Category Archives: WOW


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December 9, 2015



The Food and Drug Administration has approved for civilian use a revolutionary device that can stop bleeding from a gunshot wound in less than a minute. On December 7, the agency gave the green light to deploy the XStat 30 to hospitals.

The simple invention is a syringe-like tool that injects tiny sponges into a wound to treat hemorrhaging. Originally developed with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in mind, the XStat 30 could change the way gunshot victims are treated in the U.S.

The device is designed to plug bleeding from bullet and shrapnel injuries to the groin, armpits, and other areas where applying traditional tourniquets could be difficult.

“When a product is developed for use in the battlefield, it is generally intended to work in a worst-case scenario where advanced care might not be immediately available,” said William Maisel of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “It is exciting to see this technology transition to help civilian first responders control some severe, life-threatening bleeding while on the trauma scene.”

The device is the brainchild of a small startup in suburban Portland, Oregon, calledRevMedx, which primarily designs products for military personnel and emergency first responders. This past April, RevMedx shipped XStat devices to the military for the first time.

Over the long term, these devices and similar ones could reduce gun deaths in the United States. Data from the United States Army Institute of Surgical Research suggests 30% to 40% of civilian traumatic injury deaths are due to blood loss.

This Swimming Robot Digests Pollution And Turns It Into Electricity

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This Swimming Robot Digests Pollution And Turns It Into Electricity

The Row-Bot powers itself by cleaning up bodies of water.


This is the Row-Bot, a robot that walks on water, and gets its energy by eating the microbes in dirty ponds and “digesting” them in its artificial stomach. Using this method, it generates more than enough power to propel itself on the hunt for more bacteria to feed its nature-inspired engine.

The bot, inspired by the water boatman bug, comes from a team at Bristol University in the U.K., and it consists of two main parts. One is a propulsion mechanism, which uses a paddle driven by a tiny electric motor. The other is the stomach, which uses a microbial fuel cell (MFC) to power the paddle. The robot gulps in water, turns it into electricity, and uses it to make a few paddle strokes, the movement lets it gulp down another mouthful of dirty water, and the process starts over.

An MFC is like a regular fuel cell, only it uses bacteria. When those bacteria metabolize organic matter, they produce carbon dioxide and water. However, if you keep the bacteria away from oxygen, they produce carbon dioxide, protons, and electrons, and these can be harnessed to flow between an anode and a cathode, just like the electrons flow between terminals in battery acid.

The Row-Bot’s MFC has has a secret weapon. It uses “electrogenic” bacteria. That is, the electrons it produces can run directly to the “battery” terminal, instead of depositing it into oxygen or another substance first. This is more efficient, and allows the Row-Bot to generate enough power from its tiny stomach to both move around, and to open and close its maw.

This robot has plenty of practical uses. It works in any kind of water, from fresh to seawater to waste water. Sic a fleet of Row-Bots into a polluted lake, and they could rove for months, feeding on the filth and cleaning as they go. The same principles could also be used for land-based or airborne robots, but water is a lot easier because the bots are swimming in their own food source, and tricky problems like gravity are removed from the equation. Looking at it like this, it’s easy to see why life first sprang into being in the world’s oceans.


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Innovationsforum 2015The Chairless Chair is an exoskeleton that allows workers to sit without straining their muscles.


STANDING IS GREAT for your health—Burn calories! Live longer! Tone those calves!—but only if you’re not forced to do it for hours on end. As with sitting on your bum, everything is best in moderation.

The thing is, if you work in a factory, you don’t get to choose when you sit and when you stand. You’re mostly standing. Employees in Audi’s manufacturing plants, for example, stand for nearly eight hours a day. And much of the time they’re stooped over in uncomfortable positions, fine-tuning some detail on an engine or console cluster.

It’s ergonomic nightmare, one Audi is trying to correct with a unique piece of technology: the Chairless Chair. Created by Swiss startup Noonee, it’s a hydraulic powered chair that lends lower-body support to people who have to stand all day long. You can think of it as a really bad-ass wearable or an especially lame exoskeleton.

