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The international press scramble to get close to the new Karma S in Detroit

Fisker Automotive has just taken the wraps off the much anticipated technology demonstrator that will become the second model in its plug-in hybrid sportscar range at the 2009 NAIAS. The new two-door, four-seater, hard-top convertible joins the four-door sedan model announced at last year's show and is built on the same versatile Q-DRIVE platform on which the company's range will be based. The sedan model, which boasts a 50 mile electric-drive only range, acceleration of 0-60 in 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 125mph, remains on track for delivery later this year, while the Karma S is expected to hit showrooms in 2011.  Read More

Ford outlines aggressive EV strategy - battery electric small car in 2011

Ford has thrown its hat into the Electric Vehicle ring at the Detroit international motor show by announcing plans to bring a new family of electrified vehicles to market over the next four years. The strategy calls for the introduction of new hybrids, a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) based on two new global product platforms. The plan calls for the introduction in 2011 of a pure Battery Electric Vehicle as a passenger car in North America.  Read More

Cadillac's Converj concept

If one thing is immediately and staggeringly obvious at this year's Detroit NAIAS auto show, it's that electric, hybrid and extended-range electric cars have stepped out of the shadowy corners to which they were relegated in 2008, and they're now the main event for a lot of manufacturers. It seems the auto industry's well-documented woes in 2008, as well as consumer reaction to volatile petrol pricing, have galvanized even the most stalwart of old-school Detroit metal makers into action on gasoline alternatives. The extended-range electric seems to offer the most painless transition to primarily-electric motoring, and this is the way Cadillac have chosen to go with the Converj concept we saw unveiled earlier today. Capable of dealing with a typical 40-mile daily commute on full-electric, but with a petrol generator to make long trips possible, the 100mph Converj is a glamorous hint at what Cadillac intend to do with electric engines.  Read More

POLLI-Brick

From the maker of the HYmini wind and solar portable charger comes a polymer architecture brick combining post-consumer materials with environmentally friendly function. The POLLI-Brick is made entirely of recycled materials and offers passive cooling, natural ventilation and even integrated solar/wind powered LED lighting.  Read More

NVIDIA's GeForce 3D Vision system

Today's 3D games are already programmed to take depth of field into account as part of their game world graphics rendering. Your graphics card already knows exactly how far away the objects it's crunching are. So it's really only display and driver restraints that have prevented us from seeing our existing 3D games in a truly immersive stereoscopic 3D format. Vegas CES 2009 has shown us some extremely promising, and already affordable, stereoscopic 3D display technologies that work with the majority of recent release 3D games and take a big step forward towards the ultimate goal of virtual reality home gaming. We'll take a look at NVIDIA's 3D Vision system and iZ3D's stereoscopic monitors, which approach the task from different angles and give us a glimpse of what we can expect when 3D technologies flood the mainstream in years to come.  Read More

Prof. Josh Silver with an old Adspecs prototype

The ability to see clearly is something we take for granted in the western world - somewhere between 45-50% of the US/European population wear some form of corrective eyeglasses. Vision problems are no less common in developing countries, but custom eyewear is just too expensive for the vast majority of sufferers. The World Health Organization estimates that "1 billion people worldwide need, but do not have access to, vision correction." Retired physics Professor Joshua Silver has put a plan in motion to redress this balance with the invention of a very cheap set of spectacles that are quickly and easily adjustable to correct long- and short-sightedness. With 30,000 pairs already distributed, Silver's target is no less than to produce and distribute one billion pairs of these silicone-oil wonders throughout the developing world, helping older people get back to work and radically changing lives in the process.  Read More

FLIR PathFindIR aftermarket thermal imaging system for cars and motorcycles

Though only 10% of road miles are driven at night, those miles account for half all road fatalities. Using public roads is a sight response game you play with your own and others’ lives, so being able to improve your night vision will clearly increase safety for everyone. We’ve written about the coming of Mercedes' NightVision Assist for several years now – the system is based around a thermal night vision camera which sees heat, not light, and hence enables you to see the things that count, well beyond the range of the headlights. FLIR is the company Mercedes partnered with on the project and it has now released the PathFindIR system as an aftermarket accessory for cars and motorcycles.  Read More

Kia Soul’ster open air concept

Though it’s hard to visualize summer in Detroit right now with two inches of snow in the streets, Kia debuted an interesting open air concept based on the production model Soul, which will be arriving in showrooms in Q2 starting at US$14,000. With such a low starting price, the Soul’ster’s target market of young singles would no doubt appreciate the economical budget-priced front wheel drive concept. Designed to satisfy satisfy “multiple consumer needs”, it could be a very practical vehicle in the real world, with plenty of load space, and a two-piece top that allows passengers to expose the front and back seating areas independently. The roof may be retractable, but there are no fancy automatic mechanisms - this roof runs on elbow-grease technology, which is just fine because we think the Soul’ster looks likely to get the green light for production.  Read More

iGo's Green Technology charger

iGo has refined its product line with their upcoming "green" charger and their everywhereMAX travel charger, an improved 90W AC/auto/air power adapter that can be used to simultaneously charge your laptop and handheld mobile devices.  Read More

Powerfilm's USB charger

PowerFilm demonstrated a very cool USB+2 AA battery flexible folding charger at CES 2009. We were lucky enough to snap a few pictures of the device and get a look at some samples of their amorphous silicon solar technology for printing cells onto fabric or other materials.  Read More

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