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Emergencies

VITAband is a bracelet for solo outdoor athletes, that provides a link to their emergency ...

There’s one thing that everyone should have on their person when they venture off on solo outdoor activities – their I.D. That way, should they end up injured and unable to communicate, first responders will know who they are, and who to contact. While the various cards kept in one’s wallet are a good form of identification, a lot of people don’t want to lug a bulky wallet around in their pocket while doing things like running or rock-climbing. That’s where the VITAband comes in. Not only does the waterproof bracelet provide a link to its wearer’s full Emergency Response Profile, but it also allows them to make cash-free purchases.  Read More

SpaceX has test-fired its advanced new SuperDraco engine, to be used on the Dragon spacecr...

SpaceX, the California company that is developing the reusable Dragon spacecraft, recently test-fired its new SuperDraco engine. Presently, the Dragon capsule is equipped with less-advanced Draco engines, which are designed for maneuvering the spacecraft while in orbit and during reentry. The SuperDraco, however, is intended to allow the astronauts to escape if an emergency occurs during the launch.  Read More

The SpareOne can keep a charge for a whopping 15 years (or the shelf-life of the battery y...

What if you could power your phone on a single AA battery? The SpareOne is a mobile phone that can to do just that. Designed as a back-up that you keep in a glovebox or emergency kit rather than a phone you keep in your pocket everyday, the SpareOne claims to deliver you up to 10 hours of talk time on one AA battery and (depending on the shelf-life of the battery you're using) it can hold charge while unused for up to a whopping 15 years.  Read More

RumbaTime GO watch collection

It's not always convenient to take your wallet with you wherever you go. Times like a morning run or bike ride, it can be easier to leave your cash and ID at home. What happens if you're out on a run and want to stop for a cup of coffee? What if you have a medical emergency or become injured during your trip? RumbaTime's series of GO-enabled watches aim to solve those problems by letting you bring your cash and all your medical information along with you wherever you go in a small colorful watch.  Read More

The softshelter housing solution for disaster relief situations (Image by Molo Design)

Canadian design firm Molo has created a cheap and comfortable housing innovation for disaster relief situations.. Dubbed "softshelter," the system has been designed to create personal space within in a communal shelter, thus providing individuals or families with some privacy during a time of hardship. The softshelter modules are made from 100 percent recycled materials designed for re-use over a long period if time. The flexible walls pack flat, suitable for fast and cost effective shipping, whilst in a matter of minutes the softwalls can be unpacked and expanded to create walls and rooms.  Read More

The WISPER routers (top left), the WISPER dispenser (middle) and base station modules (bot...

Even though firefighting is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, firefighters still communicate using analog radio signals, that can be blocked by concrete walls. This means that, upon venturing into a burning building, a firefighter might have no way of letting their commander know their present location – a situation that could prove deadly, if they ended up trapped or injured. In order to address the situation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate has created a new three-part system that lets fire crews keep track of the location and well-being of every member of their team, all the time.  Read More

Scientists have developed a device that uses beams of electricity to extinguish flames(Pho...

It’s certainly an established fact that electricity can cause fires, but today a group of Harvard scientists presented their research on the use of electricity for fighting fires. In a presentation at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, Dr. Ludovico Cademartiri told of how they used a unique device to shoot beams of electricity at an open flame over one foot tall. Almost immediately, he said, the flame was extinguished. On a larger scale, such a system would minimize the amount of water that needed to be sprayed into burning buildings, both saving water and limiting water damage to those buildings.  Read More

EMILY is an electric remote-control motorized rescue buoy, that shore-based lifeguards can...

Riptides can carry hapless swimmers out into the ocean very quickly – by the time a lifeguard is able swim out to rescue them, it may be too late. Using a Jet Ski to reach struggling swimmers is one option, although such watercraft can be expensive, problematic to store on-site, and difficult to launch for one person. Now, seaside municipalities can get something cheaper and easier for reaching those swimmers-in-distress: an electric remote-control motorized rescue buoy called EMILY.  Read More

Intelligent, radio-enabled blood bags could monitor blood temperature to avoid wastes and ...

During high-risk medical operations surgeons keep blood supplies at hand so that they are ready to face possible emergencies; but blood bags can only be reused if the cold chain has been maintained, meaning that a portion of such a precious and limited resource routinely goes wasted. To face this problem, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany have proposed intelligent blood bags with an embedded a radio chip that constantly monitors temperature and checks for blood type compatibility with the patient, avoiding possible mistakes.  Read More

Hearing it on the vine: Microsoft Vine's widget-based dashboard

With the Facebook and Twitter social networking juggernaut rolling ever onwards, Microsoft is looking to jump on the bandwagon with its new social web app called Vine. While sites such as Facebook and Twitter use the global span of the internet to let users connect with people from all corners of the globe, Vine makes its focus local, concentrating on keeping users in touch with family, friends, activities and major events in their community, including disasters and emergencies.  Read More

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