Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Ben Coxworth

The FINIS Hydro Tracker GPS device allows open water swimmers to map their swims and recor...

For those of us who just swim lengths in pools, keeping track of where we’ve swum is pretty easy. When it comes to triathletes and other people who swim in lakes or the open ocean, however, there aren’t any lane markers to look back on. Instead, they can now use the Hydro Tracker GPS, made by California water sports tech company FINIS. The waterproof device attaches to the user’s goggle straps, then uses GPS technology to create a map of where they’ve been, while also recording performance data.  Read More

Spot is a new camera-like device for detecting vision problems

For the past 150 years, ophthalmologists have used the Snellen chart – with its rows of letters in descending sizes – to check patients’ vision. While it has done the job reasonably well, PediaVision CEO David Melnik believes that his Spot device offers some distinct advantages. Most importantly, instead of being required to read and recite letters, patients simply look into the device as it takes some pictures. Based on those images, it will proceed to notify clinicians if it detects potential vision problems.  Read More

The Defender runs on three AA batteries, and incorporates watertight silicone gaskets

People who commute by bicycle don't have to remove their pedals, racks or fenders when they park in public ... so why should their lights be any different? Well, because most battery-operated bike lights come off with the simple flick of a quick-release, or the turning of a single bolt. Massachusetts-based Gotham Bicycle Defense Industries, however, is attempting to address that problem with its Defender bike light. Not only is it theft-resistant, but it's also waterproof, and it looks like the light Dirty Harry would use - if he rode a bike.  Read More

Scientists have created a scanner that can be attached to a mobile phone, to detect the pr...

Soon, you may never have to play Russian roulette with potato salad again. Instead of just hoping that E. coli bacteria aren't present in your foods or drinks, you could instead use your mobile phone to find out for sure. That phone would have to be equipped with a bacteria-detecting scanner, which researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science recently created - in a prototype version, for now.  Read More

Piezoelectric devices are able to convert mechanical stress caused by movement (such as wa...

Of all the energy-harvesting technologies presently in development, piezoelectric devices offer some of the most intriguing possibilities. They work by converting mechanical stress, which can take the form of movement-caused vibrations, into an electrical charge. This means that things such as shoes, roads, keyboards – or anything else that moves or is subjected to movement – could be outfitted with piezoelectrics, which would produce power. Unfortunately, the range of vibrations that any one device can harness is presently quite limited. Research being conducted at North Carolina’s Duke University, however, could change that.  Read More

Reversing Goggles allow you to see the world upside-down or reversed left-to-right Ever wondered what it would be like to see the world upside-down? And no, just turning your head upside-down doesn't work. Well, anyhow, these goggles allow you to do just that. If seeing the ground above and the sky below is just a little too out-there for you, though, they can also be adjusted to let you see everything right-side-up, but reversed.  Read More

Scientists have determined that graphene could be put to use as the world's thinnest anti-... It seems like the uses for graphene just won’t stop coming. The ultra-strong sheet material, made from bonded carbon atoms, has so far shown promise for use in transistors, computer chips, DNA sequencing, and batteries ... just to name a few possibilities. Now, scientists have discovered that it can also be used as a very effective anti-corrosion coating – and at just one atom in thickness, it’s thinner than any of the alternatives.  Read More

Cyberpunk weapons hobbyist Patrick Priebe has created a hand-mounted flamethrower

If you've already built your own wrist-mounted laser-sighted crossbow, how do you top it? Well, a hand-mounted flamethrower might do the trick. That's just what cyberpunk weapons hobbyist and Iron Man fan Patrick Priebe has done, with pretty impressive results. However, unlike some of his previous creations (which have included a 1-megawatt pulse laser gun, and a balloon-popping palm laser), the "flame glove" is not for sale - given its rather startling performance in the video that follows, that's probably for the best.  Read More

Wake Forest University researcher Corey Hewitt, with a sample of the Power Felt

Some day, your jacket may be able to power your iPod ... and no, I’m not talking about piezoelectric fabrics (which generate electricity from movement-caused pressure), nor am I talking about photovoltaic materials, although both of those could probably do the job. Instead, your jacket might be made out of a new thermoelectric material called Power Felt, that converts temperature differences into electrical voltage – in the case of the jacket, the difference between its wind-cooled exterior and its body-warmed lining might be all that was needed.  Read More

A laptop shell made from Paper PP Alloy, a new composite material made from recycled paper... It’s possible that your next laptop computer could contain parts of your present-day notebook ... not your notebook computer, mind you, but your actual notebook. At least, it will if China's PEGA Design and Engineering has anything to say about it. The company’s new Paper PP Alloy, made from a combination of recycled paper and polypropylene, is intended for use in the shells of consumer electronic devices.  Read More

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