Yves Bhar unveils new Smart Locks that make keyless entry a breeze

September 19, 2017 by  
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One of the worst feelings is wondering whether or not you left the front door unlocked. With Yves Behar ‘s new Smart Locks, you’ll never have to worry about that again. Behar just debuted three new products for August Home Inc. – including a Doorbell Cam and two Smart Locks equipped with the first integrated sensor that tells homeowners if their doors are opened or closed. August Home Inc. was co-founded by Yves Béhar and Jason Johnson. The company develops smart home products that use encrypted locking technology . This enables consumers to create virtual keys for their home and grant access to guests, house cleaners, dog walkers, delivery services, and friends and family members from their smartphones and computers. The latest August products are the August Smart Lock Pro, which is the most advanced smart lock on the market with support for HomeKit, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Z-Wave Plus ($279); the August Smart Lock, which is newly-designed and is for consumers “exploring the benefits of smart home access” ($149); and the Doorbell Cam Pro, which lets homeowners use a smartphone to see and speak with visitors at the front door. An important feature included in the Smart Locks is DoorSense, which the company says is “the first intelligent, integrated sensor that tells users if a door is open or closed.” When a homeowner is wondering if they locked the door, they can check their smartphone and be informed at the touch of a button. “Smart locks are playing an important role in the growth of the smart home,” said Jason Johnson, CEO of August Home. “With the Smart Lock Pro, we’ve created a lock that gives people total control over their front door in ways that aren’t possible with a traditional lock. Now people can make sure their door is closed and locked from anywhere. We’re also expanding our offering to include a more affordable lock so everyone can make their door safer and smarter.” Related: Yves Béhar’s shapeshifting Ori furniture transforms your home at the touch of a button Johnson continued, “The front door is the gateway to the home and our mission is to transform every home, by helping people manage access for themselves, guests, home services, and for secure package delivery.” + August Home Inc. Images via August Home Inc.

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Yves Bhar unveils new Smart Locks that make keyless entry a breeze

World’s first electric dump truck stores as much energy as 8 Tesla Model S cars

September 15, 2017 by  
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Even the construction industry can “go green.” A collection of Swiss companies is proving this to be true by developing the world’s largest electric vehicle and in record time. The E-Dumper weighs a whopping 45 tons and has 700 kWh of storage capacity. That’s as much as eight Tesla Model S vehicles. To ensure it is as environmentally-friendly as possible, the E-Dumper’s base is a used Komatsu HD 605-7 dumper truck. The original diesel engine has been removed and replaced with a chassis for battery packs that will power the new E-Dumper. When we say this vehicle is big, we mean big. Its tires measure over 6.5 feet in diameter, and the driver is required to climb nine stairs to reach the cabin. Its size and strength ensure it can transport materials from a mountain ridge to a valley 20 times per day. This is important, as moving materials from the slopes of the Chasseral to the Ciments Vigier SA cements works near Biel is what the e-dump truck will be doing for the next 10 years. Because the vehicle is electric , there is no need to “heat up” the brakes when descending. This is because the enormous electric engine acts as a generator and recharges the battery pack. That same energy is then used to help the vehicle travel back up the hill. Phys reports, “If all goes as planned, the electric dumper truck will even harvest more electricity while traveling downhill than it needs for the ascent. Instead of consuming fossil fuels , it would then feed surplus electricity into the grid.” The costly venture is being spearheaded by Ciments Vigier SA . Lithium Storage GmbH from Illnau and the Kuhn Group have been hired to “get the ball rolling,” so to speak. The project is also backed by Empa; battery expert Marcel Held is in charge of safety assessments. Related: Chinese company LeEco begins building $3 billion electric car factory The E-Dumper’s battery pack will weigh an incredible 4.5 tons and consist of 1,440 nickel manganese cobalt cells. This is the first time ever a land vehicle has been equipped with such a vast battery pack. “Nickel manganese cobalt cells are also the choice of the German automobile industry when it comes to the next generation of electric cars,” Held said. This is also the first time a vehicle of this performance class has been constructed to ascend and descend slopes of up to 13 percent inclination, all the while charging its battery pack by 40 kWh during a single descent and using electrical currents up to 3,000 amperes while climbing steep terrain. If the E-Dump Truck proves successful, Ciments Vigier SA could potentially power up to eight purely-electric vehicles using long-term. Once this has been accomplished, other companies may start producing large-scale, electric construction vehicles as well. + Ciments Vigier SA Via Phys.org Images via Lithium Storage GmbH ,  SAE International

