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.
When it comes to power for bike lights, there are two main options: batteries that have to be charged/replaced, and dynamos. The latter either push against the side of the tire, have to be pre-built into one of the hubs, or require magnets to be mounted on the wheel – in all cases, dynamos also create a slight braking effect when in use. German inventor Dirk Strothmann's Magnic Light iC, however, lets the wheel spin freely and doesn't require the installation of anything other than the compact light itself. Is it too good to be true? We tried out the latest version, in order to find out.
Keeping track of multiple medications can be challenging, particularly if they aren't all simple one-a-day doses. That's why South Carolina-based PharmRight Corporation has developed Livi. It's a cloud-connected pill dispenser that can manage a 90-day supply of up to 15 medications at once, letting users know when to take what, and letting caregivers know if they miss a dose.
We've previously heard about air-purifying clothing, so perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise to find out that scientists have now developed the aquatic equivalent – a bikini top that filters pollutants out of the water around the wearer. And yes, the technology could have other uses.
If you've ever owned exotic reptiles, amphibians and/or plants, then you'll know that keeping their living conditions optimal can be quite the challenge. Well, that's where the Biopod comes in. Created by Canadian biologist Jared Wolfe, it's an app-controlled terrarium that automatically makes sure everything stays just right.
Currently, if you want to check water supplies for the presence of toxic bacteria, you have to take a water sample and then culture it in a lab over several days. In the meantime, it's impossible to say if the water source is safe to use. A group of students from the Technical University of Denmark, however, have created a sensor that they say can detect bacteria in water instantly, on the spot.
Aerial drones are widely utilized for mapping, with the maps that they create subsequently being used by us humans. In an experiment recently conducted at the ETH Zurich research institute, however, a drone mapped a room so that a quadrupedal robot could then make its way through. Such research could pave the way for completely robotic missions in real-world settings.
Although DJI is certainly best-known for its quadcopters, it also makes the well-regarded Ronin stabilizing rig for use with DSLRs and cine cameras. Taking a page from that book, the company has now announced the much more compact Osmo – a hand-held motor-stabilized 4K camera.
Living through an airliner crash involves more than just surviving the initial impact – many people are also killed by the flames and smoke that follow when the jet fuel ignites. Researchers at Caltech, however, are trying to minimize the chances of that second part happening. They've developed an additive that helps reduce the intensity of postimpact fuel fires.
While the vast majority of us will never be able to relate to this "problem," it is
conceivable that the world's super-rich could eventually get bored of
cruising the same ol' Caribbean and Mediterranean seas. Reaching more
remote, less hospital locations, however, would take a special kind of
yacht ... and that's just what the ice-breaking SeaXplorer is intended
Bringing a separate bike lock along on a ride is apparently quite the
hassle. It must be, as we've recently seen locks that double as a seatpost, saddle, handlebar and water bottle cage, along with a couple of bikes
where the lock is part of the frame itself. What about the pedals,
though? Yep, those have now been covered too, with the Pedal Lock.