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Ben Coxworth

Ben Coxworth

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.

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— Military

Scientists create an air-conditioned bulletproof vest

By - May 16, 2012 3 Pictures
When most of us realize that we’re overdressed for the weather, we can simply take off that extra jacket or whatnot that’s causing us to overheat. Police officers, however, don’t have the option of taking off their bulletproof vests ... and those vests aren’t exactly known for being lightweight and breathable. Fortunately, a team from Swiss research institution Empa has developed just the thing for those hot cops – an air-conditioned ballistic vest. Read More
— Computers

W1PPS combines all your peripheral cords and plugs in one device

By - May 16, 2012 8 Pictures
If you use a MacBook Pro as your regular desktop computer, but also frequently take it out and about, you may find yourself getting annoyed at having to repeatedly disconnect and then reconnect all of its peripheral devices. Additionally, because the laptop’s input/output ports are located along its side, all those sideways-protruding cables can end up adding to the clutter on your desk. That’s why Wisconsin-based tech company Veritas Forge is developing W1PPS (pronounced “whips”) – it contains all of your plugs and cords in one MacBook Pro-matched device. Read More

BOLT padlock system cuts down on keys

Nobody likes having to carry around a keychain full of keys, or – worse yet – arriving somewhere only to discover that they haven’t brought the key they need. The BOLT system offers an alternative. It allows you to open multiple padlocks, all using your vehicle’s ignition key. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

New light-powered retinal prosthesis could restore sight to the blind

By - May 15, 2012 2 Pictures
Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in North America, while retinitis pigmentosa causes approximately 1.5 million people worldwide to lose their sight every year. Individuals afflicted with retinal degenerative diseases such as these might someday be able to see again, however, thanks to a device being developed at California’s Stanford University. Scientists there are working on a retinal prosthesis, that uses what could almost be described as miniature solar panels to turn light signals into nerve impulses. Read More
— Good Thinking

A winning idea for wall-climbing

By - May 14, 2012 5 Pictures
Last month we told you about a team of Brigham Young University engineering students, who created a clever Batman-inspired wall-climbing system. They were competing in the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s 2012 Service Academy and University Engineering Challenge, in which teams had to design gadgets that would allow soldiers to safely and quickly ascend vertical surfaces. Given that the Brigham Young entry didn’t take first place, however, we thought it only made sense to take a look at the entry that did ... and that would be a little something known as the Personal Vacuum Assisted Climber (PVAC), designed by a team from Utah State University. Read More
— Science

Lotus leaf inspires new diagnostic technology

By - May 14, 2012 3 Pictures
Lately we’re hearing more and more about tiny medical and environmental diagnostic devices, that can perform a variety of tests using very small fluid samples. Working with such small samples does present a challenge, however – how do you thoroughly mix tiny amounts of different fluids, or wrangle individual drops for analysis? According to a team of scientists from the University of Washington, the answer lies in the lotus leaf. Read More

GoPro releases Dive Housing for HERO actioncams

Although you may have seen plenty of underwater videos shot using the GoPro HERO actioncam, its lens was never really designed for underwater videography – as we previously illustrated in a video report, the footage sometimes looks a little fuzzy. As of today, however, would-be Jaques Cousteaus can now purchase a dive-specific GoPro housing, that promises sharp images. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Insect-inspired smartphone projector focuses images onto uneven surfaces

By - May 11, 2012 2 Pictures
If you were using a smartphone projector to shine an image onto an uneven surface, or onto a flat surface but at a diagonal angle, parts of the image would end up out of focus ... unless, that is, your phone featured a new prototype LED projector developed by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering. Inspired by the compound eyes of insects, the device can reportedly display crisp, bright, distortion-free visuals onto irregular surfaces, and at non-perpendicular angles. Additionally, users can manipulate that display by reaching in and touching the projection surface. Read More
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