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Tech Innovations

This category contains 73 posts

360-Degree Lens For Your iPhone

Kogeto, a NYC design company is about to launch a 360-degree lens attachment for the iPhone that can capture video in the round wherever you are. They crowdfunded it via Kickstarter raising more than $60,000 with 36 days still to run on the campaign (and a goal of just $20,000). Watch the video here:  

Need to Make a Pitch Tape on a Shoestring?

Think you need to spend a load of cash making that pitch tape? Think again. This short film was made, edited and scored using an iPhone:

Privates on Parade

In an attempt to preserve the modesty of travellers passing through body scanners, security expert Stephen Russell has invented underwear that blurs a persons genitals without compromising airport security. He partnered with Betabrand who recently advertised for “50 intrepid travelers to test-pilot prototypes of our Privates as part of our Privates Alpha Group. This elite, […]

Sniffer Mice

Next time you see a mouse run through the airport cafe, don’t be alarmed – it’s probably just on its lunch break. Mice are being trained to sniff out drugs and explosives on passengers and cargo. The mice are put in a box close to where passengers walk. If they smell a banned substance they […]

Little Magic Stories – Interactive Holograms

Chris O’Shea is an installation artist who has designed a holographic projection system with the aim of encouraging computer savvy kids to gain confidence in drawing and telling their own stories on stage. The kids draw props and characters which then float alongside them and react to their movements in real time. The system uses […]

Internet Wishlist

The Internet Wishlist, is a repository for your wishes for all those apps you could really do with, but don’t yet exist (as far as you know). The current list includes: “I wish there was a website where non-profits could ask for what they need and people could work for them from home.” “I’d like […]

Hand Held Eye

Munivo is an ergonomic sensor, designed to fit in a blind-person’s palm, that can help alert them to obstacles by the use of small balls that move on two axes to tell them which way to walk. Read more on Behance.

360 Degree Vision for Troops

US Troops might soon be able to have eyes in the back of their heads (much like your mother) as the Pentagon is on the look out for 3D computer enhanced imaging systems that will track missiles and recognise objects on the battlefield. Do you have such a thing? Read more on PSFK.

Move Over Top Gear, You Big Girls’ Blouses

RAF wing commander Andy Green is used to travelling at speed, but he’s planning to go where no-one has ever gone before. He’s hoping to set a land speed record of 1,000mph. There will be so much to concentrate on (not to mention the massive G-forces) that he will have to drive the Bloodhound supersonic […]

Mobile Tagging: What’s That?

PSFK have produced a handy report on mobile tagging – the barcodes that can be read by your mobile phone and located anywhere where people might need to get information. They’re used by marketeers to “lead consumers along the purchase path”, in other words, make you buy something. The report examines how companies are using […]

Battle Apps

Capt. Jonathan Springer, a 31-year-old US soldier has spent thousands of dollars inventing an iPhone app that allows soldiers to map, plot and photograph battlefield markers and send information to other units. It’s not the only military-inspired app available – Bulletflight and iSnipe are two others that help marksmen calculate bullet trajectory depending on altitude […]

NGO’s ‘Fess Up to Failure

Engineers Without Borders Canada have done what many NGOs have failed to do and that is admit that help given to developing countries isn’t always helpful. In some cases a solution to a perceived problem just brings more problems. But no-one will admit it in case people stop donating their money to charity to help […]

The Creation Project

Sim City creator Will Wright is working with Albie Hecht, ex-head of Spike and Nickelodeon to create a crowd sourced TV series called The Creation Project. The idea is that the public will submit storyline ideas via the “StoryMaker Engine”, which allows people to create storyboards. The best ideas will then be put to the […]

Movies that Move You (and the Storyline)

Jake Bickerton has tracked down the next big thing in movies after 3D: Emo-vie. This is an interactive movie experience in which the audience’s emotional reaction to a movie is tracked during key scenes and dialogue and the film’s storyline changes in response. Read more in Televisual Magazine.

What Does an Army March On? Its Stomach…

The New York Times has published a list of the various army rations fed to the troops of different countries – and which have various barter values between the soldiers keen to give their tastebuds a break from the monotony of home-grown (or at least packed) food rations.  Aussies are issued with Vegemite and the […]

Gaming for Health Rewards

Bayer has introduced a new blood glucose monitor plugs into a Nintendo DS and allows diabetic kids to play games and win points as they keep up to date with their blood glucose testing. The Didget meter helps kids manage a lifelong disease by rewarding them for building consistent testing habits and meeting personalized blood […]

iPad Reaches the Generations Other Computers Cannot

A 100-year-old woman misses her birthday party because she is engrossed in her new iPad (and her first computer):

London Underground Live

Matthew Somerville created an API that tracked the location of London Underground trains in real time, but it was soon shut down due to overwhelming demand.  You can see a video of how it worked here.

