The best of 2014

Antonio Pasolini

Haven is a smart lock designed for the base of the door

If you live in areas where burglaries are commonplace, keeping your house secure is a major concern. Connected smart locks like the Goji and Genie can help with peace of mind. Haven takes a slightly different approach to home security by moving the lock from the door to the floor.  Read More

The EnGo charging station at Webster University

Students, faculty and staff at Webster University in St. Louis don't have to worry too much if their mobile gadgets run out of power. Volta, a sustainable technology company, has installed its EnGo Public Charging Station on campus, that can recharge up to 14 mobile devices at a time without taking electricity from the grid. The Webster installation marks EnGo’s public debut in the US. Besides providing an alternative charging point to fall back on, EnGo does so without taking an extra toll on the environment.  Read More

Dr. Anne Moore displays the microneedle patch

Scientists at University College Cork in Ireland have successfully finished pre-clinical testing of an experimental vaccine against malaria delivered through the skin. The method is an improvement on this type of vaccine delivery, whose use is being researched in relation to other infections as well, including Ebola and HIV.  Read More

Mannequins enabled with VMBeacon

Retail therapy has become a tad more high-tech in the UK. A group of British high street retailers is trying out mannequins enabled with a wireless technology called VMBeacon that expands the shopping experience with digital technology. Developed by Iconeme, the wireless mannequins send customers information about clothes on display, giving retailers an extra channel of contact with shoppers and passers-by.  Read More

Emulate's lung-on-chip, seen here, is lined with human lung and blood vessel cells

The search for more efficient tests of pharmaceuticals without animal models is taking a stride forward, with a new technology being developed in the US called Organs-on-Chips. The new miniature platform and software, which mimic the mechanical and molecular characteristics of human organs, were developed by bioengineers from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University.  Read More

The Yepzon child tracker

A child gone missing is every parent’s worst nightmare. Thankfully, digital technology can offer a helping hand. Devices like Hereo, Belluv and Mommy Here have been created to help parents keep their little ones under their digital thumbs. The latest to join the ranks is Yepzon from Finland, a positioning device currently at the type-approval stage. Its makers are seeking 50 testers all over the globe to see how it works in the field.  Read More

FreeWavz are wireless headphones that track fitness metrics

Headphones have become a fashion statement the world over, with people sporting increasingly sophisticated or unusual models on their head. Now, a Florida-based company called FreeWavz has created a more minimalist and versatile earphone that does away with wires, and integrates activity-monitoring technology.  Read More

The researchers have engineered yeast to produce casein, a milk protein

Many people say they can’t go vegan because of their addiction to dairy. But that excuse could soon be past its sell-by date if a team of biohackers in California succeeds in scaling up production of a cheese that contains no animal by-products. They call it Real Vegan Cheese. Their aim is to offer a sustainable food alternative with the same nutritional value – and taste – as non-vegan cheese.  Read More

The Misfit Beddit Sleep System consists of a sensor unit and an app

There’s nothing like a good night’s rest to make us feel great during the day. But just how well do we sleep? The science behind sleep monitoring is improving, with several wearable consumer devices that monitor activities including sleep. A new partnership between wearables manufacturer Misfit, which makes the Shine activity tracker, and sleep-monitoring company Beddit, offers a non-wearable alternative for those who want to focus more deeply on their sleep.  Read More

Invergo is a new home-use pour-over coffee-maker

Coffee fans always appreciate a nicely brewed cup of java, and these days you don’t need to be sitting outside a café on a quaint Italian square to enjoy one. Some models such as Bonaverde and Immerset promise a rewarding coffee experience, and they are now being joined by a new design called Invergo. The folks behind it are targeting the consumer market with a pour-over machine that improves extraction and saturation. What's more, it doesn’t cost a fortune to run.  Read More

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