Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.
The current batch of Android Wear smartwatches may pack their share of smarts, but they all rely on a paired smartphone or Wi-Fi for connectivity. LG is breaking the tether with its LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition, which is set to be the first Android Wear device to boast in-built cellular connectivity for a data connection or taking calls without a smartphone.
The Perlan Mission II glider, which is designed to fly higher than the U-2 spy plane and SR-71 Blackbird, has made its maiden flight. The aircraft separated from its towplane at an altitude of 5,000 feet above Roberts Field at Redmond Municipal Airport in Oregon, but is expected to go much higher next year when it makes a world altitude record attempt to the edge of space.
Volkswagen and its subsidiary Audi may currently be in Frankfurt showcasing their wares, but the attention of the boardrooms of both companies is likely to be elsewhere. The US EPA has issued Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. with a notice of violation (NOV) of the Clean Air Act by running software in their vehicles that turns full emissions controls on only when undergoing official emissions testing.
Visibility is a crucial part of cyclist safety, but it's also important that their turning intentions are relayed to other road users. Hand signals were the only option in this area for a long time, but in recent years we've seen technology, such as the Zackees cycling gloves, designed to improve the visibility of turn signals at night. The Lumenus jacket on display at Interbike takes a similar approach, but goes a step further by letting cyclists be guided by the light.
Having revealed its Vision Gran Turismo in digital form a couple of weeks ago, Bugatti has rolled out the real thing at the Frankfurt Motor Show. While the show car on display at IFA won't be going anywhere under its own steam, the carbon-fiber racer does serve as a design language stepping stone between the Veyron and Bugatti's next super sports car offering.
Bras can be pretty uncomfortable items of apparel – or so I'm reliably informed. And while bras worn for show in the bedroom often have plenty of ventilation, those worn on the sporting field for support often don't. To show off the potential for its Curie module, Intel teamed up with architectural sportswear designer Chromat to produce two "responsive garments" – a bra and a dress – which change shape is response to the wearer's body temperature, adrenaline or stress levels.
From the Fitbit to the Apple Watch, there's no shortage of wearable devices that track your daily activity with an eye on your personal health and wellbeing, but a new device developed at the University of Washington (UW) can track your activity as it pertains to the health of the planet. Called MagnifiSense, the wrist-worn prototype detects what devices and vehicles the wearer interacts with throughout the day to help track their carbon footprint.
From military shelters and solar arrays to batteries and drones, engineers continue to prove that origami can be the inspiration for more than just paper cranes. The latest creation inspired by the ancient art of paper folding is a new "zippered tube" design that forms paper structures with enough stiffness to support weight, but can be folded flat for shipping or storage. The scaleable technique could be used in anything from microscopic robots and biomedical devices, to buildings and bridges.
We first came across Neato Robotics' XV-11 robot vacuum cleaner at CES 2010, and the company has been rolling out additions to its lineup ever since, introducing the "pet-strength" XV-21 in 2012, its Signature Series in 2013 and the Botvac line in 2014. At IFA, Neato is showing the latest dust-sucker to join its Botvac team. The Botvac Connected, as the name suggests, packs Wi-Fi connectivity for control from a user's smartphone.