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What3Words provides an address for every person and point on planet earth

September 8, 2017 by  
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What3Words is a revolutionary addressing system that pinpoints locations more precisely than conventional street addresses. The tool divides the world into 57 trillion 3 meter x 3 meter squares and assigns a unique combination of three words to each square. This enables more efficient aid and delivery services around the world – and it could actually save lives in disaster zones and informal settlements without street names. Roughly 75% of the world suffers from inconsistent, complicated or inadequate addressing systems, meaning that 4 billion people are unable to report crime, receive deliveries or request aid . They also are unable to exercise many of their rights as citizens because they simply have no way to communicate where they live. Even in the developed world, people get lost and mail goes delivered. Related: 5 brilliant designs that will change the world win the 2017 INDEX: Award London-based What3Words offers an efficient, precise solution that is currently being integrated into businesses, apps and services across the globe. Each of the 57 trillion 3mx3m squares in the world has been allocated a fixed & unique 3-word address. The What3words geocoder turns geographic coordinates into these 3 word addresses & vice-versa. The system works across all platforms and devices, in multiple languages, offline and with voice recognition. Related: Life-saving LifeArk snaps together like LEGO to provide emergency off-grid housing Nigeria ‘s postal service has just started using What3Words to tackle its snail-mail problem and the poor addressing system. By adopting this state-of-the-art technology , NIPOST hopes to increase home delivery to 70 percent over the next two years. The firm has also signed a deal with Mongolia’s national delivery service and drone company Altavian, which designs and manufactures high quality drones for commercial enterprises. They teamed up with Indian moped taxi firm Bikxie, which is utilizing What3Words’ award-winning addressing system to help women travel more safely. What3words has been selected as the winner of the world’s biggest design prize – the INDEX: Award – which recognizes sustainable designs that generate positive impact in the world. + What3words + INDEX: Award

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What3Words provides an address for every person and point on planet earth

