Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Collapsible

The Nutshell, by designer Eden Lew

If you spend your workday in a busy office, you'll know how difficult it can be to switch off and take a proper break. With this in mind, designer Eden Lew has conceived a wearable isolation pod called the Nutshell that aims to improve the quality of break times.  Read More

When folded up, the Impossible bike measures 17 in (43 cm) tall

Folding and electric bikes have proven fertile ground for innovation recently, but what about bikes that are both electric and folding? Three years in the making, the Impossible bike from a team of China-based engineers folds up to fit in a backpack and is capable of reaching 12 mph (20 km/h) on the road courtesy of a brushless electric motor.  Read More

The Nomad hot tub, by Portland, Oregon-based company The Original Nomad

When planning a camping trip, most people tend to pack stuff like matches, coffee, and a spare pack of batteries. Thanks to The Original Nomad, you're now able to add a hot tub to the list, as the firm has just launched a collapsible tub geared towards campers.  Read More

The Hydrapak Stash will be available within the next few months in several colors

In 2013, Hydrapak introduced its SoftFlask series of soft-sided TPU water bottles designed to collapse into your pocket. The design seemed handy, but we wondered why the company chose to use a rather big, bulging bottom on a design meant to pack small. It addresses this shortcoming with the all-new Stash. The Stash's collapsible TPU body is paired with a flat bottom that snaps together with the top, making the packed bottle even easier to transport.  Read More

The Aussietank should take no more than 20 minutes to unpack and assemble

Learning from Australia’s arid climate and recent struggles with drought, the Aussietank was developed to aid households in times of dry periods and water restrictions. The collapsible and portable water tank comes flat-packed in three different sizes and has recently become available to the USA market. It could help households hit by the North American drought to harvest water without the expense of permanent water tank installation.  Read More

The Compact Shelter designed by Alastair Pryor pops up and down in less than two minutes

Young Australian humanitarian and social entrepreneur, Alastair Pryor has created a foldable crisis relief shelter for disaster victims and the housing displaced. Dubbed Compact Shelter, the portable dwelling boasts an innovative design that is simple to use, collapsible and lightweight. What's more it pops up and down in less than two minutes  Read More

The Windpax wind turbine system can be set up in less than two minutes and mounted on a nu...

Keeping mobile electronic devices powered up can be difficult for the modern camper and hiker. Generating power from Mother Nature in the form of wind and sun is the preferred option for many, with a number of portable solar and wind generators emerging to fill this need. The latest is Windpax, a collapsible, portable wind turbine system designed to not take up too much space in a backpack.  Read More

The Bloom helmet from Toyo Safety looks like any other safety helmet, but folds down for s...

Natural disasters can strike at any moment, and often with little, if any, warning. This is especially true in countries located along fault lines, which can experience sudden and devastating earthquakes. Though countries such as Japan have measures in place designed to warn of earthquakes, the risk still exists. Which is where the Bloom from Toyo Safety could prove its worth.  Read More

The WaterWear pack allows those in developing countries to more easily transport water

For most of us, access to clean water is just a turn of the tap away, but in many developing countries women and children are often tasked with fetching water and carrying it considerable distances in containers - often on their heads. Aside from the strain this places on the neck and back, these containers can be discarded jerry cans and buckets that originally carried fuel, oils, pesticides, paints and other chemicals that you wouldn’t want mixed with your drinking water. The WaterWear is a collapsible backpack designed to overcome these problems.  Read More

Depiction of a cargo ship equipped with the Wind Challenger Project system of sails

Of the world's nearly 45,000 cargo ships, many burn a low-grade bunker fuel in their engines and produce pollution equivalent to millions of automobiles. To help reduce that toxic load and keep the price of shipping freight reasonable, engineers at the University of Tokyo (UT) and a group of collaborators have designed a system of large, retractable sails measuring 64 feet (20 m) wide by 164 feet (50 m) high, which studies indicate can reduce annual fuel use on ships equipped with them by up to 30%.  Read More

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