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Tag Archives: Innovation

Bike Unchained: Introducing the Chainless Foldable Bike

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Ever imagined a bike without a chain? If the answer is yes, then you’re probably a psychic or something because the IzzyBike is that unique bike that does not need a chain to operate. Despite the absence of a chain mechanism to propel the bike forward, the bike is equipped with gears. The agile bike offers better balance and more convenience to riders and allows them to take sharp turns as well. One of the other best features of the bike is that it can be folded and kept under your desk and other small spaces. The procedure takes just seconds to complete, and before you know it the urban commuter will have turned into a compact gadget that you can take out and use wherever and whenever you want.

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Izzy

[ Product Page ] VIA [ InventorSpot ]

It Turns Out It’s Possible To Reinvent The Axe

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Oldie but goodie here.

Axes have been round for quite a while; after all, what’s simpler than driving a sharp metal edge into a piece of wood? Unlike the wheel however, the tool’s longevity doesn’t mean its design can’t be improved upon. Take the Vipukirves axe pictured above. It helps you split wood more easily by offsetting the center of mass to the side. This way, each time you drive the axe down onto your log, you’ll also generate some rotational torque. This torque, applied to the part of the axe that’s already in the wood, acts as a lever and splits the wood down its fibre, reducing the amount of force needed to accomplish the same results. It’s ingenious and simple, and if the video below is anything to go by, does actually appear to improve on the old design. Sadly, innovation often doesn’t come cheap, and the Vipukirves is no exception. Owning one will set you back €155.74 or about $215, plus €47.26 ($65) in shipping.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Geek.com ]

Would A Transparent Hood Be A Feature You Want?

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Say you’re off-roading and it’s critical to know exactly where your wheels are landing; common sense says that experience is paramount and that if you don’t know exactly where your wheels fall, maybe you shouldn’t be going into treacherous terrain. But a little bit of visual encouragement never hurt anyone, and Land Rover seems to think a grille-mounted camera system coupled with a Heads Up Display should do the trick for those of us with more guts than skills. With this system you’ll be able to virtually see right through your hood, straight to the road below, along with a visualization of where your wheels are and are pointing. That big rock you shouldn’t roll over? It’s right there.

It’s an ingenious solution, though it’s one that’s only at the prototype stage at the moment. It’ll be shown off at the New York International Motor Show next week, but there’s no word on when or if it might actually make its way onto new models.

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VIA [ Engadget ]

Thermo-Electric Element Will Harness Your Body Heat To Power Your Gadgets

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Your body is using up energy every second you’re awake. Some of that energy is translated into your muscles moving, and some of it is lost as heat. Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a wearable strip of material that can easily be woven into clothing and can convert your body heat into usable electric power. A thin strip about 4 inches in length can produce 40mW of power, which isn’t much, but is enough to power a semiconductor chip. Increase the strip to 20in.-40in. and suddenly you’re looking at 2W, which is enough to charge your phones or other electronics. The material is made from fibreglass, which makes it flexible, unlike current ceramic-based thermo-electric solutions. It’s also claimed it has a 14-fold efficiency improvement over other methods. According to Professor Jo Byeong-jin, the lead researcher, this technology could be commercialized within the next 2 to 3 years, pending “issues concerning element integration process optimization and mass-production.”

Gadget-charging jackets with thermo-electric strips woven into the sleeves? Yes, please!

[ Press Release ] VIA [ DamnGeeky ]

Smartphone Batteries That Charge In 30 Seconds May Be Just Around The Corner

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StoreDot is an Israeli startup that’s been working on making our batteries better. They’re created a prototype that can go from 20% to 100% in about 30 seconds, and then discharge at the same rate as a regular battery. This is accomplished by using organic “nanodots”, or 2 nanometer wide “bio-organic peptide molecules” that fundamentally alter the way the batteries work. The company has even received $6 million in funding from an undisclosed Asian smartphone manufacturer to further work on the technology, because as exciting as this is, it isn’t ready for prime-time. For one, the current prototype is huge. Secondly, capacity is still an issue, since even at this size the battery doesn’t even equal that of a Galaxy S4. But these are hurdles that could potentially be overcome, and StoreDot is hoping to have something commercially viable by 2016.

Stay tuned.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Geek.com ]

Alaska To Get World’s First Airborne Wind Turbine

AlterosPrototype

Did you know the air blows much stronger at higher altitudes? It therefore makes plenty of sense to put a wind turbine up there to harness the energy; that’s exactly what the residents of Fairbanks, Alaska, will be enjoying soon. The MIT startup Altaeros Energies has been given a $1.3 million grant by the Alaska Energy Authority to test the design over the course of 18 months. The turbine, known as BAT-Buoyant Airborne Turbine, will be filled with Helium and allowed to go up 1,000-2,000 feet where it’ll be able to generate twice as much power as a ground-based structure. While it’s up there, it’ll also serve as a WiFi hotspot, providing not only power but Internet connectivity to the families currently living off the grid in these remote areas.

VIA [ Inhabitat ]

Screw Grabber Grabs On To Your Screws So You Don’t Have To

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Here’s a little bit of ingenuity for you DIYers out there. If you find it frustrating that you’re always dropping the screw just as you’re getting ready to drive it into the wall, you might want to look at the Screw Grabber. It’s a simple rubber sleeve with ribs on the inside that gently holds on to your screw and keeps it there until you’re done with it. It’ll fit almost any size head and will cost you all of $7 to get in on the action.

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[ Project Page ]

World’s Most Awesome Door Reinvents The Wheel

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There are some designs that have stood the test of time, like the wheel. The door is one of them. Whether they swing sideways, or up and down (like a car’s gullwing doors), every door that ever was always worked the same way. Sort of. Except sliding doors, we guess… Yeah… Well… there goes our theories. But whatever, you get the idea. Klemens Torggler’s Evolution door is closest to a sliding door, we suppose, only it uses an ingenious mechanism to ditch rails altogether. And it ditches sliding too, actually. It just does this cool, and rather intricate motion as it opens and closes, and it serves no practical purpose other than to look futuristic and awesome. We suppose if you have a need for a sliding door but for some reason don’t have the space to put the necessary mechanism, this could come in handy. But really, focusing on finding a functionality to justify its existence kind of misses the point that this particular door might have been developed just to look great. Nothing wrong with that!

It doesn’t seem to be commercially available, and if it is, we can’t even guess at its price. Hit the jump for a few more GIFs showing you similar designs, as well as links.

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WinkyMote Lets You Change Channels With The Blink Of An Eye

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Complete paralysis is awful. Imagine having to somehow navigate the world without being able to move anything below the waist. Even watching TV is nearly impossible. But the WinkyMote, a project headed by Katia Vega, is a type of “second skin” makeup that integrates some circuitry and has allowed at least one quadriplegic to control his television. By placing it near the eyes and covering it with makeup, Felipe, a 33-year-old master student in Administration (who was paralyzed 13 years ago in a Jiujitsu accident) was able to turn the TV on and off, as well as to change channels, simply by combining various blinking commands. “Winkymote was prototyped with Clio, an arduino based microcontroller from Seeed Studio” and while it has achieved some really cool results, we can’t find any information about availability for any other similar patients.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ MedGadget ]