Photokina 2014 highlights

Anne Hanrahan

Top Articles by Anne Hanrahan
Sensa Field automatic faucets utilize capacitive sensor technology

Automatic faucets are a good idea, they're convenient, hygienic and big water savers, but many of us who've encountered these "smart taps" in public washrooms would be familiar with the inordinate amount of hand-waving that's sometimes required to actually make them work. Fontaine believes it has the answer with its new line of Sensa Field automatic faucets. Rather than relying on motion activated Infrared sensors which have a tendency to cut out mid-rinse, these taps utilize a capacitive omni-directional sensing zone around the spout which the company says guarantees activation the first time.  Read More

The AquaHub six-line water management system

With water conservation becoming an increasingly urgent priority in many parts of the world, we're always on the lookout for something that saves on H2O. Described as a "power strip + surge protector for watering outdoors", the AquaHub is a water management tool that connects to a standard garden hose, branching out into six regulated irrigation outlets to pinpoint and cater for the specific needs of different areas within the garden, saving time as well as water.  Read More

Rosetta Stone: taking language to the public

The Rosetta Stone is a famous ancient Egyptian artifact discovered in 1799 that helped linguists unlock the secrets of Egyptian hieroglyphics. It's therefore an apt name for the company which has developed products designed to teach millions of people worldwide the secret of learning languages using interactive, computer based technology. Already laying claim to the title of the world's largest language software company, Rosetta Stone has now taken the plunge and gone public, the first company of its type to do so.  Read More

IBN scientists convert CO2 into methanol

Scientists at the Singapore-based Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) have made an unprecedented breakthrough in transforming carbon dioxide, a common greenhouse gas, into methanol, a widely used form of industrial feedstock and clean-burning biofuel. Using "organocatalysts", researchers activated carbon dioxide in a mild and non-toxic process to produce the more useful chemical compound.  Read More

Motorola's pocket-sized personal shopping assistant, the MC17, has won three important des...

Motorola's MC17 "shopping assistant" computer has impressed international design judges, picking up three prestigious product design gongs. Gizmag was also impressed by the company's pocket-sized computer, which can scan items, check pricing, locate complimentary items, access personal promotions and create gift and wish lists, when we wrote about it back in 2007. The company won the International Design Excellence award (IDEA), iF Product Design award and Good Design award.  Read More

The USB card reader with a twist

The clever folk at Brando have come up with a card reader reminiscent of Rubik's Cube. Okay, the USB 270° x 270 Cubic Card Reader doesn't offer the color or mind-addling challenge, but it does twist. And it's something novel to sit next to your computer.  Read More

The Cooka, from Italian designer Maurizio Maiorana,is made from a non-toxic, liquid silico...

Cooking might be a chore or a pleasure, depending on your culinary proficiency. But what's out of your hands is how much room you have to prepare your culinary feast. If there's barely elbow room to stir your pots and pans, then this funky looking roll-up stove-top from Italian designer Maurizio Maiorana - called the Cooka – might be just the extra hand you need. The design resembles a yellow table mat and is made from a non-toxic, liquid silicone rubber that can be rolled up and easily stored once you've finished cooking with it.  Read More

Ice thickness, estimated by combining six climate models selected for this study, is shown...

According to new research the Arctic Ocean may be ice free in the summer months much faster than previously estimated. Research based on earlier climatic models suggested that this would not occur until the end of the century, but new models suggest that the Arctic might lose most of its ice cover in as little as 30 years - three times more rapid than previous studies have indicated. If this was to occur, the amount of the arctic covered by ice at the end of the summer could be down to around 1 million square kilometers (390 000 square miles) compared with the currently coverage of 4.6 million square kilometers (1.8 million square miles).  Read More

Razor Spark Scooter

Razor - the company perhaps best known for the Ripstik - has added a little spark to its Razor A Kick Scooter - literally. The latest incarnation of the lightweight scooter features a "Spark Bar" mechanism attached to the rear wheel - just stomp on the bar to light it up!  Read More

The watch of many faces

While we've seen our share of obscure and unusual watch designs, we're always on the lookout for the next innovation that might catch on in the world of wrist worn timepieces. This example may not prove to be the next Swatch, but the customizable OLED "UNI watch" concept by Takemura Ori definitely caught our eye.  Read More

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