more top stories »


— Bicycles

Synchrobox takes the guesswork out of shifting bicycle gears

Judging by the increasing popularity of 1x11 drivetrains and hub transmissions, a lot of cyclists are evidently getting tired of shifting between multiple chainrings. Indeed, it can get confusing trying to figure out if your gearing needs are best met by shifting to a bigger ring in front, a smaller sprocket in back, or what. IXOW's new Synchrobox is designed to address that conundrum – it uses one shifter to automatically adjust both derailleurs, in order to attain the rider's desired gear ratio. Read More
— Wearable Electronics

Vicenterra Luna volume 1 watch gives Earth and Moon the 3D treatment

The Earth and Moon are, we’re reliably informed, three-dimensional, so why should the Moon-phase dial on your upmarket wristwatch be flat? At Baselworld 2014, Swiss watchmaker Vicenterra took up the challenge to rectify this with its Luna volume 1, which shows the Earth and Moon as rotating three-dimensional spheres as part of its set of complications. Read More
— Around The Home

PicoBrew Zymatic aims at almost completely automatic beer brewing

What does making bread and brewing espresso have in common? Not long ago, both were involved, messy jobs best left to the experts that can now be done at home by anyone who can pour ingredients and press a button. PicoBrew LLC of Seattle wants to do the same with beer, with the PicoBrew Zymatic – a countertop brewery that is claimed by the developers to be as automatic as a breadmaker. Read More
— Electronics

Portable SunSocket Solar Generator incorporates on-board tracking

To get the most out of solar panels they need to be facing the right way. Systems that track the sun are often used in large solar power stations and some larger home installations, but most flat panels for portable applications just lie there. Colorado-based Aspect Solar has come up with the SunSocket Solar Generator, a lightweight, portable, self-contained solar power system consisting of a battery and solar panels that brings the advantages of automatically tracking the Sun to small applications. Read More
— Computers

Professor's algorithm writes technical reports, romance novels could be next

Philip M. Parker, a marketing professor at INSEAD (the European Institute of Business Administration), has written and patented a system that uses an algorithm to automatically compile data into book form. Between his works and those of his research group (ICON Group International), he has over 900,000 books currently for sale on Amazon. More than a smart search engine, his system only requires a few minutes or a few hours to scan the databases relevant to any given topic and organize that data into a technical report. Next stop? Romance novels. Read More
— Around The Home

Breville One-Touch Tea Maker produces the perfect cuppa every time

Even that most basic of kitchen appliances, the humble teakettle, is getting a high-tech makeover in the form of Breville’s One-Touch Tea Maker. The fully programmable unit takes the guesswork out of brewing that perfect cuppa by providing the right water temperatures and brewing times to suit different tea varieties. The device even does the “jiggling” for you thanks to a fully automated tea basket that moves up and down to gently agitate the leaves to precisely infuse your tea. Read More
— Digital Cameras

scenechronize - film production gets web-based

If you’ve ever worked on a major film project, you’ll know just how complex all phases of the production can be - scripts and schedules get faxed and/or emailed back and forth, a bazillion phone calls and messages are made and left, and then whenever anything goes wrong (which is usually about once every 15 minutes) everything needs to be rejigged, and everyone needs to be notified of the changes. If only there were some way of posting that information where all the cast and crew could see it, people could make changes to it, and then everyone would be made aware of those changes. Gee, anything come to mind? Yes, it’s a new application for our friend, The Internet. scenechronize is its name, and it promises to save filmmakers a ton of confusion, frustration, time, money and paper. Read More
— Around The Home

The Autonomous Saucier provides an extra hand in the kitchen

If I had to choose a job in a restaurant kitchen, then the saucier or sauce chef would be my last choice. Considered inferior to the sous-chef and head-chef, the saucier is responsible for preparing all the accompanying sauces for meals…making sure they aren’t lumpy, they don’t stick to the pan or worse, burn. I’ve seen enough TV celebrity chefs abusing their kitchen staff to know this is one job I would refuse. However, if I had the Autonomous Saucier at hand - all would be fine. This clever kitchen device automatically stirs your sauce whilst you get on with other food preparation. Pure genius… Read More