the electronics revolution. Learn how this analog technology lets you store and erase data!

By Marshall Brain

Have you ever looked inside a grandfather clock or a small mechanical alarm clock? Pendulum clocks are fairly complicated, but they rely on simple forces. Find out how pendulum clocks keep accurate time.

By Marshall Brain

When you need to know the time, there's about a 50-50 chance you'll turn to some LEDs to find out. Have you ever wondered what goes on inside a digital clock or watch?

By Marshall Brain

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Wind-up alarm clocks have been around a long time, but they are still fun to explore. See what's inside this classic ticker!

By Marshall Brain

Quartz watches actually use quartz crystals to keep time. How can they be so accurate? Find out why quartz makes such a great time keeper.

By Douglas Dwyer