Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Good Thinking

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

Longitude 2014 commemorates 300 years since the Longitude Act 1714 and seeks to solve one ...

Three hundred years ago, the British Parliament established the Longitude prize; one of the most important technology competitions in history. Longitude Prize 2014 hopes to duplicate that feat with a new competition with a £10 million prize aimed at solving one of today’s great technological challenges, with the British public voting for which issue the prize will be given to.  Read More

The defense mechanism of the bombardier beetle has inspired a film that could be used to d...

Taking inspiration from the defense mechanism of the bombardier beetle, researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a film that, when damaged, instantly releases a hot foam to discourage malicious actions. The technology could be used as a simple, yet elegant and reliable way of discouraging theft and vandalism on ATM machines.  Read More

The MINK 3D printer lets users print out makeup like eye shadow, foundation and blush, in ...

Finding the exact shade of lipstick or eye shadow you have in mind can be tough, which is why Grace Choi, a Harvard Business School alumni, came up with the Mink – a 3D printer that lets you print out makeup in any color you fancy. Whether it's the color of a fruit, your friend's purse or a sunset, transforming that color into any kind of makeup is simply a matter of choosing it and hitting print.  Read More

The miniature sledge-testing rig used in the study

In Egypt's tomb of Djehutihotep, a wall painting depicts someone pouring water into the sand in front of one of the sledges that hauled the blocks used in the construction of the pyramids. According to new research, they had a good reason for doing so – by wetting the sand, as little as half as much pulling force would have been required to move those sledges.  Read More

Fumo is an interactive smoking pole which rewards smokers for disposing of their cigarette...

Cigarette butts are a major source of litter, certainly rivaling chewing gum as a menace on public streets. This problem is being tackled in some countries by fines being issued to the culprits, but that only helps the situation if someone is caught in the act and then learns from their mistake – which isn't guaranteed. Dutch/Turkish design company Ioglo thinks it has a better solution in the form of Fumo, which uses an audiovisual show to reward smokers for their cigarette butts.  Read More

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