For behind the scenes pictures, stories and special contests, follow us on Facebook!
Subscribe:

Tag Archives: Innovation

The Keybiner Is Not Your Average Carabiner

keybiner

Carabiners are cool because you can attach your keychain to them, and then hang this from your belt loops, or from a backpack. But the Keybiner takes the concept a couple of steps further and itself becomes the keychain. This fully-funded Kickstarter product fits up to 14 keys within its frame, allowing each one to pivot out when it’s time to use it. But the innovation doesn’t stop there, since the device is also a multi-tool, packing things like wrenches, bottle openers, screwdrivers, and even a file. This means that for as little as a $35 pledge, you can carry around a smattering of essential tools right on your beltline and be ready to deal with any number of broken/needs-fixing things that life could throw your way.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

Spine Optics Frame Hinge Brings Innovation To The World Of Eyewear

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 2.36.47 PM

Wearing glasses can be second nature for some, but that doesn’t mean their eyeglasses are perfect. No matter how well fitting they are, there’s always the possibility of forcing them too far apart, or of the hinge becoming loose after some time. The Spine Optics hinge pictured above is an innovation from Italian designer Guido Medana, and features a “5 vertebra design” that attempts to mimic the human spine in its flexibility and durability. Unlike traditional glasses, the Spine hinge creates a small tension that lightly hugs the wearer’s face, adapting to any size head. This means they won’t easily fall off during exercise, but won’t be uncomfortable in a wide range of head sizes. The hinge also closes the temples automatically when you remove the glasses, a function no one else has. There are no screws to tighten, since the mechanism of action is achieved thanks to two cables and springs, as well as precision parts manufactured with a process called Micro Injection Moulding.

Price and availability are unknown, although there is word that contracts have been signed for distribution with major companies throughout the US, the UK, and Canada.

0spineoptics003

Continue Reading

Blocks Smartwatch Lets You Customize The Hardware To Your Heart’s Content

blocks-smartwatch-1

Modularity is all the rage these days. Just look at the excitement over Project Ara, the modular smartphone, for proof. And why shouldn’t it be? Modular gadgets mean that we can reconfigure them to our liking, adding more of the hardware elements that we want, and less of the ones we don’t care about. Blocks, the modular smart watch being discussed in this article, is a project by the same people who were initially behind Project Ara, before Google got involved. They’re now trying the same approach with a timepiece where each link in the wristband can be a different hardware component. Modules can be dedicated extra batteries, GPS chips, contactless payments, SIM cards, and even heart-rate monitors. Don’t care about heart-rate monitoring? Swap that link for an extra battery!

It’s a great idea, but the success will depend on execution. Early prototypes, as shown in these pictures, look chunky and unattractive. The team is planning a Kickstarter for Q2 2015, so hopefully by then they’ll have refined their hardware enough to make it visually attractive. Pricing starts at $150 for the watch face itself, plus $20-$40 for each module. If you want the whole thing decked out, you’d be looking at $330.

blocks-smartwatch-2

VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Hershey-Backed 3D Chocolate Printer In The Works

Cocojet-Chocolate-3D-Printer-964x644

3D printers have become the new must-have technology, at least if we go by how many exhibits showcased a 3D printer at CES 2015. But while most of them are busy printing plastic objects, 3D Systems and The Hershey Company have been collaborating on the CocoJet, a 3D printer that uses melted chocolate as its building material. Users can pick between dark, milk, or white chocolate and can print preprogrammed shapes or make new ones. And then eat them!

The printer isn’t currently available, but 3D System’s ChefJet printer is set to be released in the second half of 2015. That particular machine spits out three-dimensional sugar, chocolate, or candy confections, so it stands to reason that CocoJet could follow a similar path to market.

[ PSFK ] VIA [ Technabob ]

Immersis Turns Your Entire Room Into A Giant Projector Screen

immersis_projector_1

This is a really cool product. It’s basically a projector that analyses your room and projects in 180 degrees so that the image looks right from your point of view. This means the entire room in front of you becomes the environment that is normally just projected onto the small rectangle of your television. It’s virtual reality minus the headset! It’s turning your entire room into a giant projector screen!

By carefully analyzing the angles and protrusions in your room, Immersis is able to automatically calibrate the image it projects, creating an immersive effect unlike anything else out there. And the best part is that it’ll work with any true 3D game. The company behind the product, Catopsys, has already created a plugin that allows Immersis to work with any game that uses the Unity 3D engine. And there’s a beta for Unreal Engine. What’s more, they’re releasing the SDK so that developers can quickly and easily make their games compatible with the product.

