There's only one it's-the-future-why-don't-we-have-x trope that rivals the flying car, and that's the space elevator. (First proposed in 1895, it might even predate it.) The idea of a giant tower that can carry us from Earth to outer space is legend, and it probably will be for a long time.
By Peter Diamandis and Steven KotlerPosted 06.20.2012 at 10:14 am 5 Comments
The barriers to individual invention are falling away. Amateur scientists and inventors now have access to tools exponentially more powerful and affordable than those a generation ago. They can transform ideas into physical products in a matter of days. And they can directly distribute those innovations—whether a new engine or an entirely new form of life—to a market of billions. The days of dreaming big are over and the era of doing big has just begun.
The Synergy aircraft, propelled by a fan in back and buoyed by a boxy tail, promises to be cheaper, safer, quieter, and vastly more efficient than a jet airplane. The hitch is that it doesn't quite exist yet, but it's nearly halfway to its goal on Kickstarter, so now is your chance to invest.
The French press is the simplest, cheapest way to make a legitimately good cup of coffee. Ground beans in pot, water in pot, wait four minutes, press plunger down, pour. But some coffee snobs decry the French press: the coarse screen that "presses" out the grinds allows the bean's delicious oils to make their way into your cup, but also grants passage to a dreaded interloper: fine sediments end up at the bottom of your mug, or, worse, in your mouth. The Espro Press aims to deliver the taste of a French press without that silt, thanks to an ultra-fine double-filtering system.
Did you know that bonobos have a "fascination with computers"? No? Neither did we. But a new Kickstarter project from the Bonobo Hope Great Ape Trust Sanctuary in Des Moines, Iowa needs funding to make every bonobo's technological dreams a reality--from operating vending machines to, improbably, controlling their own robots.
We wrote about the LowLine park concept a couple months back, but at the time it was just a crazy design for a futuristic underground public space in Manhattan's Lower East Side. Now, it's on Kickstarter, and the project's creators are making some serious headway in actually getting construction moving. They're asking for $100,000 to build and display a working demo to show that their blend of solar tech and natural sunlight could actually make an appealing park below street level. Check out the project over at Kickstarter.
Yancey Strickler, a co-founder of Kickstarter, said today that the crowd-sourced funding machine is on track to distribute over $150 million in 2012--more than the National Endowment for the Arts, which has a 2012 operating budget of $146 million.
Double Fine Productions, the cultishly adored videogame developer founded by gaming legend Tim Schafer, may have just blown up the entire system of videogame production. Struggling to get funding for their next game, Double Fine posted on Kickstarter, asking for $400,000. Eight hours later, they got it. 16 hours after that, they'd shattered the previous record for the most money ever earned on Kickstarter in 24 hours.
How can a digital mastermind take his ideas to the physical world?
By Mark JannotPosted 11.28.2011 at 10:10 am 0 Comments
Joi Ito was an early investor in some of the most influential and successful internet properties of the past half-decade, including Flickr, Last.fm, Twitter, and Kickstarter. Now, as the new director of the MIT Media Lab, he's applying his digital savvy to innovating in the material world. PopSci's editor-in-chief, Mark Jannot, sat down with Ito--well, Skyped, at least--to find out more about how Ito plans to foster innovation and make gadgets great.
Cities can only do so much to improve bicyclists’ safety — bike lanes and automatic traffic light sensors are great, but motorists are really the ones who have to pay attention for bike riders to be safe. An intrepid mechanical engineer has one solution: Make bike lights as obvious as car lights.