Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Ben Coxworth

Inventor Lina Fenequito with the Swap-O-Matic

How many times have you heard someone lament “We live in a throw-away society”? Certainly, the world would no doubt be a better place if people threw less items in the garbage, and reused products more. Well, that’s what Brooklyn designer Lina Fenequito is trying to encourage with her Swap-O-Matic vending machine. Instead of dispensing mass-produced snacks with wrappers that end up in landfills, it plunks out second-hand belongings that need a new owner.  Read More

This vintage 30-ton 1600-horsepower Type 9 V.O.S. Duvant engine is currently on display at...

Hey, you like really big engines? Well, here’s one that’s not going to fit under the hood of your F-150. This 30-ton (27-tonne) Type 9 V.O.S. engine is one of just three built by the French company Duvant in 1962. It’s over 18 feet (5.5 meters) long, 11 feet (3.4 m) tall, and gulps down 350 liters (92.5 US gallons) of diesel fuel per hour. With its four valves per cylinder and turbocompressor, it is capable of producing 1600 horsepower. Best of all, should you happen to be in Paris this week, you can see the thing running.  Read More

West Coast Chill is being touted as the world's first beverage to be sold in a self-chilli...

Miller Beer may have announced its plans to do so several years ago, but now someone else is actually going through with it ... releasing a beverage in a self-chilling can, that is. At the end of the first quarter of this year, Joseph Company International will be launching its West Coast Chill all-natural energy drink, which will come in the company's patented Chill Can. When buyers press a tab on the can, the temperature of the liquid inside will decrease by 30ºF within three minutes.  Read More

RESPeRATE is a device that is designed to lower blood pressure by getting its users to bre...

People suffering from hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) are typically advised to switch to a healthier diet, get more exercise and lose weight, plus they are often put on a combination of several medications. As of today, UK residents are now also able to get a prescription for what is definitely a different type of treatment – a system known as RESPeRATE. It monitors the patient’s breathing and uses sound to guide them into taking longer, slower breaths, thus relaxing their bodies. According to its makers, multiple clinical trials have shown that it causes significant, lasting reductions in blood pressure.  Read More

SpaceX has test-fired its advanced new SuperDraco engine, to be used on the Dragon spacecr...

SpaceX, the California company that is developing the reusable Dragon spacecraft, recently test-fired its new SuperDraco engine. Presently, the Dragon capsule is equipped with less-advanced Draco engines, which are designed for maneuvering the spacecraft while in orbit and during reentry. The SuperDraco, however, is intended to allow the astronauts to escape if an emergency occurs during the launch.  Read More

Scientists have developed technology that is able to reconstruct words heard by test subje...

Last September, scientists from the University of California, Berkeley announced that they had developed a method of visually reconstructing images from peoples' minds, by analyzing their brain activity. Much to the dismay of tinfoil hat-wearers everywhere, researchers from that same institution have now developed a somewhat similar system, that is able to reconstruct words that people have heard spoken to them. Instead of being used to violate our civil rights, however, the technology could instead allow the vocally-disabled to "speak."  Read More

The SolarWorld GT solar-powered car is currently on a drive around the world, and embarks ...

Last October, the SolarWorld GT solar-powered car set out from Darwin, Australia on a drive around the world. It has since driven 3,001 kilometers (1,865 miles) across Australia, logged 1,947 km (1,210 miles) crossing New Zealand, and been shipped across the Pacific Ocean. This Friday, it will embark on the U.S. leg of its journey, as it sets out across America from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  Read More

The Invis-A-Rack is a ladder rack for pick-up trucks that folds away when not in use

If you need to transport things like building materials, boats or construction equipment, then having a ladder rack over the bed of your pick-up truck can prove invaluable. Such racks also add to your vehicle’s aerodynamic drag, however, plus they can get in the way when loading certain cargo items, and they make your truck look like ... well, like a work truck. That’s why Donny McCall invented the Invis-A-Rack. It’s an aluminum ladder rack that can reportedly support up to 500 pounds (227 kg) when in use, but that folds away in seconds when not needed.  Read More

The Artguardian system monitors environmental conditions in galleries, to make sure that a...

While great works of art should be exhibited so the public can enjoy them, putting those pieces on display also puts them at risk. If environmental factors such as lighting intensity, temperature or humidity aren’t in the optimal range, for instance, works can prematurely deteriorate as a result. In order to minimize the risks, three of Germany’s Fraunhofer research institutes have collaborated to develop Artguardian, a system that monitors the conditions under which artworks are displayed.  Read More

The Urban Cultivator is a computer-controlled hydroponic growing system for herbs and vege...

There’s no question that fresh herbs taste better than their dried counterparts, nor is there any denying that garden-fresh veggies are preferable to ones that have spent the past several days in a truck or on a supermarket shelf. People who are lucky enough to live in warmer climates can keep the fresh greens coming year-round, if they plant a garden. For those of us in colder regions, however, things get a bit more challenging come winter. We can rig up indoor herb gardens on windowsills or using full-spectrum fluorescent lights, but that can sometimes get a little complicated. If you can justify its price, however, there is an alternative – the Urban Cultivator.  Read More

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