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Multi-functional

The BAE smart skin would turn the entire hull of an aircraft into a sensor array

In some cases, a pilot discovering damage to an airplane involves noticing a frightening thump on the hull. That may indicate that something is wrong, but not what or where. On the other hand, when human beings are injured, the network of nerves in the skin tell us almost exactly where and what is wrong. Stealing a march on nature, BAE Systems’ Advanced Technology Centre is working on a "smart skin" that covers the fuselage of an aircraft with thousands of microsensors to send back a wide variety of detailed information in real time.  Read More

Reconfigurable Roombot modules can attach to existing furniture, or rearrange themselves t...

Envision small robotic modules, lifting the lid of a storage box, spilling out, rearranging themselves to be the box's legs and transporting it to where you might be seated. That's exactly what Swiss researchers are aiming to create with Roombots, reconfigurable robotic modules that connect to each other to transform themselves into any type of furniture and change shape when needed (from a chair to a table, for example). Designed to help the disabled or elderly, by morphing to suit their needs, the adaptive robotic furniture modules can even be attached to existing furniture to give greater flexibility and the power to move.  Read More

GoBee 700 Spot

Outdoor torch manufacturer Light & Motion is taking its line of multifunctional lights to the next level. The all-new GoBe is a lightweight handheld that's compatible with half a dozen different lighting elements. Purchase all six screw-on heads and you create six different lights off of one platform for diving, biking, trekking and more.  Read More

Boxed, is a multi-functional and flexible piece of furniture which folds neatly into a woo...

Laptops and mobile phones may have ushered in the age of the road warrior by freeing us from the confines of the office, but young Scottish designer Tyrone Stoddart has gone one step further by designing a kit that transforms a briefcase into office furniture.  Read More

Backpack and towel combine into the WalkBag

In what is possibly the ultimate two-in-one combo for the beach bum, the WalkBag not only carries your beach essentials, but when pulled inside out, the small backpack doubles as a towel for lying out in the sun and drying off.  Read More

The Personal Audio Enhancer (PAE-300) from VitaSound

VitaSound has launched a multi-functional audio enhancement device for those who suffer from situational hearing difficulties. The PAE-300 has been designed for folks who don't need a hearing aid, but could do with some help when trying to hold a conversation in a noisy room, or watch television without needing to crank up the volume. It's powered by the intriguing Neuro-Compensator technology, that's said to enforce an optimal electrical signal from the root of the auditory nerve to the brain, resulting in improved audio clarity and a natural listening experience. Gizmag has been sent one for review, but, since my hearing is pretty good, I've recruited my father-in-law, Jean-Jacques, as primary device tester.  Read More

The Kammok Glider

Hammok manufacturer Kammok is working to bring an innovative new tarp to market. Not only does the tarp provide shelter from the rain, it funnels that rain into a gutter system and bottles it, providing a hassle-free way of procuring clean drinking water.  Read More

The Earl tablet could become your best friend in the outdoors, offering you navigation, co...

Smartphones, tablets and laptops are great when you're sitting on the couch or running around the city, but they aren't as great in the wilderness where cellular service disappears and bright sunlight renders LCD screens near-illegible. The Earl is a tablet designed to skirt around those shortcomings and keep you connected in the deepest of backcountry terrain. The "backcountry survival tablet" navigates you across the land, keeps you in communication with your crew and lets you know what weather lies ahead.  Read More

The staircase of Panorama House is large and multifunctional, going above and beyond its m...

The architects responsible for the Panorama House have made a staircase of epic proportions that acts as a functional centerpiece of the house. The staircase serves as a multifunctional hub, not only providing a way to get from downstairs A to upstairs B, but forming a central element of the house's library, cinema, and play area.  Read More

Shovel, ice axe and other functions

If you're looking for a multi-functional shovel for apocalyptic zombie slaying, you'll want the Crovel. If, on the other hand, you plan to use the shovel for backcountry skiing, you'll want the K2 Rescue Shovel Plus Ice Axe. The new multi-functional shovel saves weight and space by combining several functions into one tool. Its name gives away two of those functions, but it has a few more.  Read More

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