Pigeon Blog

PigeonBlog is a charmingly method of charting air pollution. Researchers tagged city-dwelling homing pigeons with GPS enabled air pollution sensors to send pollution information to an online map where they tracked a bird’s flight and showed pollution data on a graph.

Employee Tracking

DirectLife has a personal fitness programme that monitors your daily activity via a monitor and uploads the information to a personal web page where you can track your goals and results.  You can also sign up for the services of a fitness coach who will provide advice and encouragement. But what sets this apart from […]

Bacterial Ads

Glowfungi is a new communication medium made from glow-in-the-dark bacteria created by CURB, a company that provides sustainable advertising and corporate communications. As well as disco fungi they have created ads and messages in wood, crop fields, moss and dust. Visit CURB to see more. Hat tip: Springwise

Xtranormal Text to Video Magic

Xtranormal allows you to make an animated movie, using a choice of sets and characters within minutes. You just type in your script, choose your protagonists, music and camera angles (or let it decide for you) and bingo, you have a mini-movie. Click on the hash/pound sign for a couple of examples:


Typeface is a computer programme that scans your facial features before coming up with a custom designed typeface. Produced by students at the Copenhagen Institute of Interactive Design it is one of several programmes that encourage interaction and play between user and computer. Explore more programmes here.

OK Magazine Celeb Spotter App

OK magazine has developed an app that locates celebrities’ whereabouts by pinpointing popular celebrity hangouts and logging which celebrities are likely to be spotted there. If users of the app upload a geotagged photo of a celebrity they could find their photo featured in the magazine. Read more on The Next Web.

Disaster Communication Dog

Messenger Dog is a communication system that allows people caught up in disasters, such as earthquakes. to communicate with their loved ones to tell them they are OK.  Messenger dogs wearing special high tech vests are equipped to record geo-tagged audio/video messages. The recording device is triggered by the dog sitting down; the dogs are […]

Hands-Free Driving

Engineers at Berlin’s Free University have invented a car that can be controlled just by the driver’s eyes. The technology combines a complicated network of infrared cameras, GPS, wi-fi, laser 3D detectors and a drive-by-wire mechanism. Read more on PSFK.

Mind Controlled Robot

Robert Oschler has written a software program that allows  him to remotely control a robot using just his mind and facial expressions along with an Emotiv EPOC 14-electrode EEG headset. Read how he did it – and how you might too –  in Extreme Tech

Hobo Homes

Inventor Paul Elkins has spotted a new housing niche: portable homes for the homeless. He’s designed a pushable shelter (which looks something like a cupboard) that is fitted out with chair, desk, kitchenette and toilet. It’s so comprehensively kitted out it’s been dubbed the Cadillac of homeless shelters. Check it out on his blog. Via […]

3D? No Thanks

Robert Ebert questions the rush towards 3D movies in a Newsweek article.  He argues that 3D degrades  rather than enhances the viewing experience, with distracting poor quality, nausea-inducing images devlivered at a price premium. Read his full list of complaints.

Making Soldiers Smarter

The Pentagon is attempting to map the human mind with the aim of making soldiers as mentally ready for war as they are physically. The Department of Defense Research and Engineering is soliciting proposals from engineering companies who can come up with “innovative concepts to solve the listed defense-related scientific or engineering problems.” On their […]


Maptor is a cross between a mini projector and a map, which allows you to discretey project a map onto any surface – wall or hand, for example – when you are lost in a strange place. The device is lipstick-sized and GPS enabled. Read more on Yanko Design.

3D Mars

James Cameron has persuaded NASA to put a 3D camera on the 2011 Curiosity Mars rover mission, and is helping them design and build the camera. Read more on CBS News.

All Terrain Robots

Meet seven all terrain robots – invented by Dennis Hong his team at RoMeLa, Virginia Tech. The include Strider, CLIMBeR and DARwin. Watch them in the video:

Solar Powered Satellite

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has successfully launched a space probe – Akatsuki – which is carrying a solar-powered kite called IKAROS. Akatsuki is headed to Venus, while Ikaros will disconnect and travel to the other side of the Sun on a three year scientific journey . Read more on MSNBC.

