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Tag Archives: Innovation

Dyson Redesigns The Hair Dryer: Meet Supersonic

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Dyson, best known for their vacuum cleaners, recently launched its first foray into an entirely new area: beauty products. In revealing the Supersonic Hair Dryer, the company also gave reporters a glimpse into the four year effort that went into its creation. The dryer itself is said to be much quieter, and lighter than current top-of-the-line models. And… it also looks like the future!

Four years in development, the company spent $71 million (and took four years) to make its hair dryer, with the sort of specifications and research backstory of a car. The press release explains the 600 prototypes, over 100 patents pending, and a cast of 103 engineers that worked on it. It helps to explain the price ($400), but even salon-level hair dryers hover around the $300 mark.

The name at least partly comes from their efforts to make it quieter; by increasing the blades on the rotor to 13, from 11, they realized the device started generating sounds beyond the audible range for humans. Dogs, on the other hand, may not appreciate your morning blow-dry routines.

So yeah, it’s $400, and will only be available at Sephora starting this September.

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[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Can’t Eat Too Much Salt? This Fork Will Zap Your Tongue With Electricity To Simulate It

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Ever stick your tongue on a battery to see if it’s still got juice? Yeah, we all do. So you probably know that the tiny electric current it generates sort of tastes salty. Well, the Electric Flavouring Fork pictured above uses that principle to simulate the effects of salt, for those who are on low sodium diets. It’s being developed by Hiromi Nakamura at Rekimoto Lab, Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, at the University of Tokyo.

The handle of the fork incorporates a rechargeable battery and electric circuit. When the user inserts the head of the fork into the mouth with food while pressing a button on the handle, a certain level of electric current is applied to the tongue. The degree of saltiness differs depending on eating habits, age, etc. This time, three current levels were available. The prototype costed ¥2,000 (approx US$17.7) in addition to the cost of a fork.

So clearly this is not a product you can buy just yet, but it’s interesting to see it’s something being worked on. You’ll have to forgive us for not getting too excited though; we won’t rest until someone invents a fork that makes broccoli taste like fries.

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[ Nikkeibp ] VIA [ NewLaunches ]

Triton Re-Breather: Artificial Gills Lets You Breathe Underwater With No Scuba Gear

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If this product works as advertised, it’s pretty revolutionary. It used to be that if you wanted to spend any significant amount of time underwater you had to either stay close to the surface and snorkel, or don heavy scuba gear with a large oxygen tank. Well, the Triton mouthpiece changes all that. It contains “Microporous Hollow Fiber” with openings allegedly smaller than water molecules, but big enough to let oxygen through. A battery then runs a powerful micro-compressor that extracts and stores the oxygen in a tiny tank. This gives the wearer the ability to go up to 15 feet underwater for up to 45 minutes at a time with no other specialized equipment, breathing normally while simply biting down on the Triton. 15 feet may not seem like much, but that’s still deep enough to explore coral reefs and a bunch of underwater stuff normally out of reach. It seems too good to be true, but we’ll wait on initial reviews to come out before passing judgement. If it checks out, the $300 asking price is more than bargain.

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Nike To Launch The HyperAdapt 1.0, A Self-Lacing Shoe

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Only one year after we were promised self-lacing shoes in a movie from the 80’s, Nike seems set to launch the technology in a shoe called HyperAdapt 1.0. Sensors in the heel know when you’ve inserted your foot, and a mechanism will then tighten the laces for you. Buttons then allow you to loosen or tighten further, making it dead simple to get the perfect fit. There’s no more details on the technology, so we’re not sure how long the battery lasts, whether you need to recharge it, etc. But the point is that self-lacing shoes are here, and the HyperAdapt 1.0 is only the first of many; the company calls it a platform, which they plan to use on other models going forward. It’ll be available ONLY to members of Nike+ beginning Holiday 2016 in three colors, for an undisclosed price.

[ Press Release ]

Reusable Fold-Out Shopping Bags Are A Must-Have For Grocery Shopping

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Ok, so, let’s list the reasons why buying these Trolley Bags is a good idea. First off, plastic is bad, m’kay? These bags are reusable, so there’s less plastic waste. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The real innovation comes in the way they fit within a shopping basket. The stainless steel rods span across the basket, allowing you to simply drop your items right in the bags as you normally would while browsing the aisles. Granted, you’ll have to take them out again at checkout, but then you just drop them right back in and walk away without fuss. They’re held together with velcro, so they can easily be detached when needed. It’s a great system, and only $70.

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RightShears Solves A Problem We Didn’t Know We Had

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Look, scissors have been around for a while, and for the most part, they do their job just fine. But just fine didn’t seem to be enough for ReExcite, a startup whose website was clearly designed in 1998. They’re making a set of scissors called RightShear and while they do exactly the same thing regular scissors do, they do so at a 90 angle. This way you can keep your hand out of the way of whatever it is you’re cutting. It may seem a little useless for small tasks, but if you’re cutting large pieces of cardboard that better lay flat for some reason, RighShear will get the job done much more easily. As a matter of fact, if you look at videos of the item in action you’ll see the ergonomics are actually quite improved. They’ll be launching a crowdfunding campaign soon at an undisclosed pricepoint, and you can sign up on their page to be notified of when this happens.

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A Tiny Candle Powers The Lumir C, An LED Lamp

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You take electricity for granted, my friends. But there are parts of the world that are off the grid, and guess what, these folks need to see in the dark too! The Lumir C is meant to work without batteries or any form of external electrical source, and be used in settings like camping or simply as an effort to conserve energy. The device powers its LED light through harvesting the heat from a burning candle. You see, a good portion of the energy given off by a candle goes right into the invisible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, being released as heat-carrying infrared radiation. The Lumir C harvests this “wasted” energy and uses it to power its LED light, giving off a light output of 15 lumens via four 0.2W LEDs… about as much as a candle, actually. But remember, you also have the light from the burning candle still going, so the Lumir C effectively doubles the visible output from a candle. With this arrangement, you can open up mood and lighting possibilities candles alone couldn’t provide. It’s a $59 pledge, with shipping in July.

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[ Project Page ]

A Contraceptive Switch For Men? Vasectomies Could Be On The Way Out

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When it comes to contraceptive measures, men have far fewer than women. Aside from condoms, there’s always a vasectomy, but that requires surgery and although it can sometimes be reversed, that too requires surgery, making the option rather unappealing. But now a company claims to have invented a device that can stop the flow of sperm at the flip of a switch, and allow it to flow through again without further surgery. The Bimek SLV is a spermatic duct valve that is surgically attached to the ducts that carry sperm, and can interrupt this flow if the wearer flips the switch beneath his skin. Flow remains interrupted until the switch is flipped back, finally giving men simply, easy and fast fertility control.

The device is currently being tested and isn’t ready to market, and once it does get approval, will likely not be covered by many insurance plans. Still, given its appeal, we expect hordes of men to pay for this out of pocket. Price is still unknown.

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This Alarm Rug Won’t Turn Off Unless You Step On It

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Look, we’re all for snoozing our alarm clocks until the cows come home, but your boss might see it another way. There’s a number of products on the market to help you fight the almost irresistible appeal of the endless snooze cycle, and the Ruggie is one of the nicer one’s we’ve come across. It’s a pressure sensitive rug that contains a loud alarm that won’t turn off unless you step on it for 3 seconds. You can load your own custom tones, and set the wake up time through hidden buttons on the side. The soft memory foam will cushion your feet as you step out of bed and launch you onto a productive day, right on time.

It’s a $79 pledge on Kickstarter, with the price going up to $99 once it hits retail. Delivery is in September of 2016.

[ Project Page ]