Turns Your Finger Into a Magic Wand

A wearable device looks like a normal ring that fits on your finger, which gives you control over almost anything!

It may deceivingly look like a normal ring but it generates a lot of computing power on your finger. Using the device, you can control home appliances and apps through custom gestures, device applications, even payments through specific gestures as well as write text by drawing letters in the air with your finger. Price: $185 (via Kickstarter; price may change). Kickstarter blew past it's $250,000 goal three times over and will begin shipping out devices to backers shortly.

Wireless Hearable Headphones

The Dash is the World’s first completely wireless hearable: smart headphones offering freedom of movement, maximum comfort and high quality sound – all while audibly coaching, tracking movement and capturing key biometric data. Listen. Track. Communicate. The market launch is planned for Q1 2015. Read More

These wireless in-ear headphones will not only put an end to your tangled wire woes, they'll also measure your heart rate, body temperature, speed, number of steps and number of calories burned, and they play music pretty well, too. They'll sit in your ear. Price: $299 (pre-order)

A smartwatch that knows what you're touching

A new system developed byDisney Research known as the Em-Sense watch will be able to distinguish between different types of electromagnetic sound resonating through different objects when you touch them. When a user wears the EM-Sense sensor smartwatch, it detects any object the user touches, from door handles to laptop trackpads and drills. The system does not need objects to be hooked up to any kind of sensor ... the EmSense system can detect them based on a database of past interactions.

Disney explains: "Most everyday electrical and electromechanical objects emit small amounts of electromagnetic (EM) noise during regular operation. When a user makes physical contact with such an object, this EM signal propagates through the user, owing to the conductivity of the human body. By modifying a small, low-cost, software-defined radio, we can detect and classify these signals in real-time, enabling robust on-touch object detection." Read More>

EmSense isn't ready for consumer release yet, this is still just a research project, though it does appear to work in practice. Imagine what it would be like if we can digitize touch and tactile sensation? Could this enable a multitude of new human capabilities? What if we could have office doors or specialized equipment that only operate on the touch of an authorized users only (as verified by his/her touch and paired smartwatch)?

Wearable Smart Jewelry

CUFF is a smart device that works with stylish jewelry to keep you feeling safe and connected — even when your phone is in your purse. Unlike other would-be wearable jewelry, Cuff has an interchangeable module called CuffLinc that pops into a variety of designs. You could wear it in a pendant, a bracelet, keychain, or any other accessory designed to hold it. 

Cuffs are wearable GPS bracelets that, when connected to other devices worn by loved ones, will vibrate when the wearer presses a button. The device is being marketed as a tool for both emergency situations and simple attention grabbing. The CUFF app enables you to set up a network of trusted friends and family who will be notified when you need help.

The CUFF works without requiring any charging, eliminating the hassle of one more cord to plug in. It will stay fully charged for 6-12 months (depending on usage) before needing to be replaced. Cuff's appearance makes it unnoticeable as a smart device, instead looking like fashionable jewelry,  the device will launch with compatible apps for both iOS and Android. Price: $50 - $150 (pre-order)

The futurist Bracelet that turns Your Arm Into A Touchscreen

A team from France has come up with the idea for a bracelet that can be used to turn the wearer's arm into a smartphone screen.  They have named it 'The Cicret Bracelet'. It is an armband that projects the content of your phone onto your arm, and allows you to interact with the projected content. "With the Cicret Bracelet, you can make your skin your new touchscreen," says the Cicret team on its website. "Read your mails, play your favorite games, answer your calls, check the weather, find your way... Do whatever you want on your arm."

"The video we put online is an illustration of what our Cicret bracelet could allow users to do," says Guillaume Pommier, Cicret co-founder and in charge of press and marketing.

While the bracelet is still in its concept stage and prototype is still in the works, the inventors believe that the bracelet will replace a smartphone or tablet.  Wearers of the Cicret bracelet will be able to check an email or watch a film that’s projected onto their forearm, and control the picture by using their skin like a touchscreen. A tiny projector in the bracelet will cast an image onto the skin then eight long-range proximity sensors will detect every swipe, tap and pinch. It will also have a vibrator, an accelerator, USB port and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, according to the Cicret website.
 

3D-Printed Houses

Modern development and research has been under way since 2004 to flexibly construct buildings for commercial and private habitation using 3d Printing. 

