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Paul Ridden

Environment

T-box concept to capture wind energy from trains

As anyone living near railway tracks will tell you, speeding trains generate quite a bit of wind as they whoosh past. Industrial designers Qian Jiang and Alessandro Leonetti Luparini have come up with a device that's installed between the sleepers on a track, and as the train passes overhead, the wind drives a turbine to generate electricity. The T-box devices could be placed along railway or subway lines, and make good use of an otherwise wasted resource.Read More

Mobile Technology

Amazon launches Cloud Drive and Cloud Player

Amazon has announced the U.S. launch of new cloud storage and media playback services that allow users to securely store and access files and music from any web-connected PC or Mac, or Android phone or tablet. Amazon customers start with 5GB of free Cloud Drive storage, with the added sweetener of an additional 20GB of space for music files upon the purchase of an MP3 album from the online store. Stored music can be played from a computer's web browser – whether you're at work, at home or visiting friends or family. More online storage is available via purchase plans.Read More

Environment

Fruit fibers used to create 'green' plastic for cars

A research team from Brazil has developed a new form of plant fiber-based plastic that is claimed to be stronger, lighter, and more eco-friendly than plastics currently in use. Team leader Alcides Leão says that some of the so-called nano-cellulose fibers can be almost as stiff as Kevlar, but that the plastic differs from many in widespread use because the source material – such as pineapple and banana – is completely renewable. The researchers say that current production efforts are centered around the manufacture of automotive plastics, but future development could see steel and aluminum being replaced.Read More

Environment

Wysips technology can turn any surface into a PV power plant

Mobile phones sporting photovoltaic panels are nothing new but thanks to some lens wizardry, a French company recently showed off a prototype phone where the touchscreen display itself housed the solar-soaking cells. Similar to the lenticular optics which sends slightly different images to each eye for glasses-free 3D viewing, Wysips technology allows light to pass through a semi-cylindrical lens onto thin strips of photovoltaic cells below, while also allowing the surface underneath to show through. The developers say that many surfaces could potentially become self-sufficient power producers.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

PreVue would offer parents a live 4D baby watch window during pregnancy

Checking the health of a baby inside the womb using ultrasound has been going on for a good many years and can be a useful tool for detecting problems early. A new concept from industrial designer Melody Shiue proposes using the technology to enhance the bond between parents and the growing fetus. PreVue would take advantage of developments in e-textile research and advances in ultrasound technology to offer mother and father a live window into the various stages of their little treasure's development.Read More

Music

Groove on the move with the wireless Hyper Touch Guitar concept

There are now hundreds of dedicated music apps available for the iPhone and iPad, but these digital devices are not musical instruments in the traditional sense. Over a year ago, designer Massimo Battaglia set about bringing the electric guitar and the multi-touch interface even closer. His Hyper Touch Guitar concept is the result. It features a capacitive touchscreen neck with 24 fret positions, and either a small touchscreen pick zone or a version where the multi-touch interface continues down into the body from the neck. The guitar will also feature wireless technology that will communicate with equipment such as amplifiers and computer systems, and allow the player full freedom of movement.Read More

Electronics

Ideum unveils new museum-ready, 55-inch multitouch table

As its name suggests, the new MT55 HD Multitouch Table from Ideum features a 55-inch high definition LCD display which can support multiple simultaneous touch points. Standing at 31 inches tall, the powder coated, aluminum and steel pedestal table has a powerful quad-core processor and NVIDIA graphics running the show, supported by dual hard drives and DDR3 memory. A useful feature for the museum and tradeshow settings that the table is likely to find itself in, is the ability to lock the power switch out of harm's way and keep the ports hidden from view.Read More

Computers

Toshiba’s 14-inch USB-powered Mobile Monitor released

Walk into any graphic or game design studio, trading center or media authoring/editing business and you'll more than likely see some sort of multi-display workstation setup. I too have found that expanding display real estate over more than one screen can be very useful, but when thinking about such things for my notebook, I'm kind of limited to integrated screen-and-a-half or full dual-screen options. Happily, Toshiba's Digital Products Division is now offering another solution – a 14-inch Mobile Monitor that gets its power and video feed from one USB cable.Read More

Computers

Laptop concept would roll up like a yoga mat

Notebooks and tablets already offer pretty convenient computing on-the-go solutions, but Germany's Orkin Design proposes rolling up both devices into one ultra-portable package. The Rolltop concept will take advantage of advances in flexible OLED and touchscreen technologies to create a cylinder-shaped laptop computer that can be rolled out to form a notebook, a tablet, or display monitor. The concept has been floating around for a while, but has recently received a few tweaks to the design. Although specifics are in short supply, read on for what we do know ... Read More

Automotive

Jabra pulls a triple with new in-car speakerphone

Jabra says that its new FREEWAY in-car speakerphone is the first to offer virtual surround sound through a three speaker configuration that provides quality audio when making and taking calls or listening to music. The unit sports dual microphones with noise cancellation technology, can be paired with more than one mobile phone and will even switch itself on when you get in the car. Users can control much of the device's functionality by voice commands and the claimed battery life is pretty impressive, too.Read More

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