Japanese Company Launches World’s First Washable Mobile Phone

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It may look all shiny and new, but your smartphone is probably one of the filthiest things you own. The amount of bacteria and germs it carries is disgustingly huge, which is probably why a Japanese company is targeting germaphobes with the world’s first washable phone.

The Snapdragon 410 processor, 5-inch android phone, called Digno Rafre, is all set to be released in Japan by tech company Kyocera Telecom this week. It’s USP is that it’s waterproof and soap resistant, so it can be thoroughly washed under running water. There’s no risk of water entering the device because it’s entirely sealed to keep water and bubbles from getting in. It doesn’t even have a speaker, relying instead on a Smart Sonic receiver that transmits sound through vibrations on the phone’s screen. The built-in 13MP camera is also waterproof.

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These “Chameleon” Sneakers Can Change Appearance Thanks to Flexible E-Reader Screens

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If you’re a sneaker hoarder, these new shoes from New York designer David Coelho are just the thing you need. They can actually change patterns at the touch of a button, eliminating the need to buy multiple sneakers to suit every mood!

Aptly named ‘ShiftWear’, the sneakers are perfect for the fashion conscious who love coordinating their accessories and clothes. They’re also great for people who love a bit of flair, and for those who are indecisive about their outfits. According to Coelho, these are “the most adaptable shoes you’ll ever own, customized straight from your smartphone.”

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This Startup Wants to Bring People Back from the Dead Using Artificial Intelligence

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Longevity is a topic of great interest to scientists and businessmen alike, many of them being focused on finding ways to prolong human lifespan by a few dozen years. But Los Angeles-based company Humai wants to take the idea to the next level – they’re trying to use artificial intelligence (AI) to bring people back from the dead and keep them alive forever! Many experts, however, smell a rat.

The concept of resurrecting people using AI seems taken from a sci-fi movie, but ‘Humai’ founder Josh Bocanegra has assured the media that he is quite serious about the business of resurrection. He even believes that it could become a reality within the next three decades. And his company’s mission statement is as straightforward as it gets: “We want to bring you back to life after you die.”

According to the Humai website, AI and nanotechnology can be used to “store data of conversational styles, behavioural patterns, thought processes and information about how a person’s body functions from the inside-out.” This data can be coded into multiple sensor technologies built into an artificial body that is powered by the brain of a real, deceased human. And as the brain ‘matures’, the company will restore it using cloning nanotechnology so it can always be brought back to life. Technically, a person could live forever this way.

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Filipino Entrepreneur Creates Revolutionary Lamp That Runs on Saltwater

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Meet Aisa Mijeno, a Filipino architect and scientist who invented a revolutionary lamp that runs on a glass of saltwater instead of batteries. Her vision in creating the SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting) lamp was to “light up the rest of the Philippines sustainably,” by finding an environment-friendly alternative light source suitable for people in coastal areas. She came up with the idea after spending time with the locals of the Butbut tribe in the Kalinga Province of Philippines, who had no access to electricity.  

The lamp can apparently run for eight hours on just two tablespoons of salt and a glass of water. “It is made of tediously experimented and improved chemical compounds, catalysts, and metal alloys that when submerged in electrolytes will generate electricity,” Mijeno explained. The idea behind it is the chemical conversion of energy, but while it works on the scientific principle of the galvanic cell, it makes use of a harmless, non-toxic saline solution instead of hazardous electrolytes. 

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15-Year-Old Becomes Youngest Person to Create Functional Life-Size Humanoid Robot

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Inspired by the 2011 sci-fi film Real Steel starring Hugh Jackman, Greek teenager Dimitris Hatzis has become the youngest person in the world to build a 3D printed life-size functional robot. 

15-year-old Dimitris’s feat was a part of ‘InMoov’, an open source project run by French sculptor and designer Gael Langevin. The project provides a design that is “replicable on any home 3D printer with a 12x12x12cm area.” Using these instructions, Dimitris spent over 1,400 hours planning, experimenting, printing, and assembling the robot. Over the course of a year, he made 475 printed parts using about a kilometer of ABS plastic and painstakingly put them together to form the droid that he now calls ‘Troopy’.