It’s not limited to gaming though. Panoramic photos can be displayed and enjoyed without having to pan. 360° cameras typically require either a VR headset or special software to let you explore the available imagespace. With Immersis you will be “able to experience as a group all of your sport accomplishments, your vacation memories, as never before.”

It sounds awesome, and if it works as promised, could be worth the $1,150 asking price. Yes it’s steep, but that’s as close to the forefront of innovation as it gets.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Technabob ]

Self-Tightening Bionic Bra Being Developed

Bionic-bra_2

It’s a dilemma most men are unaware of: that of what type of bra to wear? Something comfortable will usually not provide enough support at the gym or during vigorous activity. And sports bras will keep your boobs in place, but at the cost of comfort. A two-bra approach is the most common solution, but researchers at the University Of Wollongong in Autralia have spent the last 25 years trying to develop a bra that does well in both situations. It’s only recently, thanks to new materials and 3D printing, that they are starting to see good results. The ‘Bionic Bra’ they’re developing would feature smart materials that tighten when needed, providing extra support when physical activity is detected, and relax when calm returns.

The bra isn’t quite ready for commercial release, but a working prototype seems to have been developed and work is underway. How far away from prime time this is, and at what cost, is a mystery for now.

Bionic-bra_1

[ University of Wollongong ] VIA [ DamnGeeky ]

Pizza Hut Is Working On A ‘Subconscious Menu’ That Knows What You Want, Even When You Don’t

pizza-hut-640x0

Pizza Hut is working with eye-tracking firm Tobii Technology (of Eye Asteroids fame) to develop a menu that scans your eye movements and is able to determine what toppings you’re most likely to want on your pizza, often before you’ve had a chance to formulate the conscious idea yourself. They arrange their 20 most common toppings in a grid on a tablet-style device and watch your eyes as you scan the images; within a 2.5 second timespan the device is able to pick out your favourites out of a potential 5,000 combinations. At the moment the system is claimed to have a 98% accuracy rate, but even so the order won’t go through without your final approval.

Although it’s not available at any of their restaurants at the moment, the company appears to be considering using the system one day and actually calling it ‘Subconscious Menu’.

“We wanted to try a few ideas on the traditional menu format,” Pizza Hut Head of Marketing Kathryn Austin told the Telegraph, “and we’re delighted to have developed the world’s first Subconscious Menu, a unique way to reinvent the dining experience.”

There’s no word on when this might appear on the market.

VIA [ DigitalTrends ]

FUGU Carry-On Suitcase Expands Into Full Size Baggage

fugu luggage

Whether you’re leaving for two weeks or just a couple of days, the FUGU Luggage has you covered. Featuring a set of inflatable air bladders and an expanding midsection, the suitcase goes from carry-on size, to full check in size in just a few seconds. When collapsed, the bag meets maximum carry-on sizes and while expanded, it reaches maximum check-in size as well. That’s 13.5″ by 21.5″ by either 9″ collapsed or a massive 27″ expanded. When at full size the bag supports not only its own weight, but also the strains and pressures of being stuffed in a cargo compartment with lots of other heavy bags. It does this through the help of an expanding ABS plastic reinforcement structure.

There’s even a shelving system that lets you organize your stuff and keep everything neat and tidy. “The shelves enable the suitcase to double as a storage unit, eliminating the need to unpack into a hotel closet and then later repack.” When opened, FUGU can even serve as a table.

It’s $219 to get in on the action, with an expected delivery date of August 2015.

88414d4d8d8455f20cdc5e1c45fcb2db_large

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

With The Powerlace, Self-Lacing Shoes Are Finally Here

powerlace-auto-lacing-shoe

We’ve all been getting a good laugh these last few years at the fact that many of Back To The Future II’s predictions don’t seem to be coming true. Flying cars? The ones we have are middling at best. However… it’s almost 2015, and would you know it, we’re already seeing a working hoverboard, and how self-lacing shoes. That’s right, a startup in St-Hubert, Canada has created the Powerlace shoes, which use an internal mechanism powered by the wearers weight to automatically lace the shoes at a predefined tension. Simply insert your foot, press down with your heel, and the laces will tighten.

Inserting your foot triggers the mechanism, which locks into place at a tension level set by a pull tab on the outside upper section. The tension in the laces can be adjusted separately, too, by moving the lace lock.

A thermo polyurethane sole serves as support for the mechanism as well as anchor for the lever that unlocks the mechanism, while the tongue opens right out once pressure is released from the laces.

The team has tested the system up to 200,000 lacing cycles, which if it stands up to real-world use would mean the mechanism could operate without a hitch for 68 years if used four times a day

That’s definitely longer than the actual show will last, so you can buy with confidence. It’s a Kickstarter, with a pledge of $175 netting you a pair.

powerlace-auto-lacing-shoe-2

Continue Reading