VIDEO: Self-flying electric car successfully takes its maiden voyage

April 21, 2017 by  
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Forget the flying cars you’ve seen in sci-fi movies because the air transportation of the future is going to be way better than we imagined – at least, if Lilium Aviation has anything to do with it. The aviation company recently unveiled their all-electric, self-flying car. And while there are quite a few flying car prototypes driving, er, flying around right now, Lilium sets itself apart with its electric engine and vertical takeoff, which the company successfully tested for the first time this week. The vehicle is powered by 36 electric jet engines. Electric powered-flight is just developing, but Lilium has figured out how to make it work in its prototype. “It’s the same battery that you can find in any Tesla,” co-founder Patrick Nathen told The Verge . The battery consumes 90 percent less than current drone aircraft. The craft has a flight speed of 186 mph with a range of 186 miles per charge. Related: AeroMobil is launching a flying car that you can actually buy this year Lilium’s prototype is a two-seater, but the company plans to eventually make a 5-seat vehicle that can be used as an air taxi. For the maiden voyage, the craft was remotely piloted from the ground, but the company is shooting for manned flight night. The final version will be piloted autonomously and you will be able to book a flight using your smartphone, just like a Lyft in the sky. Via The Verge

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VIDEO: Self-flying electric car successfully takes its maiden voyage

World’s first material-sensing smartphone reveals what’s in your food

January 13, 2017 by  
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If you are tired of hearing everyday products and even our water laced with harmful, carcinogenic chemicals, you might be encouraged to learn that a company in China has just unveiled the world’s first material-sensing smartphone. Offering consumers a powerful new defense against elements that potentially undermine environmental and public health, the Changhong H2 is capable of reading the molecular makeup of just about anything—from strawberries and pills to your own body metrics. Sichuan Changhong Electric Co teamed up with ADI and Consumer Physics to develop the groundbreaking device, which is fitted with a smaller version of the SCiO sensor used in Consumer Physics’ groundbreaking pocket spectrometer . Consumer Physics founder and CEO Dror Sharon told Inhabitat he is extremely excited about this new release for the company. “The main mission we have been pursuing since the company’s founding is to empower people with knowledge about materials surrounding us,” he said in an email. “The ability to scan directly through the smartphone, immediately and everywhere you are, would eventually allow access to many more and the development of many new apps.” Like the SCiO spectrometer , which measures the light reflected off any given object, breaks down its spectrum, and then sends the ensuing information to the cloud to determine its molecular properties, the H2 will allow users to carefully evaluate everything they eat, drink, wear and more. “It’s a smartphone that creates miracles,” according to Consumer Physics. “From identification of compositions like alcoholic drinks, to process control – with the right apps and corresponding database, it can create experiences beyond our imagination.” Related: World’s first pocket spectrometer measures the molecular makeup of just about anything “Just as the smartphone put the power of the internet and a vast knowledge base into our pockets, this innovation will put the capability to learn about the chemical and molecular makeup of materials into the public’s hands,” Sharon added. Sharon said the H2 is the first smartphone embedded with SCiO, but they are talking to other mobile manufacturers to equip more smartphones with the tiny material-sensing technology. Consumer Physics says the plan is to release the H2 in China for about $435 in the middle of this year, and a phone for consumers outside of China later this year. + Consumer Physics Images courtesy Consumer Physics

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World’s first material-sensing smartphone reveals what’s in your food

