Individual springs and plastic pivots let this chair fit any body
By Lauren AaronsonPosted 10.14.2008 at 5:24 pm 6 Comments
To follow up on its famed Aeron office chair, Herman Miller gave its engineers a challenge: Create a seat that offers a custom fit for anyone, no matter how big or small, round-shouldered or straight-backed. The engineers’ solution was to construct the frame from dozens of small, flexible pieces that bend precisely to your contours.
From flexible flashlights to genetically engineered fertilizers, San Jose's Tech Museum names the 25 most do-goody projects of the year
By Lauren AaronsonPosted 09.22.2008 at 5:48 pm 0 Comments
The TV show Heroes didn't win an Emmy this weekend, but that's okay. Awards of a different kind have just been handed out to real heroes: people who are using technology to help those in need. The Tech Museum in San Jose recently announced its annual Tech Award Laureates, a group of 25 organizations doing innovative work in the areas of health, the environment, education, economic development and equality.
These filters use plants and fans to clear the air of toxic chemicals
By Lauren AaronsonPosted 05.13.2008 at 1:30 pm 11 Comments
Cost to Develop: $236,000
Time: 1 year
Prototype | | | | | Product
Your home could be emitting toxic gases. Just ask the victims of Hurricane Katrina, whose emergency trailers, made with glue-laden particleboard, let off so much formaldehyde that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that residents should spend time outdoors and make relocating to permanent housing a priority. Even in more expensive new homes, the concentration of emissions from things like furniture, carpet and paint can be two to five times as high as it is outdoors. But most air filters only catch particulates such as dust and pollen rather than organic compounds like formaldehyde and benzene, and the filters that do trap those gases need frequent replacement. So Mathieu LeHanneur and David Edwards built an ultra-efficient filtration system that eliminates toxins using natures own hazmat squad: plants.
Two college students develop an idea that could solve two of the world's major problems: a lack of affordable housing and an overabundance of plastic bottles
By Lauren AaronsonPosted 04.21.2008 at 2:24 pm 7 Comments
People around the world guzzle about 50 billion gallons of bottled water a year, and then toss billions of those plastic bottles into the trash heap instead of the recycling bin. Matt Naples and Peter Zummo think they can take this lemon of a fact and turn it into lemonade—or rather, take those discarded water bottles and turn them into chairs, shelves, or houses for the worlds poor.
Make this mini cellphone do just about anything, simply by swapping its case
By Lauren AaronsonPosted 04.10.2008 at 12:51 pm 3 Comments
Carry a different phone for every situation, whether youre traveling light or blasting tunes in your car. On its own, Modu is one of the smallest, lightest cellphones yet. But when you want to do more than basic calling, pop it into a new outer shell to give it features like a full keyboard, a wider display or a longer-lasting battery.
Rip open a Pleo, get the run down on hybrids, and learn about the military's futuristic flying laser gun as Chuck Cage and the editors of PopSci take a behind-the-scenes tour of the third annual How it Works issue. Learn the stories behind the stories of some of the world's most sophisticated machines.
Next-generation laptops won’t have hard drives. Instead, they’ll use flash memory—the same found in camera memory cards and iPhones. Flash-based drives are thinner, faster and nearly indestructible
By Lauren AaronsonPosted 03.13.2008 at 4:53 pm 6 Comments
Like a traditional hard drive, a flash-based drive stores information in the computer-readable language of 0s and 1s. But instead of writing data by flipping magnetic poles on a spinning disk, flash memory just shuttles electrons around on a stamp-size microchip.
Last week, toy manufacturers showed off the gadgets that’ll have you lining up outside stores come Christmas; we pick our favorites for all kids at heart
By Lauren AaronsonPosted 02.25.2008 at 4:34 pm 1 Comment
The annual Toy Industry Association's Toy Fair is every kids dream: A whole conference center packed with games, robots, balls, hula hoops, slime guns, Smurfs, and just about any other instrument of fun that you can imagine. Come to think of it, its every adults dream, too.
A new start-up’s counterintuitive plan to end poverty by getting poor people to buy stuff
By Lauren AaronsonPosted 02.19.2008 at 6:41 pm 2 Comments
More than a billion people worldwide live in poverty—not a gadget hound's I-can't-afford-an-iPhone poverty, but devastating, living-on-a-dollar-a-day poverty. These folks have trouble paying for food, staying healthy, getting an education, and doing many of the other daily things you and I take for granted. In future postings of this column, we'll discuss new tech that tackles each of these specific problems. But to kick things off, lets look at a new program that aims at the most obvious problem of the poor: They need more money.
The Internet depends on three-inch-thick cables that stretch from continent to continent
By Lauren AaronsonPosted 02.08.2008 at 1:31 pm 5 Comments
Undersea cables have made big news in the last few days, ever since several cables were cut last week near Dubai and Alexandria, disrupting Internet service all over the Middle East. (The latest news: It looks like a ships anchor sliced one of the cables. Oops!) The accident draws attention to how much our modern lives depend on unseen cables—just three inches thick and buried under sand—that most of us have never even thought about. There are hundreds of thousands of miles of these things snaking under our seas, with even more on the way.