GAME BLOCKS: Lost your secret stash of Lego? Sifteo cubes might make you feel better. Each cube has a 128-pixel color LCD screen, WiFi, accelerometer and an ARM processor. Arrange them how you like — as part of a solitary game or playing against others. Download apps for the cubes and sync them to your Mac or PC. A software development kit will let you program them too. In my day a cardboard box made for hours of fun. Details at Wired.
FORMULA ONE HAND:
Touch Bionics create and fit hi-tech artificial limbs. Together with Mercedes they created a custom hand for one British boy who's a fan of Formula One racing, sponsored by Mercedes. The limb detects signals from the muscles of the lower arm. A computer in the palm then creates appropriate movements. A Bluetooth connection allows data to be sent to a computer for analysis. Creativity lives in unusual connections. The Telegraph has
SENSITIVE SKIN: Scientists at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign have created a sensor patch filled with circuits. It can be applied like a temporary tattoo but doesn't need adhesives. Applied to the throat it can detect spoken words and control a computer game. On other parts of the body it can record heartbeats, brain activity or muscle contractions. The flexible and stretchy patch is powered by embedded solar cells or inductive coils, and is no thicker than a human hair. The patch falls off after a few days as the body naturally sheds skin cells. I foresee a new market for designers to make these things look good. Nature has more.
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ONE WHEELING: The Audi Ao is a monocycle concept that puts a seat, handlebars and footpegs on a self-stabilizing, tilt-controlled hollow wheel. It has a max speed of 15 Kph and can be folded up to fit in your car. Just as well, because the battery runs out after an hour. The concept looks rather utilitarian. Add some glam and it could sell. Details at Engadget and video here.
TERMINAL LIE DOWN: It's funny how after you've travelled a long way in a confined seat all you want to do is lie down. But instead you end up sitting in a marginally comfortable seat at some terminal for hours. The Sleepbox is a carefully designed enclosed cubicle where a traveller can rest for a few hours. Currently being tested in Moscow airport, it contains a bed, WIFi, power points, TV, small desk, alarm clock and temperature controls. It cleans itself with UV light between uses. A simple but brilliant idea. One Bag, One World found it; video here.
- Miraz Jordan knowit.co.nz