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Protection

BMW Motorrad and Alpinestars have just launched an exclusive partnership to develop airbag safety clothing. The first product from the pairing will be a motorcycle jacket equipped with an airbag waistcoat based on Alpinestars' Tech-Air airbag technology.

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While the Iran-Iraq war of 1981-1988 saw the only large-scale use of chemical weapons since WWII, in a world beset by rogue states, civil wars, and terrorism, protecting against nerve agents and disposing of them remains a major problem. One bright spot is a team from Northwestern University, which has developed a new material capable of neutralizing nerve gases. The zirconium-based Metal-Organic Framework (MOF) called NU-1000 is not only useful for disposing of stockpiles of such toxins, but also for use in gas masks and protective suits for soldiers and rescue workers. Read More
On most fish, their hard, overlapping scales provide considerable protection against pokes and cuts. Because those independently-moving scales are each attached to a flexible underlying skin, however, the fish are still able to easily twist and turn their bodies. Scientists from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and MIT are now attempting to copy that structure, to develop flexible-yet-effective armor for humans. Read More
Even the most dedicated bicycle commuter could be forgiven for taking a look at the weather outside every now and then, and deciding to drive the car to work instead. LeafxPro aims to cater for such occasions with what's most easily described as an umbrella for your bike. Read More
We've seen scientists examine everything from the structure of sea sponges to the clubbing ability of mantis shrimps in the search for next generation lightweight armor systems. Researchers at Northeastern University’s College of Engineering believe that fish scales could hold the key to creating armor that's both impervious and lightweight. They eventually aim to combine the properties of fish, snake and butterfly scales into a single protective armor system. Read More
Last week's Wearable Technologies Conference in Munich showcased the future of cutting edge wearable design. While much of the exhibitor area was dedicated to usual suspects like performance-tracking sensors and wearable cameras, there was one design that immediately stood out. Still just a rough concept in need of partners, the i Gel protective system proposes a full-body airbag suit for protecting motorcyclists, bikers, skiers, and other hobbyists and professionals. Read More
Nand Logic's Smart Helmet may just top the list when it comes to the highest number of electronic goodies packed into a single helmet. While it's intended for activities such as motorbiking, cycling or snowboarding, some people might end up wanting to wear the thing even when they're just walking down the street – or auditioning to join Daft Punk. Read More
For law enforcement, or any job in which there's a real possibility of being shot at, bulletproof gear is incredibly important. A new product called the BulletSafe Bulletproof Hat aims to bring that sort of protection to the head, in a subtle fashion. Read More
BAE Systems has submitted a proposal to the US Army’s Common Infrared Countermeasure (CIRCM) program. Once operational, BAE's system will safeguard rotary and light-fixed wing aircraft, increasing survivability against the threat posed by infrared missiles. CIRCM is designed to work alongside an infrared warning system and a flare dispenser – a commonly-used countermeasure that confuses a guided missile into seeking the heat from the flare rather than that emitted by the target aircraft. Read More
For a prized, and likely very expensive, instrument, touring can be fraught with danger. Threats from knocks, bumps and scrapes lurk menacingly at every turn so investing in some form of protection is vital, but not all hard cases are made equal. After noting stagnation in guitar case technology, Timbre Cases founder Peter McMath set about designing the next generation of instrument travel protection. It's taken two years of R&D, but the company is now readying its tough dreadnought-shaped DNone case for release, which features a shock absorbent, water-resistant outer shell, humidity control and recessed wheels. Read More
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