A Chinese construction firm (WinSun) based in Shanghai has succeeded in building 10 houses each measuring 200 square metres in 24 hours by using an enormous 3D printer.  Ten demo houses were built in 24 hours, each costing US$5000. "A group of 3D printed houses, 200 m2 each, recently appeared in Shanghai, China. These buildings were created entirely out of concrete using a gigantic 3D printer." read more in 3ders.org

Speaking to the International Business Times, Ma said: “Industrial waste from demolished buildings is damaging our environment, but with 3D-printing, we are able to recycle construction waste and turn it into new building materials. This would create a much safer environment for construction workers and greatly reduce construction costs.”

According to Architecture News "Other companies have been experimenting with plans to 3D print entire buildings, most notably Dus Architects and Ultimaker in the Netherlands." 

The Invisible Bike Helmet

Two Swedish industrial design students came up with an ingenious solution: make the helmet invisible. Their concept: an airbag in a collar; in the event of an accident, it would deploy to envelop a bicyclist’s head.

The Hövding (invisible helmet) is actually an air bag, which uses a helium gas cylinder to inflate when its sensors detect a sudden jolt.

Hövding is a rapidly-inflating airbag that deploys from a collar around your neck when you’re in an accident. Here’s how it works, and a video demonstrating this amazing, but still expensive, invention.

The helmets are also CE labelled, which means they comply with EU safety standards and have undergone a variety of safety tests.

A portable water filtration device

"1 in 9 people world wide do not have access to safe and clean drinking water and  443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related diseases."... According to the Water Project

PureLives is a home filter - utilizes unique patented technology that eliminates 99.9% of the waterborne bacteria and viruses that cause human illness and disease. Portapure technology a five-gallon water filtration device, can take dirty water from a lake or stream and turn it into clean, drinkable H20 -- without the need for purification tablets or electricity. The device can provide 3,000-5,000 gallons of drinkable water before it needs a new filter.

PureLives is designed to work either in the home as a filtration unit attached to a faucet or it can be taken to a well or source of groundwater using shoulder straps.

High-tech mouthguard that can detect concussions

Detecting a concussion is difficult, and unknowingly allowing athletes to play with one can cause a lifetime of brain damage.

Mamori which is Japanese for "protect", is a mouthguard with built-in sensors that can  send alerts to coaches that  when a collision is intense enough to cause a concussion and also tell someone on the sidelines when a player has received a serious – yet invisible – injury. If the force absorbed by a player is large enough, that information can be received with the corresponding Mamori app on a computer instantaneously. This will allow for coaches and trainers to provide treatment quicker to the injured player, because they were able to recognize the concussion at an earlier period of time. Because concussions are so easily undetectable, sometimes players can just shake it off as a headache and not think anything about it; if they get hit again though, the consequences can be much more dire. Mamori will help prevent players from playing with undetected concussion - Read more

Mark Dillon, an Irish inventor, was inspired to make Manori because of the concussion problem with Gaelic football in Ireland, along with the increasing problem of players playing with concussions and getting hit again. Mamori is a finalist for the James Dyson Award, in which hundreds of university-level design and engineering students compete for cash and recognition. 

New Solar harvesting surfaces that revolutionise solar power as we know it

Researchers Develop Transparent Solar Concentrator 'Near-Infrared Harvesting Transparent Luminescent Solar Concentrators' - This technology could mean that one day entire skyscrapers might be able to generate solar power without blocking out light or ruining tenants' views. Continue Reading

Because solar panels are designed to accumulate as much light from the sun as possible, they're typically very dark in color. It makes them more efficient, but also kind of an eyesore, minimizing their adoption. So researchers at the University of Michigan have developed what they believe to be the world's first semi-transparent, colored solar panels. Read more

Molecular Scanner - a future of endless possibilities.

“Futuristic” Molecular Scanner - SCiO is a small handheld scanner that you can use to scan your food to see how many calories are in your meal, the amount of fat or sugars, how ripe a fruit is, and even how pure a cooking oil is. It can tell you whether your plant needs more water and what’s in the pills your doctor prescribed.

Imagine what it would be like to being able to tell whether the soil or food contains harmful chemicals or nutrient deficiencies. Wouldn't it be amazing to be able to know for sure the foods you are eating have the vitamins and minerals they say they do?

Wearable robotic suits that allow people with lower-body paralysis to walk upright again

Wearable robotic suits that allow people with lower-body paralysis to walk upright again

Could you ever imagine that soon wheelchairs might become irrelevant? Well, you don't have to imagine it, since the revolutionary "bionic exoskeleton" is now making this a reality. Robotic or mechanical exoskeletons provide the possibility of offering disabled people the kind of protection, support and strength they afford in nature. 

