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.
Earlier this year, RTS Lab unveiled its concept for Pars
, an aerial robot that flies out over a large body of water to air-drop life preservers near drowning victims. Like many design concepts, we weren't sure if this life-saving drone would ever become a reality, but it seems the Iran-based company was recently able to fund a working prototype and even test its capabilities in open water. Based on these initial tests, it's possible that this flying, GPS-guided lifeguard could be out there saving lives sooner than you think.
You may have noticed that we enjoy our quadcopters here at Gizmag, from the GPS-equipped Phantom 2 Vision
to the palm-sized 1SQ V-cam
. Recently though, we had a chance to try out a somewhat unusual style of quad in the form of the tiny Proto X from Estes. It may not have a laundry list of features under its belt, but the Proto X does hold the distinction of being the smallest quadcopter we've ever reviewed ... by a huge margin.
Over a year ago, Pensa Labs caught our attention with its impressive DIWire Bender
, a small machine that bends thick wires into elaborate 3D shapes by following simple vector drawings. Since then, the company has been refining the wooden prototype we saw before into a sleek fabrication device that's fit for consumers. The result is a more compact, easier-to-use DIWire that can turn pieces of wire into creative 3D sculptures while sitting comfortably on a desktop.
Have you ever craved pizza so strongly that you wished you could press a button and have one show up automatically? Clearly the creative minds at iStrategyLabs have run into this problem more than once, since that's exactly what they made recently. Rather than wading through options on a pizza shop's website, the PiePal allows users to push a single button to immediately order one or more pizzas to be delivered ASAP.
The Xbox One
is fast approaching its Nov. 22 release date, and Microsoft is pulling out all the stops to convince gamers to make the switch to the next generation of console gaming. As part of its promotion, the company is hosting several special events around the world and inviting anyone to get a taste of the new console's lineup firsthand. Gizmag caught up with the Xbox One Tour in Dallas, Texas where some of the most hyped-up, exclusive titles for the console were available to try out, such as Dead Rising 3
, Killer Instinct
, and Ryse: Son of Rome
While more and more city dwellers are taking to the streets on bicycles these days, many of them still run into the same problem of how to carry things while riding. Most people will wear a backpack or attach saddle bags to their ride, but would it be easier if a bicycle had a built-in trunk instead? That's what three industrial design students wanted to find out when they made the Transport, a hubless bicycle that replaces the spokes in the front wheel with a handy storage compartment.
It's been over a year since the developers of the Oculus Rift
raised almost US$2.5 million through Kickstarter, and it looks like they've been putting those funds to good use. Besides working on a consumer model of its innovative virtual reality goggles, the company recently revealed it has been adapting its headset especially for mobile devices running Android.
Audio speakers are showing up in a variety of unusual forms these days, from the incredibly tiny to the eye-catchingly bizarre, but a research group at Harvard University may have trumped them all with a new one that's as clear as glass. Scientists at the college's Engineering and Applied Sciences branch recently built a flexible speaker out of ionic gel that is almost invisible to the naked eye and can produce high-quality sound ranging across the full audible spectrum. In doing so, they also provided a proof of concept for electronics that can transfer electric signals in a similar manner to the human nervous system.
Over the past few years, jellyfish populations along South Korea's coastline have risen to the point where they are adversely affecting the fish populations and marine industries in the area, costing the country over 3 billion won (about US$2.8 million) each year. A team led by Associate Professor Hyun Myung of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology however may have a solution with the JEROS (Jellyfish Elimination RObotic Swarm), a series of autonomous robots that work together to track down jellyfish in the ocean and grind them into a fine pulp.
There are already a number of gadgets
available that are powered through good old-fashioned mechanical energy, but those usually involve cranks that can be uncomfortable to use and bulky to carry around. Mipwr Dynamo represents a different approach: it's an iPhone case with a hidden lever that can be pressed down repeatedly to charge the battery, but is still slim enough to fit in your pocket.