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Emergency

Insta-fire lights in wet, windy weather and burns long and hot, making fire-starting a lit...

In the wilderness, few things are as important as a fire. Unfortunately, getting a fire going - even with all the right equipment - isn't always easy. Insta-fire makes it easier. The fire-starting mixture burns hot and long enough to eliminate the need for kindling and possibly even fuel. It's also versatile enough to light in wet conditions.  Read More

Village Defense: Neighborhood Watch 2.0 - the good guys are winning

If you've ever picked up a Neighborhood Watch newsletter and been astonished by the amount of crime in your community, you might be very interested in a new social software start-up named Village Defense. The software links neighbors to form a real-time communication system - one phone call notifies all neighbors (by text or phone) when a crime or suspicious activity is in progress. In the first pilot study of the new system, the increased awareness, greater availability of witnesses and shorter response times facilitated by Village Defense saw crime rates drop 58% in the first year.  Read More

The Infrascanner hand-held hematoma detector and its PDA interface

It's sadly ironic that the very properties which make our skulls such excellent brain protectors, strength and rigidity, often work against us after head injuries. Not only does the hard bone conceal damage from concussions and bleeding, say, but it also confines the swelling, causing intra-cranial pressure to surge, a situation that can lead to further brain damage. While CT scans and magnetic resonance imaging systems are crucial to an accurate assessment, they are rarely available to emergency medical personnel at remote accident sites or on the battlefield. To help address the need for rapid and timely diagnosis of head traumas, separate research teams at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) have each developed hand-held devices that use Near Infra-Red (NIR) imaging to quickly detect hematomas (internal bleeding) and other life-threatening traumatic brain injury (TBI).  Read More

The Sliding Hub prefabricated cubes join together to create a temporary housing solution f...

Italian Designer Gabriel Aramu has conceptualized a modular housing system that seems to offer endless possibilities. Dubbed "Sliding Hub," these prefabricated cubes join together to create a temporary housing solution for multiple situations. In the event that emergency shelters are required, the modules can be packed and transported to any destination. On arrival, the modules are easily joined together, with the flexibility to house individuals, small groups or large numbers without limitation. Each module incorporates an insulation system suitable for all kinds of weather conditions. In addition, the temporary accommodation units provide a comfortable standard of living, important to natural disaster victims.  Read More

PREDIBIRTH is a software system that determines how likely pregnant women are to experienc...

In the United States, approximately one-third of all births are performed via cesarean-section. Here’s another statistic: emergency C-sections are six to seven times more likely to result in death or harm to the infant, than are planned C-sections. Therefore, if a significant percentage of the emergency cesareans could instead be planned, that would potentially save a lot of babies. That’s where PREDIBIRTH comes in. Developed by Dr. Olivier Ami and a team of researchers from France’s Université Paris Sud, the software can accurately predict the likelihood of difficult births, based on MRIs of pregnant women's bellies.  Read More

The DeLorme inReach can be paired via Bluetooth to an Android device, for added functional...

Whether they involve hiking, paddling, pedaling or climbing, multi-day backcountry wilderness trips can be very rewarding. For some of us, however, there’s always that one worry – what if something happens and no one knows where to find us? A cell phone likely won’t do much good, as coverage isn’t available across about 90 percent of the planet. A satellite phone would do the trick, but they tend to be quite expensive. That’s where DeLorme’s new inReach device comes into play ... just think of it as a satellite-enabled panic button.  Read More

The floating Noah capsule is designed to be used in the event of earthquakes or tsunamis (...

New Cosmopower, a small Japanese company, has created a floating capsule to be used in the event of earthquakes or tsunamis. Following the devastating loss of life during the Tohoku earthquake in March this year, the "Noah" capsule was designed to preserve life in the face of another major catastrophe - just like its biblical namesake.  Read More

A life vest incorporating one of the fabric antennas, being tested in Finland

A patch about the size of the leather name tab on a pair of jeans could save your life one day – should you be stranded at sea, that is. In a project overseen by the European Space Agency (ESA), researchers from Finnish company Patria and the Tampere University of Technology have created a flexible fabric antenna, that can be sewn into life vests. Once activated, that antenna transmits its coordinates to earth-orbiting satellites, that can immediately relay the location to rescue personnel.  Read More

An experimental computer system analyzes the stress in emergency services callers' voices,...

Chances are that if you're calling 9-1-1 (or 9-9-9, or whatever it is where you are), you're not likely to tell the operator that your case isn't all that urgent, and that it can wait. The problem is, sometimes emergency dispatch centers are so overloaded with callers – all of them stating that they need assistance right now – that some sort of system is required in order to determine who should get help first. Dutch researchers claim to have developed just such a system, which analyzes callers' voices to determine how stressed-out they are.  Read More

Texas Tech University has created an online world map that details the aftershocks of the ...

Almost incomprehensible as the devastation from last Friday’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan has been, scientists warn that more aftershocks are on their way. In order to get all the information on current seismic activity in one place, researchers at Texas Tech University’s Center for Geospatial Technologies have developed an online, publicly-accessible world map that displays data on disturbances worldwide, almost as soon as they have occurred.  Read More

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