The New York Times published an article presenting 32 innovation that will change our future daily lives.
I loved Maggie Koerth-Baker’s introduction (below), and her regard on innovation « It’s messy, and it’s awesome » and have selected one post in each section (Morning Routine, Commute, Work, Play, Health, Home); however I strongly recommend you read the full article here!
« The electric light was a failure.
Invented by the British chemist Humphry Davy in the early 1800s, it spent nearly 80 years being passed from one initially hopeful researcher to another, like some not-quite-housebroken puppy. In 1879, Thomas Edison finally figured out how to make an incandescent light bulb that people would buy. But that didn’t mean the technology immediately became successful. It took another 40 years, into the 1920s, for electric utilities to become stable, profitable businesses. And even then, success happened only because the utilities created other reasons to consume electricity. They invented the electric toaster and the electric curling iron and found lots of uses for electric motors. They built Coney Island. They installed electric streetcar lines in any place large enough to call itself a town. All of this, these frivolous gadgets and pleasurable diversions, gave us the light bulb.
We tend to rewrite the histories of technological innovation, making myths about a guy who had a great idea that changed the world. In reality, though, innovation isn’t the goal; it’s everything that gets you there. It’s bad financial decisions and blueprints for machines that weren’t built until decades later. It’s the important leaps forward that synthesize lots of ideas, and it’s the belly-up failures that teach us what not to do.
When we ignore how innovation actually works, we make it hard to see what’s happening right in front of us today. If you don’t know that the incandescent light was a failure before it was a success, it’s easy to write off some modern energy innovations — like solar panels — because they haven’t hit the big time fast enough.
Worse, the fairy-tale view of history implies that innovation has an end. It doesn’t. What we want and what we need keeps changing. The incandescent light was a 19th-century failure and a 20th- century success. Now it’s a failure again, edged out by new technologies, like LEDs, that were, themselves, failures for many years.
That’s what this issue is about: all the little failures, trivialities and not-quite-solved mysteries that make the successes possible. This is what innovation looks like. It’s messy, and it’s awesome. »
Morning Routine – Electric Clothes
Physicists at Wake Forest University have developed a fabric that doubles as a spare outlet. When used to line your shirt — or even your pillowcase or office chair — it converts subtle differences in temperature across the span of the clothing (say, from your cuff to your armpit) into electricity.
And because the different parts of your shirt can vary by about 10 degrees, you could power up your MP3 player just by sitting still. According to the fabric’s creator, David Carroll, a cellphone case lined with the material could boost the phone’s battery charge by 10 to 15 percent over eight hours, using the heat absorbed from your pants pocket.
Commute – Bikes
1. Anti-theft handlebars
Here’s an old idea whose time has come again. The bearing system that allows the bike to turn can be locked so that a thief can’t steer his stolen bike. The lock is internal, meaning that he’d have to destroy the bike to ride it away.
2. No more greasy chains
An updated shaft drive — which replaces the chain with a rod and internal gear system — would be perfect for urban riders. They’re popular in China right now, but new versions will be lighter and have more sophisticated gearing.
One-piece plastic and carbon-fiber frames
Work: the SpeechJammer
When you aim the SpeechJammer at someone, it records that person’s voice and plays it back to him with a delay of a few hundred milliseconds. This seems to gum up the brain’s cognitive processes — a phenomenon known as delayed auditory feedback — and can painlessly render the person unable to speak.
Kazutaka Kurihara, one of the SpeechJammer’s creators, sees it as a tool to prevent loudmouths from overtaking meetings and public forums, and he’d like to miniaturize his invention so that it can be built into cellphones. “It’s different from conventional weapons such as samurai swords,” Kurihara says. “We hope it will build a more peaceful world.” Catherine Rampell
Play: Terrifiying Playgrounds
Two Norwegian psychologists think that modern playgrounds are for wimps. Instead of short climbing walls, there should be towering monkey bars. Instead of plastic crawl tubes, there should be tall, steep slides. And balance beams. And rope swings.
The rationale is that the more we shield children from potential scrapes and sprained ankles, the more unprepared they’ll be for real risk as adults, and the less aware they’ll be of their surroundings.
