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.
In order to monitor their blood glucose levels, diabetics typically have
to perform painful and inconvenient finger-prick blood tests – in some
cases, several times a day. Using an implantable glucose-monitoring sensor
is one alternative, although it must be surgically installed and
subsequently removed for replacement. Another option may be on the way,
however, in the form of a device that simply shines a laser on the
Although most cyclists probably don't give much thought to their water
bottle or bottle cage, the fact is that like just about anything else,
those components can be lightened and simplified. That's just what
British cycling design company Fabric has done, with its new Cageless
If you or someone you know has celiac disease, then you'll know how much
it can limit one's diet. Because people with the autoimmune condition
have a negative reaction to the gluten in grains such as wheat, rye or
barley, that means they can't consume many baked goods, pastas, liquors,
or any number of processed foods that use wheat as a binding agent.
Soon, however, they may be able to eat whatever they want – if they take
a new egg-based supplement first.
Seaweed is widely considered to be a health food. Bacon, on the other
hand ... well, bacon isn't. There may yet be hope for pork belly lovers
around the world, however. Scientists at Oregon State University (OSU)
have patented a lab-bred strain of dulce seaweed, that they claim has "a
strong bacon flavor" when fried.
One of the problems with depression is that because it often forms so
gradually, many people don't even realize that they're suffering from it
– they just assume that normal life is pretty dreary. With that in
mind, researchers from Chicago's Northwestern University have devised a
method of analyzing at-risk individuals' smartphone use, to see if
they're developing signs of the disorder.
Last November we first heard about MagLOCK pedals – clipless mountain bike pedals that use magnets instead of springs to keep the rider's feet attached, and that can also be used as regular platform pedals. The product fell short of its crowdfunding goal, perhaps because the pedals were kind of clunky, but MagLOCK designer Dave Williams is now back on Kickstarter with a sleeker, lighter and less expensive version.
According to its manufacturers, the human-powered A-Bike
is the world's smallest, lightest folding bicycle. It's certainly also
one of the strangest-looking. Now, a group of UK-based entrepreneurs are
hoping to extend its claims to the world of e-bikes, with the A-Bike
There are now a number of powered exoskeletons either on the market or in development, all of which allow people who lack the use of their legs to walk in an upright position. The ReWalk
device is without doubt the best-known, having been commercially
available since 2012. This week, ReWalk Robotics announced the sixth
version of the product, which is reportedly better-fitting, faster and
less bulky than its predecessors.
In a few months, a new 100-percent-electric car will be on the market –
in France, at least. Called the Bluesummer, the two-door four-seat
convertible was designed by electrical systems manufacturer the Bolloré
Group, but will be built and distributed by Peugeot Citroën.
It's been quite a month for electric aircraft. First, the Solar Impulse 2 broke distance and duration records when it flew from Japan to Hawaii. Then, two competing teams both claimed to have made the world's first electric flight across the English Channel.
Now, Germany's PC-Aero says that its Elektra One Solar has become the
first solar-electric plane to cross the Alps in both directions.