The design is straightforward: A titanium frame hugs the back of the worker’s leg like a flexible brace, while a support belt is strapped around their torso. Workers can stand and walk like normal, but when they want to sit, pushing a button locks the frame into place at the desired angle. The weight the body is transfered through the frame to the floor or the heels. “You get the sensation of sitting on a barstool,” says Keith Gunura, a Noonee co-founder.
Why not simply sit on a chair? Companies like Audi have optimized factory floorplans designed to maximize efficiency, with little room, literally or figuratively, for chairs. The Chairless Chair effectively lets employees carry a seat with them at all times.

The approach posed some ergonomic challenges. Noonee designers say the biggest problem was ensuring workers can move freely. After a close study of how the leg moves when walking, they decided against creating a single rotation point at the knee in favor of a frame that moves more freely, accommodating many different gaits. (Noonee was vague on the details because it has a patent pending.)

Audi envisions the device being a task-specific tool that will help workers at the engine, door and center console assembly stations. The company says the chair will let employees take “micro breaks” of three to 10 seconds while working, easing muscle fatigue and increasing productivity.

The Chairless Chair doesn’t provide added strength like Lockheed Martin’s Fortis exoskeleton, but it is lighter, more comfortable and uses far less energy, so you might see them beyond factory walls. “I’ve had hunters say they’ll pay a pretty penny to use the device,”Gunura says. Fishermen, surgeons, farmers and retail workers also have expressed interest. “Basically anyone who’s standing for long periods of time.”




Salt Water Lamp for Power

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PSFK by Jason Brick
8 JULY 2015
Developing Nations Turn to Salt Water Lamp for Power
With ability to supply eight hours of electricity from 1,000 grams of ocean water, the SALt Lamp is a safe and sustainable way to illuminate nights.

People in too may parts of the world lack access to reliable power grids, instead, relying on kerosene generators, battery-powered lamps or candles for light during the night. These solutions can be harmful to both people and the environment. The SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting) lamp offers a healthier solution with a salt-water-powered battery.

The lamp uses the science behind a galvanic cell for power. The cell is an electrochemical power source, powered by electrical energy which cause spontaneous redox reactions. Two different metals, a anode and a cathode, are submerged into different solutions and are connected by a salt bridge to form a reaction, balancing each other. What the lamp will do is take the same process and change the electrolytes into a non-toxic, saline solution.

sustainable alternative lighting

The saline solution in SALt is significantly safer than other methods of producing light without a power grid. Kerosene and candles are both fire risks, and kerosene produces toxins that can poison people in the short term, and cause lung problems in the long term. Batteries contain strong acids, and pollute ground and water when disposed of.

alernative sustainable lighting

The SALt lamp can also connect to a smartphone. The lamp will charge phones and is stressed to be used in critical situations. This is for areas that experience natural disasters and are in need of aid. Electricity is difficult to use in these situations and the SALt lamp can provide it.

The SALt lamp uses 1,000 grams of ocean water to keep it powered, taking the device a few hours to recharge.

SALt lamp’s designers have not announced their distribution plans, or how much they expect to charge for the device. However, they have announced that they intend to price it to be affordable for low-income families in developing nations.

Volvo’s New “LifePaint” Makes Cyclists Reflective At Night

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Bringing new life to night riders.


The product is aimed at making cyclists more visible when riding at night.

The product is aimed at making cyclists more visible when riding at night.

Grey London / Via

The paint is invisible in the day, but highly reflective when lights are shined on it at night.

The paint is invisible in the day, but highly reflective when lights are shined on it at night.

Grey London / Via

At the beginning of the video, Volvo notes that 19,000 collisions involving cyclists happen in the U.K. each year alone.

At the beginning of the video, Volvo notes that 19,000 collisions involving cyclists happen in the U.K. each year alone.

Grey London / Via

Though designed for cyclists, in a statement, co-developer Grey London said in a statement that LifePaint “can be applied to any fabric  —  clothes, shoes, pushchairs, children’s backpacks  —  even dog leads and collars.”

The “paint” — which lasts for about one week after application — also washes off and will not affect the color or surface of the chosen material, the agency said.

Grey London worked in collaboration with Swedish startup Albedo100 and is one of a series of outcomes as part of Volvo’s new product line-up. The developers also set up a website to direct consumers to outlets.

Hopefully this invention will make night rides a little bit safer for cyclists.

