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Michael Mulcahy

— Mobile Technology

Mobile makers agree on standard micro-USB charger for Europe

By - June 30, 2009 1 Picture
Are your cupboards full of old phone chargers? They seem to accumulate with every new mobile, and are rarely useful again. Hoping to change this wasteful scenario, the European Union have proposed – and ten leading manufacturers agreed to – a new standard that will see micro-USB charging devices used for all data-enabled mobile phones. The hope is that, within three to four years, mobiles and chargers will be sold separately in Europe, and they’ll all be compatible. Read More
— Environment

The AIR-igator draws water from the air for thirsty gardens

By - June 29, 2009 2 Pictures
At a time of severe water shortages and ever-hotter summers, conservation of water for gardens is increasingly important. But you can only collect rainwater when it’s raining. What about the rest of the time? The AIR-igator ingeniously solves this problem by collecting condensate from air conditioners, storing it and then automatically drip-watering. So, the hotter it gets, the more water your garden gets. Read More
— Good Thinking

Word clock tells the time in plain English

By - June 29, 2009 1 Picture
If numbers just aren't your thing or you simply want a clock that stands out from the pack, this could be the timepiece for you. The Word Clock consists of two adjacent rolls, one with five minute time increments written out and the other with the words one to twelve, that turn against each other within an acrylic tube to produce whole sentences like “a quarter to six”. Read More
— Science

New fire-proof coating could take the heat off building products

By - June 26, 2009 2 Pictures
Even when lives aren’t lost, the property destruction wrought by fires can be heartbreaking. The coatings used in most buildings don’t help, tending to break down at relatively low temperatures and often producing toxic fumes or smoke. To tackle this issue, Australian researchers have come up with a new coating material that can be cheaply produced, applied as easily as paint, and yet withstands temperatures of up to 1830°F (1000°C). Read More
— Wearable Electronics

New Vuzix video eyewear actually look like glasses

By - June 26, 2009 1 Picture
Vuzix has been a pioneer in the world of video eyewear, introducing the virtual reality video visor, the AV310 widescreen experience and now, video glasses that won’t make you look like you’re auditioning for Star Trek. In fact, the new Vuzix Wrap 920AV doesn’t simply combine a 60-inch viewing experience with the look of fashion sunglasses - you can actually see right through the screen into the outside world. Read More
— Aircraft

Spaceport America breaks ground, flights departing soon

By - June 25, 2009 4 Pictures
Virgin Galactic may be spending over USD$300 million on a commercial space vehicle, but only now has it actually got a place to land. Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport, broke ground in New Mexico on June 19th. The 110,000 square foot facility, designed by Foster and Partners, will cost around $200m and is expected to host the first commercial space flight by 2011. Read More
— Automotive

BMW’s new voice control is a much better listener

By - June 24, 2009 3 Pictures
BMW has taught its built-in voice control system to better understand spoken commands. Available with all models from September 2009, the new BMW Voice Control will allow a driver to tell the navigation system a destination with a single voice command. Similarly, the entertainment system can be told to find and play a selection by the name of the artist, album or even a specific song title. Read More
— Around The Home

illumi-knob helps you find doors in the dark

By - June 24, 2009 1 Picture
If you’ve ever stumbled around a room at night trying to find the door, the illumi-knob will strike you as simply brilliant. Designed to fit over most door handles, the device uses a passive infra-red sensor to detect any movement within 10 feet and then turn on two gentle LED light rings. It’s not bright enough to wake anyone, but more than enough to get you safely to - and through - the door. Read More
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