5 brilliant designs that will change the world win the 2017 INDEX: Award

September 1, 2017 by  
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The world’s biggest design award was just bestowed upon five groundbreaking green designs that stand to improve life around the globe. The biennial INDEX: Award honors sustainable designs that address global challenges, and this year’s winners came from a pool of 1403 entries. From a floating farm that heals ocean ecosystems to a life-saving centrifuge that costs 25 cents, read on for a first look at this year’s winners – live from the INDEX: Award ceremony in Denmark. Zipline Delivering emergency medical supplies in developing nations can be difficult. On average, it takes four hours to send vaccines and blood transfusions from a central facility, but it can take much longer in the event of a natural disaster or infrastructural collapse. Enter Zipline – the world’s first commercial medical drone delivery system. Zipline uses a simple system to quickly and efficiently deliver critical medical supplies. Health workers text an order, and items are packaged at a distribution center. Then a drone is dispatched and the items are delivered by parachute with a high degree of precision. A single drone can carry a payload of 1.5 kilos for up to 150 kilometers – and it can make 500 deliveries in 24 hours in all weather conditions, for the equivalent cost per trip of a motorbike or ambulance delivery. Zipline began delivering blood to 21 transfusion facilities in western Rwanda in 2017, and it’s set to begin delivering blood and medicine in remote Maryland, Nevada and Washington over the next year. What3Words You might take your address for granted, but according to the UN, 4 billion people lack a way to reliably address their homes. This leads to myriad problems, as those without addresses are denied access to basic social and civic services – it’s difficult or impossible for them to open bank accounts, register births, or sign up for utilities like electricity and water. What3Words solves this problem by dividing the world into 57 trillion 3 meter x 3 meter squares, and assigning a unique combination of three words to each square. The resulting grid is more precise than street addresses, and it allows anyone to share their location quickly for emergency situations, census taking or even everyday mail delivery. GreenWave The world’s oceans are in trouble. 90% of large fish stocks are threatened by overfishing , the amount of carbon dioxide in our oceans is higher than at any point in the past 400,000 years, and nitrogen pollution from farms, factories and homes creates oxygen-depleted dead zones. Greenwave is a revolutionary ocean farm that addresses all of these issues while producing healthy local food, restoring ecosystems, and creating jobs for fishermen. The hurricane-proof floating farm grows shellfish and seaweed using “mussel socks,” oyster cages and nets. Each species is selected to address an environmental challenge – for instance, oysters naturally filter out excess nitrogen, and seaweed soaks up five times more CO2 than land-based plants. GreenWave also provides ocean farmers with grants, free outdoor gear, and training – and it promises to purchase 80% of new farmers’ crops over five years at triple the market rate. Paperfuge Every year, five million people are killed by three highly infectious diseases: malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis. Diagnosing and treating these illnesses is difficult in parts of the world with limited access to infrastructure, electricity and medical facilities. Centrifuges are critical tools that can isolate and detect infections – but they require electricity to function and can cost up to $1,000 per machine. The Paperfuge provides a brilliant alternative – it’s a simple device inspired by a five-thousand-year-old toy that can separate plasma from a blood sample in 90 seconds. The device weighs about 2 grams, it’s made from paper, string and plastic, and it only costs 25 cents to make – which makes it an accessible, low-cost “frugal design” with the potential to save millions of lives around the world. Ethereum Ethereum offers a way to validate your digital identity and make online transactions while keeping complete control over your personal information – instead of giving it over to a third party service like Facebook or Paypal. It’s a platform that provides developers with tools, custom blockchains and networks to build decentralized applications that can transform the way we interact with money, business, government and society. Since the applications use a blockchain, there’s no centralized server that can get hacked or shut down. + INDEX: Award + INDEX: Design to Improve Life

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5 brilliant designs that will change the world win the 2017 INDEX: Award

Give this clock a roll and it’ll show you the time anywhere on Earth

July 11, 2017 by  
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This World Clock is something that every global citizen needs today. The simple yet incredibly clever device quickly tells you what time it is anywhere on the planet. Developed by Japanese product designer Masafumi Ishikawa , the tiny clock has 12 flat edges and a single hour hand. Each side corresponds to a city – and as you roll the clock from one side to another, the hand automatically changes its position to show the time in that location. Masafumi Ishikawa’s World Clock is made of wood and finished with austere characters. It’s a handy and highly functional object that embraces traditional Japanese taste, minimalism and essentiality. The clock’s visual clarity mirrors its functional and technological simplicity. It doesn’t have multiple displays, and there is no need to manually set the time or adjust the mechanism – simple rotation is the only physical action necessary to tell the time anywhere on earth. The trick is a simple ball bearing that sets the new position of the hand when the clock is rotated. Masafumi Ishikawa has also developed a second version of the World Clock that addresses daylight saving time shifts adopted by some countries. This DST clock features an additional ring that advances the clock’s time by one hour during the summer months for cities where daylight savings time takes place. Related: This carved wood bench hides an unexpected surprise Masafumi Ishikawa’s World Clock by received a Lexus Design Award back in 2013, and it was presented during the Milan Furniture Fair 2017 at Salone Satellite in Rho Fiera. On this occasion the designer revealed to Inhabitat that he will shortly launch a crowdfunding campaign to put this bold prototype into production. + Masafumi Ishikawa Images by Maria Novozhilova for Inhabitat

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Give this clock a roll and it’ll show you the time anywhere on Earth

This is how hot it will be in your neck of the woods if we don’t slow climate change