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11-Year-Old Entrepreneur Sells Secure Account Passwords for $2 Each

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11-year-old Mira Modi is cashing in on her knowledge of strong, easy-to-memorize passwords. She started her own online business earlier this month, selling hand-generated cryptographic passwords for $2 each!

“I’m a sixth-grade student in New York City,” Mira writes on her website. “This is my first business (other than occasional lemonade stands!). But I’m very excited about it and will be very responsible.” She also explains how Diceware, a decades-old password generating system, works: “You roll a die 5 times and write down each number. Then you look up the resulting five-digit number in the Diceware dictionary, which contains a numbered list of short words.”

The result, apparently, is a combination of five to eight words in a non-sensical string that is so random that it’s extremely difficult to crack. While a five-word string is breakable with “a thousand or so PCs equipped with high-end graphics processors,” an eight-word string “should be completely secure through 2050.”

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Design Studio Creates Installation That Lets You Experience Nature Through the Eyes of Various Animals

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Here’s a chance for nature-lovers to experience the world from completely new and different perspectives. ‘In the Eyes of an Animal’ is an art installation in Grizedale Forest, UK, that lets people the woods through the eyes of its various animal inhabitants!

The futuristic project is the brainchild of a London-based design studio called Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF). Commissioned by the AND Festival, it is a virtual reality experience combining nature and technology. Visitors are asked to wear large, moss-faced black headsets as they journey through a LIDAR-scanned woodland, while coming into contact with various creatures.

First, the forest is scanned using a Lidar scanner, a type of remote sensing technology. The points collected are then “decimated into real-time and combined with further data collected with CT scanning and photogrammetry techniques.” The rendered scenes harmoniously blend the elements collected through Lidar with CT scans of insects and animals, thereby interpreting their world. Audio effects are then added to complete and enhance the overall experience. Bass vibrations help recreate the sensations of a breathing, flying animal.

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This Environment-Friendly Bathing Suit Cleans Polluted Water as You Swim

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Thanks to this cool new two-piece bathing suit, cleaning up the world’s oceans might actually become the ‘in’ thing to do during the hot summer months!

The 3D-printed Sponge Suit bikini is made of flexible, carbon-based filler materials that function like a sponge, absorbing all sorts of pollutants from water. So you put it on, wade into the water, and end up cleaning the seas “one stroke at a time”. It’s supposed to be absolutely safe for the wearer. 

The sponge filler was invented by a group of engineers led by electrical engineering professor Mihri Ozkan. But instead of just dumping it into water, they wanted to find a fun way of getting people involved in the cleaning process and add an eco-friendly element to the leisure activity of swimming. So they enlisted the help of design firm Eray Carbajo to convert the material into a functional, wearable swimsuit that’s economically sustainable and environmentally friendly. 

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Innovative Razor Now Lets You Shave with a Laser

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Thanks to a couple of Swedish entrepreneurs, it might soon be possible to get a clean shave without the little nicks and cuts. They’ve done away with blades in their new invention ‘Skarp’, a futuristic razor that magically makes hair fall away when waved over skin!

Well, it’s not exactly magic. Skarp uses laser beams to assist in hair removal. The concept isn’t new, lasers have been used to eliminate body hair cosmetically and medically since 1989, when Morgan Gustavsson invented the IPL (Intense Pulse Light). He also wanted to bring lasers into everyday hair removal, but he couldn’t really do it before because the wavelengths could only cut through dark hair, not light or grey hair.

But now, Morgan and his partner Paul Binun claim to have discovered a part of hair molecules called chromophore shared by all humans irrespective of hair color. Chromophores can be cut easily with a particular wavelength of light. So they used the discovery to develop a commercial laser razor that can be used on any part of the body, by men and women.

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Straight Christian Pretends to Be Gay for a Year in Unique Social Experiment

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Although he grew up believing that homosexuality was a sin, in 2010 Timothy Kurek, of Nashville, Tennessee, spent the entire year pretending to be gay in an attempt to truly understand and empathize with what homosexual people go through.

Kurek’s social experiment is extraordinary, given the kind of upbringing he had as a conservative Christian deep in America’s Bible belt. “You learned to be very afraid of God,” he said. “The loving thing to do is to tell my friend who is gay, ‘Hey, listen, you are an abomination and you need to repent to go to heaven.’ I absolutely believed in that lock, stock, and barrel.”

