Imagine being able to use the proliferation of wireless signals that exists today for something more than social media posts and entertainment. That's what Cognitive Systems is doing with its Amera device. It detects wireless signals from a variety of sources like cell towers, Wi-Fi base stations and rogue signals, and turns them into cyber security alerts, crowd insights, and wireless network monitoring.
Christmas shopping for the electrical engineer who has everything? Well, chances are they don't have the Voltmeter Alarm Clock. Made by novelty electronics manufacturer Awkward Engineer, it looks like a vintage analog voltmeter, except it displays hours and minutes instead of volts and amps.
The Internet of Things might be driving us further toward smarter devices, but there are still plenty of 20th Century analog appliances out there that won't be immediately cast aside. The Nyrius Smart Outlet could be the interim solution, as it applies some smart controls to those plugged-in devices via Bluetooth-connected iOS or Android smartphones or tablets. We recently had the chance to try it out for ourselves.
An Israeli startup is planning to help families everywhere turn their food scraps into cooking gas. HomeBioGas Ltd has just launched a crowdfunding campaign to bring a compact biogas converter to urban and rural areas in developed countries, and to underserved communities in developing countries. According to the company, the HomeBiogas system can turn kitchen leftovers and livestock manure into natural liquid fertilizer and clean gas for cooking, lighting and water heating.
Heating bills in colder climates can be a nasty surprise and turning the thermostat down on a chilly night can be an unpleasant exercise in economy. Room in Room is a modern take on the four poster bed from tentmaker iKamper that aims to help reduce those heating bills. Based on popular South Korean indoor tents, it's designed to go over the bed and conserve a sleeper's heat, so the room temperature can be kept down.
If the movies and TV are to be believed, picking a conventional lock is as easy as sticking a tool into a keyhole, thoughtfully moving it around for a few seconds, then pulling the door open with a crafty smile. While there are special high-security locks that are much harder to pick, they also tend to be quite expensive. That's why Canadian inventor Ryan Bowley created the Bowley Lock – it's claimed to be virtually pick-proof, yet affordable to the average home-owner.
Recently, the Canadian company bObsweep unveiled the bObi Pet – its latest robot vacuum cleaner, which showcases improvements over the previous bObi Classic with a special emphasis on features for cleaning up after pets. Boasting new algorithms aimed at dealing with pet hair, it has more sensors and brushes than previous bObi robots to help it clean hardwoods, laminates, and carpets. To give it the acid test, we put it against a two-bedroom flat that hadn't been vacuumed in 10 days and is home to a pair of dogs who shed like they're filling backorders. Here's what we found.
In the last few years we've seen a succession of connected letterboxes designed to modernize your mail by tracking incoming deliveries. But as the amount of shopping being done online continues to grow, so too does the size of the packages we need our mailboxes to regularly handle. One US company is looking to answer the call, with a smart, wall-mounted container that secures big packages as they are dropped off, and can even help arrange for their return.
Belgian researchers working in collaboration with the world's largest chocolate producer, Barry Callebaut, have bred robust yeasts that ferment cocoa to produce bespoke aromas and flavors in the finished chocolate. According to the team, this makes possible a new range of boutique chocolates that can match particular flavors in the same way that craft beer, coffee, tea, and wine can.
The British electrical plug may be a design classic, but it's also very bulky and doesn't exactly fit in with the ultra-mobile digital age. To save some tablets from an undeserved scratching, Hong Kong-based OneAdaptr has come up with its Flip folding plug. The focus of a Kickstarter campaign running through December 18, the Flip opens like a pair of jaws and combines USB charging ports with an optional internal battery.