Photokina 2014 highlights
Inside the cab of the Volvo hybrid refuse truck

The concept of computer-synthesized bird’s eye view for drivers has been gaining a lot of ground with Japanese automotive manufacturers in recent times, with many concept cars emanating from Japan featuring the advantages of an at-a-glance situational awareness solution. Now Volvo has developed its own Overview Surveillance System (in conjunction with Toshiba), which gives drivers a view of the vehicle and its surroundings from above. It is designed primarily to support the driver in slow speed situations, such as when backing, parking or driving down narrow city streets. With the advanced driving assistance system installed, the driver can quickly grasp the situation for greater control and safety.  Read More

GEM Peapod set for 2009 production

A decade after its launch and with 38,000 zero-emission electric vehicles produced and in use, Chrysler LLC's GEM brand has launched the first of its next-generation designs - the Peapod. Scheduled for production in 2009, the low-speed neighborhood commuter can cover up to 30 miles without recharging at a top speed of 25 mph. In keeping with the company's "lots of love" slogan, the new fully-enclosed pod design uses eco-friendly recycled and recyclable materials in its construction and should keep a lid on road rage by virtue of its smiling facade (both front and rear), as well as keeping those inside the car happy with new ergonomic mesh seating and a freshly designed center console featuring iPod integration and hands-free iPhone support.  Read More

Evans and Bourdilon (Image credit: Royal Geographical Society)

in order to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Smiths Medical and University College London have resurrected the sidelined closed-circuit breathing system designed for a failed Everest expedition over 50 years ago. Closed-circuit devices, (also known as rebreathers), create a seal over the user’s mouth, retaining the exhaled air, scrubbing it of carbon dioxide, and allowing the user to inhale it again.  Read More

T-Mobile G1

Consumers will soon get a taste of the much anticipated Android operating system with the launch of the T-Mobile G1 handset. Developed in partnership with Google and designed by HTC, the handset features full touch-screen functionality, a sliding QWERTY keyboard and one-handed trackball navigation options and is loaded with a host of familiar web applications from Google as well as providing access to the open platform Android Market.  Read More

Verdino self-steering vehicle

We've seen numerous examples of science mimicking nature in the developing fields of robotic automation and artificial intelligence in recent times, from robotic fish to leaping micro-bots and mechanical rodents. Now a team of engineers from the University of La Laguna (ULL) in the Canary Islands have applied this thinking to self-steering vehicles using a system based on the way ants navigate between home-base and their food source.  Read More

solargorilla portable laptop charger

The solargorilla is a portable power solution for laptops and other electronic devices from UK based Powertraveller that provides an off-the-grid recharging option wherever the sun is shining. Able to work as a stand-alone device or in conjunction with the company's more conventional powergorilla portable charger, the clam-shell design solargorilla is geared for outdoor use with its durable, water-resistant, rubberized casing and a design that allows it to be attached to vehicle or tent.  Read More

DIS launch 9 MP camera phone module

These days in-built cameras are very much a standard accessory for mobile phones, and it's an area where the bar just keeps on getting higher. In the latest news, Digital Imaging Systems has launched the first ever 9 megapixel camera module for mobile phones. Designed so that handset manufacturers can upgrade without hardware change, the DIS6931 is an all in one still camera module that includes auto-focus, high quality lenses, mechanical shutter and a neutral density filter.  Read More

Electric Motorsport's GPR-S

While we still have some time to wait before affordable mass-market electric cars like the Chevy Volt hit the market, there's other options available if you want to swap the petrol station for the power point to handle your daily commuting - like this US$8000 electric motorcycle from Electric Motorsport. The GPR-S goes between 35 and 60 miles on a full battery, while offering performance levels similar to a Honda CBR125 and a top speed of 60-70mph.  Read More

Sunrise Solar Solar Bric

Sunrise Solar Corp has unveiled a new building brick that integrates solar technologies into traditional construction materials. The Solar Light "Bric" is able to capture the sun’s rays and convert them to energy to power an embedded light without the need to connect to the electrical grid or flick a switch.  Read More

Cocooi baby swaddle helps keep baby safe and warm

The Cocooi baby swaddle is made from super-fine, unbleached merino fabric which has the ability to regulate a newborn baby’s body temperature, therefore reducing the risk of overheating. The merino fibers used in the Cocooi are extremely fine (just one-tenth the thickness of human hair) and their natural crimp produces millions of pockets in the fabric in which air is captured and circulated.  Read More

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