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Health and Wellbeing

April 26, 2006 It might be handy to have one of these in the cupboard for a rainy day – or a really smoggy day if the smog, heaven forbid, should ever contain chemical warfare agent. The ChemRAE is a portable chemical warfare agent (CWA) detector available as stand-alone or as a wireless component of the AreaRAE rapid deployment hazardous environment detection platform produced by RAE Systems Read More
April 20, 2006 Technology is beginning to yield many new and wonderous devices to make life better, safer and more fun, but few can compare to the life-enhancement offered by a new wheelchair which offers mobility-impaired and aged people an unprecedented level of freedom. It is comfortable, all-terrain and safe - a four-wheel drive wheelchair with hybrid motor and electronic assistance system has the immense potential to enable the physically disabled live more independent lives, to enable Octagenarians to bushwalk, and paraplegics . The innovative system even checks pulse rate and blood values and calls for help in emergencies. Read More
April 19, 2006 A team of researchers at Singapore’s Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) have successfully created artificial fibres with nanometer-sized features that can be used to grow cells and tissue structures. These ‘fibrous scaffolds’ have been imbued with features of the natural extracellular matrix, the ground substance in which cells are embedded and a vital component in the engineering of human tissues. Read More
April 15, 2006 The end is nigh for bifocals, and not a moment too soon. Optical scientists at the University of Arizona have developed new switchable, flat, liquid crystal diffractive eyeglass lenses that can adaptively change their focusing power. The new technology will open the way for a new generation of "smart" eyeglasses with built-in automatic focus. In the foreseeable future, with this technology, you won't change prescription eyeglasses but will have your eyes tested and the optician will dial in a new prescription into the specs you already own. Indeed, we can even see the possibility of geeks doing their own eye tests and creating superglasses designed to focus perfectly depending on what you’re looking at. Read More
April 11, 2006 A new and elegant hearing aid invisibly built into the arms of a pair of glasses will go on sale later this month in Holland. The Varibel hearing-glasses will offer hearing-impaired folk respite from the aesthetically unpleasing and technologically limited traditional hearing aid. In each leg of Varibel glasses frame there is a row of four tiny, interconnected microphones, which selectively intensify the sounds that come from the front, while dampening the surrounding noise. Tests have shown that the Varibel user can separate desired sounds from undesired background noise very effectively with the glasses’ technology, with the added bonus that natural sounds can still be heard. Read More
March 28, 2006 Frost & Sullivan’s 2006 Technology Innovation Award has been won by Helicor for developing the breakthrough StressEraser device technology we wrote up last August. Intended for use by licensed psychological and psychiatric health care professionals, this handheld relaxation-training device is able to provide effective relief from chronic stress at the physiological, mental, and emotional level. Each year Frost & Sullivan presents this award to a company (or individual) that has carried out new research; which has resulted in innovation(s) that have or are expected to bring significant contributions to the industry in terms of adoption, change, and competitive posture. This award recognizes the quality and depth of a company’s research and development program as well as the vision and risk-taking that enabled it to undertake such an endeavor. Read More
March 27, 2006 More than two thirds of the world population uses a toothbrush, with half those users replacing their toothbrush at least once annually. No wonder then that the global toothbrush market is worth US$5 billion annually and there’s a constant search for an edge which might garner a few percentage points. Market leader Oral-B has been pushing the boundaries recently with its disposable battery-operated “manual” Pulsar and now it has gone several steps better with electric toothbrushes by adding a microprocessor and a bunch of extra functionality. As such, being the first toothbrush with a microprocessor, the Oral-B Triumph is arguably the world’s most advanced toothbrush. Read More
March 23, 2006 The GEL-BOT water bottle system for endurance athletes is clever. It’s a sports bottle that provides access to both water and energy gel in one container and is hence perfect for cycling, running, triathlon or any sport where peak performance requires extensive refuelling and hydration. Athletes worldwide agree on the effectiveness of energy gels, but the combination of cumbersome packaging and the immediate need for water makes them difficult to use during activity. With GEL-BOT, athletes can drink water and imbibe energy gel from one bottle. The gel is housed inside the ENERGY-CORE, a piston-like device attached to the water bottle cap that is filled with gel before activity. It’s just the thing to enhance the high-tech persona at the gym too! Amazingly, the same company produces an interesting waterbottle and coffee press combination, presumably for geeks and sports where you aren’t penalised for a high caffeine blood level. Read More
March 22, 2006 Twelve months ago, we wrote up the Joba Horseriding machine and created a massive rod for our own back. You see, the incredibly clever machine (extensive article and images here), like so many products developed, refined and tested on the Japanese domestic market, was not available beyond Japan’s shores – and we got hundreds of emails asking where it could be purchased outside Japan. The good news is that the renamed and further developed Joba had its US commercial debut at the International Health, Racquet and Sports Club Association annual convention yesterday as the Panasonic Core Trainer. The Core Trainer maximizes the strength of the core body's abdominal, oblique and low back muscles while minimizing joint stress, impact and aerobic demand. The killer app though, is that it is best suited for those who normally hate strenuous physical exercise – the user just “rides” the Core Trainer and gets fit without actually having to do anything. The machine brings many core health benefits, with tests in Japan showing that users begin burning far more calories after just three months using the machine. Compared to walking or swimming, the riding machine causes less physical stress to knees and other parts of the lower body. Logically, the Core Trainer will quickly become an essential component of any fitness club or home gym. Read More
March 17, 2006 Motorcyclists have long been the most vulnerable road users because they do not have an effective barrier between themselves and other objects in an accident. A flurry of activity in motorcycle protective gear could change things. Honda recently showed its first air-bag on a motorcycle and manufacturers are developing a cross between the airbag and a protective jacket designed to protect the motorcycle rider's neck and spine in the event of an accident. One of the first to market with the new design is Hit-Air which sells a range of jackets and vests featuring airbag technology designed to keep riders safe and comfortable in a wide range of driving and climatic conditions. The jackets are already in use by police departments in Brazil, Italy, Japan and Spain and appear to offer significantly greater protection than a normal jacket. The inflatable vests are finding application in many other potentially dangerous activities such as horseriding and power sports. Read More
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