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The eScan Electronic Voting System

October 24, 2005 There is no doubt that one day we will have a more efficient electronic electoral system and a machine that’s hoping to play a big role in the future of e-voting is the eScan Digital Voting System. The company claims the eScan is more accurate and secure than optical scanning systems. Texas-based Hart InterCivic is responsible for the development of the eScan System. The eScan is a precinct-based voting system that digitally captures voter selections on printed ballots and integrates vote totals from other absentee-by-mail and electronic voting systems, including Hart InterCivic's eSlate Electronic Voting System, to produce a single set of election reports.  Read More

Oxfam innovates to tackle shelter crisis in earthquake zone

October 20, 2005 Aid organisation Oxfam International is having to innovate to fill the gaps in shelter provision for the hundreds of thousands of people left homeless by the recent Asian earthquake. The current lack of thermal tents combined with the massive logistical challenges in getting aid to the most inaccessible areas is putting thousands of victims of the quake in danger.  Read More

Meet the finalists: the most innovative companies in Science and Technology

October 18, 2005 This week the World Technology Network (WTN) announced the top individuals deemed the most innovative in the world of science and technology. Voted by their peers in 20 categories, such as biotechnology, ethics, entertainment and space, the top five individuals in each category have been named WTN Fellows. The WTN is a global meeting ground, a virtual think tank, and an elite club whose members are all focused on the business and science of bringing important emerging technologies of all types (from biotechnology to new materials, from IT to new energy sources) into reality. Read on for the list (with hyperlinks for easy browsing) of the best and brightest as voted by their peers.  Read More

Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge finals underway

October 18, 2005 The seventh Annual Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge finals are underway at the University of Maryland this week. The 40 finalists are competing in team-based, interactive simulated challenges designed around the theme of "Forces of Nature." In the wake of the recent natural disasters that ravaged the Gulf Coast of the United States and Southeast Asia, each student will face challenges - from fog banks, to hurricanes, to tsunamis - that utilize their broad range of knowledge in order to understand the implications and scope of natural disasters. The action-packed activities will be taped for broadcast on the Discovery Channel.  Read More

The Viper: an advanced, flexible, high-capacity stereolithography manufacturing system

October 16, 2005 When English physicist, futurist and science fiction master Arthur C. Clarke wrote “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” (in “Profiles of the Future”,1961), he may well have been describing the type of rapid 3-D printing, prototyping and manufacturing solutions available today. We’ve already written about Renault F1’s use of a Sinterstation in developing parts for its 2005 cars, InVision’s HR 3-D Printer and the array of 3-D printing solutions from Z Corporation but we can't help but be enthused about the ability to design a three dimensional part and manifest it from thin air. All of these systems reduce the time and cost of designing products and facilitate direct and indirect manufacturing by creating actual parts directly from digital input. These solutions are used for design communication and prototyping as well as for production of functional end-use parts. A new 3-D machine that caught our eye during the week is the Viper Pro SLA from 3D Systems.  Read More

American Inventor - the TV Show

October 14, 2005 Reality Television keeps reinventing itself and this time it has a format that’s certain to interest Gizmag’s readership - AMERICAN INVENTOR is an exciting new primetime reality show for ABC from Simon Cowell and the producers of American Idol . Set to premiere in early 2006, the show will undertake the search for America's best new invention and aims to turn one person's idea into the next big thing. AMERICAN INVENTOR will visit Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, New York, Washington, Atlanta andAustin between November 14 and December 14 to meet inventors from all over the country. The competition is open to individuals or teams of inventors that 100% own the idea, the product must be something that can be sold in a retail outlet and you can take a sketch, a prototype or even just an idea to the casting call. There’s a list of FAQs here and the winner gets US$1,000,000.  Read More

Product Placement: stealth advertising

October 6, 2005 Product Placement is set to be on the agenda of many advertising and marketing discussions over the next few months thanks to the release of a new report detailing extraordinary growth over recent times in the at best, questionable practice. Movies were the first to do it, but recently television has embraced the new revenue streams - the value of US television placements grew 46.4% to US$1.87 billion in 2004. If you weren’t aware of the depth of the relationship between film, TV and the marketers of the world, this article entitled Why Product Placement Works by advertising psychologist Dr Max Sutherland covers the topic exceptionally well. Product placement is booming – the first-ever report on the size and structure of the product placement market says the total value of the Product Placement Market grew 30% in 2004 to reach US$3.46 billion. Now reports in respectable journals such as the the New York Times and International Herald Tribune are beginning to bring the insidiousness of the practice to the publicattention.  Read More

Xtreme Gravity Racing: Soapbox Derby meets Formula 1

October 1, 2005 The 2005 Xtreme Gravity Racing Series has been run and won, with yet another quantum leap forward in corporate support, automotive company participation and global recognition for the sport attempting to bring soapbox racing into the 21st century. Nissan proved to be the ultimate winner of the series from the gravity racers of Volvo and Chrysler and it was also clocked at the fastest speed - 52.38 mph – in the second and final race of the 2005 series at Irvine, california. The two vastly different courses saw five different teams on the podium with Nissan Design America (NDA)winning overall courtesy of the best aggregate time at Jack’s Peak and Irvine where it placed second and third respectively. Chrysler won the day at Jack’s Peak and Audi won outright at Irvine. Most impressive of all was the opportunity to see the exquisite design work of the contenders – see the extensive photo gallery of the racing with close-ups of the Xtreme Gravity Machines inside.  Read More

The Electronic sommelier

As the world’s wine consumption increases, the supply of staff capable of offering knowledgeable advice on wine matters at the point of sale has fallen well behind demand. That was what inspired the creation of the wine expert – kiosk-based sommelier software with a simple interface that assists customers in choosing the most suitable wine for an occassion. Customers can search the stock of the store by characteristic (sweetness, dryness, etc), country and region of origin, price category, grape variety or by specifying the type of food you intend to consume with it and having the wine expert suggest the most complementary vino. Developed through extensive field trials, the service can be implemented painlessly by the sales outlet as it requires no maintenance and monitors the store’s ordering of wine and electronically updates the kiosk each night with tasting notes, food matches and recipe ideas – even awards and recommendations – for every wine in stock. Now if you think that’s clever, there’s also a version that runs on a wireless tablet and functions as a winelist for restaurants – so instead of looking at a list of wine names, the customer can make intelligent decisions about wine choice with all the information.  Read More

Lifestraw, iPod and Softwall take major design awards

September 27, 2005 The winners of the prestigious INDEX: awards for design that has most improved life during the last five years were announced last Friday evening in Copenhagen across five categories: body, home, work, play and community. The LifeStraw won the body category for obvious reasons, and Apple’s iPod/iTunes won the “play” category for changing the way people experience their music. Softwall, a lightweight, transportable, collapsible wall for partitioning buildings won the “home” category and a network/website focused on improving competitiveness and awareness of 40 million craftsmen in Latin America, won the work category. The “community” category prize went to “Architecture for Humanity”, a nonprofit organization and network designed in 1999 to promote architectural and design solutions to global or humanitarian crises.  Read More

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