Smart architecture app lets you turn almost anything into a digital stencil

September 12, 2016 by  
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Stencil was recently unveiled as the latest pro feature of Trace , Morpholio’s popular smartphone app that makes digital drawing a cinch with tools that allow users to draw on top of imported images, layer comments, and seamlessly collaborate on digital sketches with a global team. Stencil builds upon those features and lets you capture a real-life texture, pattern, or shape with your smartphone camera or tablet and turn it into a stencil for a multilayered drawing. “Creating stencils sits perfectly between the architect’s sketch and the quick photo,” explains Mark Collins, Co-creator. “You’re trying to capture something – a texture, pattern, or detail that you want to use. Sketching is great, but slow. Taking a photo buries it in the photo album. Generating a stencil automatically creates an incredible tool that you can utilize in various ways. The stencil is the quickest path to distill an image into an actionable idea.” Related: See How This Handy New App Lets You Create Design Concepts Right on Your Smartphone Custom digital stencils in the Trace app can be used with a full color palette and different drawing textures and types, including pencil, charcoal, marker, and brush. Final drawings can be exported to scale as PDF or uploaded to the cloud or social media. The Stencil feature and the Trace app are currently only available for iOS and can be downloaded for free with purchasable pro features in the App Store. + Morpholio + Morpholio Trace App Images via Morpholio

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Smart architecture app lets you turn almost anything into a digital stencil

India’s richest man pledges free 4G to 1 billion people

September 6, 2016 by  
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In India , just one fifth of the adult population can access the Internet . The necessary infrastructure necessary just hasn’t been in place – especially in poorer or rural areas. But now the richest man in India is hoping to change that with a plan to offer free 4G Internet to one billion people. Mukesh Ambani started Reliance Jio , a mobile network service. The network is available for over 80 percent of India, and Ambani’s goal is to offer Jio – which translates as “live life” from Hindi – to 90 percent of Indians by March 2017. From text on the Jio website, it appears Ambani’s dreams are even larger: “Jio Digital Life will give the power of data to each Indian, to fulfill every dream and collectively take India to global digital leadership.” Related: New LED “Li-Fi” is 100 times faster than Wi-Fi To celebrate the new network, Ambani is offering the service for free through the end of 2016. After that date, cheap plans are still available; Indians could use Jio for 149 rupees, around $2.25, each month. At a company meeting, Ambani said, “Anything and everything that can go digital is going digital – at an exponential rate. Life is going digital.” To offer the revolutionary, fast service that reaches more of the Indian population, Ambani had to build infrastructure. He erected almost 100,000 telecommunications towers, and spent billions to do so. Reliance Jio will be able to use the radio frequencies of Reliance Communications , a company of which Ambani’s brother Anil Ambani is chairman. According to Mukesh Ambani, Jio can now reach 200,000 villages and 18,000 cities. Most Indians will probably hop on Jio via smartphones . According to Forbes , Ambani is worth $22 billion. He’s the chairman of Reliance Industries , a conglomerate that includes businesses in the oil and gas and petrochemicals industries. The richest man in India, Ambani is the 36th richest person in the world. Via CNN Money Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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India’s richest man pledges free 4G to 1 billion people

Sublime reading cabin in upstate New York built with timber felled on site

September 6, 2016 by  
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According to the architects, the timber cabin’s construction came about after building a main home nearby. The remaining felled oak trees left over from the larger construction area were cut into large rectangular logs and left to dry on site for several years. Related: The Rock Bottom is a tiny off-grid reading cabin built for just $300 in Vermont “The strategy for the cottage centered on preserving and transforming a material that would otherwise have become construction waste,” said principal Brandon Padron. As for the building strategy, the log cabin and its interior shelving was an all-in-one process. As they horizontally piled the logs on top of one another, spatial gaps emerged, which were used to create floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. The process also included leaving larger gaps for the windows, strategically placed to let in natural reading light, of course. Albeit compact, the one-room space has just enough space for a bed, comfy armchair, and a small desk. A wood-burning stove heats the tiny room so visitors can enjoy some literary downtime all year round. + Studio Padron Via Dezeen

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Sublime reading cabin in upstate New York built with timber felled on site

