"Smart" smoke and CO2 detectors
can do all sorts of clever things, such as notifying absent homeowners
via their smartphone if the alarm goes off. However, what if you’ve
already got a perfectly good "dumb" detector that you don’t want to
replace? Well, you’ll soon be able to give it some brains, in the form
of the Roost battery.
A smoke detector is necessary for keeping your home safe, and with the
rise of smart devices, it only makes sense for them to be one of the
first items to get connected. Halo WX, a new smoke detector just hitting
the market, features all of the smoke and carbon monoxide detection one
would expect, while also adding in alerts for natural disasters.
When out in the wilderness, it can be a good idea to take along a backup fire-maker, just in case your matches get damp or rubbing sticks gets you nowhere. With this in mind, Survival Laces include a small fire starting kit, and some fishing line too, just in case you ever need them.
Even if you've never been in a situation rougher and more life-threatening than a KOA campground, there's something comforting about knowing that you're prepared to start a fire in the wettest, nastiest conditions that Earth can hurl at you. Perhaps that's why we're always fascinated with versatile, new fire-starting materials, especially when they have awesome names. Fire Dragon from BCB International is a new, ultra-versatile, purportedly eco-friendly way of getting a roaring blaze sparked or meal cooked.
If there's one job that a person would probably prefer to lose to a robot, it would be fighting fires aboard ships. To help make such a vision a reality, the US Navy and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) released details of demonstration exercises conducted by their Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) aboard the fire training ship USS Shadwell last November.
While lithium-ion batteries may outperform their older, lower-tech counterparts, they do have one drawback – occasionally, they catch fire
. This can happen when fern-like metal structures known as dendrites form between the battery's two electrodes, causing a short circuit. Now, however, researchers at the University of Michigan have used Kevlar nanofibers to create a barrier between the electrodes, which is impervious to those nasty dendrites.
If you've already written your Christmas list for Santa, you may want to redraft it. That's because there's a new device available that lets you shoot balls of fire from your hands. Yes, like a superhero.
Last June, a wildfire near Yarnell, Arizona overtook and killed 19 firefighters – even though they had set up fireproof shelters. This inspired Phoenix-based SunSeeker Enterprises to develop a shelter that's better able to withstand the high heat of forest fires. Utilizing a material licensed from NASA to protect the Space Shuttle on re-entry, the Fire Blanket is the result.
There have been numerous cases of lithium-ion batteries catching fire in everything from mobile phones and laptops to cars
. While the odds of this occurring are low, the fact that hundreds of millions of lithium-ion batteries are produced and sold every year means the risk is still very real. Researchers at Stanford University have now developed a "smart" lithium-ion battery that would provide users with a warning if it is overheating and likely to burst into flames.
Chatting happily over a sumptuous dinner on the balcony, you bask in the warm summer breeze that blows gently past, sipping your wine and enjoying the company of a few special friends. The day is nearing dusk, so you reach over to light a candle and, as you do, soft music magically wafts from the candle holder, adding to the elegant mood. Your friends are impressed, and the evening is a hit. But where did that music come from? It came from Pelty, a Bluetooth-enabled, candle-powered speaker with an inbuilt thermoelectric converter that lets you play music streamed from your phone without the need for batteries or cables.