From the annals of goofy might-or-might-not-happen CES concepts comes the Razer Switchblade, a 7-inch gaming netbook from venerable gaming accessory maker Razer. A 7-inch screen is a distinctly small size for a Windows 7 computer, and for gaming it seems particularly problematic. Razer has an interesting way of dealing with the problem of an undersized keyboard: Pop OLED screens under every single one, so you can totally change the configuration of the keyboard at will.
Amphibious cars aren’t for everyone, but if you happen to be in the market for a car that runs on both land and water AND you prefer your mode of transit in canary yellow AND you have $777,000 in a PayPal account, Rick Dobbertin’s HydroCar is available on eBay for the next ten days or so. And hey, it’s only $1,000 dollars down.
If it wouldn’t be completely ironic to do so, we could write at length about the value of elegance in simplicity. Instead, we offer by way of example this tentacle-like prosthesis designed by recent U. of Washington industrial design grad Kaylene Kau. It’s simple, both aesthetically and mechanically, and it solves a problem smartly.
By Jon Alain Guzik
Posted 11.19.2010 at 3:55 pm 7 Comments
Paris is over, Detroit is on the freezing cold horizon and Geneva is just a Swiss dream in the far off future. But dropped right in before the Holiday onslaught, the Los Angeles Auto show, now in its 103rd year, is one of the best of the year. The weather is great, and as car towns go, the City of Angels is the ne plus ultra. While the LA show doesn’t have the sheer amount of crazy concepts as its European counterparts, there is something for everyone.
This new Spiderman-style suit may not win astronauts a spot in the fashion hall of fame, but it could help keep their bones intact during long spaceflights. Described in a new paper, prototype tests of the Gravity Loading Countermeasure Skinsuit, being developed by a research team at MIT’s Man-Vehicle Laboratory, show that the suit simulates the effects of gravity on the human body, which could solve one of the biggest obstacles to future human space travel.
Back in July, two all-electric, driverless vans set out from Italy bound for China, an 8,000-mile trek through two continents, several countries, and endless driving variables like traffic, weather conditions, and roadway conditions.
The CSAR DiscRotor, a collaboration between Boeing and DARPA, was approved back in 2008. It's taken two years to get an animated video of the insane retractable-wing heliplane, but all that time and money has clearly been worth it, because this thing looks awesome.
When it comes to artificial intelligence Google has a head start, what with all that free data we give them every time we search for a 30 Rock clip. So perhaps it’s no surprise that the search giant is the latest enterprise to pursue a future where cars drive themselves via complex, decision-making artificial intelligence software. Over the weekend it was revealed that Google has seven test cars that have driven 1,000 miles each without any human intervention whatsoever.
It was something of a photo finish, but the winners of the Automotive X-Prize are in. Taking top honors: Edison2’s “Very Light Car No. 98,” a single-cylinder gas/ethanol burning four-seater that gets 102 miles per gallon of fuel. Edison2 took home half of the $10 million prize while two other teams split the other half.
Think your car runs like crap? A sewage utility in Bristol, UK, has converted a Volkswagen Beetle to run on human waste. The Bio-Bug is the first car in the UK to run on byproducts of sewage processing, and if its trial run is successful Wessex Water, the utility company that made the car, might build a whole fleet of them.
An invention that's been around for two decades, but is only now getting any real attention, could change the way millions of people drive -- if people ever have the good sense to adopt it, its inventor says. Japanese inventor Masuyuki Naruse claims that placing the braking and acceleration pedals in our cars side-by-side, just inches apart, is a dangerous design flaw. The solution: his Naruse pedal, a unified pedal design that puts accelerator and brake on the same foot-activated lever.
Public transit in a metropolitan area is all about balance; if there aren't enough public transit options, too many people choose to drive, clogging roadways and adding to pollution. But trains are expensive (and, if above-ground, contributors to traffic) and adding more buses to the road can magnify traffic woes further.
Of all the aviation tech emerging from the Farnborough International Airshow, Airbus’ futurist visions are among the coolest.
The aviation firm unveiled its 2030 Concept Plane earlier this week, which includes dreams of a self-cleaning cabin; extra-long, slim wings; a U-shaped tail; and an intelligent fuselage designed to improve efficiency.
I am interested in having a clock that looks like a stealth fighter or Batmobile, all sharp craggy black angles. One that also displays the time by bouncing a single red laser beam off sixty intricately positioned, rotating mirrors. Art Lebedev, the Russian design crazies who gave us the Optimus keyboard, have obliged.
For the last five years, eVolo Magazine has hosted a futuristic skyscraper design competition. Usually, the entrants imagine giant buildings taller than anything under construction today. However, the most impressive entry in this year's competition goes the opposite route, by dropping the building straight into the sea. This floating building would generate its own electricity and food, house thousands, and plunge deep beneath the waves.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.