Weta Legs

Walking like an Egyptian might have been in vogue last century; today it’s all about walking like a goat… or a dragon… or a satyr. Weta Legs are a kind of hinged stilt that allow humans to walk (dance, and go up and down hills and stairs)  like animals, most often used in fantasy movies […]

Budget House

Engadget reports that the series finale of House was shot entirely on the Canon 5D Mark II camera – “a stills camera that shoots amazing HD,” according to the show’s director Greg Yaitanes.  Read a Q&A with PetaPixel that was conducted via Twitter.

Wild Robots

The New York Times has rounded up several sightings of robots in the ‘wild’ –  from the supermarket robot that will carry your shopping basket  for you to Hanako  a robot with bleeding, saliva-excreting mouth designed to help dentists train. Seem more robots at work and play in The New York Times.

Virtual Autopsy

Just as the furore over the all-seeing scanners at British airports starts to take hold, along comes another piece of technology to creep you out. The Virtual Autopsy Table constructs a 3D image of a living – or dead – body using x-ray imaging. Doctors can then make a diagnosis without resorting to surgery. It […]

Celebrity Body Scans

Yahoo News India reports that, far from being freaked out by the new all-seeing body scanners at airport security, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan seized it as a PR opportunity. On his way through London’s Heathrow airport on the way to an appearance on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross he signed copies of his x-rays […]

Biometric Monitor

The WIN Human Recorder is a Japanese biometric device that is designed to be worn on the skin on a day to day basis as it measures heart rate, brainwaves, skin temperature, velocity and respiration. It wirelessly transmits data to a mobile phone or computer where the data can be managed. Read the full article […]

Missing in Haiti

Haiti Earthquake Support Center was set up the day after the disaster by The Extraordinaries, a group that  “allows people to complete micro-tasks for organizations, causes or people they’re passionate about, using a mobile phone or web browser, in a few minutes of spare time”. When they sat down to think about what they could […]

Interactive Wedding ‘Ring’

GeekPhysical specialize in inventing interactive technological events, experiences and installations. Their latest invention is called Cold Feet and tracks the emotions of the bride and groom throughout the big day via a bouquet that contains blue and white fibre optic lights. The bride slips a bio-feedback ring on her finger which monitors whether she’s feeling […]

Roxxxy – Techno Sex Doll

The Telegraph reports that Douglas Hines, an artificial intelligence engineer, has invented a life size robotic doll that can perform a range of ahem, ‘activities’, including talking about Manchester United and snoring. Unfortunately, she’s not mastered the art of vacuuming. Punters can specify race and body type and choose from five personalities: Foxy Roxxy, Wild, […]

Border Crossing

Vice Magazine reports how Ricardo Dominquez has developed the Transborder Immigrant Tool aimed at helping Mexican immigrant workers find a safe route across the US-Mexico border. This is not the first time he’s been at the forefront of electronic civil disobedience. Read the full article. Hat tip: PSFK

Streetlight Storm

Artist Katie Paterson was commissioned by Vauxhall Motors to create an art work on the theme of re-inventing British classics. Paterson took a British seaside town as her inspiration and created an evocative work for Deal Pier. Along the length of the pier, out to sea, the lights flicker in time with lightning storms as […]

Tube Chop

Tube Chop does what it says: allows you to chop the best bit out of a YouTube video and send it to your friends / embed it on your blog.

Esquire Augmented Reality

Esquire is using augmented reality to attract readers to its magazine. The 7th November 2009 (December) edition has a couple of QR codes (square ‘bar codes’) that are decoded by a camera phone to reveal Robert Downey Jr emerging from the front cover to talk about the AR issue. “Funny Joke from a Beautiful Woman” […]

Biofeedback Stress Bowl

Engadget reports on a new piece of technology that is designed to mirror the emotions of home-working online investors (does that mean unemployed bankers?).  If that’s you, you can slip on the EmoBracelet which flashes with red lights when you are getting a bit  het up and likely to make a bad buying decision. There’s […]

Tech Toys for Pets

Elio Caccavale, designer and lecturer at Central St. Martin’s college in London,  works at the intersection of art and science and presents work described as “social fiction” to spark debate about emerging technologies and the impact they might have on people’s lives. He’s recently invented Toy Communicator, which is like a baby sensor for pets […]

Periodic Table of Experts

If you are looking for interesting experts (or interesting websites), check out Make: Technology on Your Time, which has a series of experts explaining their passions. Watch Bruce Hood from the University of Bristol talk about the supernatural: or Fiorenzo Omenetto, a professor of biomedical engineering at Tufts University who loves silk: or Theodore Gray […]