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Consumption

— Pets

Bistro cat feeder and health monitor identifies cats using facial recognition

By - July 21, 2014 8 Pictures
We all know that cats requires regular feeding, watering and the occasional trip to the vet, but few of us would know exactly how our cat’s health, weight, and hydration are faring on a day-to-day basis. And, when we do feed them, how do we even know that the food we put out for our feline friend is actually being eaten by them and not by someone else’s interloping pet? A group of cat lovers thought about all of these things and came up with Bistro, an automatic feeder that uses facial recognition technology to ensure the food is going to its intended recipient. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Vessyl is no mug – it’s a smart cup that tells you what you're drinking

By - June 16, 2014 8 Pictures
At first glance, "Vessyl" looks like an ultra-modern, but relatively ordinary, 13 oz (385 ml) mug. However, pour something into it and it becomes extraordinary: not only will it identify what type of drink it has in it, but Vessyl will also tell you its dietary content, such as sugar, protein, calories, fat, caffeine – even identifying the beverage by name – then take all of those results and synchronize them to your smartphone. Read More
— Environment

Smart plugs to provide energy usage data on individual appliances

By - May 28, 2012 1 Picture
Smart meters have become an important tool not only for households looking to save energy and keep the electricity bill down, but also for utility companies striving to match electricity generation with demand. But while smart meters can provide an overall picture of a household’s electricity usage over time, a team from the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies is developing a system that aims to monitor the energy usage of individual appliances. Read More
— Good Thinking

Swap-O-Matic is a vending machine for trading your stuff

By - February 2, 2012 6 Pictures
How many times have you heard someone lament “We live in a throw-away society”? Certainly, the world would no doubt be a better place if people threw less items in the garbage, and reused products more. Well, that’s what Brooklyn designer Lina Fenequito is trying to encourage with her Swap-O-Matic vending machine. Instead of dispensing mass-produced snacks with wrappers that end up in landfills, it plunks out second-hand belongings that need a new owner. Read More
— Environment

Reducing your power bill with Microsoft's Hohm

By - September 2, 2010 5 Pictures
For a lot of people, the electricity bill is an unwanted piece of paper printed with angular graphs and big dollar signs, but with the rising cost of power in today's energy-conscious society it's becoming more important to understand exactly what all those lines and numbers mean. Microsoft's Hohm website aims to make sense of the jargon by providing personalized data on consumers' home energy consumption, and offering recommendations on how to save energy and reduce those bills. Read More
— Automotive

U.S. vehicle CO2 emissions still almost double Europe and Japan

By - June 21, 2010 1 Picture
Despite ongoing efforts to wean itself off the teat of foreign oil, the U.S. car market is still almost twice as polluting as Europe and Japan. This new finding from automotive data provider, JATO Dynamics, comes despite the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) – better known as “cash for clunkers” – program that replaced over 690,000 vehicles on the roads with more fuel-efficient models and the fact that American consumers are significantly more inclined to adopt Hybrid technology than Europeans. Then why is it so? Read More
— Environment

Wattbox: Habit-learning device to lower energy bills

By - February 7, 2010 1 Picture
The adage “less is more” rings true when discussing energy usage - as energy costs rise, using less saves you more money each year. And studies have shown that householders who know how much energy they use on a daily basis tend to use significantly less. A new device called the Wattbox - a smart control unit for central heating and hot water heaters that learns householders' energy habits and provide immediate feedback on consumption - could deliver home energy savings of up to 20 percent without compromising comfort say UK researchers. A great feature of the Wattbox is that it is retrofittable, meaning it’s suitable for all houses, not just new ones. Read More
— Around The Home

The demise of social TV viewing - media consumption patterns changing

By - January 20, 2010 1 Picture
We are watching television together less and less often. In the past, watching TV was a social activity that brought people together. The whole family watched the same program on the same TV set, and when people went to work the next day they could be fairly sure that most other people had also seen the same program. This is no longer the case. What once brought us together is now a source of fragmentation. Most families have several TVs, and they sit in different rooms and view different programs - if they watch TV at all. What's more, the channel offerings have become so large and varied that few programs qualify as shared topics in the lunchroom at work. Read More
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