September 15, 2006 The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), demonstrated its remarkable engineering and rehabilitation science know-how earlier this week by introducing Claudia Mitchell, the first woman to be successfully fitted with RIC’s Bionic Arm technology. The most advanced prosthesis of its kind, the RIC neuro-controlled Bionic Arm allows an amputee to move his or her prosthetic arm as if it is a real limb simply by thinking. The arm also empowers patients with more natural movement, greater range of motion and restores lost function. Using key learnings from the first successful Bionic Arm recipient
, former power lineman and double amputee from Tennessee, Jesse Sullivan, RIC’s Bionic Arm initiative leader Dr. Kuiken and his team also have made significant advancements in the area of sensory feedback so that the patient can actually feel if they are touching hot or cold objects. We have excellent pictures and copies of Dr. Kuiken’s presentation to the media available in the image gallery
. That's Claudia at top right in the main pic, the bionic arm bottom right, the nerve ending connections at top left and Dr. Kuiken and the first Bionic Man, Jesse Sullivan at bottom left.
August 30, 2006 Thirty-nine year old Iranian-born entrepreneur and Ansari X-Prize
title sponsor, Anousheh Ansari
, has been officially named to the Soyuz TMA-9 primary crew and will become the first private female spaceflight participant. Following in the footsteps of the three previous Space Adventures private cosmonauts
, Ansari will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on September 14 en route to the International Space Station (ISS) along with the Expedition 14 crew members: NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin. Mrs. Ansari began her cosmonaut training
earlier this year in preparation for a future orbital spaceflight with Space Adventures but with a Russian Medical Board deeming Japanese businessman Daisuke Dice-K Enemoto
unfit for space flight, Ansari will become the first private female astronaut, two days after her fortieth birthday and achieve an ambition she has harboured since childhood. In her quest to fly in space, Ansari kickstarted the private spaceflight industry by creating the US$10m X-Prize competition, which was awarded in 2004 to Bert Rutan. “By reaching this dream I’ve had since childhood, I hope to tangibly demonstrate to young people all over the world that there is no limit to what they can accomplish,” said Anousheh Ansari, chairman and co-founder of Prodea Systems. Prodeo
is Ansari’s latest venture, focussing on digital home technology. Go Girl !!!! Excellent image library
August 15, 2006 Singapore’s Osim is in the business of making a range of high quality exercise and health related machinery and it certainly didn’t take the company long to come out with a rival for the Panasonic Joba
which has been under development for several years and captivated Gizmag's female readers when we first wrote about it in early 2005
because it’s a perfect machine for maintaining a trim figure. The OSIM iGallop appears to work
in exactly the same way as the Joba, working on the body’s core to shape and tone the tummy, hips, seat and thighs. It’s a zero impact exercise machine, and works the body by requiring multidirectional movements to maintain balance, with this constant balancing engaging certain muscle groups, and helping to improve balance, coordination and posture. The new iGallop starts shipping today at Brookstone
, and the really good news is that it comes in at US$600, waaay less than Panasonic’s US$2000.
July 29, 2006 The modern two-piece swimsuit or bikini was invented circa 1945 in Paris, and was subsequently named after Bikini Atoll in the Pacific where the French were testing nuclear weapons. It took another decade or more for the swimsuit to move into regular usage though, with most recognising sex siren Brigitte Bardot’s appearance in the movie “And God created Woman”
as the catalyst which saw it accepted into modern culture. Apart from getting significantly smaller, the bikini hasn’t evolved much in its 60 year reign of popularity, selling more than 30 million units a year in the United States and presumably hundreds of millions across the planet. Now a new simple function offered by Solestrum is pointing the way for the future of useful wearable technology – despite some untrue claims elsewhere in the media, the US$140 bikini
offers the wearer real time UV readings on a belt-mounted read-out. The belt is the entire unit, and is made from a smart fabric that detects UV and transmits to the display. Next month, Solestrom will release a new version of the suit, which emits a beep at the UV level programmed by the user.
July 27, 2006 It’s a sad fact but despite thousands of years of civilization, it just takes a bit of frustration on the roads and otherwise law abiding citizens can get very ugly and threatening. A poll in the UK shows that nearly one in three female motorists admit to having been the victim of road rage or intimidation when travelling alone, which is why new UK car insurance company Sheilas' Wheels
is offering a new device that aims to make women feel safer when driving alone after dark. 'Buddy on Demand' is a blow up man that inflates at the flick of a switch if and when a passenger is needed. It is designed to help women deter road-rage attacks, car jacking and intimidating behaviour by other motorists - especially at night - by giving the appearance of two silhouettes in the front of the car, instead of a single, female figure behind the wheel. The 'Buddy on Demand' was designed and created by Inflate
, builders of the Office in a bucket
and a range of other remarkable inflatable structures.
