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.
Even if motorized bicycles turn you off, perhaps you still appreciate
some of the electronic bells and whistles that are included on many
e-bikes. If that's the case, then a "smart bike"
might be more to your liking. One of the latest to catch our eye is the
Cotlo Corvus, which features a car-detecting rear radar system and a
built-in OLED display. We came across a prototype at Interbike 2015, and
got the goods.
Scooters and folding bikes are both becoming popular forms of
"last-mile" transportation – riders can carry them aboard buses or
trains, then ride them the last few blocks between transit stops and
home or work. It's important that they be compact, however ... and
Seattle Cycles' all-titanium Burke 8 is definitely on the small side.
If you’re at all familiar with e-bikes, then you’ve probably at least heard of the Mando Footloose. Besides simply looking unique, it distinguishes itself by having neither a chain nor a belt drive. Until now, however, all the models featured relatively small 20-inch wheels – not the greatest thing for surviving potholes, or maintaining speed. That’s about to change, as Mando has unveiled its soon-to-be-released 26-inch-wheeled Footloose.
If you want a fatbike that’ll get you noticed, the Rungu Juggernaut is a hard one to beat. Actually a fat trike that was originally designed to carry surfboards across loose sand, it’s presumably not always the easiest thing to pedal – particularly on loose terrain. That’s why its California-based designers have now come out with an electric version, which we spied at Interbike 2015.
Aerial drones are great for providing a bird’s eye view of our world. That said, some people are more interested in seeing a fish’s eye view of their local seacoast or lake. Previously, such folks had to build their own underwater remote-operated vehicle (ROV). Three years ago, San Francisco startup OpenROV made things a little easier for them, by offering an ROV kit that users put together themselves. Now, the company is crowdfunding the fully-assembled Trident ROV, which can reportedly be "flown" through the water.
Yep, it's another prosumer quadcopter – ProDrone's Byrd. So, what's so
special about this one? Well, among other things, it combines folding
propeller arms with swappable camera gimbals and a 29-minute flight
Remember digital picture frames, those LCD screens that displayed
peoples' snapshots? They're still around, but their low resolution has
relegated many of them to garage sales and closets. Well, Frame is like a
digital picture frame on steroids. It has a 50-inch 4K screen, and its
accompanying app allows users to download works of visual art for ultra
We've already seen setups that allow stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) to be rowed, sailed, or paddled like a kayak.
There's apparently still room for innovation, however – the SupSki
system lets you propel your board using upper body techniques borrowed
from the sport of cross-country skiing.
Although barcodes are currently utilized mainly to keep track of
merchandise, they may soon also be used to detect counterfeit goods.
We're not talking about ordinary barcode labels, however. Instead,
British scientists at Sofmat Ltd and the University of Bradford have
devised a new 3D barcode that's actually molded into plastic or
Currently, when scientists want to know if bacteria are present in
water, they have two main choices. They can take a sample to the lab,
where they'll try growing the suspected bacteria in it, and then count
the number of resulting colonies to determine the concentration. Or,
they can analyze it using expensive lab-based gas chromatography or mass
spectrometry equipment. Now, however, researchers from Seoul National
University have developed a "bioelectronic nose" that could be used on
location, and that is reportedly more sensitive than existing