Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Antonio Pasolini

Upsee helps children who have motor impairments

"Necessity is the mother of invention" – it's an adage that fits in perfectly with the story of Israeli mom Debby Elnatan. She was faced with the challenge of walking with her son Rotem, who has cerebral palsy and cannot use his legs by himself. Helping her two-year-old move around unaided proved to be a very difficult task, prompting Debby to search for a solution. Now, the system she created for him has become a commercial product that could improve the lives of children suffering from motor impairments around the world.  Read More

OCHO Pad connects objects to people

Wireless technology and mobile gadgets have made it easier for us to track and control our personal belongings. One of the latest technologies being developed for this market connects not only objects, but also the people who use them. OCHO Pad is a wired-up tray that uses NFC or infrared technology not only to identify keys, wallets, or phones, but also to mediate communication between members of a household.  Read More

The University of Colorado's solar toilet

A toilet project that addresses environmental and health concerns was unveiled in Delhi, India this month. Around 2.5 billion people in the world lack proper sanitation, and it’s with those people in mind that a team at the University of Colorado Boulder has designed a self-contained, solar-powered, waterless toilet. It was made possible with a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Read More

Newly-developed nasal spray vaccines offer some key advantages over injections  (Photo: Sh...

Vaccines save lives, but sometimes they fail to reach the people who need them most, in parts of the developing world. A research team from Iowa State University is currently developing a new generation of vaccines that uses nanotechnology, and is delivered in spray form. One of the advantages of this new type of vaccine is that is can increase access to people living in remote areas because it requires no refrigeration and is simpler to administer.  Read More

DigiGage's infotainment for elevators Israeli startup DigiGage has created a display system for elevators that shows images and information moving along with viewers as they go up or down. The system is already being used in several countries, including the US and China.  Read More

Lupo multi-use Bluetooth sensor

Advances in electronics combined with our finely tuned ability to lose stuff has seen the market for wireless tracking sensor systems expand rapidly in recent times. This latest example is Lupo, a versatile item finder that's also a security solution and a Bluetooth remote controller for smartphones and other devices.  Read More

The Global Forest Watch platform launched this month

According to World Wildlife Fund data, we are losing 12 to 15 million hectares (46,332 to 57,915 square miles) of the world's forests every year. Deforestation is a major contributor to climate change, as it accounts for 15 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, besides killing biodiversity, depleting natural resources, compromising water sources, causing soil erosion and other environmental problems. Efforts to fight deforestation require fast information that could help authorities and NGOs take action before the worst damage is done. Global Forest Watch is a new initiative offering the possibility to do just that. It monitors deforestation activity across the globe, in near real time.  Read More

MD Julie Margenthaler wears the eyepiece during cancer surgery

When doctors are operating on a patient to remove a cancer, they face a major challenge: telling healthy and cancerous cells apart. But a new device being developed by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis' School of Medicine could provide a safe, affordable and portable solution.  Read More

The VidaPak prototype in drink-making action

Coffee machines have become a fixture of many offices and homes, but how about a machine that can mix and dispense cold drinks, saving all those plastic bottles? A team of inventors based in Tampa, Florida, have developed the prototype of a machine that does just that. Called VidaPak, the Keurig coffeemaker-like unit can refrigerate and heat to serve both cold and hot drinks.  Read More

Keepod is a portable OS

Mathare is 500,000-resident slum in Nairobi Kenya, where basic sanitation is non-existent, there’s no adequate water supply and no school system, except for so-called street schools that try to fill that gap. Only 10 percent of local youth will reach college education. Most of the locals are part of the five billion people in the world who are digitally excluded. Now, a new UK-based initiative called Keepod Unite aims to reduce the digital gap in Mathare by providing an OS that can be loaded onto a USB drive and plugged into just about any shared PC.  Read More

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