Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Public safety

There has been a great deal of media attention focused on gun control in the U.S.  Accidental shootings have claimed the lives of children and parents.  Gun deaths of law enforcement officials have also been making headlines every day.  Whichever side of the argument you are on for gun regulation, you know that the legal proceedings following these events are complicated and costly (not to mention heart-wrenching!)

Here’s some tech that could prove very useful in cutting through the “he said…, she said…” of witness testimony – regardless of who the victim is.  A product beginning to come to market is a chip that can be inserted into the handle of a gun to deliver data about when a firearm is outside of its holster, when it’s fired, what direction it is pointing, and where it is located.  There will be controversy about it, that’s undeniable – do YOU have an idea for a product that might be an alternative?

See both sides of the argument about who needs protecting in these two articles…

Can these gun sensors keep cops safer?

 

Gun-Sensor Technology Could Make It Easier

to Hold Cops Accountable for Shootings

 

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January 18th, 2015
12:52
 

Cutting edge technology called Lybra is a tire-like rubber paving, which is designed to convert the kinetic energy produced by vehicles into electric energy. It has been developed by an Italian start-up Underground Power, founded in February 2011.

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Developed in cooperation with the Polytechnic University of Milan, Lybra operates on the principle that a braking car dissipates kinetic energy. The edge-cutting technology, in its turn, is able to collect, convert this energy into electricity and pass it on to the electricity grid. In addition to improving road safety, the device upgrades and promotes sustainability of road traffic.

According to the team of engineers, a chain of 10 devices located at a rather busy roundabout would be able to produce 100 thousand kWh per year. Just to compare, the same quantity of energy is produced by 19 tons of oil – that’s enough to meet the annual power needs of about 40 families.

It seems that places that were traditionally thought of pollution-filled places, have sparked inventive ways to go greener.  Do you have any ideas to turn a typical pollution-ridden area into a green hero?

 

 

 

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December 31st, 2014
5:31
 

While everyone watches fireworks, shares hugs and kisses, sings boisterously, etc., etc., the messages about celebrating safely flash at us from all over – - – billboards, tv screens, loudspeakers…  heck, even tweets from Mom and Dad or good friends.  While this particular invention is not yet ready for market, it’s an unusual use of Natural Language Processing technology that has been years in the making.  And there are probably MANY other applications for this kind of speech recognition software.

Between 2007 and 2009, linguistic researchers from the Bavarian Archive for Speech Signals at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and the Institute of Legal Medicine in Munich in Germany have been hard at work on the Alcohol Language Corpus

Its main purpose is to keep drivers from taking the wheel of a car when they are intoxicated or impaired.  Still in testing, it will have champions and detractors; its intent is to save lives by reducing the incidence of preventable driving accidents.

Inside The First Audio Library of

Alcohol-Addled Speech

(Which Just Might Help Stop Drunk Driving)

 

So, when you hoist your champagne or beer or wine or apple cider or whatever on December 31st, think of what contributions you’ll make to bring about a Smarter Planet and a safer world in 2015 (and do get home safely!!)

With best wishes for a wonderful New Year! – Anita                    new year

 

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December 27th, 2014
5:09
 

There’s a lot of safety gear available for the casual sport enthusiast.  There’s elbow and knee pads, gloves and helmets, mouth guards – all designed to keep you from being harmed during the fun.   But there’s been avoidance in usage by some as the safety gear may not be easily portable.

While not the only product on the market of this type, there’s certainly a lot of ‘bells and whistles’ and a reasonable price point for this helmet that make it a really attractive purchase…  And it does appear to be the most compact of the versions available stateside and abroad.

The Plixi helmet

 

neatly folds away to a third of its size in small bags

 

Available currently only in the EU and other overseas locations.  Unfortunately, no orders can be shipped to the USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. These countries have specific bicycle helmet standards which the Plixi currently does not comply with.  Read the information from the US Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute about the use of folding helmets.

Should you reside in one of the locations where shipping is permissible, here are specs and purchase info:  http://www.overade.com/en/plixi.php

If you’re a cyclist – casual or competitive – this may be the gift that you’ll want!  What safety gear could you design that may be next year’s hot buy?

 

 

 

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December 13th, 2014
5:46
 

I ran across this site while doing some other research into technology and was impressed by the very clear and solid goal this group has stated.  Take a look at this particular organization’s website by clicking the logo below.  Let it drive you to recognizing and actualizing a plan to make an impact in whatever area of the world calls to you most…it could be your neighborhood, your campus, your state – or a much larger geographical area.  How will you lead the charge to provide for ‘all’??

Energy for all

Energy poverty is one of the most pressing issues of this century. It’s a problem of technology, of infrastructure, of economics, of culture, and of politics – and it impacts over a billion people in the Asia-Pacific region alone.

Our goal is clear: We aim to provide energy access to 100 million people in Asia and the Pacific Region by 2015.

 

 

For 12/13

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