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— Around The Home

Wi-Fi weather station could help create world's biggest weather-monitoring network

There is no shortage of smartphone apps that compile information from official weather monitoring sources, but if you’re looking to get some info on conditions closer to home – or inside it – then the Urban Weather Station from Netatmo could fit the bill. Designed specifically for iOS devices, (but also supporting Android devices), the cylindrical units monitor a range of environmental elements inside and out. Netatmo also hopes to use the Wi-Fi-connected devices to create “the largest weather and air quality monitoring network ever established.” Read More
— Good Thinking

WarmDirt keeps plants' roots frost-free

After a somewhat unsuccessful and rather expensive attempt at warming a greenhouse, electrical engineer Dr Craig Hollabaugh rigged up a system that keeps the winter chill away by warming the roots of his plants. The WarmDirt system has already helped his plants survive the coldest of Colorado's cold months, and is now getting ready to provide warmth to seedlings during the expected April freeze. This past season's survivors were all flowers but next winter, the setup will be used for growing veggies. Read More
— Electronics

Artguardian keeps watch on the gallery environment

While great works of art should be exhibited so the public can enjoy them, putting those pieces on display also puts them at risk. If environmental factors such as lighting intensity, temperature or humidity aren’t in the optimal range, for instance, works can prematurely deteriorate as a result. In order to minimize the risks, three of Germany’s Fraunhofer research institutes have collaborated to develop Artguardian, a system that monitors the conditions under which artworks are displayed. Read More
— Science

Scientists hope to collect electricity from the air

Nikola Tesla once dreamed of being able to harness electricity from the air. Now, research being conducted at Brazil’s University of Campinas (UC) is indicating that such a scenario may indeed become a reality. Professor Fernando Galembeck, a UC chemist, is leading the study into the ways in which electricity builds up and spreads in the atmosphere, and how it could be collected. “Our research could pave the way for turning electricity from the atmosphere into an alternative energy source for the future," he stated. "Just as solar energy could free some households from paying electric bills, this promising new energy source could have a similar effect.” Read More
— Around The Home

Liebherr's ZKes 453 cigar storage unit

Storing and maturing cigars successfully relies heavily on the regulation of air temperature and humidity, and the new ZKes 453 humidor from Liebherr achieves this using a stainless steel housing lined with Spanish cedar wood that incorporates sensitive electronic control system in conjunction with temperature and humidity sensors, all operated via an electronic SoftTouch panel. Read More