June 30, 2006 As personal computer and mobile telephones have become ubiquitous, there have been few surprises in the way the cookies have crumbled, but one that seems to fly completely in the face of logic is the attraction that the female gender has for computer games. Women represent 59% of all U.S. consumers who play games on a mobile phone and these findings concur with the overall demographic makeup of Internet gamers, where women are the majority due to their penchant for online trivia and card games. Men, on the other hand, hold the majority among gamers who play intense action and role-playing games, and there is not a comparable group of male users in the mobile gaming space. A new research study entitled "Electronic Gaming in the Digital Home" concludes that women are the foundation of the gaming market, and the industry needs to cater to their preferences. John Barrett, director of research at Parks Associates believes, "Women generally spend little on gaming even though they like to play games … the industry just needs to find a game they are will to pay for."
May 10, 2006 The Electric Cinderella shoes idea began as part of Simona Brusa Pasque's thesis
at the Interaction Design Institute
in 2002 and was inspired by a beautiful woman who Simona interviewed for her thesis who wanted to be able to “intimidate her intimidators.” She wanted to be empowered without losing her femininity, to have the freedom to be sexy without fear. The shoes certainly achieve that, offering 100,000 volts of high fashion stun gun power which can be activated by a control on the matching necklace. The weapon is hidden and when the wearer taps on the matching necklace an electric spark is displayed in the transparent tip, warning the would-be assailant to back off. The weapon is designed for a one time use, in case of emergency, by breaking the tip of the shoe. The shoes have now evolved through several prototypes with earlier versions exhibited at SIGGRAPH 2005 in Los Angeles, at Nemo Museum, Amsterdam, and at Pica Museum in Perth, Australia with the latest incarnation getting its debut outing at the recent CTIA Wireless Fashion Show
in Las Vegas. “I believe this type of capability is a dream of many women and it is my intention to bring it to market,” Simona told Gizmag. Simona is seeking "the right business partners." Excellent images!
April 14, 2006 Ever since 1930, Blancpain has been firmly convinced that women are well able to appreciate the know-how and the magic of mechanical horology. The Blancpain tradition of feminine Haute Horlogerie timepieces is thus no recent development, but instead boasts a rich and diverse history. Over the past 75 years, Blancpain’s numerous achievements in this field have included the first ladies’ self-winding wristwatch, the smallest round movement and more recently the world’s thinnest perpetual calendar. From an initial role as a purely functional object, the wristwatch has become a piece of jewellery or an accessory accompanying a particular clothing style. This graceful transformation has proved fundamental to contemporary watchmaking. While the Blancpain ladies’ models created in the past can lay claim to many world firsts, Blancpain has never dedicated an entire collection to women. Accordingly, and for the very first time and coinciding with the arrival of spring, Blancpain is revealing how it has imagined and developed its approach to feminine mechanical timepieces. Far from being mere reductions or adaptations of existing men’s watches, the three first models making up this collection were specifically developed to meet the expectations and desires of contemporary women. The hours of the BLANCPAIN WOMEN collection are exclusively feminine. Remaining steadfastly faithful to its roots in the Vallee de Joux, Blancpain has endowed each of its women’s watches with a meticulously hand-finished and decorated mechanical self-winding movement. Nonetheless, the Manufacture is now exploring an entirely new path by creating a collection that is completely innovative in terms of its aesthetics.
April 5, 2006 It may be a ridiculous over generalization but women are different to men. They like things different and they like different things and they make up half of the consumer market give or take a percentage point or three. We thought it was silly that it had taken a quarter century for the world to deliver a left-handed mouse
for the 16% of mollydookers in the world, but when we saw BluePearls had announced a small, elegant Bluetooth headset aimed at women, it suddenly seemed obvious that not everyone wanted to dress up like R2D2. The headsets have interchangeable colour panels and are claimed to be the smallest and lightest on the market at just 7.9 grams.
March 29, 2006 Firstly, let us be clear - this is not a premature April Fools Day joke. As Apple Computer celebrates its 30th birthday, we are reminded yet again that technology continues to touch us in the most amazing ways. First the iPod revolutionized the way we hear music. Now the iBuzz is attempting to change the way we feel music. We’ve written about a number of MP3 players using bone conduction (here
), we’ve seen an iPod docking keyboard
, an iPod docking baby stroller
, the iDog
, the iPod compatible wallet
, the iPod compatible bed
, the iPod docking iChair
speaker system (very cool actually), the iPod TuneBuckle
for your belt, not to mention dozens of ipod compatible cars. But even the iLounge Toilet Paper Dispenser with iPod Dock
could not prepare you for this – the weirdest iPod accessory we’ve ever seen – by a country mile!