2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Good Thinking

Three Over Seven was the overall winner of Virgin Media Business' Three New Things competi...

Virgin Media Business has announced the winners of its inaugural Three New Things competition. The contest was launched as part of the company's search to uncover new technologies that have the potential to change the way we live. This year's winning tech includes shoes, solar power and satellites.  Read More

Bitcoin replaces trust with cryptography to provide a monetary system without surprises

Bitcoin, the digital cryptocurrency designed to enable anonymous peer-to-peer financial exchanges without the involvement of third parties, is having serious teething problems. However, most such problems are associated with bitcoin storage or conversion, and should settle down as the currency is more widely accepted. Assuming this happens, let's look at the strengths and weaknesses of a mature Bitcoin currency in a modern economy.  Read More

The heated bus shelter in Montreal that encourages commuters to reach out to each other

With the mercury in Montreal lucky to make it above 0° C at this time of year, Duracell has provided city commuters a way to keep warm by literally reaching out to each other: a bus shelter that will only turn on the heat if travelers hold hands.  Read More

The closed-system Blue Diversion toilet is designed for off-grid use

Two years ago, an off-grid closed-system toilet known as the Diversion won an award at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's "Reinventing the Toilet" fair. Created by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) and now called the Blue Diversion, it recently also won the title of Most Innovative Project (Europe/West Asia), as bestowed by the International Water Association. So, what makes it so special? Well, for one thing, the same water that flushes it is subsequently used in its hand-washing sink.  Read More

The team behind Print the Legend saw in 3D printing what they refer to as a 'Macintosh Mom...

3D printing is on a roll. Led by start-up companies like MakerBot and FormLabs, as well as the big-name companies like Stratasys and 3D Systems, the next industrial revolution has well and truly taken root in the last couple of years with the arrival of affordable desktop systems and a greater public awareness of the potential of the technology. This year at SXSW, the producers of The King of Kong and Freakonomics have premiered Print the Legend, a documentary focused on the rapidly expanding world of additive manufacturing and 3D printing.  Read More

The Lightie is a solar-powered light designed shaped to fit right into the neck of a stand...

South African designer and social entrepreneur Michael Suttner recently unveiled the Lightie: a portable solar-powered light that fits into a standard soda bottle. The low cost and durable device is designed to provide sustainable, safe, and affordable lighting to people in developing nations – and anyone else with a low income.  Read More

The Miracle Machine is named thanks to its promised ability to turn water into wine

A certain historical figure is reputed to have once turned water into wine, and whether you believe this event actually happened or not, the idea is a compelling one. Now, a wine expert and an entrepreneur claim that they have created a device that turns this concept into a reality. Just to ensure the connection is made, they have called the device the Miracle Machine.  Read More

Iota was designed as a final-year project at the UK's University of Huddersfield

It took thousands of years for the humble toilet to evolve into the model we use today, but there's always room for improvement. With this in mind, Gareth Humphreys and Elliott Whiteley produced the Iota: a folding toilet concept that's smaller and more efficient than the typical loo.  Read More

The PPlanter in use, by a person and a bamboo plant

If you live in a big city, then there are doubtless alleyways or alcoves you know of that always smell like pee. While it might help to install public urinals in these places, doing so involves a lot of work and expense. Porta Potties are one alternative, although Oakland, California-based Hyphae Design Laboratory has developed a more eco-friendly solution known as the PPlanter. It's a self-contained modular system, that uses bamboo to process the pee.  Read More

Writerase is a range of dry erase notebooks that possess the versatility of a whiteboard

Writerase is a range (or forest, as the company calls it) of customizable dry erase notebooks. They're designed for people who like brainstorming advantages of a whiteboard but need the portability of a notebook. Writerase combines the best of both products, with sheets of erasable paper collected in bound notebooks ranging in size from small to large.  Read More

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