Photokina 2014 highlights

Prototype

The Scent Rhythm watch aims to have people smell the passage of time (Photo: Aisen Caro Ch...

Glancing at a clock face in one form or another has been the de facto way to measure the passage of time. Aisen Caro Chacin though, is exploring a different perspective. She wants to give everyone the ability to tell time using their noses. Her chemical-based watch called the Scent Rhythm emits specially-designed fragrances in minute doses, in tune with circadian cycle of the human body. You get a fragrance of coffee in the morning, the smell of money in the afternoon, a relaxing whiskey scent in the evening, and a soothing chamomile fragrance at night. More than being merely pleasant, each chemically-supplemented scent aims to induce action appropriate to the time of day; the caffeine in the coffee scent, for example, aims to trigger the person into being more active.  Read More

Minimod, by MAPA Architects (Photo: Leonardo Finotti)

Though embracing small footprint living doesn't always require one deal with a challenging interior layout, a compact home that's designed to be flexible certainly bodes well for a harmonious lifestyle. It would appear that MAPA Architects had this in mind with its Minimod (or Minimal Modular) prototype home, which sports an adaptable interior layout comprising four living spaces.  Read More

Google's prototype blood sugar-monitoring contact lens uses a wireless chip and miniaturiz...

While we have seen the technology behind glucose-monitoring contact lenses develop over the least few years, getting them out of the lab and onto the eyes of diabetes sufferers has been a different story. With Google announcing its testing of a smart contact lens designed to measure glucose levels in tears, the search giant is looking to provide more effective management of the disease.  Read More

The AT Black Knight Transformer

When someone mentions flying cars it conjures up images of a sporty little number that takes to the air like something out of the Jetsons. But what about one that’s a cross between a 4x4, an octocopter, and a Blackhawk helicopter? That’s what Advanced Tactics of El Segundo, California is seeing with its ambitions to produce a roadable VTOL aircraft capable of unmanned autonomous operations as a more flexible way to recover casualties, move supplies, and support special forces.  Read More

Embedded in the contact lens are micro-components that enable the user to focus on near-ey...

Though most of the attention surrounding the race to commercialize connected eyewear has focused on Google Glass, a lesser known player has been quietly toiling away. At CES this week, Washington-based company Innovega will be showcasing its first fully-functioning prototypes of iOptik, an augmented reality system which projects a heads-up display onto contact lenses.  Read More

Canadian Tire's ice truck was designed as part of an advertising campaign to be aired on N...

With Eastern Canada experiencing one of the worst ice storms in recorded history, the idea of an ice truck might seem overtly ironic to some. The ice sculpting house of Iceculture and Canadian Tire, however, already had their 15,000 lb ice truck planned, built and ready to go before the storm hit.  Read More

Avegant CTO Dr Allan Evans testing the latest Glyph design

What better way to take a trip in a personal virtual reality bubble, or sit down to a private movie screening on a seemingly enormous screen, than donning a head-mounted display? Unless you happen to be dressed as Geordi La Forge at a Star Trek convention though, wearing such technology does kind of label you a bit of a geek. The Glyph headsets are a little different. In non-video mode, the device just looks like some rather bulky headphones. The headband, however, can be pulled down over the eyes for an immersive escape. Rather than looking at an LCD or OLED display (or in some cases using an actual smartphone screen) through lenses, Glyph users have the video and game images projected directly on their retinas courtesy of a combination of special optics and millions of tiny mirrors. The first pre-production prototypes are currently being assembled in readiness for CES in a few weeks, ahead of a launch on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.  Read More

Guitarist Mike Rowell plays the Bouillez acoustic

If you go shopping for an acoustic guitar, the chances are you'll be greeted with many variations on the same theme – a contoured wooden box with a hole between the bridge and the high end of the neck. The Bouillez (pronounced Bull-yah) dares to be different. Its creator Dan Bouillez has lopped off the fixed soundboard of a cheap, kick-about acoustic and replaced it with a floating one that gives the instrument a striking look and unique tone. With a great-sounding prototype in the bag, the self-taught musician and engineer has just started to build the very first production model.  Read More

SteamOS will run on Steam Machines of various shapes and sizes

While the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have stolen the lion's share of hype surrounding next-gen gaming consoles recently, Valve has continued working away on its own entry into the console market. Last week, the company shipped Steam Machine prototypes to 300 beta testers and made the first release of the open-source operating system that will power it, SteamOS, available for download.  Read More

Honda's Smartphone Case N demonstrator after airbag deployment in midair (Photo: Honda)

There are any number of cases promising to protect a smartphone from drops, bumps and scrapes, but an idea floated by Honda in a video promoting its new line of small cars adds airbags to the list of potential smartphone protection options.  Read More

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