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The Venus works with a user-supplied bucket, to wash up to 2.5 kg of clothing in one cycle...

We've certainly seen portable washing machines before here at Gizmag, although they've tended to be quite small and/or human-powered. There are higher-capacity electric models, which are more like their full-sized counterparts. The Venus, however, takes yet another approach. It's an electric agitator, that goes into a bucket supplied by the user.  Read More

A team of Chinese designers has developed the Air umbrella with the aim of making tangles ...

People certainly haven't been afraid to try and reinvent the umbrella over the years. There was the solar-powered Booster Brolly, the windproof Rainshader and the lopsided Rain Shield, just to name a few. But now a team of Chinese designers is looking to do away with the awkward metal poles and canopy entirely, relying instead on a "force field" of air to keep you nice and dry.  Read More

Zubits can reportedly be applied to pretty much any existing laced shoes

The tying and untying of your shoelaces may not be way up there on your list of everyday hassles, but hey – if you can get around doing it, why not? That's the idea behind Zubits. They're magnetized shoe closures, that take the place of bows.  Read More

The Paper Airplane Machine Gun, providing covering fire

The ability to fold a reasonably functional paper airplane isn't something that everyone possesses. If you're one of those people, then perhaps this is what you need – a device that takes multiple flat pieces of ordinary paper, folds each one into an airplane, then shoots it into the air.  Read More

The 'magic' marker helps determine whether a receipt potentially containing fingerprint de...

A "magic" marker pen developed at the University of Leicester enables forensic experts, police and criminal investigators to quickly determine whether a receipt potentially containing fingerprint deposits is made of thermal paper, with another device then used to reveal the presence of any fingerprints. The devices come thanks to the work of the suitably-named Dr Bond, John Bond, from the University's Department of Criminology.  Read More

Floodlighting powered by players on the field

Just over three years ago, a UK company looking to harvest the kinetic energy of pedestrians received its very installation order. Since then we've seen Pavegen's tiles turn to the crowd for school installs and being laid at the Paris Marathon. Now the firm has partnered with Shell for its biggest undertaken so far – to give a run-down community soccer field in a Rio de Janeiro favela an off-grid power supply which benefits the whole community.  Read More

The Ostrich Pillow Mini is designed to let people nap wherever they are

When you have a busy lifestyle or you're traveling, it can be difficult to get enough sleep. To combat this, Kawamura Ganjavian dreamt up the now (in)famous Ostrich Pillow, which became a reality in 2012. The subsequent Ostrich Pillow Light was slightly more practical, as too is the new Ostrich Pillow Mini.  Read More

The new Direct Vision truck cab is designed to reduce blind spots

A UK team at Loughborough University is proposing a new cab design for lorries that would offer drivers a better view of the road around them, thus potentially saving the lives of pedestrians and cyclists. According to the researchers, the redesign of the cab could offer a 50-percent increase in front and side field of view, compared to traditional cabs.  Read More

With US$15 million up for grabs, XPrize is hoping to inspire a revolutionary set of educat...

Having tasked technologists with challenges as diverse as Ted Talkin' artificial intelligence and bringing Star Trek's iconic tricorder to life, XPrize has now turned its attention to an equally ambitious task. Millions of children around the globe don't have basic literacy skills, presenting a problem that cannot be solved without some big picture thinking. Launching today, the Global Learning XPrize offers US$15 million in prize money for the development of software that teaches children these vital skills in the space of 18 months, without the presence of a teacher.  Read More

Smart's Dancing Traffic Light aimed to capture the attention of pedestrians and incentiviz...

Pedestrians will often ignore the "red man" at pedestrian lights in order to cross the road sooner. Unfortunately, this leads to accidents. Car manufacturer Smart created an experiment to see if it could improve safety at traffic lights by incentivizing pedestrians to wait for the green man.  Read More

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