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.
While front-loading washing machines do have their advantages, one thing
is better about top-loaders – if you want to add a piece of laundry to a
load that's already being washed, you can just open the lid and chuck
it in. Well, Samsung's new WW8500 AddWash now lets you do the same thing
with a front-loader.
If you want a smartpen – which digitizes your handwriting and transmits
it to a computer or mobile device – you currently have your choice of
models including the Neo Smartpen N2, the LiveScribe Sky or the Orée Stylograph.
All of those pens, however, require you to use special paper that's
unique to that particular product. By contrast, Wacom's just-announced
Bamboo Spark system works with a non-electronic pen and whatever
A5-sized paper you've got on hand.
Perhaps you'd like to own an electric car, but you simply can't afford
something highway-worthy like a Tesla or Leaf. Well, if most of your
trips are made up of short jaunts within your neighborhood, you may be
able to get away with a slower-but-cheaper electric runabout. Eco-Cruise
recently launched just such a vehicle, in the form of its Cruser Sport.
Samsung has entered the sleep-tracking market, by unveiling its
SleepSense device at IFA in Berlin. Unlike some similar products, it
doesn't have to be worn on the body or laid across the bed.
Instead, it's simply placed under the mattress, where it analyzes the
user's sleep and provides suggestions if improvements are needed.
Imagine if things like undersea cables or medical implants could simply
heal themselves back together if severed – it would certainly be easier
than having to go in and fix them. Well, scientists at Pennsylvania
State University are bringing such a possibility closer to reality.
They've created a moldable polymer that heals itself when exposed to
water – and it's based on squid sucker ring teeth.
Today at IFA, Panasonic announced its first-ever 4K OLED television. The
65-inch 4K Viera CZ-950 has been color-tuned in collaboration with
professional Hollywood colorist Mike Sowa, and is designed to deliver
colors – including an "Absolute Black" – the way that directors and
While things like comfort, light weight and durability are important considerations when selecting a bike, it is OK to want one that looks unique, too. If you place a lot of emphasis on the latter, then the Sync might be for you.
We've already heard about an electronics-packing mouthguard that can be used to detect serious impacts to the head.
Now, scientists at the University of California, San Diego have
developed one that could provide continuous readings of users' health
markers including lactate, cortisol and uric acid. It may be used to
monitor the well-being of people such as diabetics, to track the
performance of athletes, or to detect stress in soldiers.
There's a trick campers use, where they shine a flashlight down into a
water bottle to create a lantern. Well, Italian cycling goods
manufacturer Elite uses that same principle in its new Candea bottle –
LEDs in the bottom illuminate the bottle above,
making night-time cyclists a bit more visible.