In 2012, the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) teamed up with Royal College of Art product design students to create functional and innovative chairs out of American hardwood. So Thomas Gottelier and Bobby Petersen made a boat.
Last March, the performing arts group Extant held a unique rendition of the novel Flatland. The installation was set in complete darkness inside a disused church. But the audience members were able to make their way around the set with the help of the Animotus, a haptic navigation device that points to the destination by changing its shape.
Famous LEGO MOCer Alex Jones aka OrionPax submitted this whale of a proposal for an official LEGO set. It’s a fantastic scale model of the Nautilus, Captain Nemo’s submarine in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
The prototype is 4’7″ long, about 10″ wide and has several LEDs.
There are lots of photo apps and online services that can perform one-click enhancements. But these user-friendly shortcuts usually tweak a photo’s general quality, such as color or sharpness. Two Princeton University Computer Science students worked with Adobe Research to create a program that automatically detects and removes distracting elements from photos.
We’ve seen many ideas for devices with flexible displays, but a company called Polyera claims that it will commercially launch such a device next year. It’s called the Wove Band, a smartwatch with an E-ink touchscreen running nearly the length of its entire strap.
A couple of years ago we checked out a VRcade, a virtual reality arcade that freed players to move and translated their movements in the game with the help of motion capture systems. Artanim’s Real Virtuality is a lot like that, except it’s geared for multiple users and not just for games but for other content as well.
Aside from the usual plastics and composites, we’ve seen 3D printers use food, sand, metal and even paper to make objects. MIT adds glass to that ever-growing list of materials with its Glass 3D Printing (G3DP) platform.
We’ve seen a couple of ways for augmented reality technology to train or enhance one’s knowledge in real time, even if the teacher isn’t in the same location as the learner. ScopeAR’s Remote AR app is a lot like that, but it’s geared towards troubleshooting.
Researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) are testing robotic swans that can track water quality and upload collected data in real-time. The system is called NUSwan, a nod to the university but also short for New Smart Water Assessment Network.
Baseball players have pitching machines for batting practice, but what about pitchers? Thirteen-year old Nick Anglin’s Strikey Sensor could be a solution. It uses an array of lasers to detect whether a pitch is within the strike zone.
We’ve seen how superhero-themed children’s prosthetics can benefit their wearers beyond just giving them a functioning limb. Industrial Design student Carlos Arturo Torres also recognized that artificial limbs can turn a disability into an opportunity for children to play, learn and gain confidence, so he partnered with CIREC and LEGO to create Iko.
Microsoft Research’s Shahram Izadi and Philip Torr of the University of Oxford have come up with an intuitive way of teaching computers the names of objects while simultaneously creating 3D models of said objects. Their SemanticPaint system learns the names of objects by simple voice commands and can then automatically identify similar objects.
In 1988, Nintendo hired Sony to make a CD-ROM add-on for the Super Famicom to compete with the Sega Mega CD. But Sony also made a standalone version of this “Super Disc” add-on – a console that could play CD games and media as well as Super Famicom cartridges – and presented it at CES in 1991.
Last year we saw Local Motors’ Strati, a compact car with a 3D printed body, seats, windshield and support structures. Divergent Microfactories’ (DM) Blade prototype supercar looks much better – and is apparently much more powerful – than the Strati, but DM’s pride and joy is what’s inside the car.
With 2015 halfway over, it seemed like we’d fail to meet Back to the Future‘s prophecy of a hoverboard. The hero of destiny, Mattel, has practically given up. And then Lexus brought this thing out.
Now for the bad news.
Your Wi-Fi router already brings you Netflix and cat pictures, but someday it might become even more important to your life. A group of researchers from the University of Washington were able to send energy from a Wi-Fi router to low power electronics from up to 28 feet away, without interfering with the router’s – and neighboring routers’ – ability to transmit data.