Tech Universe: Tuesday 26 June

By Miraz Jordan

No time for a long indulgent bath? Don't worry, you can still get clean without the suds and water. Just use DryBath. A gel that kills germs and leaves you smelling fresh. Photo / Thinkstock
No time for a long indulgent bath? Don't worry, you can still get clean without the suds and water. Just use DryBath. A gel that kills germs and leaves you smelling fresh. Photo / Thinkstock

BATH SALTS: Taking a bath or shower gets you clean and removes dirt, germs and smell. But in places where water's scarce showers and baths just aren't practical. That's where DryBath comes in. It's a chemical compound that cleans you without needing water. The gel is a proprietary blend of a biocide, bioflavonoids and moisturisers that moisturises the skin, kills germs, and leaves the user smelling fresh. Heck, you could have a quick scrub in the car on the way to work. HeadBoy Industries has further information.

LIGHT FIGHTS: Light too bright? Don't get up to change it. Instead Insteon's LED light bulbs can be dimmed from a remote, or the app on your smartphone or tablet. They can even be controlled via a web app. The bulb itself contains dual-band communication technology and acts as a network signal repeater, sending signals over both radio frequencies and a home's existing powerline. Combined with a SmartLinc Hub you can control the bulb from your phone.

Oh, this could shed a whole new light on fighting over the remote. Insteon explains.

FINGER TIPS: We need to be able to sense textures and other characteristics of objects we touch to be able to hold onto them and work with them properly. Think how hard it was last time your hands were numb from cold. Researchers at the University of Southern California created an artificial finger that has a sense of touch. A sensor mimics the human fingertip, while algorithms make sense of the vibrations from differing textures. The sensor can tell where and in which direction forces are applied to the fingertip and even the thermal properties of an object being touched. This could be particularly useful for people with prosthetic hands, but also for robots. In fact, without a sense of touch prosthetic hands must be very hard to work with. University of Southern California elaborates. Check out the video.

BIKE ALARM: It's not pretty when you wipe your bike off the roof of the car with the garage doorway. The HeadsUp System is intended to stop you driving into your garage with a roof rack full of gear. You place an LED alert sign in your garage, tiny wireless tags on your gear, and a wireless alerter in your vehicle. When your car approaches the garage the LED sign flashes and the alerter inside the car sounds a warning. That's all good until the batteries go unexpectedly flat. HeadsUp Systems has more. Video here.

SUIT UP: Now that everyone's getting ready to rush off into space there's a bit of demand for spacesuits. Final Frontier Design, based in New York, aim to fill that demand. The company is designing a safe, functional and affordable pressurised space suit for use in commercial space flights. It's not designed for space walks, but rather as a safety measure in case of depressurisation during launch and landing. It's all part of the thrill. Gizmag details.

Miraz Jordan, knowit.co.nz

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