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Tag Archives: Innovation

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 ]

Fancy Headset Translates Dog Thoughts

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Have you watched “Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs”? If you did, you might remember the Monkey Thought Translator. Aside from being hilarious, this completely fictitious device also seemed like something we’d all like to own. After all, who wouldn’t want a gadget that reads your pet’s mind? Well… with the “No More Woof”, you might just be able to do that. Currently in the early development stages, the device uses electroencephalogram sensors and a Raspberry Pi to read your dog’s thought patterns, and blare out through a speaker their associated meanings. The developers believe they’ve identified a few key processes, which translate into rudimentary expressions like “I’m hungry!”, “I need to pee!”, and “I’m tired!”.

They stress that this is a research product and that if you acquire one, you will be helping in its development and not enjoying a final, polished product. Considering it’ll cost you between $65 and $1,200 to get one (depending on the level of complexity and the number of thoughts it’s able to “read”), you may want to make sure you really care what pooch has to say before you pledge to their IndieGogo campaign.

And that’s of course assuming this whole thing isn’t a giant hoax.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Full Color 3D Printer On The Horizon

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3D printing keeps maturing in leaps and bounds, and the latest innovation is full-color prints, with gradient transitions between tones. Some of the current crop of cheaper, extrusion-based printers do provide coloured prints, but they can only print one colour at a time and the transitions aren’t as smooth as the ones produced by the ProJet 4500 by 3D Systems. This particular machine uses a different technique, laser sintering, to achieve its results. This involves a laser focusing into a precise point in space, and hardening a special powder, point-by-point and layer-by-layer. In this fashion, a more precise and controlled mix of colours is possible, although the end result is somewhat unsaturated and washed out. However, the ProJet 4500 is meant to be used in rapid prototyping, where you’ll be able to save a manual painting step and get your part approved for final production that much quicker.

There’s no word on price, though the device appears to be available.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Electrode Lets You Taste Flavors That Aren’t There; Digital Lollipop On The Horizon

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 7.37.28 PM Eating is a wonderful thing, but getting fatter not so much. Well, the days of being able to ingest healthy things while our tastebuds tell us they’re in fact deep friend bacon burgers might not be so far off. Nimesha Ranasinghe and his team at the National University of Singapore are in the process of developing a device that simulates flavours directly on a user’s tongue.

By placing an electrode on the tip of the tongue and by carefully generating some current and temperature changes, the researches are able to simulate the basic tastes of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. The contraption is still quite unwieldy and not ready for any type of commercial use, but they’re working on making it smaller and less cumbersome. Also, they haven’t managed to generate smell and texture yet, which unfortunately is a huge component of taste, but of course they’re working on it. Considering we already have Smell-o-vision type devices, it’s not unreasonable to imagine a future where every element of eating is digitally simulated, minus the calories of course. Ranasinghe and his team are actually working on a digital lollipop.

There’s clearly no word on when or even if this could ever be turned into a commercially available product. But the fact that they’ve been able to simulate some tastes already sounds pretty promising.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ C|Net ]

Car Mechanic Invents Device For Dramatically Safer Births

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Proving that ingenuity can spring from anywhere, a 59 year old Argentinian car mechanic has invented a device that can dramatically reduce the incidence of childbirth complications. It’s called the Odón Device (named after the inventor, Jorge Odón) and consists of a plastic bag within a lubricated plastic sleeve, which is then fitted around the baby’s head while it is still in the womb. After it’s inflated and has gripped the head, the handles can be used to safely pull the baby out. There’s no need to use hard instruments, which can often injure a child. As a matter of fact, current options kind of suck; you either have to use forceps (medspeak for ‘pliers’) or a suction cup that attaches to the head. Either of these in untrained hands can be disastrous, so the Odón Device provides a safer-to-use alternative.

And this is not just a quirky human-interest story that’s been picked up by the media. Jorge’s invention has been enthusiastically endorsed by the World Health Organisation as a “low cost instrument for assisted vaginal delivery”. Currently still undergoing testing, the Odón Device could be manufactured for as little as $50.

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[ NYTimes ] VIA [ MedGadget ]

“Reverse Microwave” Chills Drinks In Seconds

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Hot on the heels of a device that cooled your drinks by spinning them in icy water comes news of a decidedly more high-tech version of apparently the same principle: it’s called the V-Tex. It’s a larger, more commercial appliance (still about the size of a small microwave) that takes any room temperature drink and chills it down to 5ºC (41ºF) in as little as 0.7 minutes. It does this by taking advantage of the vortex that is created in the liquid within the container as it spins, and by manipulating this container in different axes and speeds. By closely fine-tuning this action, the company has developed a machine which can be used at a point of sale, where the purchased drink is chilled as it is ordered, rather than wasting energy being refrigerated behind a long line of other cans or bottles.

Results show energy savings of over 80% compared with some standard open front drinks chillers and a 54% saving compared with glass door coolers (figures based on cooling 200 x 500ml cans per day). The potential saving on electricity costs equates to €832 per fridge per year compared with open front drinks chillers and €219 versus glass door coolers (assuming electricity price of 0.20 euro/kWh).

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Mind Blowing Future Graphic Manipulation Technology Extracts Structures From Images

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Imagine you can take a flat picture, and with just a few clicks, extract the three dimensional structures present. And not just extract them, but then manipulate them, transform them, copy them, and move them around the image. That’s what this software, 3-Sweep, does. It was demonstrated at SIGGRAPH Asia 2013, and while a written explanation is all fine and dandy, you really won’t get the scope of just fantastic this technology is unless you watch the video below.

You get the feeling that this is still in its early developmental stages, so there are some visible limitations. But in terms of what it’s capable already, we’ve never seen anything like it. If Adobe doesn’t have their eye on these guys, they’re making a big mistake.

VIA [ Reddit ]