Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things.
In some cities, the airport can be the busiest place for miles and tends to consume a fair amount of energy as a result. It's no wonder then that several modern airports have started incorporating more green technology into their designs, like photovoltaic panels
and wind-powered generators
. Now the city of Amman, Jordan is getting in on the trend with the recently opened Queen Alia International Airport, which features an energy efficient, modular design modeled after palm fronds.
Last year, we saw an interesting concept for the OdMEx
, an enormous mobile home with a billboard on the side, on which occupants could sell advertising space for some extra income. Mexican paper company Scribe recently funded a similarly-styled house, but with a much different goal. The Billboard House is a simple home built onto the back of a billboard in Mexico City to temporarily house an artist while she works on a new hand-painted advertisement.
Smart watches may be poised to become the next "must-have" gadget for tech-enthusiasts, but we'll be surprised if rumored offerings from the likes of Samsung
arrive with a build-quality to match the Triggerfish Bronze A2. This latest wristwatch from German designer Kaventsmann Uhren has been successfully tested at pressures up to 300 bar and has even survived a detonation of C-4 explosives with barely a scratch.
We've seen plenty of impressive net zero houses in the past, from the motion-controlled CHIP House
in California to the budget-priced Sosoljip
in South Korea. But one issue that seems predominant in most energy-neutral homes is that they typically take on a design that doesn't suit many suburban areas. That may soon change though with the first Active House, which uses natural lighting and ventilation to reduce its energy consumption while still blending in with the architecture of the surrounding neighborhood.
If you've ever taken the New York City subway, you know what a mess it can be for an inexperienced rider. Transferring to the right line can be confusing, there's always at least one track closed for maintenance, and the maps at the station aren't much help if you don't know where you are to begin with. Luckily, the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) plans to replace all station maps and announcements with interactive HD displays that will provide simple directions and real-time service alerts.
If there are two things cyclists have to worry about, they would be the weather and making sure cars can see them. That's why the designers at GeoSpace Studio set about building a vehicle to resolve both issues. The FireFly is a recumbent tricycle outfitted with an LED-lit dome that keeps the rider visible and protected from the elements.
Scientists have often taken inspiration from the animal world in robotic designs, with bots modeled after fish
, sandfish lizards
, and even sea turtles
. Such biomimicry makes sense – if you want a robot to move a certain way, why not look to creatures that already can? With the Salamandra robotica II, researchers have tried to replicate the movement of a salamander in designing a robot that can walk or crawl on land as easily as it swims in the water.
We've seen some impressive creations that use LEGO pieces to make music in the past, from a drum machine sequencer
to a Star Wars-themed barrel organ
. More recently though, Italian music producer Giuseppe Acito decided to take the inevitable next step and build a fully working band using the little plastic bricks. The "Toa Mata Band" is made up of several tiny robotic LEGO figures programmed to play a variety of instruments.
The race to build a manned research station on the moon has been slowly picking up steam in recent years, with several developed nations actively studying a variety of construction methods. In just the past few months, the European Space Agency revealed a design
involving 3D-printed structures and the Russian Federal Space Agency announced plans
for a moon base by 2037. Now international design agency, Architecture Et Cetera (A-ETC), has thrown its hat into the ring with a proposal for SinterHab, a moon base consisting of bubble-like compartments coated in a protective layer of melted lunar dust.
Finding the perfect song to match what a person is feeling is practically an art form. It's the main reason people spend so much time putting together song playlists for any occasion. But what if you didn't need to hand-pick songs yourself and just let your brain pick them for you? That's the idea behind Neurowear's latest gadget, the Mico headphones, which use a brainwave sensor to detect the wearer's mood and play a song to match.