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Smart

Xcel Energy has announced that the world's first Smart Grid City is now online 
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Boulder, Colorado has just become the world's first city to benefit from an intelligent power supply monitoring system. The Smart Grid City system aims to make outages easier to predict and/or prevent, manage power flow throughout the infrastructure and give customers greater access to energy information and more control over how much they use. Xcel Energy constantly monitors the grid network for any irregularities, allowing the company to fix problems before they happen.  Read More

The upright riding position allows the rider to see more and be better seen by others

So what do you do when you challenge yourself to come up with a design to make traveling around busy, congested cities as easy and stress-free as possible? According to the folks behind the YikeBike - which was officially launched at Eurobike 2009 trade fair in Friedrichshafen Germany this month - you start with a blank sheet of paper, throw a good-sized front wheel in for stability, swap pedals for a brushless electric motor and abandon the familiar forward-leaning riding position of the bicycle altogether.  Read More

Scientists are studying better ways of creating touch screen coatings that resist glare an...

Big touch screens, like those used on smart phones and portable media devices, are great … unless the sun is out. Then the glare can be a killer, rendering some devices next to useless. Scientists have developed a test for analyzing reflection-resistant coatings to make using touch screen devices easier. The research also includes defining a better smudge-resistant coating to deter ugly fingerprints and scratches from screens and surfaces.  Read More

Drawers that open remotely or with the brush of a hand

Ever since home automation systems were invented, manufacturers have been looking at ways to integrate the technology into the busiest room of the house – the kitchen. But apart from the original Internet fridge (with its frightening price tag and lack of functionality) useful products have been few and far between. Not to be deterred, Anvil Motion has created a kitchen where, by choosing say, the ‘baking’ scene on a touch panel remote control, the cupboard doors slide vertically to reveal the oven, the utensils, the ingredients and the recipe books … all in unison.  Read More

The truck of the future could have an on-board digital co-driver that can even take over i...

Trucks of the future could be equipped with an on-board digital co-driver to help the human behind the wheel, or even take over if the driver loses control. The HAVEit project (short for Highly Automated Vehicles for Intelligent Transport) has 28 million euros (USD$40 million) at its disposal and is aiming to develop an intelligent driver assist system that responds to both traffic conditions and drivers' needs.  Read More

Nissan's Tiida-based EV-11 prototype has many features including a top speed of around 87m...

Nissan has showcased its electric vehicle (EV) platform on a Tiida-based hatchback model. The Nissan EV-11 prototype seats four-five adults, has a top speed of around 87mph (140kmh), a cruising range of 100 miles (160km) between charges and, being a full EV, produces zero local CO2 emissions. The in-house developed electric motor delivers 80kW (107hp) for “high response and powerful acceleration”. Nissan has also plans some clever IT for its EV platform, like remote ON/OFF charging via a cell phone or the Internet, useful mapping features including automatic updates on the nearest charging stations, a global data center providing 24/7 support and a scheme that could even see non-contact charging introduced in carparks.  Read More

Light Tape works beautifully to highlight a pool area

Think of a light bulb you can wrap around your finger or roll-out to create a display that would rival the Griswalds' efforts in Christmas Vacation. Light Tape is an extremely flexible lighting strip that has seemingly more applications than LED or neon lighting systems. Thinner than a credit card, and with a bend radius of 2mm, Light Tape can go just about anywhere – indoors and outdoors. It’s even wearable.  Read More

The new control interface now includes a bigger LCD screen and a familiar dial control

With the return of Summer comes the now familiar imposition of water restrictions and the unwelcome return of headaches for gardeners and nursery managers alike. Fortunately, pain relief for lovers of all things horticultural is available in the form of clever green tech known as smart irrigation, which plugs in to online weather information to optimize garden watering and minimize waste. Timing being everything in business (as well as comedy), smart sprinkler manufacturer Cyber-Rain has recently upgraded its range to add more independent zone control, better wireless communication, a simple and clear interface and an enhanced software solution.  Read More

The illumi-knob not only senses motion to provide a light at night, its ergonomic design a...

If you’ve ever stumbled around a room at night trying to find the door, the illumi-knob will strike you as simply brilliant. Designed to fit over most door handles, the device uses a passive infra-red sensor to detect any movement within 10 feet and then turn on two gentle LED light rings. It’s not bright enough to wake anyone, but more than enough to get you safely to - and through - the door.  Read More

Electric smart ready for small series production

Following a four-year U.K. trial of 100 electric smart fortwo electric drive cars which began late 2007, Daimler has decided to produce a limited run of the fully electric eco vehicle which will become available in 2010. The 30kW smart ed (electric drive) uses lithium-ion battery technology to power itself to an electronically limited top speed of 60 mph and is as simple to drive as a dodgem car. With no gear changes required, the diminutive smart can reach 30 mph in a respectable 6.5 seconds, making it ideal as a city car with short stints on the freeway.  Read More

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