Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

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The COBI system combines the user's smartphone with sensors and peripheral devices

There are already non-electric bicycles and motor-assisted e-bikes, although lately we've also been seeing the emergence of a third category – "smart bikes." These are (usually) human-powered bikes with built-in electronic systems that perform functions such as navigation, theft deterrence and directional lighting. While there are purpose-built models such as the Valour and Rogue C6, German start-up iCradle is taking another approach. Its COBI system is designed to convert a traditional bike into a smart bike.  Read More

The Microsoft-developed technology aims to provide those with blindness with a greater deg...

While the act of walking down the street might be second nature to most of us, it can be a much more difficult experience for those who are blind or visually impaired. To combat the issue, Microsoft has developed a headset that uses bone-conducting audio, creating a 3D soundscape to safely guide users to their destinations.  Read More

The chemical computer works by differences in surface tension

If you’re going out for pizza in Budapest, which would you choose to get you there; a smartphone with GPS or a drop of gel on a little maze? A team of scientists from Switzerland, Hungary, Japan and Scotland under the leadership of Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, thinks that the gel might be your better bet because that little bit of plastic and goo is a chemical computer capable of navigating a maze faster than a satnav.  Read More

The Yubi Navi concept aims to make on-foot navigation more intuitive (Photo: Stephen Cleme...

Anyone who’s walked down the street using their smartphone for navigation will know that it’s not an ideal solution. While the service itself is invaluable, the need to constantly keep glancing down at the display to check you’re heading in the correct direction can be more than a little tedious. NTT Domoco’s Yubi Navi is a prototype device that looks to simplify on-foot navigation, replacing visual, on-screen prompts with subtle, tactile cues.  Read More

World Beacon hopes to spread the SightCompass technology throughout schools, institutions ...

With their GPS capabilities and navigation apps, smartphones have undoubtedly made it easier for us to find our way around. The good news is we are starting to see these benefits extended to the visually impaired. SightCompass is a system that harnesses these strengths of the smartphone and combines them with proximity beacons to inform blind people of their surroundings.  Read More

Pioneer's new in-car multimedia systems are the first to feature support for Apple's CarPl...

Apple's CarPlay announcement back in March would have certainly caught the attention of many iPhone-toting drivers. But with the system to be integrated only in selected vehicles, at least initially, it may have left many scratching their head with their free hand. Pioneer has now come to the party, launching three multimedia systems that can be fitted to any vehicle and feature Apple CarPlay to offer smartphone control from behind the wheel.  Read More

The Pioneer rearview mirror telematics unit installs over the existing rearview mirror

Digital gadgetry for cars is progressing by leaps and bounds, which is great – except when they your car doesn't have them. Japan's Pioneer Corporation has developed one way to keep up with the high-tech motoring Joneses in the form of its rearview mirror telematics unit – a wireless information module that fits over a car's original rearview mirror.  Read More

LocName allows users to share place location information via a URL and mobile app, as well...

Repeatedly typing out addresses to share via email can be time-consuming, especially if they are written in a foreign language. A new service wants to make the need to type out addresses a thing of the past. LocName allows users to create a URL for an address that can then be easily shared.  Read More

A concept rendering of the robotic ship of the future (Image: Rolls Royce)

Earlier this year Rolls Royce outlined a future where giant robot cargo vessels ply the world's sea lanes without a human crew on board. That scenario is now coming closer to reality as the EU project MUNIN looks into the feasibility of robotic freighters and the hurdles they must overcome.  Read More

A blind test subject prepares to try out the wayfindr system (Photo: RLSB)

Even more so than their sighted counterparts, blind people rely heavily on public transport. In a survey of blind youth conducted by the Royal London Society for Blind People (RLSB), however, about half of the participants stated that they were uncomfortable using the London Underground. With that in mind, the RLSB's Youth Forum partnered with the ustwo design firm to create a prototype system known as wayfindr. It uses a combination of Bluetooth beacons, an app, and bone conduction headphones to guide users through the subway system.  Read More

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