2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Waterproof

The FourPro is a salt-tolerant underwater housing for the iPhone 4 and 4S, which allows th...

If nothing else, the iPhone 4’s ability to shoot 1080p high-def video has certainly done one thing – provided inventors with things to make. There is currently what could almost be described as a gold rush, as products are being designed to augment the smartphone’s camera, to the point that it could be used for all of the same things as traditional, stand-alone video cameras. Some of these innovations have included interchangeable lenses, a mini SteadiCam, and a rugged helmet-mount system. Now, an underwater housing system for the iPhone 4 and 4S is in the works, which will allow users to shoot undersea video at depths of up to 100 feet (30.5 meters).  Read More

A plastic material inspired by the leaves of the aquatic weed Salvinia molesta may lead to...

It may be an invasive weed that’s fouling waterways in the U.S., Australia and other countries, but it turns out that Salvinia molesta has at least one good point – it’s inspired a man-made coating that could help ships stay afloat. The upper surface of the floating plant’s leaves are coated with tiny water-repellent hairs, each of which is topped with a bizarre eggbeater-like structure. These hairs trap a layer of air against the leaf, reducing friction and providing buoyancy, while the eggbeaters grab slightly at the surrounding water, providing stability. Scientists at Ohio State University have successfully replicated these hairs in plastic, creating a buoyant coating that is described as being like “a microscopic shag carpet.”  Read More

Kodak has unveiled a waterproof version of its Playfull camcorder in the form of the Playf...

Kodak has expanded its pocket camcorder lineup with the announcement of the water-, dust- and shock-resistant cousin of the Playfull camera, the Kodak Playfull Waterproof Camera. Coming with a lower price tag than the Kodak Playsport actioncams, the new arrival can be immersed to a maximum depth of 10 feet (3 m) for up to two hours and records videos in 720p (1280 x 720) resolution.  Read More

Contour has released its latest actioncam, the ContourROAM, which is simpler to operate an...

Amongst the various actioncam brands currently in existence, Contour is certainly one of the better-known. Today, the company introduced a new addition to its family, the ContourROAM. Like its predecessors the Contour+ and ContourGPS, it has a rugged cylindrical aluminum body, and a swiveling lens that users aim via two laser beams on either side. Unlike those cameras, however, it can be taken in the water, and goes from being powered off to recording with the push of one button.  Read More

The IP67-certified Samsung Galaxy Xcover will be one of the world's few rugged Android tou...

Samsung has announced its plans to update the Galaxy lineup with the Galaxy Xcover, one of the world's few rugged Android touchscreen smartphones. It's an IP67-certified dust- and waterproof 3.65-inch device running Android 2.3. It looks like the Motorola DEFY/DEFY+ and the upcoming Sony Ericsson Xperia Active rugged Android smartphones could be getting some "tough" competition.  Read More

Samsung has announced the W200 multi-proof pocket camcorder designed for active users.

Despite the killing off of the FLIP there's still some movement left in the Pocket HD camcorder market. Samsung's latest release is a shock, water and dust-proof rugged unit capable of recording full high definition video and snap 5.5 megapixel stills. The bright lens and LCD screen are coated to help keep videos blur-free and the sensitivity is twice that of previous models thanks to the inclusion of backside-illumination technology.  Read More

Voltaic's Spark Tablet Case harnesses the sun's energy to top up more power hungry mobile ...

Over the years we’ve seen increasing numbers of solar backpacks and messenger bags designed to keep mobile devices juiced up by harnessing energy from the sun. With the flood of tablets looking to jump on the iPad’s coattails at CES 2011, it comes as no surprise to see a solar bag specifically designed for such devices. Produced by Voltaic, the company behind a variety of solar backpacks and messenger bags including the Converter, the Spark Tablet Case’s solar panels generate 8 watts of power to provide about an hour of iPad runtime for every hour in direct sunlight.  Read More

Fitness Technologies has introduced what is claimed to be the world's smallest fully water...

There are several options out there when it comes to taking a portable music player in the pool or to the beach. You could opt for a waterproofed iPod or a dedicated player like Speedo's Aquabeat, but if you really want to downsize then Fitness Technologies diminutive UWaterG2 might be worth a look – it's billed as the smallest fully waterproof MP3 player around.  Read More

The Hovding airbag collar before and after inflation

Airbags have been cushioning drivers in accidents since the 1980’s and are now standard equipment on most new cars sold around the world. With cyclists and motorcyclists being much more vulnerable on the road than their car-enclosed cousins there have been a number of devices designed to bring the protection of an airbag to vehicles of the two-wheeled variety, including the Hit-Air jacket and Honda’s motorcycle airbag. The latest is an airbag collar aimed at cyclists called the Hövding that is worn around the neck and inflates to enclose the rider's head in the event of an accident.  Read More

The PATCH paper watch comes in a range of colors

Altanus, a Geneva-based watchmaker better known for its luxury timepieces made from materials such as steel and gold has turned to a slightly less traditional material for its PATCH watch – paper. Described by the company as having zero environmental impact, the PATCH was inspired by the papier- mâché floats of Italy’s Viareggio Carnival and is made from biodegradable paper in a range of eye-catching colors and designs.  Read More

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