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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.

Follow Ben:

— Biology

Beastcam gets quick 3D scans of live critters

When studying wild animals such as sharks, it can be difficult to get ahold of one every time you want to check something out. Having a 3D model of the creature would certainly help, although getting a shark to sit still for several minutes while being scanned could be quite the challenge. That's why a University of Massachusetts Amherst team led by biologist Duncan J. Irschick created the portable, quick-scanning Beastcam.

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— Outdoors

Boarder Kontrol Skateboard keeps its brakes on a short leash

The prospect of skateboarding down a steep hill can be a daunting one. Having a brake-equipped board can make things a bit safer, although a sudden application of those brakes can still send you tumbling off the front. That's why Australia's Streetboardz created the Boarder Kontrol Skateboard. Not only does it have rear brakes, but they're activated by a leash that keeps the rider in place on the deck.

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— Music

SenCbuds earbuds know when to stop the music

If you're listening to music from your smartphone via earbuds, there are currently two ways of pausing the playback: you can hit pause on the phone, or use the button controls on the earbud cable. New Zealand-based Vivnnovation Limited, however, has come up with a third alternative. Its SenCbuds automatically pause your music when they're removed from your ears, then resume it when you put them back in.

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— Environment

"Light recycling" tech could save incandescent bulbs from obsolescence

Incandescent light bulbs may put out a warmer-looking, more familiar type of light than LEDs or compact fluorescents, but they're far less efficient – the majority of the energy they use is wasted, mainly in the form of heat. Technology may save them yet, however. Scientists at MIT and Purdue University have developed an ultra-efficient new incandescent bulb that reuses the heat it gives off, converting that heat into more light.

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— Materials

"Metal glue" could replace welding and soldering – in some applications

Usually, if you want to join two metal objects together, you either weld or solder them – depending on how big they are. Both processes involve the application of heat, however. This can damage the items (in the case of electronics), or even cause explosions (in the case of things like gas pipes). That's why scientists at Boston's Northeastern University created MesoGlue. It's a glue that bonds metal to metal – or to other materials – and it sets at room temperature.

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— Health & Wellbeing

Vivy brings the deep heat, in the fight against pain

If you don't know what diathermy is, you're not the only one. It's actually been around since 1907, and involves using high-frequency electromagnetic currents to generate heat in body tissue, accelerating the healing of injuries in the process. While it's previously been limited to clinical settings, ReGear Life Sciences' wearable Vivy device is designed to let people deliver their own treatments, wherever they happen to be.

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