Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

World's First

SolarKindle is shipping its solar powered cover for Kindle Touch and Kindle 4

SolarFocus picked up the Innovation Award at CES 2012 for its SolarKindle e-Reader cover that features a built-in solar panel, integrated battery and LED reading lamp. The company has announced it is now shipping the device for both Kindle Touch and Kindle 4.  Read More

James Cameron prepares to  enter Deepsea Challenger just prior to beginning his record-set...

On March 26 at 7:52am local time, film maker/explorer James Cameron entered the history books and became the first person to visit the ocean's deepest point alone. Just two weeks ago, we reported on his previous solo-dive record of 26,791 feet (8,166m), which he handily smashed by plunging 35,756 feet (10,898m) into the Mariana Trench's Challenger Deep southwest of Guam. If the handful of contenders still vying for the record want to beat Cameron, they'll now have to excavate, because that's as deep as it gets.  Read More

Scientists have created the world's first biodegradable joint implant (pictured), which ca...

Joint implants should always be made of materials like titanium, so they can last the lifetime of the patient ... right? Well, not according to researchers at Finland's Tampere University of Technology. They’ve developed a product known as RegJoint, which is reportedly the world’s first biodegradable joint implant. Unlike permanent implants, it allows the patient’s bone ends to remain intact, and it creates a new joint out of their own tissue.  Read More

ViewSonic is displaying four new dual-SIM Android smartphones at this year's Mobile World ...

ViewSonic has taken a new range of dual-SIM Android smartphones to Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona, that includes the successor to last year's V350 smartphone - the ViewPhone 3. Two of the brand new phones will run on the latest flavor of Google's Android mobile operating platform, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich. The company hasn't given away too much in the way of detail, but read on for what we do know.  Read More

Approximately 80 solar panels are incorporated into the 450-meter (492-yard) system

The tiny Swiss town of Tenna has put itself on the eco-map by building an innovative solar-powered ski lift. The solar lift is one of the world's first of its kind, and utilizes a "cable car system" where the solar panels are integrated directly into the lift. Approximately 80 solar panels are incorporated into a 450-meter (492-yard) system that is suspended above the ski lift, which has the capacity to pull 800 skiers up the mountain per hour. To avoid running out of energy during bad weather and snow storms, the ski lift is also connected to the local power supply, so skiers will not be left hanging on in the dark!  Read More

An 83-year old woman is the first in the world to receive a full 3D-printed titanium lower...

The ability to create your own replacement curtain rings, door knobs or even a custom chess set at home using a 3D printer like the Replicator or the Cubify 3D printer has the potential to knock global production models on their heads. Such advances are certainly impressive but not quite in the same league as those being made in the field of medicine. We've already seen small bone-like objects printed by Washington State University researchers, and now an 83-year old patient with a serious jaw infection has become the first person to receive a full 3D-printed titanium lower jaw implant. Amazingly, the combined effort by researchers and engineers from Belgium and the Netherlands is said to have allowed the patient unrestricted mandibular movement within a day of surgery.  Read More

Astronauts training aboard the KC-135 aircraft, which inspired the proposed Zero Gravity R...

It appears that BRC Imagination Arts, a Southern California design firm, have a zero gravity roller coaster proposal that’s waiting for a US$50 million investment. BRC’s proposed theme-park ride is inspired by NASA’s astronaut training aircraft the KC-135 (aka “Vomit Comet”) and would give riders the sensation of floating within a stable chamber.  Read More

West Coast Chill is being touted as the world's first beverage to be sold in a self-chilli...

Miller Beer may have announced its plans to do so several years ago, but now someone else is actually going through with it ... releasing a beverage in a self-chilling can, that is. At the end of the first quarter of this year, Joseph Company International will be launching its West Coast Chill all-natural energy drink, which will come in the company's patented Chill Can. When buyers press a tab on the can, the temperature of the liquid inside will decrease by 30ºF within three minutes.  Read More

Alesis has unveiled the world's first USB/MIDI keytar - the Vortex - with a built-in accel...

Noted rock vocalist and bass player Glenn Hughes (Trapeze, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and more recently Black Country Communion) has often been quoted as saying that, for him, much of the 1980s was just a blur. It's probably just as well, or he might have had a hard time dealing with the emergence of the keytar - a strap-on keyboard that has a little neck with a number of parameter-changing buttons on it. Okay, I admit it, I'm not a great fan of the Jan Hammers and Jean-Michel Jarres of this world, but those who want to emulate these digital music innovators without digging deep for a Korg, Roland or Moog original can now rejoice with the release of the world's first USB/MIDI keytar - the Vortex from Alesis.  Read More

GHOST is a prototype military boat, that is claimed to be the world's first super-cavitati...

If you combined a stealth jet fighter and an attack helicopter and stuck them in the water, what would you get? Well, according to the folks at New Hampshire’s Juliet Marine Systems (JMS), you’d get their GHOST marine platform. Privately developed for possible use by the U.S. Navy, the boat would reportedly be invisible to enemy ships’ radar, while also being faster and more economical than existing military vessels. The company’s big claim, however, is that GHOST is the world’s first super-cavitating watercraft.  Read More

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