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Ergonomic

Philips' new ErgoSensor display monitors its user's posture, and advises them if they shou...

Anyone who regularly uses a computer for long periods of time can likely attest to the importance of proper computer-use posture. Sitting in the wrong position, or having your keyboard or screen improperly located, can result in strain to the eyes, hands, wrists, neck or back. While we may try to establish a good pose when first sitting down at our machine, it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in what we’re doing, and gradually slip into our old ergonomically-unfriendly hunches or slouches. That’s where Philips’ new ErgoSensor display steps in – it actually monitors the user, and lets them know when they need to correct their posture.  Read More

A prototype of the ShopInstantShoe system's Shoptool shoe-molding machine (Photo: IBV)

Women will sometimes sacrifice the comfort and well-being of their feet, in order to wear fashionable shoes – it’s reached the point of becoming a TV sit-com cliché. The European ShopInstantShoe consortium, however, is looking to put an end to that scenario. No, the group doesn’t want to ban fashionable shoes, but it has been developing technology for making them more wearer-friendly. The result is a system that could be installed in shoe stores, which would allow women to get shoes custom-fitted to their feet, on the spot.  Read More

Belkin's LiveAction Camera Grip provides iPhones with an ergonomic handle, and a shutter r...

Although it’s been suggested that point-and-shoot digital cameras could be made obsolete by smartphones, there’s at least one thing that’s still better about stand-alone cameras – they have an ergonomic grip (or at least, some of them do), and a good ol’ fuss-free shutter release button. Belkin’s LiveAction Camera Grip device, however, is designed to add these features to the iPhone. The company has also released the LiveAction Camera Remote, which brings the same push-button functionality to a remote-control device.  Read More

The Airhead fits neatly inside the helmet

The Airhead is a simple helmet accessory designed to fit inside the helmet and increase air circulation, keeping you cooler. By limiting your head heat and perspiration, Airhead also promises to combat "helmet hair." Conceived during a road trip on long, lonely stretches of barren Australian asphalt, Airhead tackles the problem head on (pun intended). It is designed to help you maintain the carefully groomed hair that you spent minutes or hours parting and spraying before clamping your dirty helmet on top of it.  Read More

NASA and GM engineers have created Robo-Glove, a power-assisted glove designed to keep ast...

Having trouble getting the lid off that pickle jar? Well, perhaps the Human Grasp Assist device can help. Designed through a collaboration between GM and NASA - and also known as Robo-Glove or K-Glove - the device is based on grasping technology initially developed for the hands of the space-going Robonaut 2. Essentially a power-assisted work glove, Robo-Glove is designed to minimize repetitive stress injuries in both astronauts and autoworkers.  Read More

SkiCart attaches to the end of one ski, via a twist mount

If you buy a suitcase these days, it will likely come with those little built-in wheels that let you pull it along behind you. Most people, in fact, would probably feel cheated if they ended up with luggage that they had to carry everywhere. Well, Connecticut-based inventor Joanna Lach is hoping her SkiCart product will do for downhill skis what those little wheels did for suitcases. The device attaches to the back end of a set of skis, so those skis can be pulled from the car to the slopes, instead of having to be hefted in the user’s arms or perched on their shoulder.  Read More

Sonomax's eers earphones are custom-molded by the user, to fit their ear canals

Undoubtedly, one of the biggest things to happen with in-ear earphones in recent years is customized fitting. Products such as those made by Ultimate Ears, for instance, are made to fit precisely into each user's unique ear structure. The catch is that said users must first pay a visit to an audiologist and get an ear imprint made, send that imprint away to the company, and then wait to receive their custom-molded earbuds in the mail. Canada's Sonomax Technologies, however, has come up with an alternative - earphones that you can mold to your ears by yourself, at home.  Read More

New technology is able to capture 3D images of muscle contractions in less time and more d...

Current medical imaging technology misses important data regarding muscle contraction, including the ways in which a muscle’s shape changes when it contracts, how the muscle bulges, and how its internal fibers become more curved ... or at least, so Simon Fraser University (SFU)’s associate professor James Wakeling tells us. In order to remedy that situation, he has developed a new method of imaging contracting muscles, that he claims should allow researchers to observe never-before-seen details of muscle activation.  Read More

A back view of the ribs and joints incorporated into the seat's backrest

As anyone who spends a lot of time seated at a desk will know, it's important to change your position every now and then. For wheelchair users, who spend almost every waking moment seated, it is crucial that they do so - if they don't, they can develop deformities or bedsores, or at least end up in considerable pain. Now, the Swiss research group Empa is working with the ergonomics company r going, to develop a new type of wheelchair seat that periodically causes users to change the way they're sitting.  Read More

The dynamic luminous ceiling by Fraunhofer IAO recreates natural lighting conditions indoo...

The privilege of working under the open sky is reserved for just a few lucky professions. For the less fortunate majority, spending their working hours surrounded by gloomy office landscapes, the soothing sight of clouds drifting through the sky is unattainable. Setting up office cubicles in the open would do the trick but it's hardly a practical option, especially in places where the weather cannot be trusted. Fortunately, researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO), based in Stuttgart, Germany, know what else can be done to bring a little outdoor comfort to the office-bound. They built a dynamic luminous ceiling which allows office dwellers to gaze at clouds without ever leaving their desks.  Read More

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