Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Swimming

The Clever Buoy is designed to detect sharks and send alerts to lifeguards

In many parts of the world, shark attacks are a very real possibility for anyone entering the ocean. While suspended nets do help keep the toothsome fish separated from swimmers, they're far from from 100 percent reliable, plus sharks (along with other marine animals) regularly get caught in them and perish – as sharks are one of the ocean's apex predators, removing them from the ecosystem could have disastrous consequences. The Clever Buoy, however, may prove to be an effective method of keeping humans and sharks apart, with no harm coming to either.  Read More

With the help of a tow vessel, the Nautboard makes it easier to swim with a dolphin-like m...

No matter how good a swimmer you consider yourself, you'll never have the fluid, natural grace of a dolphin. The Nautboard from Aquanaut International claims to close the gap, allowing you to swoop smoothly up and down underwater like a true creature of the sea. All it takes is a tow vessel and some rope.  Read More

The Snorkelboard – it's like a glass-bottom boat, except a tad smaller

Just about everyone who's comfortable with swimming in the ocean is at least somewhat interested in seeing what's in the water below them. Not everyone, however, is so keen on actually sticking their head below the surface and breathing through a snorkel. If you're one of those people, you might like the Snorkelboard.  Read More

Using the Easybreath snorkel promises to feel more natural than traditional snorkeling

For those people unprepared to learn to scuba dive, snorkeling is a great way to explore the water while remaining close to the surface. The main problem with it is that it forces the swimmer to breathe through only their mouth, which can feel unnatural. Tribord's new Easybreath mask aims to solve that problem, by allowing natural breathing through the nose or mouth.  Read More

Studio Octopi has designed concepts for swimming pools in the River Thames

London architecture firm Studio Octopi has designed concepts for the creation of natural swimming pools in the River Thames. The designs were a response to "London As It Could Be Now," an open call ideas project developed by The Architecture Foundation with Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and the Royal Academy of Arts. Participants were asked explore ideas that raised awareness of the Thames and increased people’s interaction with it.  Read More

The Underwater Jet Pack is designed to let users perform underwater acrobatics using forea...

Who wouldn't like to fly around underwater? You can already sort of do so using devices such as the SeaBob, although you're still basically just "along for the ride." If SCP Marine Innovations' Underwater Jet Pack reaches production, however, it looks like it should provide an experience much closer to that of being Aquaman.  Read More

The Warning Pattern suit is based on fish patterns that warn off attackers

Worldwide, around 100 people are attacked by sharks each year. The anxiety this produces isn't helped by the fact that traditional black wetsuits make divers and surfers look like seals, and it’s not a good idea to dress up as a shark’s favorite snack before going into the water. Australian company Shark Attack Mitigation Systems (SAMS) is developing wetsuits designed to deter shark attacks rather than ring the dinner gong by using disruptive patterns that sharks have trouble seeing, or that make them think twice about attacking.  Read More

The +Pool concept

Though an apparently madcap idea, the early involvement of engineers at Arup suggested that the +Pool concept, to float a cross-shaped swimming pool in one of New York's rivers, might just become a reality. Now its designers at Family and PlayLab have launched a Kickstarter campaign to let backers buy pieces of the pool a tile at a time.  Read More

The YAK01 house makes use of a pool for passive cooling (Photo: Piyawut Srisakul)

If you're lucky enough to own a swimming pool, you already know they offer a great opportunity to relax, exercise, and perhaps throw the occasional pool party, too. However, the recently-completed Bangkok-based YAK01 house by architecture firm AAd goes further than this, by making use of a pool for passive cooling.  Read More

You probably wouldn't need to be told not to swim in this – a particularly scummy cyanobac...

Cyanobacteria, more commonly known as blue-green algae, can potentially be quite nasty. Some types of the bacteria produce toxins, which can poison humans or other animals that ingest water in which they’re present. Now, however, scientists are developing a portable sensor that will instantly alert users to the presence of the microbes in water samples.  Read More

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