July 11, 2017 by  
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Most of us know that the world is getting hotter – but it’s hard to put that into real perspective, especially when you are arguing with your climate-denying aunt (or, you know, your president). This map makes it easier by showing you how hot your city will be by 2100 if we don’t get emissions under control in comparison to another city. Los Angeles will feel like Belize City, and Chicago will feel like Juarez. And if that doesn’t scare you, consider the fact that many cities in the Middle East – like Baghdad – will be hotter than any current city on Earth. The map isn’t all bad news – it can also show you what will happen if we manage to meet the goals laid out in the Paris agreement instead of letting temperatures climb unchecked. Climate Central worked with the World Meteorological Organization to determine what cities would look like if temps climb 14.4 degrees F across the world by 2100 (or 7 degrees F if we begin to control emissions). Related: This map reveals which countries will survive climate change (and which countries are in big trouble) Climate Central also used to have a US-based map, but the organization said that they decided to create a world map because the conversation has moved away from the US now that Trump has pulled us out of the climate accord. They also decided to focus on urban areas because that is where the greatest number of people live, and cities experience the urban heat island effect, which can make them feel even hotter than more rural areas. + Climate Central via Fast Company image via Depositphotos

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This is how hot it will be in your neck of the woods if we don’t slow climate change

Clever bath vanity designed for a child with special needs

March 27, 2017 by  
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Washington-based Strasser Woodenworks has created an ingenious custom-made bath vanity for a Kansas City family with a special needs child. The wooden vanity has two false drawers that pull out on castors to become steps to help their young son, Tristan, who has a form of dwarfism, become more independent. The design was part of the annual Big Splash Custom Bath Giveaway , which saw Strasser Woodenworks and Schloegel Design & Remodeling partner up to create a new bathroom for Tristan, who has a form of dwarfism called Achondroplasia. At just 31-inches tall, the four-year-old struggles to perform everyday tasks like brushing his teeth or washing his hands. His mother, Leandria, told the renovation team that her son has fallen several times from having to climb to use everything. The new custom-made vanity is not only a much safer solution for the boy, but will be able to help him become more independent. Related: Foldschool: DIY Origami-Style Cardboard Furniture for Kids “Like any young child, Tristan wants to be independent, but the height of every element in the bathroom made that a real challenge and a safety hazard for him,” says Amy Boeshaar, AKBD, who designed the new bathroom for the family. “From the vanity, sink, and towel bars to the tub, showerhead, and toilet, everything was just too tall for him. To custom make the vanity, the team began by using standard cabinet elements to create a Tristan-sized vanity that’s also usable for the rest of the family. Attractive Shaker doors give the design a fresh, timeless aesthetic. The vanity steps, which were customized to Tristan’s height , roll out on castors and are easily concealed when not in use. + Strasser Woodworks + Schloegel Design & Remodeling

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Clever bath vanity designed for a child with special needs

Foldable, lightweight kayak assembles in 10 minutes

February 24, 2017 by  
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For all the joy they can bring out on the water, traditional kayaks are bulky, heavy and often cumbersome to transport. But that’s all about to change thanks to the Justin Case Kayak , a foldable, lighweight kayak design made with 3D-printed materials that can be assembled in just 10 minutes. Most kayaks are long, bulky and heavy, making transport extremely difficult. The Justin Case Kayak prototype is designed for water lovers by fellow adventurers who wanted to make kayaking easier, simultaneously enabling better access to nature and spontaneous adventure. Related: Modular kayak with an off-color name breaks down into three portable pieces  The team behind Justin Case developed their prototype based on optimal functionality. With the foldable design , kayakers of any level can easily carry their kayak folded up in its carry case, making impromptu water excursions easier than ever. The compact design is optimal for storage as well, easily hidden from view unlike most kayaks. The lightweight carbon fiber frame is held together with 3D printed connectors, and covered in a water and tear-proof ripstop skin. The prototype development process was green-minded throughout, focusing on using as little material as possible while providing a long-lasting product. Via Justin Case Kayak Images via Justin Case Kayak