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AirDrop: Turning Air Into Water

This simple, but brilliant, design actually pulls water from air through condensation. This solar- powered AirDrop low-tech device, takes  in air from above the soil and cools it  below ground, causing the water in the air to condense, in a passive  system of sub-surface drip irrigation.

With this AirDrop device, the water is delivered directly to the plants' roots, where it's most needed and the water has much less opportunity to be wasted, due to evaporation.

The 28-year old Australian inventor, Edward Linacre took his biomimicry cues from Australia's hardy desert rhubarb and from the Namib beetle, which have evolved to collect water from the air.

It works by using a solar powered fan to drive the hot air underground through a network of piping that rapidly cools the air and condenses the water out it. This is the most ingenious and efficient form of irrigation, since it does not rely on the bodies of water for its sources. Currently, it's in the prototype phase. 

While still in the beginning stages and not available for purchase... yet, this is an idea and a project to watch closely. Very closely.

Printing human body parts using 3D printing

The use of 3D printers outside the fields of product engineering and manufacturing and to print off a kidney or another human organ may sound like something out of a   science fiction story. But now this science fiction is a reality. 

Unlike normal printers, Bioprinters use a "bio-ink" made of living cell mixtures to form human tissue. Basically, the bio-ink is used to build a 3D structure of cells, layer by layer, to form tissue.  Organovo, with the help of the Australian company Invetech, was the first company to launch a commercial 3D bioprinter. The company originally intended to sell its printer, which is called the NovoGen MMX bio-printer, to other companies for use. 

According to researchers, 3D printing will make organ transplants easier because organs and tissues can be generated on demand. It can also lessen organ rejection among patients because the living cells used in engineering these organs can be harvested from the patient’s body itself. Organovo , a San Diego-based company that focuses on regenerative medicine, is one company using 3D bio-printers to print functional human tissue for medical research and regenerative therapies.

 

Australian scientists have found a way to grow human body parts using 3D printing technology. Instead of using traditional materials such as plastics or metals however, the team hopes that the printers will be able to create new body parts out of the patient’s own skin cells – a concept that Professor Mark Cook, director of neuroscience, has described as “quite incredible and limitless”. This will become invaluable for doctors because these machines help them do their jobs with a higher degree of precision. 

 

University of Wollongong researchers are leading the way in this area using a 3D bio-plotter, the first of its kind in Australia. This machine is able to use bio-materials to print material in a sterile environment that more accurately represents human tissue. It's possible to print devices and structures that can be implanted in human bodies, and these devices can have cells grown on them so that bodily functions can be replicated on these very tiny devices.

Whilst similar projects are being conducted globally to recreate body parts, the Australian partnership between St. Vincents and ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science have sought government assistance to accelerate proceedings, in order to position Melbourne in the forefront of this area of research.

 

Is your business investing in 3D printing?

Is your organization investing in 3D printing technology? If your business isn't already investing in 3D printing, you must ask yourself  "Why not?"

3D printing – also known as additive manufacturing – is part of a rapidly growing market whereby a print head deposits very thin layers of resin on top of each other in a specified fashion to create a 3D object based on a digital model. 

3D printing is achieved using additive processes, in which an object is created by laying down successive layers of material such as plastic, ceramics, glass or metal to print an object.  The unforeseen possibilities that 3D printers could offer are endless. The ability to create higher quality products or parts more efficiently is attracting more and more industries to the technology. Companies including Boeing, General Electric and Honeywell use this type of 3D printing to manufacture parts.

 

The 3D printing technology is not only limited to the industries of Product Design and Development but is also ideal for other industries such a metal casting, jewelery and dental. 3D printers are already in use among many businesses, from manufacturing to pharmaceuticals to consumers goods, and have generated a diverse set of use cases.

A recent Gartner report says "Early Adopters of 3D Printing Technology Could Gain an Innovation Advantage Over Rivals". The report predicting that enterprise-class 3D printers will be available for less than $2,000 by 2016. Check out the Gartner Report

 

Virtual and Real world experience

IBM Research thinks that in the next five years our mobile devices will bring together virtual and real world experiences to not just shop, but feel the surface of produce, and get feedback on data such as freshness or quality.

In 5 years, you will be able to touch through your phone. IBM is working on bringing a sense of touch to mobile devices, and bringing together virtual and real world experiences for a number of industries including retail. Shoppers will be able to "feel" the texture and weave of a fabric or product by brushing their finger over the item's image on a device's screen.