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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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— Mobile Technology

ECOXPRO Waterproof Speaker Case keeps smartphones dry, but not silent

By - June 11, 2012 2 Pictures
Many people like to listen to tunes when they’re at the pool or beach, which are both environments where electronic devices could potentially get wet. While waterproof music players do exist, lots of folks now use their smartphone as their own little personal stereo. That’s the reason for the existence of Grace Digital Audio’s ECOXPRO Waterproof Speaker Case. It houses the user’s smartphone – along with some other odds and ends – while playing its music library through a full-range three-inch front speaker. Read More
— Electronics

"Tin whiskers" could triple the capacity of lithium-ion batteries

By - June 11, 2012 2 Pictures
For over 60 years, electrical engineers have been trying to minimize the problem of tin whiskers. Growing on tin-plated electronics, the needle-like structures get up to ten millimeters long, and can cause short circuits. Instead of trying to eliminate them, however, Washington State University’s Prof. Grant Norton has been looking into ways of growing them – albeit in a controlled manner. His research has led to the creation of a tin battery anode, which he claims could triple the capacity of lithium-ion batteries. Read More
— Around The Home

AGA iTotal Control Cooker allows for remote-control cookery

By - June 11, 2012 2 Pictures
AGA’s new electric iTotal Control Cooker incorporates three separate independently-operating ovens, assigned to the roasting, baking and simmering of foods. It also has a snazzy touchscreen panel, which can be used to control those ovens. Additionally, there’s a boiling plate and a simmering plate on top. What really makes it special, however, is the fact that it can be controlled from anywhere in the world. Read More

Special solar cells produce electricity from underwater sunlight

Although solar cells are proving indispensable for powering things such as electronic sensors on dry land, sensors located underwater have typically had to rely on batteries, or electricity piped in from photovoltaic panels situated above the surface. That could be changing, however, as scientists from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory have recently developed functioning underwater solar cells. Read More
— Automotive

Disco ball-like side mirror for cars eliminates blind spots, without the fish-eye effect

By - June 8, 2012 2 Pictures
While there are already various anti-blind-spot automobile mirrors on the market, these all tend to incorporate a very curved surface that drastically distorts the appearance of objects seen in them – given that drivers use their mirrors to avoid getting in accidents, it’s kind of important that those mirrors show the surrounding traffic as it really is. That’s why Dr. Andrew Hicks, a mathematics professor at Philadelphia’s Drexel University, has created a side mirror that eliminates the blind spot, while causing almost no distortion. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Nokia Sensing X CHALLENGE seeks healthcare tech innovations

By - June 8, 2012
The smartphones of today are certainly technological wonders. Besides their powerful processors and multitude of available apps, most of them are also equipped with sensors such as cameras, microphones, GPS, accelerometers and gyroscopes. While those sensor-laden phones allow users to perform a broad variety of activities, the folks at Nokia believe that those or similar devices could do much more – particularly when it comes to healthcare. That’s why the company is sponsoring the Nokia Sensing X CHALLENGE. The US$2.25 million global competition is intended to “stimulate the development of sensors and sensing technology to drastically improve and expand the quality and access to healthcare across a wide variety of settings for consumers all around the globe.” Read More
— Robotics

DASH robot mimics cockroaches' disappearing act

By - June 7, 2012 2 Pictures
Anyone who has tried to kill a cockroach knows just how difficult they can be to be to capture. Not only can they squeeze through very narrow gaps, but they can also instantly accelerate to a running speed of approximately 50 body lengths per second. Recently, biologists at the University of California, Berkeley realized that the insects have another escape skill at their disposal. When they get to the edge of a surface such as a table, they can hook it with their rear claws and swing around 180 degrees to land upside down on its underside – a maneuver also performed by geckos. A team of UC Berkeley researchers subsequently did what any of us would do upon gaining that knowledge, and set out to get a robot to perform the action. Read More
— Good Thinking

Silica nanoparticles used to make mosquito-repellant clothing

By - June 7, 2012 2 Pictures
For many of us, mosquitoes are an irritating pest that can ruin any number of outdoor activities. For many others, however, they are also spreaders of malaria – a disease which infected approximately 216 million people in 2010, according to an estimate by the World Health Organization. Repeatedly slathering on bug repellant is one way of dealing with the insects, although wearing clothing made from mosquito-repellant fabric sounds a lot more preferable. While existing mozzie-unfriendly garments have some limitations, Portuguese tech company Nanolabel has developed a new treatment process that it claims is far superior to traditional technology. Read More
— Good Thinking

MS-afflicted volleyball player designs award-winning Sports Walker

By - June 7, 2012 9 Pictures
Among other things, multiple sclerosis can result in a loss of balance and severe weakness in the legs – not exactly traits that would improve someone’s volleyball game. As a dedicated player, however, Toronto’s Brian Light wasn’t about to let his own MS keep him from participating in the sport he loved. Instead, he designed and built his own hands-free wheeled support device, known as the Sports Walker. Not only did it extend the amount of time that he was able to continue playing in a standing position, but it also won him an international award. Read More
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