In fact, Kurek was so devout as a teenager that his parents’ friends would routinely ask him to set their kids straight for misbehaving. “I would be on the phone until four in the morning, asking them to repent for their sins,” he said.

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The WalkCar, a Japanese Gadget Designed to Make Walking Obsolete

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Thanks to Japanese engineer Kuniako Saito’s new invention, walking could soon become a thing of the past. He’s created a portable transportation device called ‘WalkCar’, which he describes as the world’s first ‘car in a bag’.

The WalkCar is about the size of a laptop, and is somewhat similar to a skateboard in terms of functionality. According to Saito, the gadget is very easy to use – just stand on it and it starts, step off it and it stops. To change directions, users simply have to shift their weight towards the left or right. Uphill or downhill travel can be achieved by applying pressure forwards or backwards.

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Controversial Weight Loss Device Lets You Eat Like a Pig Then Pumps Your Stomach

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Cashing in on people’s desperation to lose weight is a new device that’s pretty much the medical equivalent of bulimia. Its main function is to pump out the contents of a user’s stomach, right after a heavy meal.

The makers of ‘AspireAssist’ claim to have already helped hundreds of patients in the US shed copious amounts of fat, some dropping as much as a 100 pounds. The controversial product will also be available in the UK within a few months, but hundreds of critics are speaking up against the outrageous device, warning that it is a stop-gap measure that fails to address the real cause of obesity.

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Advanced Artificial Leg Allows Amputees to Feel Sensations in Their Foot

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Austrian scientists have invented a revolutionary product in the world of prosthetics – an artificial leg with lifelike sensations. The one-of-a-kind man-made limb has sensors fitted to the sole, which are able to stimulate nerves at the base of the amputee’s stump.

“It feels like I have a foot again,” said Wolfang Rangger, the very first recipient of the sensory-enhanced prosthesis. “I no longer slip on ice and I can tell whether I walk on gravel, concrete, sand, or grass. I can even feel small stones.”

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Bicimaquinas – The Amazingly Useful Low-Tech Bicycle Machines of Guatemala

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Cheap, eco-friendly machines, made from discarded bicycle parts and powered by pedalling, are all the rage in rural Guatemala. They’re called ‘bicimaquinas’, and they are used for various purposes in the community – right from simple food processing to making shampoos and soaps.

The unique device is the brainchild of ‘Maya Pedal’, a locally-run non-profit in the rural town of San Adrés Itzapa. Founded in 1997 as a collaboration between Canadian organisation ‘Pedal’ and local mechanic Carlos Marroquín, the organisation is credited with the invention of several devices that make use of spare parts from bikes and harness the power of human energy.

Each bicimaquina (bike-machine) is handcrafted at the Maya Pedal workshop, using a combination of old bikes, concrete, wood, and metal. Their designs are 100 percent original, and are both functional and economical. Priced at about $40 apiece, the machines come in several variations for different purposes.

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University Student Creates Real-Life Punch and Stab-Proof Batsuit

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Jackson Gordon, a student of industrial design at Philadelphia University, has pooled everything he’s learned at school so far to build an awesome version of Batman’s batsuit! And we’re not talking about just another replica. This one is designed to withstand punches, kicks, stabs or baseball bat blows!

“I’ve always been a Batman fan,” the 21-year-old from Wayne, Philadelphia told Buzzfeed news. He started making prototypes for the suit last September, using over $1,000 raised on Kickstarter. “Before making the real suit, I did at least 10 prototypes of different parts for the suit to test out materials and sewing patterns,” he revealed. “Once I was happy with those, I started making the real suit using the patterns I had decided on from the prototypes. I cut out the internal lining fabric, then added the foam padding, then a layer of kevlar, then the top grey fabric.”

When the individual pieces were completed, Gordon sewed them together to form the suit. He made the external armored plates from quarter-inch-thick ABS sheets, cut using a scroll saw. “These plates were then power sanded, and heated up with a heat gun to make them pliable,” he explained. “The chest and ab plating was then mounted to the suit, while the other armor remains removable.”

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