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'Thermally-elastic' metal to cut summer CO2 emissions and electricity bills

Many readers would be familiar with the electrical blackouts that occur in the summer months resulting from the extra load placed on electricity supplies by air conditioners. A new “smart” metal being developed by researchers at the University of Maryland (UM) could help cool homes and refrigerate food 175 percent more efficiently than current technology, not only giving strained electricity networks a bit of relief, but also drastically cutting summer electricity bills and greenhouse gas emissions.Read More

The Final Countdown: Electrolux Design Lab finalists announced

It’s down to the final eight in the Electrolux Design Lab 2010 competition. Around 1,300 designers from all over the globe entered the competition this year, with the brief being to create space-saving home appliances that would be suited to life in the heavily-populated urban environment expected by 2050. The finalists will present their designs to a jury in London on the 23rd of September with cash prizes and an opportunity of a six month paid internship at an Electrolux global design center up for grabs. Will it be the virtual kitchen helmet, the gel refrigerator or the portable ultrasonic dishwasher that impresses the judges, or will it be one of the other five fantastically futuristic designs?Read More

Quik Drive auto-feed screwdriver – screw things down as quick and easy as nailing them

My name is Loz, and I have a problem with tool lust. I find it very difficult to leave a hardware or auto shop without a heat gun, or a ratcheting spanner set, or some new air tool on top of the three bolts I went in there for. And while I've never had to screw a wall together or install a deck - and I have no plans to start in the immediate future - I'd still find it incredibly hard to resist one of these things if I ever saw it in person. It's a belt-feed screwdriver. A freakin' belt-feed screwdriver. Load it up with a strip of screws, and you're ready to screw more things in quicker succession than you'd ever have dreamed possible. Just watching the Quik Drive promo video after the jump sent me into a shuddering toolgasm.Read More

Matrix Key System lets you change your locks without changing your locks

Most of us at one time or another has lost our keys and know the stress that it causes. Compounding things is the cost that comes with calling out a locksmith to replace all the locks on the windows and doors of your house. But what if you could change your locks simply by inserting another key? That’s just what the Matrix Key System designed by Australian locksmith, Stuart Webb, does. Inserting a new key into the lock effectively changes the lock, rendering the old key useless and saving the hassle and expense of calling a locksmith.Read More

Sanyo home cooker first makes bread from rice grain

Rice is the second highest produced grain in the world after corn. With a large portion of corn crops grown for purposes other than human consumption, rice takes the title of the most important grain with regards to human nutrition and caloric intake. It is especially important in Asian counties such as Japan, however, the consumption of domestic rice in Japan has decreased by half compared to 1962. In an effort to arrest this decline, Japan’s Sanyo has committed to creating products that contribute to increasing rice consumption. The latest is the GOPAN, the world’s first home cooker that makes bread from rice grain. It should also appeal to those on a gluten-free diet.Read More

Reflect – the non-fogging mirror and showerhead

If you’re a guy who shaves in the shower, you no doubt know the frustration of trying to keep your shaving mirror fog-free. In some bathrooms, even just the installation of such a mirror can be tricky, as can positioning yourself to use it. Squarely addressing these conundrums is the Reflect, a combination showerhead and non-fogging mirror.Read More

Dews Toothbrush stands up to bathroom nasties

From the “so simple it’s a wonder no one has thought of it before” file comes the self-standing Dews Toothbrush from Ryan Harc. With its ability to stand upright, the design offers a simple solution to the problem of where to put a toothbrush without running the risk of covering it in an assortment of germs which will happily make their way to the insides of your mouth next time you brush your teeth. Read More

TOASTit teflon bags transform your toaster into a grill

Here's a clever product that's being sold by Oishi & Associaties in Japan. You know those sandwiches that you always wanted to stuff in your toaster but couldn't because your mom told you the cheese would drip and make a mess (or was as that just me?) The TOASTit bag is your workaround, letting you throw all kinds of crazy foods into your toaster without any concern for the mess afterwards. Read More

Dyson expands bladeless fan line

The Dyson Air Multiplier fan released late last year has some new stablemates. The company's expanded range includes a larger diameter table fan, a tower fan and a pedestal model. None of the offerings in the range come cheap, but they all include the distinctive bladeless design that Dyson says delivers better airflow as well as making them safer for curious little fingers and easier to clean than their bladed counterparts.Read More

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