Photokina 2014 highlights

Prototype

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

A model of a high altitude aerial power plant that harvests both solar and wind energy and...

Harvesting power from the wind and the sun is nothing new. We've seen flying wind turbines and solar power plants that aim to provide clean renewable energy. UK-based New Wave Energy has a bolder idea in the works. The company plans to build the first high altitude aerial power plant, using networks of unmanned drones that can harvest energy from multiple sources and transmit it wirelessly to receiving stations on the ground.  Read More

The Yamaha Tricity at the Tokyo Motor Show

If personal experience is anything to go by, Europeans love their scooters. One seems to zoom past every few seconds where I live, and a good many of those are three-wheelers from the likes of Peugeot and Piaggio. Yamaha is looking to grab a slice of the action with a Leaning Multi-Wheel concept named Tricity. Debuted earlier this month at EICMA in Milan, Italy, the company sees the three-wheel, tilting scooter becoming the standard city commuter when it's released next year. Gizmag caught up with the sporty little number at the Tokyo Motor Show.  Read More

The E-Streetflyer is powered by a 750 W electric motor

When we first came across Dr Carsten Mehring's StreetFlyer in 2011, its ride was described as like hang gliding on wheels. Like a hang glider, it didn't have a motor but relied on leg power and downhill slopes to get things moving. But now a student team at the Colorado School of Mines under Mehring's supervision has strapped a motor to the three-wheeled vehicle so it can be effortlessly ridden on the flat.  Read More

Georgia Tech's printed circuit technique could make it cheaper and faster for professional...

Researchers at Georgia Tech have developed a new technique to print advanced, ink-based electrical circuitry on a desktop printer. After about US$300 in equipment costs, the researchers were able to print arbitrary-shaped circuits on resin-coated paper, PET film, and glossy photo paper with silver nanoparticle ink.  Read More

Rendering of the Urbee 2 overlooking a city at sunset (Photo: Kor EcoLogic)

Urbee 2, the first road-ready, fuel-efficient car built using 3D printing, is the subject of a collaboration between design firm KOR EcoLogic, direct digital manufacturers RedEye On Demand, and 3D-printing manufacturer Stratsys. Their aim is to put the 7 hp (5 kW) three-wheeled, rear-steering eco-hybrid on the roads by 2015, and then demonstrate its capabilities by crossing the US using only ten gallons (38 L) of fuel.  Read More

The prototype Mars sample return container (Image: ESA)

A mission to return samples from the planet Mars is still many years away and, officially, not on the calendar. That hasn't stopped ESA from producing a proof-of-concept prototype of the scientific “box of delights,” which could one day bring bits of the Red Planet back to Earth for study.  Read More

The Ungoverned is a powered board designed to tackle everything from rocks to snow

In its early days, skateboarding was known in some circles as "sidewalk surfing," but lately we've seen a number of powered boards designed to leave the street behind and head off road. In 2009 we looked at one such prototype board known as the Scarpar Powerboard. The inventor of that board, Dan Baldwin, has now developed another prototype all-terrain board called the Ungoverned that is designed to tackle everything from rocks to snow.  Read More

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