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— Automotive

VW unveils new California camper van

By - June 19, 2015 6 Pictures

For those of us of a certain age, the old VW camper van introduced in the 1950s held the promise of a compact, affordable home away from home – or just home. Never mind that it had an engine like something off a sewing machine, steered like a bucket, and negotiated hills on a 50-50 basis – it represented the freedom of the road. Volkswagen is continuing this tradition with a new California variant of its recently released Transporter T6.

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— Outdoors

Camp Champ neatly packs a full camp kitchen into a wooden trunk

By - June 18, 2015 9 Pictures

There's a new way to streamline your camping kitchen thanks to the Camp Champ, which packs a home kitchen's worth of cooking gear into a neat box. At camp, the box opens up into a full kitchen area complete with stove, cookware, dishes, tools, utensils and plenty of counter space. On the road, the all-in-one kitchen keeps all of that equipment secured snugly in a series of cubbies, shelves, cabinets and racks made from elegant sapele-veneered plywood.

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Battery juices itself up using light

It's now fairly common to hear about batteries being used to store power generated by solar cells. A group of Indian scientists, however, have eliminated the middleman. They've created a battery that incorporates a titanium nitride-based photoanode in place of a conventional anode, allowing the battery to charge itself using solar or artificial light.

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— Space

Scientists look at communicating with hypersonic vehicles using plasma resonance

By - June 18, 2015 1 Picture

Returning spacecraft hit the atmosphere at over five times the speed of sound, generating a sheath of superheated ionized plasma that blocks radio communications during the critical minutes of reentry. It's a problem that's vexed space agencies for decades, but researchers at China's Harbin Institute of Technology are developing a new method of piercing the plasma and maintaining communications.

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— Bicycles

ShockWiz takes the mystery out of setting up mountain bike shocks

By - June 18, 2015 3 Pictures

Although suspension forks and rear shocks have certainly revolutionized the field of mountain biking, many riders still don't know how to set them up properly. This means that parameters such as preload, rebound and compression tend to get left at their factory settings, resulting in sub-optimal performance. That's why Australian startup Dusty Dynamics has created the ShockWiz – it's an app-assisted device that advises users on tuning their air-sprung suspension systems.

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— Architecture

Büro Ole Scheeren envisions stacked box high-rise for Vancouver

By - June 18, 2015 8 Pictures

China-based architecture studio Büro Ole Scheeren (led by the architect responsible for Beijing's CCTV) has envisioned a mixed-use highrise for Vancouver, Canada. The firm aims to make 1500 West Georgia stand out from what Scheeren dismisses as the city's "generic" existing towers, with a novel form that features a series of extruding horizontal and vertical boxes.

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