Leif Kennair and Ellen Sandseter’s ideas have won the support of playground experts on both sides of the Atlantic; one company, Landscape Structures, offers a 10-foot-high climbing wall that twists like a Möbius strip. Clay Risen
Scientists at Princeton and Tufts are working on a super-thin tooth sensor (a kind of temporary tattoo) that sends an alert when it detects bacteria associated with plaque buildup, cavities or infection. It could also notify your dentist, adding an extra layer of social pressure to make an appointment.
The sensor may have wide-ranging use: the researchers have already used it to identify bacteria in saliva associated with stomach ulcers and cancers. While the sensor won’t last long on the surface of a well-brushed and flossed tooth, Michael McAlpine, the project’s leader, says that the sensors will be inexpensive enough that you can replace them daily. Clay Risen
Home – Food packaging
It’s depressing to think how much food packaging there is in your kitchen right now — all those juice cartons, water bottles and ice-cream containers. But what if you could eat them? “We’ve got to package in the same way nature does,” says a Harvard bio-engineer named David Edwards.
And so he has devised a way to convert foods into shell-like containers and films that he calls Wikicells. Yogurt will be encased in a strawberry pouch, for instance. You could wash and eat the packaging, like the skin of an apple, or you could toss it, like the peel of an orange, since it’s biodegradable. The newly wrapped ice cream and yogurt will be available later this month at the lab store in Paris, with juice and tea coming within the next year or two.
Soon, you’ll be able to charge your iPhone at strategic locations around New York City – but you’ll have to put in a little leg work!
The Charge Cycle is a stationary bike equipped with an iPhone dock, so users can charge their phones with the power of their own muscles, without plugging into the grid.
The Kickstarter-based project by David Krawczyk and Navjot Kaur aims to get at least 30 of these bikes out into the city where anyone can use them by early May 2013.
Prototypes have already been placed around New York in locations like Washington Square Park, Zuccotti Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Want to support this project? Check out the Charge Cycle Kickstarter page.
Read on The Web Urbanist!
NASA‘s storied space shuttle program may be history but ships are still making bold voyages into space — at least, in Lego form.
A Romanian man built a Lego space shuttle and sent it on a mission toward the stars. And the miniature craft nearly made it to space, reaching a reported maximum altitude of 35,000 meters, or about 21 miles. Its journey is documented in an amazing YouTube video (below).
A regarder jusqu’à la fin !!!
Oaida affixed the Lego shuttle to a helium-filled balloon with a GPS and video camera attached. After launch, he followed the Lego shuttle by land in a car until the would-be spaceship left GPS range. The shuttle eventually landed about 240 kilometers, or 150 miles, away from its original takeoff point in Germany.
Oaida is Romainian, but said in a blog post that his home country had too much bureaucratic red tape to make conducting the feat from there practical. So he traveled to Germany, where authorities were apparently more receptive, to launch the mission.
“I’ve always been profoundly inspired by spaceflight,” Oaida wrote, “the Lego Shuttle was the only space program I could afford.”
NASA’s space shuttle program ended after 30 years when the shuttle Atlantis concluded its final voyage last July. Luckily, with people like Oaida, its spirit of innovation and exploration lives on.
Je veux absolument y aller !
L’hôtel Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort est situé aux Maldives et dispose de tout un espace sous l’eau…
Ci dessous une chambre donnant entièrement sur les lagons situés entre les îles de Rangali et Rangalifinolhu.
Je ne vous apprends rien, le monde n’a pas toujours été comme on le connait aujourd’hui. Des territoires ont été découverts, des populations ont migré, et les événements importants de l’histoire l’ont façonné. Afin d’avoir un aperçu de cette évolution, Gareth Lloyd à repris les principaux articles Wikipedia et les a géolocalisés dans le temps (14.238 événements, quel boulot!).
En montrant sur une carte du monde la chronologie des évènements, il retrace l’histoire du monde en 100 secondes!
La vidéo commence en 499 avant J.-C., lorsque la plupart des événements documentés apparaissent en Europe. Autour des premiers points on peut observer une certaine activité en Asie. Enfin, vers 1492, avec la découverte de l’Amérique par Christophe Colomb, il ya un regain d’activité dans le monde entier.
Faites avance rapide jusqu’à aujourd’hui, et vous avez une image qui ressemble à une carte moderne !
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