Fried Fuel

Fried Fuel

In the 1900’s, Rudolf Diesel successfully constructed the diesel engine, then stirred up controversy when he showed that his invention could be powered with peanut oil. The cooking oil as fuel concept did not really resurface again until the 1970’s when the oil industry was in emergency mode. Though the idea may not be new, innovative products are appearing that are making it easier for the average consumer to utilize agricultural based fuel methods. Diesel engines can be converted which enables them to run on new or recycled cooking oil. Though examples may make it sound as simple as pour… read more

Unprint It Please

Laser unprinter research

We have all heard of laser printers and most of us have used laser printers, but not an unprinter. A team of researchers from the University of Cambridge in England have created a laser unprinter that can remove ink without damaging the paper. Both methods use lasers, but the “unprinting” methods are very different. Laser printers use a laser to give individual “pixels” on a piece of paper a positive charge. The laser unprinter works by tracing the outline of the toner and then flash-frying it off using the device’s laser. The trick is vaporizing the toner without damaging the… read more

Energy from Footsteps

pavegen_tiles

With sustained growth in the population of urban regions, demand for power has increased drastically. Higher costs and less availability of fossil fuels means the need for innovation in harnessing alternative energy sources is urgently needed. One British company is working hard to make use of the urban “crowds” to generate power. A floor tile has been developed by Pavegen Systems Ltd that harvests energy from footsteps. The idea has enormous application when we consider the number of people who walk through a given area such as shopping malls, subways, and pedestrian paths everyday. The tile itself is green in colour, and is… read more

A Free And Open World

Open World Concept

We’ve all heard the dream of “creating an open world”, usually spoken during tech conferences or plastered on smartphone and laptop boxes. But do we know what it really means? In this segment, much like the Day In The Life Of 2025 article, we’ll provide an insight into what an open world will look like. Picture this: You walk into a museum with your family and friends. You admire the beautiful display of paintings and sculptures, but you don’t notice any writing around them describing what you’re seeing. Why? Because your augmented reality glasses display the information around you. The HUD… read more

Ditch The Charging Cords

Nexus 4 Charging Dock

A handful of tablet and phone manufacturers today have wireless charging ports that come either pre-packaged with their products, or are available as an accessory purchase. This new charging option, the first iteration being the Touchstone Charging Dock was first popularized with the Palm Pre phone, and also with the HP Touchpad. The Touchstone Dock was an innovative device that solved a multitude of problems, first and foremost being the unnecessary cluttering of charging cords around the house. Secondly, wireless chargers can be faster than the wired traditional. They also act as a dock to stand your phone/tablet up and… read more

Simplifying Modern Life

technology_stockxpertcom_id1218361_size1

Technology makes life easier and more convenient. With the advancements in software and micro chip design, technology has enabled consumers to reduce their carbon footprint by consolidating many devices into one. For instance, it is no longer necessary to carry a camera, or an mp3 player, or a GPS or a laptop or a gaming console or an eBook. Instead a compact Smartphone can do the work of all the above mentioned devices and proves the proverb that “good things come in small packages”. Due to the personal nature of this mobile technology, we as consumers can modify our behaviour… read more

NASA’s Vegan Garden

Photography by NASA

U.S. astronauts living and working aboard the International Space Station will receive a newly developed Vegetable Production System. NASA is currently working on VEGGIE, which is an idea to for fast growing vegan farms to be used in space. VEGGIE is set to launch aboard SpaceX’s Dragon capsule on NASA’s third Commercial Resupply Services mission this year. Imagine that! A vegetable garden in space. “Our hope is that even though VEGGIE is not a highly complex plant growth apparatus, it will allow the crew to rapidly grow vegetables using a fairly simple nutrient and water delivery approach,” said Howard Levine,… read more

Glowing Trees

irtree

The blockbuster movie Avatar depicted many inspirational and creative ideas of new forms of life. Imagine if one such idea, the glowing trees providing luminescence in the dark, could become a reality. Modern display and lighting devices use LED for illumination,which includes phosphor powder to simulate light of different wavelengths. These phosphor powders are highly toxic and are expensive. Dr Yen-Hsun Su of the Academia Sinica in Taiwan, has led a team that have discovered a way to develop a less toxic substance to replace the phosphor powder which poses a serious threat to human health. This project resulted in bio-LEDs, developed by… read more

China’s Car-Straddling Bus

China Mega Bus

In mid-2010, China debuted a prototype design for a “straddling bus”; a giant train-like vehicle that would use existing street lanes and drive overtop of traffic. The massive vehicle would carry 1200-1400 passengers at any given time, stands 4.5m high with two levels, and can travel 60km/h. It would travel over existing streets because of its elevated design. The bus concept was created as a solution to China’s major congestion problems, and also as a means to reduce their exorbitant pollution levels. It would be powered by electricity and solar power, which presents a major innovation for such a large… read more

A Light in the Dark

GravityLight

From time to time we read a lot of news about innovation in the lighting industry and new means of producing light which is green and energy efficient. Apart from electricity which powers incandescent and LED lights, solar is another option for generating power. Due to its cost and practical application this alternative source of energy is not widely used in many developing countries. Recent research at the University of California claims kerosene lamps which are used in most part of India and Africa are more hazardous to the environment and human health than we think. Designers Martin Riddiford and… read more