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U. to showcase four novel technologies at CES 2017

SALT LAKE CITY — Four innovative University of Utah technologies will be exhibited at CES 2017, the world’s largest and best-known consumer electronics and consumer technology trade show, which runs Jan. 5-8 in Las Vegas.

This marks the U.’s third consecutive year at the event — and largest representation yet. The U. technologies on exhibit include:

• Adaptive glasses, which are smart lenses that in less than a 50th of a second automatically put into focus what a user is looking at, whether that object is at a distance or up close.

The liquid lenses use a tiny laser and a small amount of electricity to autofocus. They are controlled by an electronic actuator that compresses or stretches the lens based on what the wearer is looking at, thus providing a variable aperture.

The glasses work in a similar way to bifocal spectacles in that they provide the user with a range of focus beyond that of traditional eyewear. The glasses were developed by members of the electrical and computer engineering department.

• UPlay Piano, an interactive, web-based instructional software program for teaching young children how to play the piano. Each lesson contains an illustrated story to introduce new concepts, demonstrations and game sections to teach theory and musicianship, piano pieces for practice and a test to reinforce knowledge of concepts.

The program employs a link to allow students to interact with the online website while playing on any electronic keyboard. The platform also includes an online database allowing parents and teachers to track student progress. UPlay Piano was developed by members of the music school.

• TheTetra Universal Controller, a device that expands the number of input commands to individuals with quadriplegia/tetraplegia who use “sip and puff” systems to control mobility devices.

The ability to perform complex actions or sequences in these current systems is significantly limited. The Tetra Universal Controller combines pattern recognition, timing and pressure intensity, which allows for a virtually unlimited number of control directives, giving users more control and independence over their lives.

The controller was developed by Jeffrey Rosenbluth, associate professor and medical director of the Spinal Cord Injury Acute Rehabilitation program; Ross Imburgia, research engineer in the division of physical medicine and rehabilitation; and Andrew Merryweather, assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

• The Sentinel 100, a credit card-size board and chipset based on the work of Cynthia Furse, a professor and associate vice president for research, that enables engineers, equipment manufacturers and system operators to monitor electrical systems for critical faults in live electrical wires when embedded into a product.