This week's tech is wearable, floatable, vertical, musical, controllable and more able.
Buenos Aires is getting a light makeover. Thanks to a new system from Philips, 91,000 street lamps -- more than 70 percent of the lights in the city -- are being with replaced with LED lighting that can be controlled remotely. The CityTouch system allows managers to monitor each individual point in the network and dim or brighten levels, depending on need. The switch to LEDs is expected to reduce electricity usage by up to 50 percent.
We're still waiting for our flying car. But while we wait, let's take a look at the Elytron 2S, the first civilian aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing and wings that fly like a regular plane. Elytron will be showing off their craft this week at the annual EAA Airventure in Oshkosh, Wis.
Simply put, we can't resist art that lights up and plays music, especially if you can sit on it. Canadian design collective Daily Tous Les Jours recently showed off their musical Swings at the Green Box Arts Festival in Green Mountain Falls, Colo. See the video. Although the festival is over, the Swings are on tour, or you can request to have them brought to your home town. Click here.
There's still plenty of summer left for a good old-fashioned water balloon fight. To get the upper hand, donate to the Bunch O Balloons Kickstarter, which has already far exceeded its goal. With this invention by Josh Malone, you can fill 100 water bombs in less than a minute. Each bunch of 37 balloons is bundled to a device that connects to a hose. Individual balloons are filled via tubes and already tied, so all you have to do is shake them to seal them and then fire away.
No one likes to watch water boil. Not especially University of Oxford Professor of Engineering Thomas Povey. So he came up with the Flare Pan, a cast aluminum pot with fins. The fins evenly channel heat up from the bottom to the sides in a manner so efficient, the pots heat up three minutes faster than conventional ones. You can order a set from Lakeland.
This week, two different kind of electronic shoes showed up on our radar -- one blue, one red. In both cases, it's not the shoe that's so smart; it's the insert.
In the case of the Boogio from REFLX Labs, the shoe comes with a paper-thin sole insert as well as a small Bluetooth device. The insert collects data about movement and force and then sends it to the wireless device that transmits it to a smartphone app. The information can be used to track fitness levels and performance.
Yeah, so what's new? This: REFLX Labs says that Boogio will be so sensitive it will measure 60,000 layers of pressure and detect even the most minute 3-D movements in real time. That information could be used in gaming, perhaps paired with a virtual reality headset and translated into a virtual reality world.
The other smart shoe comes from Ducere Technologies and it looks about as futuristic as that tilt-rotor aircraft or maybe something The Flash would wear. Like Boogio, the Lechal smart shoe comes with two insoles that you can wear inside any pair just laying around the house. It also ties to a smartphone to track fitness information. It's expected to go on sale in September, and will cost about $100.
With this concept proposed for New York City, vegetables will be moving on up. The Hive Inner City Vertical Farm from OVA Studio is a modular design that uses a framed structure to support shipping containers Jenga-style into a skyscraper garden. The containers can be swapped in and out with each one devoted to a particular crop or other purpose, such as generating energy or recycling waste and water. Although only a concept, OVA Studio is working to raise an initial round of funding to pay for a feasibility study and a prototype.
Vending machines are not just for Kit-Kats anymore. These days, machine dispense beer, pot, chocolate and pizza.
But this latest concept from an ad agency called Huge really takes the cupcake. The machine is meant for anyone wearing (and using) a Nike Fuelband fitness band. Use the Fuelband points earned during workouts to "purchase" Nike apparel. But the points can only be those earned in the last 24 hours. So the more you do in a day, the more you can buy.
Just because the United States has its head in the beach sand as the global tide rises, doesn't mean everyone else does. The winner of the Royal Docks competition in London goes to dRMMM Architects, who have designed England’s first floating village.
The village will be made from prefabricated homes and span 15 acres of water just east of the Emirates Airline. The water view will go to those in need of affordable housing.