Tuesday, 08 January 2013 15:43

NCycle: A High Tech Bike for High Tech Times


Good thing: more and more people are commuting to work and around town on their bicycles, meaning for a healthier lifestyle and cleaner environment. Bad thing: A bike is still a bike. It's small, not very fast and easy to steal. I once had a bike seat stolen. Two weeks in a row. It was worth less than ten dollars. I would hate to think how bike thieves would react to the NCycle - a battery powered, high tech bicycle for the modern era. It is thin, elegant and foldable, and unlike the trendy fixies, it is actually very functional. 

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Why should schools pay electric bills when their own students can generate it themselves? This is the idea behind Pavegen, an initiative to create clean, reusable energy using only footsteps. Not only is this concept good for the Earth, but chunky little children will be able to see the energy they're creating, and visualize how it all works. They might get healthier too, because the more they step, stomp, dance, jump and clomp, the more they'll get out of it. If successful, Pavegen has the potential to be installed on virtually any street in the world.

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As Korean company Moneual are set to announce more details about their touchscreen table for cafes at the CES technology conference this year, we take a look through all the large touchscreen surfaces that have been appearing in the tech world over the last several years.

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It used to be the case that a human being could see with their eyes, feel with their skin and hear with their ears. But now our species is so deadset on becoming chair-bound internet plug-ins with holograms of ever-looping cat videos embedded in our eyelids, there is simply no more time for stuff like "experiencing" and "living". This is why Twine, created by robots engineers John Kestner and David Carr, can be configured to tweet you when your doorbell rings, email when your car is unlocked, and even message when your handsome neighbour is shirtless or call when your cat is dreaming of food. (note: cannot guarantee it can do the last two things). The Twine is a way to become truly reliant on technology so we never have to learn when plants need water, how to fix the garage door, or where the trash goes.

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Karma as the universe intended it. This new pebble of data connectivity allows you to take your wifi on the go, becoming a hotspot wherever your day takes you. Its useable with laptops, phones, tablets and anything with wifi access - the best part being that anyone you allow can connect to your wifi and the more you share, the more "karma" or free data you get in return.

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Ambition is the first step in crossing all scientific frontiers but, unfortunately, it's a game of patience. ET3 is a concept known as the Evacuated Tube Transport Technology. Their slogan is "Space Travel On Earth" and their goal is to build airless, frictionless tubes to provide unbelievably fast transit across the planet. New York to LA in 45 minutes, or around the world in six hours, both sound great for businesses or distanced families, but let's be realistic - it still takes 20 minutes just to catch an MTA bus and California can't even build a railway. As idealistic as this sounds, I think I'll just live vicariously through episodes of Futurama.

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Tuesday, 04 December 2012 22:06

Sick of Square TV Sets: The Kuba Komet


In light of all these HD, 3D, 103 inch TVs, let's pay a moment's thought to the Kuba Komet - a German-designed television set which was the most coveted home entertainment center from 1957 to 1962. The Komet had it all: a 23 inch screen, a cabinet, a shiny finish - all wrapped up in a crazy spaceship-meets-sailboat shape. The Komet was priced at $1260 which, at the time, was more than a year's salary for the average entertainment seeker. It's too bad it's not around anymore because I bet hipsters would sell their blood for one of these. Perhaps we can persuade some Kickstarter folks to make a replica.

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Admit it. As much as you love your DSLR - Canon, Nikon, what have you - you have left it at home on many occasions based on its bulky size and heavy demeanor. Taking such factors into account, industrial designer Andre Pokhodzey has designed the IO camera, which is able to fit most modern lenses and be completely flexible. So when it comes to cameras, perhaps specs shouldn't overshadow style - and size does matter.

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Tuesday, 04 December 2012 17:41

Click and Grow: Because Plants Are Confusing


Sure, they may have explained it to us in elementary school, but who really learns anything at that age? Plants are confusing. Seeds, soil, water, light? It's a lot to take in. That's why the "Click & Grow" has come into being. Described as being "the easiest thing" to ever do, this life-giving machine self-waters your plants so you needn't worry about looking after them. The Click & Grow -- because a home isn't a home without a mini tomato bushel.

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