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Foldable, lightweight kayak assembles in 10 minutes

Minimalist Urban Nomad Kit lets travelers carry traces of home in a small wooden basket

January 17, 2017 by  
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Living a nomadic lifestyle just got a little more Zen thanks to the Japanese-inspired Nomad Life Kit. Mexican designer Geraldo Osio has created a minimalist wooden basket that carries a handful of basic necessities inside so travelers can have a sense of a home anywhere they go. All of the items in the kit are all manufactured by Japanese craftsmen and made of natural materials. Although the tiny wooden box may seem like a simple picnic basket, the idea behind the design is much more sentimental. Osio wanted to provide wanderers with a true sense of belonging while on the road. As the designer explains on his website , “This kind of lifestyle creates a tendency of losing a sense of belonging to a place.” Related: Tiny Helix Shelter made of laster-cut recycled cardboard is a temporary habitat for one Inside the box, nomads will find items that age as they use them. The leather straps on the box will soften and darken over time and the copper tableware set found on the inside will patina. The stone candle and incense holder are included in the set to offer the owner a familiar sense of smell and light wherever they may go. And if they ever find themselves without a place to rest or sleep, a simple straw mat and cushion will provide comfort for a quick rest or overnight stay . + Gerardo Osio Via Fast Codesign Images via Gerardo Osio

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Minimalist Urban Nomad Kit lets travelers carry traces of home in a small wooden basket

Why people are going nuts over this unusual pillow

November 28, 2016 by  
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“Are You freaking kidding me? This pillow is amazing!” “The best pillow you will ever sleep on!” If you look online at the reviews of the Hullo buckwheat pillow you might be surprised by the passion and excitement of its fans. After all, a pillow is just a pillow, right? Not according to Hullo and their legions of fans. Whereas most pillows are filled either with goose down or synthetic foam, Hullo is filled with buckwheat hulls, which gives them something like the feeling of a bean bag chair, rather than a traditional pillow. For buckwheat pillow devotees, this unique material makes for an amazing sleep experience. According to the Hullo Pillow website, natural buckwheat hulls circulate air around the face more effectively and that dreaded “too-warm-pillow” feeling that sometimes hits you in the middle of the night. Buckwheat pillows also supposedly help the musculoskeletal system by aligning the vertebrae properly when a person is lying down, relieving chronic pain and providing restful sleep. Because of this, we’re thinking that Hullo pillows might make a good, healthy and eco-friendly holiday gift this year. Although a pillow may not seem like the most thrilling present, the benefits of restful sleep and good health extend beyond the limited-time joy provided by things like DVDs, gadgets, and other knick-knacks. Since buckwheat pillows conform to the body so well, they have been reported to eliminate migraines, neck and back pain, insomnia, snoring, allergies, sleep apnea, and even asthma. Conventional pillows are typically filled either with cruelly-sourced bird feathers or with chemical-based foams which can off-gas volatile organic compounds into your face while you sleep. Hullo pillows are completely non-toxic, breathable, free from animal-cruelty, and they can last for years. RELATED: Why a buckwheat pillow makes a good pillow The Hullo Pillow is made in the USA, wrapped in 100% organic cotton twill, and filled with buckwheat hulls grown and milled by North Dakota farmers. The hulls themselves can be emptied or added for desired comfort. Hullo sells the hulls separately if you wish to have a firmer fill, or make your own. The hulls also allow for cool, all-natural support through the night. Available in size small (14″ x 20″), standard (20″ x 26″), and king (20″ x 36″), these pillows accommodate the whole family. Hullo also offers a 60-Day Money-back Guarantee, so if it doesn’t strike the fancy of the recipient, they can return it for a full refund. The company recommends trying it out for a few weeks at least, since it can be a major adjustment from softer, synthetic pillows. With so many positive online reviews and the promise of the best sleep of one’s life, here’s one idea to consider this year when making your holiday list. + Hullo Pillow – $59 to $149

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