Good Thinking

Superbungee takes aim at the traditional shoulder strap

August 21, 2007 Laptop bags, satchels and other shoulder bags generally do a fairly good job of protecting what they’re carrying – but how much thought gets put into the primary interface of the bag with the body? Skooba’s Superbungee is a retro-fittable shoulder strap that uses air-cell padding, grippy laminates and “sports-tuned suspension” to minimize carrying shock and perceived weight as you schlep your gear about.Read More

Zeroshift tool tracker increases aerospace maintenance efficiency

August 14, 2007 Anyone with a tool shed will be familiar with the scenario - your beautifully erected shadow-board is all but empty because tools are strewn all over bench-tops or have long since disappeared into the ether. In industry this can be much more than just a minor frustration - particularly in safety intensive fields like aerospace where missing tools lead to serious productivity, procedural and safety headaches. A new solution from Zeroshift is designed to solve these tool management problems faced by aerospace manufacturing companies.Read More

Interpretation Service Card opens a world of opportunity

August 12, 2007 In the not too distant future seamless computer-facilitated verbal communication between people who do not speak the same language will be entirely possible. NEC [] is likely to be a pioneer in this field, having already conducted numerous successful trials, but this technology is still a way off and will be costly for the user. For those of you with limited patience and a limited budget, there is a very useful system available right now in the form of a prepaid interpretation card.Read More

Five minute warning for August 8, M 7.6 Java earthquake

August 10, 2007 Yesterday's M 7.6 West Java earthquake was detected, located and sized in just four minutes and 38 seconds by the German Tsunami Early Warning System (GITEWS) currently under construction in Indonesia. The location of the earthquake was established in just 2 minutes and 11 seconds. To put this in perspective, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) in Hawaii published the location and magnitude of this earthquake 17 minutes after the event. The analysis of ambient data which accurately identified the earthquake magntdue and location was done by a new software system called "SeisComP" (Seismological Communication Processor) developed by GFZ Potsdam that was installed at the Meteorological and Geophysical Agency of Indonesia (BMG) in Jakarta, just a fortnight ago. Read More

Magic Wheelchair: More mileage, less effort

August 10, 2007 Even with years of practice the wear and tear on the body from utilizing a manual wheelchair is immense. Users experience ongoing pain (and in some cases long-term injury) in the arms and shoulders as a result of being reliant on manual force to propel the chair’s weight in addition to their own body weight. One company has sought to alleviate some of this pain by releasing new and innovative technology which is bringing wheelchairs up to speed.Read More

New water treatment system saves space and reduces costs

August 9, 2007 A new waste water treatment system may soon be available for commercial and governmental use which would reduce the costs associated with treating water, produce higher quality water than currently available systems and significantly reduce the size of land needed to house treatment plants. Read More

Smart meter provides fairer parking system

August 9, 2007 The PhotoViolationMeter is a smart, networked parking meter solution designed to bring efficiency and fairness to everyone involved in the daily chore of finding somewhere to leave the car. Recently tested in the Port of San Francisco, the system is beneficial to both drivers and municipalities in that it provides an easy to maintain wireless system that automatically detects when you are in a parking space so that users pay only for time used, no more, no less. Read More

Proof there's always a better way - the Revolutionized Wrench

August 7, 2007 The Business Week IDSA International Design Excellence Awards have been awarded for 2007 and as usual, there’s a whole bunch of good ideas worth checking out but one that really caught our eye was the Revolutionized Wrench. In our mind, it’s absolute proof that there’s always a better way, no matter how tried and true the design it replaces – why hasn’t this been done before? The Revolutionized Wrench provides exceptional user ergonomics, comfort, control and torque through an innovative design that offers a 500 percent larger grip area when applying force. There is no planar rotation in the wrench handle to interfere with grip or comfort and the outer handles have a thin profile to ensure the accessibility of each wrench head to a work piece. Read More

Worlds collide: multi-million dollar real world home for sale via Second Life

August 6, 2007 The ritual of traipsing all over town to queue up at countless real estate inspections every Saturday could soon be a thing of the past as real estate agents move selling houses into the realm of virtual reality. Coldwell Banker Real Estate has taken a step beyond Internet listings and online tours to offer a reality inspection of a scale model of a real life property within the popular virtual world of Second Life.Read More

Mixed reality chainsaw simulator provides safe, effective training platform

August 4, 2007 Simulation has proven an effective method for training in many mission critical scenarios so it makes sense that this approach be adopted for the use of dangerous hand tools like chainsaws. To this end researchers have developed a type of hybrid virtual reality system known as the “Cybersaw” chainsaw - it looks like a chainsaw, feels like a chainsaw, sounds like a chainsaw and yet it only saws virtually. As soon as the starter is pulled, the motor starts to roar and with screaming saw in hand, the operator applies the real cutting bar to a perspex tree trunk in front of him. The virtual aspect is what the trainee sees on a projection screen behind the Perspex tree trunk - a sawhorse in the midst of an idyllic farm scene which the user can watch on the screen as the chain blade saws through the tree trunk, with the accurate simulation completed by the real feeling of resistance to the pine wood and the vibration of the saw.Read More


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