Volvo's New "LifePaint" Makes Cyclists Reflective At Night
Grey London / Via

Bluesmart carry-on suitcase can’t get lost

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The Bluesmart acts as a high-tech travel buddy.Bluesmart

Up until recently, the humble suitcase had pretty much one job to do: keep your stuff together so it doesn’t scatter to the four directions when you go traveling. There have been a few tech innovations when it comes to suitcases, but none quite so complete as what you’ll get from the Bluesmart, a connected carry-on that works with your Android or iOS smartphone. The smart luggage is raising funds on Indiegogo to go from prototype into production.

The creators of Bluesmart have thrown just about everything they can think of into the design. Before you even head out the door, the suitcase helps you out with packing with its built-in digital scale. Pull up on the handle and check the weight on the app to see if you’ve overstuffed or packed just the right amount. Outlets can be few and far between when you’re on the go, so Bluesmart also has a built-in battery for charging up your tech gear.

A digitally controlled lock lets you access your suitcase using your smartphone. It can also be set to automatically lock itself if you become separated. If the battery dies, you can still get in with a special key. The lock is also usable by the TSA so you don’t run afoul of regulations should you have to check the bag.

Naturally, you’re attached to all the clothes and equipment stashed in your carry-on and you don’t want to lose it. For starters, Bluesmart has a Bluetooth proximity sensor function to send you alerts if you or your suitcase wanders off and to help you track it back down again using a proximity heat map.

There’s also GPS on board for locating the wayward luggage on a map if you get parted by a greater distance than the proximity feature can handle. This could also be very helpful in the event you have to check the bag and it disappears into the murky depths of the airline’s baggage system.

Storage situated at the front of the bag lets you quickly access your laptop and other electronic gear so you can roll through TSA checks. Avid travelers may also enjoy seeing their trip data collected on the Bluesmart app, including which airports you’ve been at, how long you’ve spent in each country and the number of miles you’ve covered during your journeys.

All the tech is cool, but you also need a functioning suitcase to go along with it. To that end, the Bluesmart is designed with waterproof zipper, anodized aluminum for the handle and four spinner wheels. It has a 34-liter capacity and the current prototypes weigh 8.5 pounds, though the Bluesmart team is working on making it lighter.

Bluesmart launched on Indiegogo with a $50,000 goal, but it seems the idea of a smart suitcase is a popular one. It has over $304,000 in pledges with 33 days left to run. The Bluesmart price is not far off from other high-end suitcase offerings. It’s going for a $265 (about £165, AU$302) pledge. It’s not too hard to see the appeal since the Bluesmart is shaping up to be a traveling gadget lover’s dream luggage.

Bluesmart suitcases
Bluesmart prototypes have already been traveling the world.

Wolffepack Backpack Fixes the Bag’s Biggest Design Flaw

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By Jason Brick on October 24, 2014 in PSFK  Design

This Kickstarted backpack stays on even while you rummage through it.

The word “backpack” is one of the most plainly descriptive words in the English language. It’s a pack that stays on your back. The “pack” part is nothing but good: a place to store things you want to take with you. The “back” part is a mixed blessing. The stuff you carry stays out of your way, but it’s a bit of a process to retrieve your stuff from it.

The Wolffepack promises to change that. A design team consisting of award-winning engineers James Jeffrey, Edward Goodwin, Richard Hartshorn and Luke Ireland have built a backpack that swings to your front while still hooked to your back.

It works via a magnetic handle connected to a retracting cord. When disconnected, it releases the bag so you can pull it to your front. Once finished, you retract the cord and reconnect the magnetic handle for all the convenience of a regular backpack. This simple design has gone through months of blueprint and CAD modeling and 14 iterations of physical prototypes.

Far from a one-trick pony, the Wolffepack includes the options you want to see in a high-end regular backpack: multiple subcompartments for pens, business cards and zip drives, a detachable keyhook and two padded compartments for laptops and tablets. Construction is of high-quality materials, including gunmetal ziptabsand G-hooks and compartments made from Kevlar fabric. It comes in two models. The Metro is a black, urban commuter’s pack while the slightly smaller Escape is colored like traditional hiking backpacks and built for those load-outs.

Backer levels aren’t unique, but stand at a good value: 85 pounds to pre-order the pack at approximately two-thirds the retail price. The Kickstarter campaign runs until Dec 1, and is at $5,000 of its $30,000 goal with over a month to go as of October 22nd. Those who like the idea but aren’t in the market for a premium piece of luggage can back the project at 10 pounds in exchange for a custom key ring.


