GOOD BOOKS: Been enjoying any good ebooks lately? According to Amazon UK, they now sell more ebooks than hardbacks and paperbacks combined. The trend is clear. BBC has more.
PRINTING FUTURE: Two year old Emma has a medical condition that means she can't lift her own arms, but she's also too small for a metal exoskeleton. Hooray for plastic and 3D printing! Now she wears a lightweight plastic exoskeleton and new parts can be easily produced as she grows or replaced if they break. There's a really good use for 3D printing with plastic! Digital Trends explains. Video here.
PRINTING PACK: Students at MIT thought 3D printers should be more portable, so they built the the PopFab to fit inside a small suitcase. With small changes the machine could also be used for milling, vinyl cutting and drawing.
After opening the briefcase, attach the printing head, feed in some printing material, and connect a power cord and computer to send a design. The students tested the device by travelling with it as a carry-on suitcase. So very like and yet so very different from an old-fashioned fold-out sewing machine. Gizmag details. Check out the video.
POINTED ADDRESS: A power point that runs IPv6? The smart socket developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute is a wireless power outlet that supports the IPv6 Internet protocol. That means you could control household appliances with your smartphone. Add in the HexaBus USB stick that plugs into any compatible router and the appliance can report back on its power use. The idea is that each power outlet has its own IP address and encrypted wireless signals give the householder control over their devices from a web browser or smartphone app. You need never be free from household chores. Fraunhofer Institute has further info.
THINK SMALL: The electric car, van and truck from EcoCentre in California are promoted as neighborhood electric vehicles because of their short range and low speeds. They also have a low price though, and are eligible in the US for all kinds of tax credits. EcoCentre also plan to establish as a network of franchises throughout the US. Being able to get around town quickly and easily and at low cost will be a big incentive. Inhabitat elaborates.
Miraz Jordan, knowit.co.nz