Stories tagged iPod

Jun
26
2008

ipods huddle for comfort after learning the fate of their siblings
ipods huddle for comfort after learning the fate of their siblingsCourtesy nic0
As I was innocently searching for images of fire, I came across pictures of...an ipod!? I do not normally associate spontaneous combustion with devices that I use on a regular basis outside of perhaps my stove or car. Thus I would expect flames to appear when I turn on the stove burner, not when I charge my computer. The culprit appears to be lithium-ion batteries .

Lithium-ion batteries are ubiquitous in today’s technology market. They are by far the most efficient and long lasting battery available. And for the most part, they are non-flame producing. The problem seems to be their sensitivity to heat. Most of us have experienced the warmth that a battery can produce. I have been known to use my old computer battery pack on sore muscles in a pinch. When the battery gets too warm it can become unstable and the normally separated positive and negative charges combine to create the exploding electronics phenomenon.

If you are concerned about unwanted domestic fireworks displays, you are not without recourse. Lithium-ion batteries have a relatively short life span (about 3 years) so check the manufactured on date on the package and do not save the batteries for a rainy day, use ‘em right away! Keep them out of hot cars and don’t set up shop on top of a radiator. But before you add a fire extinguisher as your next ipod accessory, remember the chances of your ipod jumping off its charger and igniting your carpet are relatively low. But hey, who can resist the headline Exploding Electronics? Its not only catchy but alliterative to boot.

Feb
04
2008

Keep the beat: New research has found that iPod put out little, if any, electromagnetism that could interfere with a pacemaker inside a person's chest.
Keep the beat: New research has found that iPod put out little, if any, electromagnetism that could interfere with a pacemaker inside a person's chest.Courtesy wikipedia
Just in case you’re a pacemaker wearer who likes to listen music on an iPod, you can listen loudly and not worry about your tunes messing up your pulse.

Last spring Science Buzz reported the findings of a high school student-conducted research project that showed iPods worn on the chest could interfere with pacemakers.

Now comes a more clinical study that shows the impact of an iPod close to a pacemaker is negligible if anything at all.

In fact, the electromagnetic field surrounding an iPod subsides dramatically even just one centimeter away from its case, the study found. And at a distance of less than three inches away, an iPod played at full volume could not induce any voltage to a pacemaker contained in saline solution inside a human-torso replica.

The study was conducted by officials from the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. And four different types of iPods of varying sizes were tested in conjunction with study. The work began as a result of the concern the original study raised when it was presented to the Heart Rhythm Society last spring.

Full details of the latest study on iPod/pacemaker interaction can be found here.

Of course, the study did not look into the impact listening to a heart-breaking Willie Nelson song on your iPod might have on your pacemaker or other heart functions. You’re on your own to figure that out.

May
16
2007


Does your pacemaker love an iPod?: Research by a high school student shows significant troubles with iPod music devices and pacemakers working together in close proximity. Electromagnetic fields put out by the iPod can interfere with the performance of a pacemaker. (Photo by DRA studios)
Here’s news that you don’t need to be a highly-degreed scientist to make a scientific research breakthrough.

A high school student in Michigan has discovered that there are dangers of using an iPod if you’ve got a pacemaker inside your chest. Doing a test with 100 elderly patients who had pacemakers monitoring the beating of their hearts, the student found out that iPods caused electrical interference with the pacemakers 50 percent of the time when they’re within two inches of the site of the pacemaker. Other interference issues were discovered when an iPod was held 18 inches away from a pacemaker. In one instance, the electrical influence of an iPod stopped a pacemaker completely.

The average age of the participants of the study was 77. They listened to Frank Sinatra music with the iPod’s earbuds resting on their shoulders as not to blow out their hearing. And while iPods are not commonly used among people of that age group, student Jay Thayer pointed out that the information is still vital for pacemaker wearers to know as they may have grandchildren or neighbors using iPods nearby them.

It’s believed that the electromagnetic field put out when the iPod is playing causes interference with the performance of the pacemaker in the heart. No other types of MP3 music playing devices were tested in the study.

That’s all good information. But what I really want to know is what would happen if you listened to music on your iPod by that old 60s band, Gary and the Pacemakers? But seriously, can you think of any other medical issues that might present themselves with using in iPod? Share them here with other Science Buzz readers.