Mind Your Health, Weight Loss with Portion Control Plate

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By Jason Brick on October 20, 2014 in Design 

Mind Your Health, Weight Loss with Portion Control Plate

Tableware designed to match meals to nutrition and portion recommendations helps thoughtful eating require less thought and more enjoyment

Nutritional science has known for decades, and the public has known since the 2006 release of Brian Wansink’s Mindless Eating, that the single most important factor in how much people eat is how much food people are given. Its a simple fact of food consumption that is too often exacerbated by large dinner plates, super-sizing and all-you-can-eat appetizer deals at your favorite restaurant.

Dutch designer Annet Bruil saw the problem, and offers a solution in herETE plate. It’s a “pie chart” for the meal you eat before your pie. The simple, white plate has lines drawn on it dividing its surface into sections for vegetables, carbohydrates and proteins. The size of the plate keeps your total amount of food in line with daily calorie requirements, and the dividing lines keep the relative proportions in line with what nutritionists recommend.


The plate comes with instructions for meals with mixed components — like a stir fry made with veggies, noodles and chicken. It offers a simplified, visual approach to eating fewer calories with better nutrition.

The ETE plate is manufactured in the Netherlands, and shipped internationally in Dutch or English for 25,50 Euros plus delivery costs. Though designed specifically to match the dietary recommendations of the Netherlands’ government, users from other countries can use online resources to use the plate to match their home country’s guidelines.

Despite the designer price tag, early reception of this new product has been enthusiastic. Since “too complex” and “too hard” are two of the top objections people give to learning how to eat better, the ETE plate has potential for helping people make positive changes in their eating habits.

ETE Plate

Cashless Tipping Made Easy with DipJar.

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By Leo Lutero on September 19, 2014 in Retail 

Cashless Tipping Made Easy with DipJar

 “Sorry, no spare change” will soon be invalidated as an excuse to skip tipping your barista or food server with thisnew technology that allows small-value transactions in one quick step.

More and more people are using plastic instead of cash even for small transactions like buying the morning coffee or a brunch sandwich. DipJar acknowledges this shift by creating a quick way of tipping perfect for food service establishments, charities or even street performers.

The concept for the DipJar is simple. It is a cylindrical-shaped device (yes, it is shaped like a jar) with a receptacle where you can insert your credit card. The tip amounts are already set and embossed on the jar so there is really no need to do anything else. Just insert the card, take it out and you’ve sent a monetary Thank you to the service you have just received.

This is made possible through less stringent banking rules that do not require signatures for smaller transactions.


The DipJar is still not rolling out their device but are now accepting requests from interested establishments.

There will be no need to connect wires to any existing payment systems. You just plug it in to a power source and it is ready to accept payment. The DipJar sends data through 3G and boasts a system with zero maintenance spare the occasional wiping of dust.

Many involved in the service industry work at minimum wage and depend greatly on tips to supplement their income. The DipJar is a great system that addresses how credit cards negatively affect tipping. According to the company’s research, people who pay with cash tip with cash while those who pay with plastic don’t tip at all.

The system will also put in place anti-fraud measures such as protection against repetitive scanning from a single card. They will also encrypt all information and store them only until processing is complete.

The DipJar charges a monthly usage fee to the establishment and $0.08 per dollar transaction to the employee. The fees are to cover the payment processing systems, the lease of the DipJar device and the 3G connection.

Your Eyeballs Are Your Password

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Photo: Eva O’Leary and Harry Griffin



Threats like the Heartbleed web bug mean we need more secure ways to do our work online. EyeLock, a New York–based company, has responded with Myris, a palm-size device that scans your irises to log you in to your favorite sites. While eye-scanning tech isn’t new, Myris, which costs $279, is likely the first for folks without Level 10 FBI clearance. The process is as simple as taking a selfie:

  1. Look into the USB–connected Myris as if it were a mirror. A camera briefly ­records your eyes, turning 240 iris traits into a unique ID.
  2. Enter the URLs and credentials for your most-frequented destinations–from Facebook to American Express.
  3. Log in to the sites by clicking an icon and glancing at the Myris, which boasts a 1 in 2 trillion error margin. Say cheese!