An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
"Smart" smoke and CO2 detectors
can do all sorts of clever things, such as notifying absent homeowners
via their smartphone if the alarm goes off. However, what if you’ve
already got a perfectly good "dumb" detector that you don’t want to
replace? Well, you’ll soon be able to give it some brains, in the form
of the Roost battery.
is kind of a neat product, if you’re an iPad videographer. It’s an
anti-vibration-padded aluminum iPad frame with threaded holes that allow
users to add accessories such as a shotgun mic, light, lens or tripod.
Soon, however, it’ll be getting a sister device that can be used with
any tablet or smartphone.
Ah, the selfie stick ... perhaps one of the most made-fun-of inventions
of the past few years. The SoloCam takes the basic idea and adds to it,
however, creating a tool that could actually be useful to video bloggers
or even serious journalists whose camera operators have been laid off.
If you had to grasp a tiny delicate object such as a blood vessel, doing
so with traditional tweezers would be a very painstaking process – just
a little too much pressure, and the object could be crushed. Instead,
scientists from Iowa State University have developed miniature coiling
tentacles for doing the job. They're even capable of holding an ant
without harming it.
There are already quite a few camera-equipped quadcopters that can be
used for shooting aerial video. According to Japanese startup RcRebel,
however, that type of drone moves too robotically to capture really
fluid footage. That's why the company created the BlackOps tricopter,
which is claimed to fly more like Superman than like a robot.
We've seen tracked wheelchairs
before, that are able to take on steep or uneven terrain. For regular
surfaces, however, wheels make more sense. That's why a group of
students from ETH Zurich and the Zurich University of the Arts are
creating the Scalevo electric wheelchair, which features wheels for
cruising and tracks for climbing stairs.
Your DSLR may take great photos, but it's a hassle to carry around. Your
smartphone is easy to carry, but its photos aren't as good. What do you
do? Well, you'll soon have the option of using the DxO One. It's a
pocket-sized "DSLR-quality" camera that uses its own lens and sensor to
take pictures, but utilizes your iPhone or iPad as its viewfinder and
It wasn't too long ago that we were all amazed by the introduction of the Segway – How can a vehicle with just two side-by-side wheels stay upright? we wondered. Since then, however, contraptions such as the Solowheel and OneWheel have shown that even a single wheel will work. The SBU and U3-X added a seat but took away the handlebars from the concept, while the Ryno
has both a seat and bars. Now, Montreal-based entrepreneur Carl
Dagenais is throwing his hat in the one-wheeled-scooter ring, with the
It's now fairly common to hear about batteries being used to store power
generated by solar cells. A group of Indian scientists, however, have
eliminated the middleman. They've created a battery that incorporates a
titanium nitride-based photoanode in place of a conventional anode,
allowing the battery to charge itself using solar or artificial light.
Ordinarily, when a ship is heading into waves, those waves cause it to
work harder. An experimental new setup known as a "whale tail," however,
utilizes wave action to actually help ships move forward, allowing them
to use less fuel when tackling rough seas.