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Bicycles

Grow bikes get bigger as your child does

Ahh kids. They grow up so fast - much to the consternation of parents faced with continually having to buy larger shoes and clothes. As much as any kid loves their first bike, they quickly outgrow these as well. But what if there was a way to save the hip-pocket nerve for a couple more birthdays without having the little dears look like they should be riding around with the clowns on miniature bikes at the circus? Well, there is and it comes from Spanish bike manufacturer Orbea, which has come up with its line of Grow bikes that - as the name suggests - grow along with your child.Read More

Science

Further evidence that Mars once had oceans emerges

The European Space Agency (ESA) has provided more evidence that suggests the surface of Mars was once home to an ocean. Featuring ground-penetrating radar capabilities, the MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding) radar aboard the ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft has detected sediments like that seen on an ocean floor.Read More

Outdoors

Folding skis help snowboarders hike into the backcountry

Pretty much every ski manufacturer in the history of skiing has made skis for skiers. But not MTN Approach. The company, which launched a small beta batch of its unique skis this season, builds skis for snowboarders. The skis are designed to ascend (not descend) the mountain and fold up into a backpack-sized package for the ride down.Read More

Environment

Photovoltaic nanoshell "whispering galleries" trap light for more efficient solar cells

For those unfamiliar with the term, a “whispering gallery” is a round room designed in such a way that sound is carried around its perimeter – this allows a person standing on one side to hear words whispered by a person on the other. Now, scientists from Stanford University have developed a new type of photovoltaic material, that essentially does for sunlight what whispering galleries do for sound. Not only does the material have a structure that circulates light entering it, but it could also result in cheaper, less fragile, and less angle-sensitive solar panels.Read More

Science

Recording data using heat could lead to faster, more efficient magnetic recording devices

For the past several decades, it has been assumed that in order to store data on a magnetic medium, a magnetic field must be applied. Recently, however, an international team of scientists discovered that heat can be used instead of a magnetic field. Not only is this method reportedly more energy efficient, but it also theoretically allows for ten times the storage capacity and 300 times the performance of current hard drive technology.Read More

Wearables

Squid fitness monitoring shirt keeps track of your gym progress

Unless you have a personal fitness instructor following you around with a notepad, keeping track of your progress at the gym can be a real nuisance. Luckily, thanks to a group of students from from Northeastern University in Boston, you can now count on your squid-equipped shirt to do the statistical heavy lifting for you. Squid is essentially a set of electromyography (EMG) sensors attached to a box that pushes your workout data to a smartphone app. This is synchronized with a web-based management panel, to give you a detailed overview of your progress.Read More

Automotive

Gibbs unveils two new "Amphitrucks"

The folks at Detroit’s Gibbs Technologies are no strangers to aquatic vehicles. In the past several years, they have brought us the zippy Aquada sports car, the Quadski ATV/personal watercraft hybrid, and the four-wheel-drive Humdinga SUV concept. Yesterday, they announced the addition of another two vehicles to their fleet – the Phibian and Humdinga II high-speed Amphitrucks. Read More

Mobile Technology

SonicNotify: The inaudible QR codes your smartphone can hear

A new startup called SonicNotify has developed a technology that will enable smartphone apps to receive data via high frequency sound inaudible to the human ear. Though limited, the signals would be sufficient to transmit, say, a web address that could be automatically opened by your smartphone. These frequencies could be embedded into any audio being played through a speaker, and provide contextual information to the user. So, museums and art galleries could effectively transmit detailed information on their exhibits via their apparently silent PA systems. The cliche applies, I'm afraid: the possibilities are unending.Read More

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