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.
We've seen some highly-portable electric vehicles before, including diminutive scooters and skateboards.
Cocoa Motors' new WalkCar, however, makes those gizmos look huge. It's
used more or less like a Segway, but it's not much bigger than a laptop.
Riding a bike is definitely a good source of exercise, although it does
tend to work out the same muscles in the same fashion, over and over.
In an effort to remedy that, the Caron Bicycle was created. It can be
pedaled in six different ways, all of which still move the thing
Have you ever looked at a flower and thought, "I wonder what these
colors would look like to a bee"? Perhaps not, but in any case, you can
now find out using your own camera and computer. That's because
scientists from the University of Exeter have developed the
Multispectral Image Calibration and Analysis Toolbox, a piece of free
software that lets you see the colors in photos the way that various
animals would see them.
Despite various companies' hopes that people will buy their fancy camping-specific torches,
the fact is that most campers' fire-starting needs are met quite nicely
with a good ol' Bic lighter. That doesn't mean there isn't room for
improvement on that front, though. Exotac's Firesleeve makes such lighters tougher, and easier to use.
Consumers currently have their choice of several brake lights for bicycles,
which use an accelerometer to detect when the cyclist is stopping.
However, what if you want something that's a little smaller, simpler and
cheaper? That would be Sigma's tiny new mechanically-activated
Although electric bicycles are becoming increasingly popular for
commuting, a lot of people still don't like the idea of completely
shelving their perfectly-good human-powered two-wheeler. That's why
companies such as Superpedestrian, Evelo and Hycore
have developed electric-assist wheels containing a battery pack and
motor, that can simply be installed on a regular bike. Although most of
them are still in the "pre-order" stage, FlyKly's Smart Wheel
is now actually reaching consumers. I recently got to try one out, and
it definitely does help with the hills ... although at least one tweak
is still needed.
Tired of trying to remember what knobs move your car seat in which
direction? Well, in the not-too-distant future, you may not have to.
That's because scientists from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for
Silicate Research and Isringhausen GmbH have developed a seat
that's moved using simple intuitive gestures.
One of the things that's tricky about using an actioncam is the fact
that while you don't want to miss anything, you also don't want to
search through a ton of raw footage in editing. That's why the Graava
was created. It's a sensor-laden camera that reportedly notices when
interesting things are happening, and then automatically edits together a
video of those events.
Earlier this year, DJI unveiled two new quadcopters – the Phantom 3 Advanced and Phantom 3 Professional.
With respective price tags of US$1,259 and $999, however, they're
perhaps "more drone" than the average user needs. That's why DJI has now
announced the less expensive, more basic Phantom 3 Standard.
Consumers may soon be able to go for longer between milk-buying trips.
That's because Brazilian company Agrindus hopes to start marketing
plastic milk bottles that use embedded silver nanoparticles to kill
bacteria. Grade A pasteurized fresh whole milk packaged in those bottles can reportedly last for up to 15 days, as opposed to the usual seven.