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Ben Coxworth

The app-based system determines the shopper's location via the flickering of the overhead ...

Wondering where your local supermarket keeps its whole wheat flour? Soon, an app on your smartphone may be able to guide you to it – with a little help from the store's overhead LED lights, and technology developed by Philips.  Read More

One of the new micro-batteries, amongst grains of rice for scale

In order to better understand and protect wild stocks of salmon, it's necessary to track their whereabouts using implanted acoustic tags. Needless to say, the longer that those tags are able to transmit a signal, the greater the amount of data that can be gathered. Scientists at Washington state's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are helping make that happen, by developing batteries that have both a smaller size and higher energy density than conventional fish tag batteries.  Read More

One of the flexible, stretchable optical interconnections

If flexible electronic devices are ever going to become practical for real-world use, the circuitry incorporated into them will have to be tough and resilient. We're already seeing progress in that direction, including electrical wires that can still carry a current while being stretched. However, what if the application calls for the use of fiber optics? Well, scientists from Belgium may have that covered, too. They've created optical circuits utilizing what they believe are the world's first stretchable optical interconnections.  Read More

Patterns created by bacteria swimming through the living liquid crystal With any medical condition, the earlier it's detected, the better the chances are of successfully treating it. When assessing biological samples from a patient, however, it's often quite difficult to see the indicators of a disease when it's still in its early stages. That could be about to change, thanks to the development of a solution known as "living liquid crystal."  Read More

The studs in their extended state Studded tires may make it easier to drive on ice, but those same studs will quickly wear down when used on dry asphalt – plus, they'll create a very rough, noisy ride. The problem is, most winter drivers encounter both types of road conditions, often even on the same trip. That's why Nokian has created a snow tire with retractable studs.  Read More

The Snorkelboard – it's like a glass-bottom boat, except a tad smaller Just about everyone who's comfortable with swimming in the ocean is at least somewhat interested in seeing what's in the water below them. Not everyone, however, is so keen on actually sticking their head below the surface and breathing through a snorkel. If you're one of those people, you might like the Snorkelboard.  Read More

Instead of the usual carbon atoms, artificial graphene is made from crystals of traditiona...

Graphene is truly a 21st-century wonder material, finding use in everything from solar cells to batteries to tiny antennas. Now, however, a group of European research institutes have joined forces to create a graphene knock-off, that could prove to be even more versatile.  Read More

The entrance to the new high-tech SportChek flagship store

Every year, IBM releases a list of tech trends that it predicts will have a major affect on our lives over the next five years. In its most recent list, the company made the rather surprising prediction that physical retail shops will become much more popular than internet-based stores. They'll do so utilizing technologies that offer customers a more immersive, interactive shopping experience than they could get simply sitting at their computer. Canada's FGL Sports must be eager to usher in that new age of shopping, as it just opened what it describes as "the most digitally advanced and personalized retail experience in the world." That experience takes the form of the new 80,000 sq ft (7,432 sq m) SportChek sporting goods store, located in Edmonton, Alberta's West Edmonton Mall.  Read More

The new microchipped skis are designed to take the guesswork out of waxing (Photo: Madshus...

The waxing of cross-country skis can be a tricky business. Not only do you have to determine the proper hardness for the snow conditions, but you also need to make sure that the grippy kick wax and the more slippery glide wax each end up being applied to the proper sections of the ski. Norwegian ski manufacturer Madshus has set out to simplify the process, with microchip-equipped skis.  Read More

A Kawasaki KXF450 with the Mountain Horse Short Track kit

Do you hate not being able to use your dirt bike, all winter long? Well, it turns out that there's a way of pressing it into service, even once the snow has fallen – aside from swapping in studded tires, that is. Timbersled's Mountain Horse kit replaces a motorbike's front wheel with a ski, and its rear wheel with a snowmobile-like track.  Read More

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