Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Communications
July 28th, 2015
5:32
 

WOW – I’ve just had quite an education on the advancement of the mirror.  I always thought it was just a “dumb” piece of glass that is reflective.  Boy, was I wrong!

Now there are things called augmented mirrors – and there are MANY.

Here’s what I’ve learned with a little internet searching…

MirrorMirror developed by students at Purdue University, gives the user not only their reflection, but other important information such as the latest news, emails and even bus schedules.

The prototype was produced during BoilerMake2014, a 36-hour hackathon at Purdue University. It uses facial recognition technology that causes relevant information to be displayed when the user looks into the mirror.

“The mirror will display general information most of the time, but when it recognizes a user it will display their information such as emails or scores of the latest game,” says team member Nick Molo. “With our open development platform, anyone who has the ability to build an app can do so and share it with other users.”

Even going back to development of the 2011 Cybertecture Mirror there was the intent to present users with a wealth of information while looking at their reflection. Described as a reflective window into a digital life, this internet-connected, intelligent mirror can augment your reflected image with weather and news, check for messages or social network feeds, let you watch a TV program, give you information on your state of health and can even act as a personal exercise coach.

blog cybertecture mirror

Please note that these newfangled mirrors do not come cheaply!  I guess you’d have to weigh the cost against the advantages received to see if it will be on your wish list of additions to your home decor :-)

What do you think?

Bookmark and Share

Don’t underestimate the power of poo!  In the never-ending quest to reduce, reuse and recycle – some have found a way to even make poo a valuable commodity.

And since there will not be a shortage of poo anytime soon, these clever minds stand to profit substantially from their brilliant ideas.

Last year, the UK’s first bus powered by human poo hit the roads of Bristol and in January this year, the Janicki Omniprocessor, a machine that turns human poo into water was revealed. Janicki Bioenergy, the company behind the machine, is soon to ship a processor to Dakar, Senegal, where it will produce 10,800 litres of water.

Here are some other examples of how waste is being integrated into sustainable, circular design and production with environmental and social benefits.

There are seats made from urine and sand, so it’s almost inevitable that there would be furniture fashioned from poo, or to be more precise, a mixture of horse manure, straw and other agricultural waste. The stools and lampshades, known as Terra, were the creation of Tel Aviv-based designer Adital Ela.

Stools made from stools

blog stools for stools

Ela believes the idea could inspire the future of interior design and that anyone could eventually make their own household items from waste collected locally. After use, the objects can be remoulded with water or composted. She even envisages a future where the making process could become a craft and provide communities in developing countries with added income.

Let cow poo provide the power

blog cow poo

A team of Stanford University PhD students are developing a low-cost machine for pasteurising milk that runs on methane from dung. According to Sarah Rizk, co-founder of the technology, Vorpal, a cow’s poo can pasteurise 10 times the amount of milk it produces. By relying on the animal to power the biodigestor, the system can ensure that methane emissions are reduced, less milk is spoiled and farmers’ incomes are boosted.

Writing on rhino poo

blog rhino

Mumbai-based Elrhino is one of the businesses recovering the waste and converting it into a range of stationery. The dung is a perfect raw material because it’s high in celluose (the main fibre used to make paper), explains ElRhino’s co-founder Nisha Bora. The company manages the dung production chain from the sourcing and preparation to the selling. Bora says that “the art of making paper by hands is dying”, so having control over the supply chain means they can train local women and young people to provide them with economic opportunities and skills. It currently has several dozen employees.

Run your vehicle on panda poo

blog panda

The panda can naturally convert waste plant material into the type of sugars that can be fermented into bioethanol. Photograph: Xinhua /Landov /Barcroft Media

WOW – that’s quite an extensive all-reaching use of poo power I would say!  It hits so many industries within retail and energy sectors.

It just takes some creative minds to embrace unconventional resources to “get the ball rolling” or in this case, “get the poo flowing”

blog smiley face

Bookmark and Share
July 14th, 2015
10:06
 

Project Jacquard is the latest wacky yet perhaps world-changing innovation from Google’s ATAP lab. The idea is simple: weave conductive yarns into textiles, that can make your clothes act like touchscreens.

blog jacquard

Project Jacquard makes it possible to weave touch and gesture interactivity into any textile using standard, industrial looms.

Everyday objects such as clothes and furniture can be transformed into interactive surfaces.

This new technology is challenging designers to think about 200 year old traditional garment production in a whole new and exciting way:

YouTube Preview Image

I can’t wait to be able to turn on my home air conditioning when leaving my office without having to pull my cell phone out to do so.  Do you have any skills that can advance this technology?

Bookmark and Share
July 13th, 2015
5:14
 

Freedom includes the right to go where one wishes – unfettered and unafraid.  At least, that’s the concept…  When one is hampered by a physical impairment, travel becomes more challenging.  A short walk can become nightmarish when you are unable to clearly see the dangers that lie in your path.

Read about Alex Deans, and his prize-winning invention.  On June 2nd, he received the 2015 Weston Youth Innovation Award from The Ontario Science Centre.  At age 12, he identified a need to be met and worked on his own to acquire the skills and knowledge to address it.

He’s now 18, and the end result is:

iAid

 

iAid

Providing assistance for the visually impaired, the system works like a GPS, using ultrasonic sensors and smartphone technology to help in navigation for a human rather than a car.  To take on a project that was wholly altruistic in nature is truly remarkable.  Although the product is not yet available on the market, it is on its way.  And I, for one, am confident that Alex has more in store for us in the future!

Bookmark and Share
July 9th, 2015
5:27
 

We’ve just wrapped up the July 4th holiday here in the United States, when we remember our break from British rule & celebrate our independence as a new nation.  We’re no longer under the sway of any ‘tyrannical monarchy’; and, in these modern times, there’s a lot to admire about those plucky Brits.

Read about a waterfront locale in Great Britain that’s embracing technology in a bid to increase revenue for its shopkeepers; it’s been dubbed the “digital catapult centre” and looks to improve transportation & healthcare (among other industries) and create job growth in multiple sectors.  The new centre is one of three initiatives in England funded by government-backed body Innovate UK.  According to Neil Crockett, chief executive at the national Digital Catapult Centre, the seaside city is the poster child for the campaign because the whole community is involved in digital innovation.

Having a fast mobile network will be essential if this internet of place is to succeed. The plan is for the University of Surrey to provide a 5G test bed to the new centre – one example of local academia supporting local business.

“Brighton is known for its small, independent retailers, many of which don’t have the resources to create and market a website”…“If we can create a platform that understands the main interests of consumers – such as films, food, clothing brands – then local retailers can send out targeted messages to people’s mobile phones as they walk past”

Brighton: the seaside resort that wants to be the smartest

 

digital city in England

 

Brighton England

While, admittedly, there are folks who feel that this type of data bombardment might be a bit overreaching (think: “you’re in my personal space”), this tactic could be a wonderful boon for tourists unfamiliar with a locale to learn about the vendors, travel options and events that are unique to an area.

Planning a trip any time soon?  If the Brighton program succeeds, it will probably expand to other parts of the globe.  You could be that next moving sales target!!  “Brilliant” Smiley face

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to this category Subscribe to Communications

 
ChatClick here to chat!+