World’s first all-terrain flat-pack truck folds in on itself

September 6, 2016 by  
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The world’s first flat-pack truck, the OX by Global Vehicle Trust (GVT) recently unveiled in London, promises a low-cost answer to the challenges of transportation in developing nations. The OX was designed to enable true all-terrain mobility without a dizzying price tag, and it’s well suited for regular transportation needs as well as disaster recovery. Because each truck packs flat for shipping, they can be stacked together and drop-shipped just about anywhere in the world, a feature which could translate into life-changing and life-saving transportation in areas where there may not even be roads. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9_Zb-veBd0 Sir Torquil Norman founded GVT specifically to create a low-cost all-terrain vehicle capable of transporting heavy loads of cargo and people across difficult environments. Norman tapped automotive designer Gordon Murray to develop the OX to fulfill that need. With its high ground clearance and weight distribution, the OX can do what many other large trucks can do, but it has one important feature that has never been seen before on this scale. The OX flat-packs within itself, making it much easier to build and transport the trucks from their origin in the UK to wherever they are needed in Africa and other developing parts of the world. Related: This truck lays 50m of its own road in 6 minutes and then picks it back up It takes three people less than six hours to build each truck, and six of the OX trucks can be shipped together a 40-foot-high cube container. Upon arriving at their final destination, the OX trucks will be assembled and maintained by hired local professionals; it takes three people around 12 hours to assemble one OX. Each truck is powered by a four-cylinder diesel engine and can carry a load of over 4,000 lbs. The OX’s cabin holds three passengers, with the driver seat positioned in the middle for optimal weight distribution (in the event that the driver is alone in the cab) as well as to account for differences in traffic rules (i.e. which side of the road people drive on). “My inspiration for the OX goes back to seeing the ‘ Africar ’ project of the 1980s,” said Norman. “This project shares some of the aims of that vehicle, but its execution is radically different. OX was just a dream six years ago, but it is now a realistic prospect for production with working prototypes that have completed a comprehensive testing program.” GVT unveiled its prototype in London, has been communicating with aid organizations in Africa, and is now seeking investors to bring the project of five-plus years to fruition. The end foal? To fulfill Norman’s dream of seeing “an OX in every village in Africa.” + The OX Images via Global Vehicle Trust

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World’s first all-terrain flat-pack truck folds in on itself

Google and Levi Strauss created a smart jacket that let’s you control your phone

May 28, 2016 by  
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Google and Levi Strauss joined together to make a “smart” jacket that looks low-tech, but is literally woven full of technology . The interactive textile features conductive yarns and electronics that lets you use your smartphone without needing to pull it out of your pocket. Need a skip a song? Swipe your sleeve. Imagine how handy this kind of clothing could be while riding a bike or making your way through a crowd.

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Google and Levi Strauss created a smart jacket that let’s you control your phone

General Motors launches Maven car-sharing service

January 22, 2016 by  
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General Motors recently announced plans to invest $500 million in the Lyft ride-sharing service, and the automaker just unveiled its next step in redefining personal mobility. GM has launched a new car-sharing service called Maven, which will let customers use its fleet of cars for as little as $6 an hour. Just like Zipcar , users can use an app to find and reserve vehicles by location or car type anden th unlock the vehicle with their smartphone. Read the rest of General Motors launches Maven car-sharing service

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General Motors launches Maven car-sharing service

Washington D.C. mayor says blizzard has “life and death implications”

January 22, 2016 by  
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In response to the impending snow storm bearing down on the Northeast United States, Washington D.C. Mayor Mayor Muriel Bowser has issued a warning that the “major storm has life and death implications, and all the residents of the District of Columbia should treat it that way.” According to the National Weather Service , the “strongest winds, and potential life threatening conditions” are “expected Friday night through Saturday,” with heavy snow and wind causing drifts from Friday night into Saturday morning, only to be followed by more heavy snow to continue all Saturday afternoon. The city will shut down all public transit this weekend for the time in its 40-year history. Via CNN

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Washington D.C. mayor says blizzard has “life and death implications”

A Smarter Plug

September 23, 2015 by  
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If you live with your smartphone constantly glued to your hand – slightly guiltily, as I do – then I may have just found a time- and energy-saving reason to continue this abominable habit. You’ve likely heard of Nest – Google’s intelligent answer…

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A Smarter Plug

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