Photokina 2014 highlights

Good Thinking

Nito maps and tracks the user's face, to create an avatar that matches their voice and mov...

Have you ever wished you were an alien or a shark? Well, sorry, but you're never going to get to be one. The free Nito app, however, does let you appear as those characters or others, in recorded 15-second videos. It tracks your facial features and movements as you talk, and reproduces them in real time via an animated avatar of your choice.  Read More

To address the material weakness of traditional hydrants, Sigelakis chose to go with a sta...

The traditional fire hydrant, that innocuous little cast metal tube with a hat, is one of those everyday objects that is so commonplace most people tend to overlook them. For over 100 years this life saving device has changed little in terms of design or functionality, but now an ex-fire fighter hopes to change all that with his next generation Spartan fire hydrant.  Read More

Mark Rothko in front of Panel Two and Panel Three of the Harvard Murals that are to be vis...

Fans of the abstract work of American painter Mark Rothko are in for a treat later this year. Harvard Art Museums has announced a seven-month exhibit called Mark Rothko’s Harvard Murals, set to open in November featuring six panels Rothko made for Harvard in 1961 and 1962, as well as a series of related studies. Besides the opportunity to see works that have not been displayed for more than a decade, visitors will be able to see the murals in a new light, thanks to new digital restoration technology.  Read More

A flame is blown off its fuel source with a blast of air from explosives

Building on a technique commonly used to extinguish oil well fires, Dr Graham Doig from the University of New South Wales' School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering is examining whether explosives could be used to fight out-of-control forest and bushfires by blasting the flames out of treetops, slowing the fire and making it easier to fight on the ground.  Read More

The Pikkpack shoes, by Hungarian designer Sara Guylas (Photo: Pikkpack)

Those wanting something a little different from their footwear now have another option in the form of Pikkpack: a leather shoe that's delivered in flatpack form and requires minor assembly on the part of the purchaser. The shoe's designer, Hungarian Sara Guylas, has turned to Kickstarter in a bid to move her footwear into production.  Read More

Assorted QU-BD printers on display at Maker Faire

Over 1,400 backers committed over $400,000 to the crowdfunding campaign for the $199 QU-BD 3D print. The Little Rock, Arkansas-based company has been scrambling to fulfill all those orders ever since, but have managed to also bring forth a few new versions of their 3D printer kit and also prepare to start taking new orders.  Read More

Researchers in Mexico are building lenses that help the visually impaired navigate their e...

Researchers from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV) in Mexico have developed a pair of glasses that use a combination of ultrasound, GPS, stereoscopic vision and artificial intelligence to help the visually impaired to navigate their environment. The device, perhaps the most sophisticated of its kind, is slated to reach mass production early next year and will likely cost up to US$1,500.  Read More

Julian Sharpe, President of Survival Capsule LCC

The 2011 Tohoku earthquake and the tsunami that followed count as one of the worst disasters of the 21st century. When it struck off the southern coast of Japan with a force of magnitude 9, it was the most powerful ever to hit Japan, and the tsunami with a maximum height of 40.5 m (133 ft) resulted in 15,885 deaths, 6,148 injured, and 2,623 people missing. In anticipation of a similar disaster, Survival Capsules LCC of Mukilteo, Washington has developed a steel and aircraft-grade aluminum sphere designed to protect against both fire and flood. Gizmag paid a visit to the company to learn more about it.  Read More

Viora Lid is a new type of takeaway coffee lid designed to mimic the experience of drinkin...

A company called Vaporpath, which is unsurprisingly based in Seattle, thinks it has the solution for all of our coffee-drinking woes. It has developed the Viora Lid, a new kind of plastic lid designed to fit on the top of traditional takeaway coffee cups.  Read More

We Feel processes the world's tweets to provide a real-time map of emotional trends across...

A new online tool aims to create a real-time emotional map of how people all over the world feel, from analyzing how cheerful or depressed different countries might be, to how budget cuts or other news might hit people emotionally. Called "We Feel," the tool analyzes 32,000 tweets a minute to monitor people's collective mood swings and how their emotions fluctuate over time globally.  Read More

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