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The Whaletone Piano

Robert Majkut's Whaletone piano

Robert Majkut’s Whaletone piano

The word “grand” just doesn’t seem to cut it when describing this piano. The Whaletone’s beautiful design evokes its sea-going namesake slowly emerging from the water and combines this with the technology of a high-end professional stage instrument in a way that’s likely to appeal to both music and design connoisseurs. read more

Self-Cleaning Windows

A sample of the smart glass

A sample of the smart glass (Credit: University College London)

A revolutionary new type of smart window developed by the University College London (UCL) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) could cut window-cleaning costs in tall buildings while reducing heating bills and boosting worker productivity. Partially inspired by the reflective properties of moth eyes, this smart window is said to be self-cleaning, energy saving, and anti-glare. read more

Picture a Cup of Coffee

The Ripple Maker uses coffee powder to print images on foam-topped drinks The Ripple Maker uses coffee powder to print images on foam-topped drinks (Credit: Steam CC)

 

It’s kinda nice when baristas draw little things like hearts or leaves in the foam on your cappuccino. There’s a chance, however, that those designs may be going the way of cave paintings. That’s because Israeli startup Steam CC recently introduced its Ripple Maker, a machine that reproduces photos, text or other graphics on coffee foam. read more

New 3D Printing Technique for Concrete

The Bloom pavilion is said to be the first and largest powder-based 3D-printed cement structure built ...

The Bloom pavilion is said to be the first and largest powder-based 3D-printed cement structure built to date (Photo: UC Berkeley)

3D printing looks set to become very important in architecture, but we’ve yet to see exactly how the future of large-scale click-and-print construction will play out. A potential step forward comes via a team of UC Berkeley researchers led by Associate Professor of Architecture Ronald Rael, who recently created a free-standing pavilion called Bloom to demonstrate the precision of their powder-based cement method of 3D-printed construction. read more

Bringing Back the Super 8 Camera

The Kodak Super 8 camera, showing off both an analog film cartridge an LCD viewfinder

The Kodak Super 8 camera, showing off both an analog film cartridge an LCD viewfinder

Fifty years ago, Kodak introduced its first Super 8mm movie camera. More recently, we’ve seen devices with a retro form factor and “organic” picture quality inspired by classic Super 8 cameras, but that still record on modern digital video. This week at CES, however, Kodak revealed a prototype of its first new Super 8 film camera in over 30 years. Known simply as the Kodak Super 8 camera (for now), it combines analog and digital features. read more

Magic Wand Portable Scanner

The portable VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand A4 color scanner
The portable VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand A4 color scanner

Taking around four seconds to scan an A4-size document in B&W, this portable wand-type scanner from VuPoint Solutions is designed for copying images from books or documents with thick or fragile spines that don’t allow them to be folded back for placement on a flatbed scanner. read more

Flexible Electronic Membrane

The new film remains conductive and undamaged, even when stretched to more than twice its usual ...
The new film remains conductive and undamaged, even when stretched to more than twice its usual length (Credit: Panasonic)

Before flexible electronic devices can become commonplace, there needs to be a practical way of manufacturing reliable stretchable circuitry. While some solutions are already in development, Panasonic recently announced one of its own – a soft, flexible polymer resin film combined with transparent electrodes and a conductive paste. read more

Helicopter-Inspired Catamaran

The Helicat 22

The Helicat 22 “takes off”

What’s that? A boat, a helicopter, some type of seaplane? It’s the Helicat 22. This unique watercraft won’t take off into the air, but it uses a helicopter-influenced catamaran design for a fast, stable ride over choppy water.

When we first saw the Helicat, we wondered aloud: “Why would anybody put a helicopter-styled body on a boat, outside of trying to get attention?”.

The answer is really that obvious. Washington-based Helicat LLC tells us that the idea behind the boat is combining the fast, stable, lightweight properties of catamaran hulls with the eye-catching heli design. The manufacturer also claims that the boat is particularly good for rough water, with the enclosed cockpit providing the advantage of not collecting water like a traditional catamaran. read more