At about the size of a credit card, the original Makey Makey (now called the Classic) isn't exactly a behemoth, but it's not really something you could wear around your neck or dangle from your ear either. Aiming for portability, the boffins at JoyLabz have redesigned the board, stripping it down to its bare essentials, then adding a magnet (so tinkerers can stick it a fridge door between uses) and some LEDs (for colorful visual feedback), and wrapped it in protective plastic bumpers. The Makey Makey Go is now about the size of a USB thumb drive and, like the original, can be used to turn everyday objects into touch-enabled "buttons" – everything from bananas to someone's ear to jello to a potted plant. So long as it's able to conduct even the tiniest amount of electricity, it's fair game for some Makey Makey magic.
If you want to know what time it is, you’ll have to do a little work with this clock. Albert (named after Albert Einstein) is a wall clock for children that breaks down the current time in math problems.
Zaha Hadid Architects has completed work on a striking new £11 million (US$17 million) addition to the Middle East Centre at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. Contrasting markedly with nearby Brutalist and Victorian architecture, the modernist Investcorp Building is clad in stainless steel and sees the architect's distinctive flowing style used to great effect.
Google I/O was light on new consumer products this year (and by "light," we mean there were none at all), but the company made up for the lack of marquee sizzle with some important under-the-radar innovations. While Google Cardboard is still, well, made of cardboard, the company's VR strategy is anything but paper-thin.
Unless you work for a medical school or a research lab, you probably
haven't priced out cadavers lately. If you were to do so, however, you'd
find that they generally cost anywhere from nothing up to around
US$10,000. On top of that, however, there are transport and disposal
fees, the need for specialized storage facilities and staff, and the
fact that they're not reusable. That's why SynDaver Labs has been
creating ultra-realistic synthetic human bodies and body parts for
several years now. Instead of filling in for a dead body, its latest
product plays the part of a live patient.
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was recently awarded Living Building certification for its Center for Sustainable Landscapes facility. Now, the organization is hoping to follow suit with a new on-site classroom. The SEEDclassroom is only one of two of its kind in the US.
In an effort to increase awareness of nutritional requirements, and to bring simple tech into complex customs, a medical foundation in India has joined forces with a Singaporean ad agency. The plan is to combat iodine deficiencies using bindis, the decorative forehead dots worn by most Indian women and girls.
Though you can
work with your kids on all sorts of crazy electronics projects by adding numerous shields, break-out boards and attachments to existing development platforms or going wild with Lego Technic building blocks, such solutions just weren't cute enough for Kevin King and his kids Halley and Parker. Their digital pet is called Ringo and thanks to a successful crowdfunding effort, the teeny Arduino-based robotics and programming learning tool could be swarming toward backers in the coming months.
By today's standards, early 1980s home computing was a very BASIC affair (excuse the pun). But for those who lived through it, it was an enlightening period of simple wonder and creative experimentation. In the UK, the odds are pretty good that students of code performed their programming magic using a big beige box connected to a chunky monitor known as the BBC Microcomputer. Many of those early digital tinkerers went on to careers in computing and it's this pioneering spirit that the BBC is hoping to recapture with the launch of a new education initiative named Make it Digital. At its center is a new micro computing platform called, for the moment, the Micro Bit.
Frank Gehry's brilliantly bizarre paper bag
is sure to be the wackiest education building we'll see this year. But Britain's Heatherwick Studio might deserve second place with its recently-completed Learning Hub, which serves 33,000 students at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.