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Michael Bennet-Levy discusses the Steuart’s Patent vacuum tank regulator

The second in our series of interviews with Michael Bennet-Levy looks at the Steuart’s Patent vacuum tank regulator – a clock produced in 1923 that its makers, J & D Meek, claimed was accurate to “better than a second a year.” If true this would have made it the most accurate timekeeper in the world prior to the invention of Caesium clocks in the mid 1950s. The essence of the Steuart regulator is that the electric motor drives the clock and the pendulum governs and corrects the speed of the motor. Neither is connected. Ideal for telescopes (because it doesn't tick), the clock was used as a stand-in for Big Ben during WWII and in the opinion of the Scientific American it marked “the most important development in clock-making which has taken place in modern times.”  Read More

A diagram depicting how the Microsoft multi touch keyboard may work

Up until now, touch screen keyboards have been problematic in that the user has had to look at the screen to navigate the location of the keys. That could all be set to change with news that Microsoft has filed a most interesting patent for a touch screen keyboard that uses multi touch capabilities to incorporate the user’s own hands as a physical point of reference.  Read More

The body board / Jet Ski hybrid design concept

With personal watercraft design evolving at what some may say is “a rate of knots”, a rather interesting concept has come to our attention. The brainchild of Spanish designer Miguel Angel, this cross between a Jet Ski and a body board is designed with speed and maneuverability in mind – but does the idea have what it takes when the going gets tough and the water gets rough?  Read More

Samsung's folding wing keyboard patent application

The ever-decreasing size of mobile devices might be a godsend for the pocket, but it poses problems for keyboard input. There have been a variety of solutions looking to solve the problem, from the iPhone’s onscreen keyboard to the Virtual Keyboard (VKB) that projects a keyboard onto any flat surface. One of the problems with these kinds of keyboards, however, is the lack of tactile feedback afforded by pressing actual buttons. Shrinking the keyboard down to fit on a mobile device of course presents its own problems and manufacturers must weigh size against usability by the chubby fingered. Samsung may have a solution with a folding wing design that would allow a reasonably sized keyboard to fold out from the rear of a mobile device.  Read More

Entrepreneur behind the Segway developing eco hybrid that will run on anything that burns

Dean Kamen – the multimillionaire inventor behind the Segway personal transporter – is well down the road in the development of a new bike that combines electric power and a radical generator which will allow it to burn almost any fuel. Although the majority of the work that goes on in Kamen's product development company, Deka, is shrouded in mystery, as it includes significant projects for the US military, details are emerging about Kamen's new two-wheeler, which is part of a project that also includes a car designed around the same technology.  Read More

The 100% Off prototype

Here’s a thought – the amount of time a domestic appliance like a television spends on standby over the course of a year actually costs more than the time it spends in use. To counteract this remarkable waste of money and energy comes a device called “100% Off” – a very switched on idea.  Read More

An illustration from the IBM Patent Application.

IBM has retained the Number One Plate Holder's title at the US Patent Office for 16 years straight, with 2008 issuances greater than Microsoft, HP, Oracle, Apple, EMC, Accenture and Google combined. On February 3 it astounded even seasoned patent watchers when it filed a patent for bionic body armor which not only recognizes a bullet has been fired, but delivers a shock to the target's appropriate muscles so they step out of the bullet's trajectory.  Read More

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