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.
Following in the footsteps of Tesla and Mercedes-Benz,
Nissan is now set to become the latest automaker to offer battery packs
for stationary energy storage. Although pricing information has yet to
be provided, the Nissan product should be relatively affordable, as it
will incorporate used batteries from Nissan Leaf electric cars.
Airbus Helicopters has just announced the launch of the concept phase of
its planned X6 heavy-lift helicopter. Over the next two years, the
company will be seeking input from corporate customers and evaluating
different designs. Possible applications for the aircraft could include
oil and gas missions, or search and rescue operations.
While there are plenty of aerial drones that show us our surroundings
from up in the air, there are far fewer remote-control devices that let
us see what's lurking beneath the surface of the water. Although the Aquabotix Hydroview
is one, at around US$3,000 it certainly isn't cheap. While still not
inexpensive, the newest version of the TTRobotix Seawolf is considerably
less pricey – partly because it incorporates the user's existing GoPro
While most cyclists like to think that they're pretty good at spotting
road hazards such as potholes and sewer grates, the fact is that no one
can watch the asphalt all the time. Inevitably, things like
smartphone navigation screens, motorists or traffic lights are going to
distract them. That's why Byxee was created. It's a bar-mounted device
that scans the road in front of the bike hundreds of times per second,
alerting the rider to anything that might wreck their wheels or even
cause them to crash.
There are already external door-mounted cameras that stream video of visitors to users' smartphones, plus there are cameras that fit into existing door peepholes,
recording shots of visitors and displaying them on an LCD screen.
Peeple, however, is kind of a combination of the two. It peeks through a
standard peephole, and it transmits video of what it sees to your phone.
recently did it to much acclaim, and now Daimler is doing it too – the
German automotive corporation is launching its own home/business battery
energy storage system. Developed by Daimler subsidiary Deutsche
ACCUmotive, the Mercedes-Benz energy storage unit utilizes lithium-ion
batteries to store energy generated by solar cells, wind turbines or
While there are already plenty of apps that help birdwatchers identify
birds, most of them work by searching a database based on descriptions.
Cornell University and the Visipedia research project's Merlin Bird
Photo ID program, however, goes further – it utilizes computer vision
tech to identify birds pictured in user-supplied photos.
An increasing number of businesses are promoting themselves through
Google Street View, allowing potential customers to virtually look
around inside their shops. Getting the 360-degree photos of that
business can be a tricky and complex process, however. That's why NCTech
is launching the iris360 Immersive Reality Imaging System, which is
designed to let novices get their own photos and upload them to Google
We've seen a number of ideas for making Bluetooth portable keyboards
that are compact yet still not frustratingly tiny – these have included
devices that project virtual keys, devices that fold, and that can be rolled up.
The Moky keyboard, however, takes a different approach. It saves space
by allowing its keyboard area to double as a multi-touch trackpad.
We've already seen floating fish finders that transmit readings from out on the water, plus we've also seen waterproof quadcopters
... so perhaps it shouldn't be surprising that someone has combined the
two. Created by San Diego-based inventor Daniel Marion, the AguaDrone
can first tell you where the fish are, and then fly your lure to that