2015 Detroit NAIAS Auto Show

Ben Coxworth

Tata Technologies has unveiled its eMO EV concept car, that is designed to sell for US$20,...

You could be forgiven for thinking that an electric car called the eMO would be dark-colored, inspire sulkiness in its drivers, and play nothing but My Chemical Romance on its stereo. In this case, however, eMO stands for "Electric MObility study," which is just what India's Tata Technologies designed the concept car as - a study in practical, cost-effective electric city/urban transportation. The vehicle is currently on display at the North American International Auto Show as part of this year's Michelin Challenge Design exhibit, in which participants were asked to design "a personal, ground-based vehicle that can transport between two and 10 people, meeting the anticipated needs of select cities in 2046."  Read More

ARIS Sport's Blade Runner skateboards have conical wheels, for better carving

The ability to carve into turns is something that is valued by surfers, snowboarders and skateboarders alike. While water and snow are relatively easy to carve into, however, concrete and asphalt are most definitely not, putting skateboards at a bit of a disadvantage. Attempts have been made at better-carving skateboards, including the pivoting-truck-equipped BMW StreetCarver, the many-wheeled Freebord, the caster-wheeled T-Board, and the twisting Ripstick and Skatecycle. Now, San Francisco-based ARIS Sport has addressed the issue with a novel solution – a line of skateboards with conical wheels.  Read More

The smart for-us concept electric vehicle

Just last month, the designers at smart decided to tease us by releasing some sketches of a concept electric vehicle that they had actually created, known as the for-us. While the front of the vehicle looked quite a bit like the existing fortwo, the Subaru Brat-like mini rear cargo bed definitely gave it a unique car-truck-combo appeal ... or repulsion, depending on the observer. Well, with the start of the North American International Auto Show 2012 this week in Detroit, the curious need no longer wonder what the actual vehicle might look like, as it is proudly out on display.  Read More

LG has announced its new 4G LTE Spectrum smartphone, for Verizon Wireless

Among the electronic goodies unveiled today at CES 2012 in Las Vegas was LG’s new 4G LTE Verizon smartphone, the Spectrum. The phone’s big selling feature is its 1280 x 720-pixel high-definition display – it is billed as “the first smartphone for Verizon Wireless to feature a 4.5-inch True HD In-Plane Switching (IPS) display, the same display technology used in premium LG HD televisions.”  Read More

The Freedom Induction Cooktop will heat cookware placed anywhere on its surface, and will ...

While they might still seem rather high-tech, induction cooktops have been on the market since at least the mid-1970s. Instead of warming pots via heat transfer from electrical elements or gas burners, they instead use coils of copper wire located beneath their ceramic glass surface to induce an electrical field within metal pots, which results in the resistive heating of their contents. Typically, the sizes and locations of those coils are marked on the stove’s surface, and users must place their pots on those. Thermador’s new Freedom Induction Cooktop, however, will heat up cookware placed anywhere on its surface. Not only that, but the “active” part of the cooktop will conform to the footprint of whatever size or shape of cookware is used.  Read More

The Power2U AC/USB Wall Outlet lets you charge devices via a USB Cable, directly from the ...

While it’s certainly convenient that most mobile devices can be charged via one of your computer’s USB ports, what happens if all of the ports are in use? Even if they’re not, you don’t always want your devices and their cables cluttering up your desk. You can buy USB adapters for wall outlets, but then you end up needing to find an available outlet, and subsequently occupying it (in older homes especially, unused AC outlets are often something of a rarity). Now, there’s an alternative to using your computer or an adapter to charge your gizmos – it’s the Newer Technology Power2U AC/USB Wall Outlet.  Read More

A new radar system could be used to detect and identify objects that fall onto train track...

Although you may never have seen it happen yourself, it isn’t all that uncommon for large objects – including people – to fall onto the tracks at subway or railway platforms. While security personnel viewing CCTV feeds will catch some of these accidents, the cameras’ shots are sometimes obscured by people, poor lighting, or even the trains themselves. The results can range from lengthy delays in rail service, to fatalities. Now, however, researchers working on a project for the Université Lille Nord de France have developed a system that uses radar to automatically detect and identify objects that fall onto the tracks. When installed at a platform, the system could then shut off power to the tracks, and notify oncoming trains.  Read More

Scientists have created a rudimentary data storage device using salmon DNA (Photo: Isaac W...

Salmon ... they’re good to eat, provide a livelihood for fishermen, are an important part of their ecosystem, and now it seems that they can store data. More specifically, their DNA can. Scientists from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany have created a “write-once-read-many-times” (WORM) memory device, that combines electrodes, silver nanoparticles, and salmon DNA. While the current device is simply a proof-of-concept model, the researchers have stated that DNA could turn out to be a less expensive alternative to traditional inorganic materials such as silicon.  Read More

Parabox is a system that lets cyclo-cross racers add hydraulic disc brakes to their existi...

About a year and a half ago, the International Cycling Union – the organization that sets the rules for bicycle racing – announced that it would allow the use of disc brakes on cyclo-cross bikes. This was good news for off-road racers, who were willing to accept the slight weight penalty of disc systems in exchange for the performance advantages that they offer over traditional rim brakes. As a result, we’re now seeing various disc-equipped competition-level cyclo-cross bikes entering the marketplace. However, what does this mean for all the perfectly-good bikes out there that were made before the announcement? Well, it turns out that they can be converted to hydraulic discs, thanks to something known as the Parabox system.  Read More

A commonly-available, inexpensive polymer has been shown to be very effective at capturing...

In recent years, worries over global climate change caused by excess atmospheric carbon dioxide have led to a number of technologies all aimed at the same thing – capturing human-generated CO2 at the source. These have included the use of things such as edible sponges, molten salts and bacteria, to name just a few. Now, a group of scientists are claiming success with a process that has achieved “some of the highest carbon dioxide removal rates ever reported for humid air” ... and it uses a common and inexpensive polymer.  Read More

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