Solar Headphones Charge Smartphones

Solar Headphones Charge Smartphones

Our smartphones and mobile devices have become such a part of our lives, acting as not only our social hub, but our media player as well, that we it’s hard to part with them, even to plug them in for a charge. When the batteries in our gadgets are dead, it’s great to have a smart and stylish way to power them while we’re still on the go. That’s where the OnBeat Solar Headphones come in. Featuring a small solar panel that fully covers the headband, and two rechargeable Li-ion batteries (1000mAh) for storing the energy captured by the panels,… read more

Turn a Raspberry Pi into a Desktop with LittleBox

Turn a Raspberry Pi into a Desktop with LittleBox

Sometimes the advances in technology get away from us, and we don’t know how our gadgets are even put together, let alone how they work. But with the mini-computer revolution happening, it’s a great time to get started in building your own devices. Thanks to innovations in tiny powerful devices, such as the Raspberry Pi units, it’s now possible to create your very own custom gadgets, from a laptop to a media center to a WiFi radio. But it doesn’t stop there, because one dedicated user has come up with a design to take a Raspberry Pi and turn it… read more

Build a Recycled Eco Quadcopter

Build a Recycled Eco Quadcopter

Not too long ago, we had to settle with remote controlled vehicles that had a cord connecting it to the controller, and they were restricted to rolling across the ground (and it had to be level ground, too, or they got stuck). Then we got the next generation of all-terrain remote controlled cars and trucks, which used wireless controls and could tackle difficult driving surfaces.  The first remote controlled helicopters able to fly and hover on command came along just recently, and then a more robust version, the quadcopter, which uses four motors to lift and maneuver the vehicle, is… read more

Bitponics is Your Virtual Gardening Assistant

Bitponics is Your Virtual Gardening Assistant

If you want to grow some of your own food, but have no garden space outdoors, one option that’s getting more and more attention these days is hydroponic gardening, which is a perfect fit for small indoor spaces. Not that long ago, hydroponic gardening was considered by many people to be too technical or too complex to set up and run on their own, so it hasn’t seen wider adoption yet, except in certain circles. But growing in this way can yield much better results, and much faster growth, than planting in a pot filled with soil, so we’re starting… read more

If You Like Butterflies…

If You Like Butterflies…

Then you will appreciate knowing they are being accessed for some scientific inspiration. The nature born wing technology of the butterfly has actually been studied – and replicated – for use in human designs with elements of biomimicry. In 2009, a group of researchers found that scales on the wings actually act as onboard solar collectors, productively collecting light. Imitating the scales as a model they successfully advanced the way solar cells that are sensitive to dye were able to gather and store light. The wings of the Swallowtail butterfly were examined due to interest in how their fairly flat… read more

Weird Solar Science

Weird Solar Science

A few years back a sort of strange solar nanotechnology was being tossed about. A new kind of way to use solar cells that doesn’t involve a regular panel display was being looked at to recharge batteries. Researchers at Shanghai, China’s Donghua University and a company in Potsdam, Germany called the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces, examined how to power up batteries inside implanted objects with photovoltaic cells. They found that this can actually be done by concentrating a specialized infrared laser beam through the skin. By implementing uncommon upconverting nanophosphors from the earth that can soak in… read more

One Million Devices Traded In to eRecyclingCorps in One Month

One Million Devices Traded In to eRecyclingCorps in One Month

eRecyclingCorps reported a record number of wireless trade-ins in May of 2013, accepting over 1 million devices for reuse and recycling. In May, the company collected more than 37,000 devices per day (about one trade-in per second), representing over 450,000 pounds of ewaste that won’t get tossed into landfills. In our modern culture, the urge to upgrade our mobile devices as quickly as we can has led to massive numbers of new phones being sold, but it’s also led to a huge number of older devices that could potentially add up to mountains of ewaste. Services such as eRecyclingCorps are… read more

This 3D Printer is Controlled by Thought

This 3D Printer is Controlled by Thought

With the recent advances in 3D printing, it’s now possible to own a small desktop model capable of building parts or printing prototypes, which seems like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. But now another development is taking the technology even further, with a 3D printer than can be controlled by your mind. 3D printing is an amazing resource, but it’s not enough to just own a unit, because you also need to know how use it, and this invention could be a shortcut to 3D printing mastery, even for kids. “What is the point of these printers if… read more

Teenager Invents Flashlight Powered by Body Heat

Teenager Invents Flashlight Powered by Body Heat

The invention of a flashlight powered solely by the heat of the hand holding it has earned a Canadian teenager a spot as a finalist in this year’s Google Science Fair. Teenagers might get stereotyped as being flighty or immature or too self-absorbed, or that they’re just “kids”, but that probably couldn’t be farther from the truth, at least in this case. If you’re really paying attention to what these teens are bringing to table as the next generation of scientists and inventors, you’ll see that the next Tesla or Edison just might be sitting next to you. And Ann… read more

Instagramming and Geo-Tagging Trash with Litterati

Instagramming and Geo-Tagging Trash with Litterati

Our modern disposable lifestyle, where everything is packaged or has a limited lifespan, has led us to a serious waste problem. And it doesn’t just impact the landfills, or the resource streams, but it also directly impacts the wildlife, the water supplies, and even the quality of human life on a local level, due to our trashy habit of littering. In order to bring more awareness to this issue, an effort combining smartphones, activism, geo-tagging, and art was born, and is filling a global Digital Landfill gallery with images of litter that people are picking up. Litterati encourages people to… read more