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.
Whether you call them tacks or push pins, German cyberpunk weapons-maker Patrick Priebe
has created a one-off sniper rifle that shoots them as ammo. As can be
seen in the video that he sent us, it's surprisingly accurate, too – all
the watermelons out there better be on the lookout.
It was just a couple of years ago that we first heard about See.Sense
bike lights. Using integrated sensors, they can determine when the
rider is doing things such as going through a road junction, navigating a
roundabout, or moving through lanes of traffic – they can also tell
when the sun is going down, or when vehicle headlights are approaching.
In all cases, the lights respond by shining brighter and blinking
faster. Now, their inventors have added even more functions by creating a
connected version of the lights, known as See.Sense Icon.
If you want to spend less than US$300 on a GoPro actioncam, you're currently limited to the entry-level model known simply as the Hero. Although it shoots decent 1080p/30fps video, it lacks wireless functionality. Soon, however, potential buyers will have the option of choosing the $200 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth-equipped Hero+.
Although there are bicycle head- and tail lights that are designed to emit light from the front and sides, most of them just shine straight ahead. Attaching lights to the wheels is one way of increasing side visibility, but not everyone wants to take that approach. The Brightside offers a simpler solution – it's a clip-on side-facing bike light.
While it's important for all of us to stay hydrated, it's particularly important for athletes. If they don't, their performance may suffer, plus they could collapse or even die. That's why a Virginia-based startup has created SMRT Mouth. It's a protective mouthguard that measures the wearer's hydration levels, and wirelessly alerts coaches if they're getting too low.
Today's simple metal lightning rods may be on their way to obsolescence. That's because scientists at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem are developing a high-tech alternative that could potentially reach higher and be more effective – laser lightning rods.
Babies may like to be smiled at, but they don't put undue effort into smiling at people in order to make that happen. That's one of the findings of a study conducted by a team of computer scientists, roboticists and developmental psychologists at the University of California, San Diego. To develop their theory, they enlisted the help of a robot you won't soon forget.
Photochromic glasses are great for things like heading out on evening bike rides, as their tint gradually lightens while the sun goes down. If you're bursting in and out of shadowy forests or zipping through dark tunnels, however, the slow reaction time of such glasses just can't keep up. That's where Uvex's Variotronic glasses come in, which use electrochromic tech to change tint in just a tenth of a second. I recently got to try a pair out, and there's nothing shady about them.
Do you remember Pig-Pen, the Peanuts comic character who's always surrounded by a cloud of his own filth? Well, it turns out that we're actually all a little like him. Scientists have discovered that not only does everyone emit an invisible "microbial cloud," but that individuals can be recognized by the bacteria that make up their particular cloud.
Getting a flat tire might never be an entirely hassle-free experience, but before too long it may no longer be necessary to patch or replace punctured tires. Instead, thanks to research currently being conducted in Europe, damaged tires could just be left a few hours to heal on their own.