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World's First


— Motorcycles

2012 Zero S electric motorcycle gets 100 miles+ on a single charge

When we first took the Zero S electric motorcycle for a spin our verdict was that while great fun to ride, impending advances in battery technology will mean that this - and other electric bikes - will only to get better from here ... and they are. Zero Motorcycles has announced a complete overhaul of every model in its 2012 range of electric two-wheelers with new powertrains and upgraded power packs that promise greater longevity, speeds of up to 88 mph (142 km/h) and a significantly improved range in excess of 100 miles (160 km) for the street-oriented models. Read More
— Good Thinking

Swiss team engineers first weavable, washable, wearable pure gold-coated fiber

What do you buy for the person who has everything? An obvious choice is something that's never existed before. Enter the determined textile specialists at Swiss research institute EMPA who spent the last ten years developing a method to affix pure gold onto silk. Only slightly less scarce than hen's teeth and spider silk cloth, the thread can be woven into a beautiful and surprisingly durable, even washable 24 carat fabric that Goldfinger himself would be proud to wear. Read More
— Aircraft

Japanese Defense Ministry shows world's first spherical flying machine

Star Wars fans (like me) will get a vague sense of deja vu when they see this flying sphere in action. Weighing in at about 12 ounces (350 g), the 16-inch (42 mm) diameter flying ball can launch and return vertically, maintain a stationary hover and zip along at up to 37 mph (60 km/h). Coupled with the ball camera we reported on earlier this month, it could become a valuable reconnaissance platform. Who knows? In time, more advanced autonomous versions might actually be used to train would-be Jedi knights. Once again, life imitates art. Read More
— Computers

OCZ releases world's first terabyte 2.5-inch SSD

If you’re like me, you’re waiting for storage capacities to increase and prices to decrease before ditching the traditional platter-based hard drive and jumping on the SSD (solid-state drive) train to take advantage of lower power consumption and faster boot up and access times. Having already released the world’s first 3.5-inch 1 TB SSD in 2009, OCZ has now removed the capacity hurdle for laptops with the release of the world’s first 2.5-inch SSD that is available in capacities up to 1 TB. Read More
— Architecture

Bosco Verticale: the world's first vertical forest

Italian architecture firm Boeri Studio hopes to merge vegetation and urban architecture, with its Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) project. The Italian firm has designed a model that could see the "reforestation and naturalization" of metropolitan cities, by growing forests sky-ways. "Bosco Verticale [is a] device for the environmental survival of contemporary European cities," says Stefano Boeri, who worked with Gianandrea Barreca and Giovanni La Varra on the project. Read More
— Marine

Hi-Tech Marine’s Oronero – the world's first convertible yacht tender

Yacht tenders are generally open top boats that leave their passengers exposed to the elements, but Alex Pirard Yacht Design has created a more civilized option. Laying claim to the title of the the first yacht tender in the world to feature a convertible and completely automatized hard-top, Pirard's Oronero is designed to ferry its passengers in style regardless of weather conditions. Read More
— Around The Home

iRoom iDock is the world’s first motorized, in-wall iPad dock

We've seen iPad docks that mount an iPad on a wall, on a car dashboard and on a fridge, but the iRoom iDock is the first we've come across that mounts an iPad in the wall. Featuring a motorized docking system that automatically opens and closes thanks to a proximity sensor, the iRoom iDock is flush-mounted to the wall, which means you'll need the services of an electrician to connect the unit to your home's electrical system. Read More
— Aircraft

Modern-day aviation pioneer achieves world's first untethered, manned electric helicopter flight

It's easy to look back at the history of exploration and aviation and feel like there's no mountains left to climb, that the age of the great pioneers is behind us and we're doomed to a future of LCD tanning and monitor hypnosis. But don't try telling that to Pascal Chretien. On August 12, this electrical/aerospace engineer and helicopter pilot took to the air in the world's first untethered, fully electric manned helicopter flight in a prototype machine that he designed and built almost entirely by himself within a 12 month development period. In his 2 minute, 10 second test flight, Chretien beat aviation giant Sikorsky into the record books - but it was not without significant risk. As the man himself puts it: "in case of crash I stand good chances to end up in kebab form." Read More
— Electronics

UCLA develops stretchable OLED display

While there have been some intriguing developments recently in the field of stretchable electronics and flexible OLED displays, one thing we haven't heard much about is stretchable displays. So, is it possible to make a screened device in which every part of it could be stretched? The answer could now be yes, with news that researchers from UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have demonstrated a stretchable polymer light-emitting device. Read More
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