Highlights from Interbike 2014

New Zealand

To promote its new record label, Beck's Brewery inscribed a simple beer bottle with music,...

In the 1870s, Heinrich Beck founded what would eventually become Beck's Brewery. At about the same time, Thomas Edison was hard at work on creating the first phonograph. It's a safe bet neither man thought the two products would ever merge, but when the New Zealand branch of Beck's wanted to promote a new record label project, the company turned to design agency, Shine Limited to do exactly that. The designers concocted the Edison bottle, a simple glass beer bottle inscribed with music that can be played like a 19th-century phonograph cylinder.  Read More

The range of Yikebikes now ranges from US$2000 to US$4000

With big changes likely in the global transport infrastructure, the race is on to create the missing link – the smallest, lightest man-packable form of motorized transport yet known. Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, BMW and Nissan have all shown vehicles in this area, but none have yet hit the market. The best-of-breed is currently the Yikebike and it announced today that it has further extended its lead, lightening its US$4,000 Carbon model from 11.5 kg to 11.2 kg and extending its range to 15 km (9.3 miles). There's also now a choice of Yikebikes with two cheaper versions at 12.7 kg ($3,000) and 14 kg ($2000).  Read More

The Romotow, folded up and ready for transport.

If you're like me, you probably find it difficult to get excited about caravans. The Romotow's designers felt the same way, so they've put together a unique design concept – a luxury caravan that folds out like a flick knife (or a USB key) to reveal a deck area that expands the floor space of the unit by some 70 percent. Will it make production? Who knows – but it's certainly a remarkable design. Gizmag spoke to W2 Director and Romotow designer Stuart Winterbourn in Christchurch, New Zealand.  Read More

Porter, world's first driving dog

A cute canine is something that shouldn't need much marketing – it pretty much sells itself. Or so you'd think. According to the ASPCA, around two million dogs are euthanized each year after finding their way into shelters. People simply don't adopt these abandoned and lost dogs at the same rate they find their way into shelters. For this reason, the SPCA in Auckland, New Zealand, which estimates it alone has anywhere from 50 to 100 dogs eagerly awaiting new owners each week, decided it was time to advertise with the launch of an advertising campaign that put the dogs back on the streets ... behind the wheel of a specially modified car.  Read More

The Martin Jetpack is now regularly being flown at speeds of 50 km/h (31 mph)

When we first covered the Martin Jetpack back in March, 2010, the creators were hoping to get it on the backs of buyers sometime in 2011. While 2011 has come and gone, the New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft Company is continuing test flights and is now seeking investors to help bring the manned Jetpack to market in mid 2013.  Read More

Workers install a solar array in Tokelau, an island nation that will be powered with renew...

Adopting renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power is a great way to reduce emissions and produce energy locally. In places like remote Pacific islands, however, those benefits are potentially a key to independence. For that reason Tokelau, a 10 sq. km. (3.86 sq. mi) island nation that lies around 500 km (311 mi) north of Samoa and which is a territory of New Zealand, is about to ditch diesel as a source of electricity and switch to solar power.  Read More

Hut on Sleds: the mother of all beach huts? (Photo: Jackie Meiring)

Fighting coastal erosion is a little like fighting aging. One can can make endless expensive artificial enhancements, but one day those enhancements will fail, and when they do, things will get ugly. In the case of erosion, for many that can only mean packing up and heading off for pastures new (or at least inland), for the owners of the Hut on Sleds, it's as simple as remembering where you parked your tractor. The Hut on Sleds, you see, is designed to be moved in the more literal sense.  Read More

What will be pulling into the station in 50 years time?

Public transport systems offer many advantages over the personal alternatives when it comes to getting large numbers of people from A to B in style and safety - less congestion, less pollution and lower costs for starters. But while we certainly see plenty of impetus on the personal transport front here at Gizmag, fresh concepts for the future of mass transport don't seem to enjoy the same level of exposure, despite the fact that many cities around the world are still saddled with public transport infrastructure that's been in place for over a century. There are some radical plans in the works, however, and the 21st Century will undoubtedly bring with it a raft of people moving projects that redefine our notion of public transport. So just what will be pulling into the station in 50 years time? Read on for our pick of the most tantalizing concepts out there.  Read More

Up, up and away ... the BEXUS 11 balloon, all 12,000m3 of it, just before take-off. The ba...

An off-the-shelf camera from Axis Communications has set the world record for the highest wireless network camera delivering high quality images to Earth. The PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) dome network camera was sent into the atmosphere to a height of 35 km (21. 7 miles) from the Esrange Space Center, north of Sweden, as part of the BEXUS 11 program.  Read More

The Martin Aircraft jetpack is the first commercially-available jetpack

It's been a long time coming. While Arthur C. Clarke's satellites have taken to space, and James Bond's futuristic mobile technology has become common place, still the legend of Icarus has captivated us and the dream of sustained personal flight has eluded us. But the future is here! Finally we can all take flight as Martin Aircraft in New Zealand releases the first commercially-available jet pack!  Read More

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