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Kissenger – The Smartphone Accessory That Lets You Kiss over Long Distances

Long distance relationships are always tough, and the lack of physical interaction is one of the main reasons for that. There’s no substituting human touch, yet, but rapidly-advancing technology already provides some intriguing alternatives. One such example is the Kissenger, a smartphone peripheral that allows users to kiss over long distances.

The concept of long-distance kissing has been an intriguing research concept for over half a decade now. Back in 2012, we wrote about the Kissenger, a solution created by Dr. Hooman Samani, Director of AIART Lab (Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Technology Laboratory) in Singapore. It consisted of two internet-connected bunny-shaped robots with big silicone lips that could send the touch of human lips between each-other to (sort of) simulate a kiss between two human beings. Samani described it as a “a physical interface enabling kiss communication”.

The Kissinger made international news headlines when it was originally revealed, but it never translated into an actual consumer product. However, the idea of transmitting human kisses over long distances remained popular, and, earlier this month, Emma Yann Zhang, a Computer Science PhD student at City University London, presented her own take on the idea, also called the Kissenger.

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Amsterdam Introduces Contactless Payment Jackets for Beggars

It’s getting and harder and harder for beggars to survive on spare change handouts these days. People have become too reliant on alternative payment options to carry cash around with them, and those that still have a few coins in their pockets are often afraid that recipients will just spend it on alcohol, drugs or cigarettes. However, a couple of Dutch advertising professionals have come up with an intriguing solution – a contactless payment jacket for beggars and homeless people.

Developed by Carsten van Berkel and Stefan Leendertse of N = 5, an Amsterdam-based advertising agency, the contactless payment jacket allows people to donate 1€ to the wearer using their contactless smart card. The unusual clothing item has a card reader sewn into it, and in order to donate 1€ to the wearer, all you have to do is hold the card close to the jacket for a few moments, and the sum is automatically debited from your bank account. The contactless payment jacket also comes with an LCD screen which constantly displays instructions of use.

“People have less cash in their pockets,” says Jan Jesse Bakker, the designer of the jacket. “And if you have a single euro on you and give it to a homeless person, then you do not know what happens to it.” That’s one of the big advantages of the contactless payment jacket. You’re not giving cash to a total stranger to do with it what he pleases. Instead, the fixed sum (one euro) goes into a bank account managed by a homeless shelter, and can only be used to purchase a hot meal, pay for a bath or spend a night at a homeless shelter (many such centers in the Netherlands require a contribution of 5€ per night). Homeless people who really want to turn their life around can also save money for various job certification courses or a down-payment for a home. “We can offer the homeless more than just a warm Christmas,” Bakker adds. “We give them back prospects.”

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Thai Company Wants to Sell You This $1,500 Ghost Repelling Device

It might look like a DIY subwoofer, but the wooden box in the picture below is actually a ghost repelling device. The Trisaksri Ghost Repellent is made by a Thailand-based company called Boondee Workshop and cost $1,500 plus $140 for U.S. shipping. I know, it’s kind of pricey, but no one ever said keeping pesky ghosts away was cheap.

The Trisaksri Ghost Repellent first made international headlines in 2009, when various Western tech blogs wrote about its alleged ability to scan homes for unwanted spirits and drive them away with a radio wave blast. Back then, everyone laughed at this joke of a “gadget”, anticipating that Boondee Workshop wouldn’t sell a single unit, but here they are, seven years later, launching the new and improved version of their ghost repellent.

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Formen – A Line of Makeup Designed Especially for Men

Makeup and beauty products are generally created with women in mind, but one company seems to think that there’s a niche for men’s makeup as well. Formen actually has a whole line of makeup and skincare designed to fix several issues that men often struggle with.

Formen is the brainchild of Andrew Grella, who first realized the need for men’s makeup on on the day of his high-school prom. Nobody wants to show up at the biggest party of their life with a face full of acne, but that was just what Grella was going to have to do, unless he could find a way to fix things, and fast.

“I went to my mom and she said, ‘Let me put some makeup on you,’ and I said she was crazy,” the young entrepreneur recalls. “So I left and went to Shoppers Drug Mart and Walmart, places I thought would maybe carry products aimed specifically for men that could fix my problem.” To his surprise, after checking all the aisles at these cosmetic shops, he couldn’t find a single men’s product, so he had to accept defeat, return home and let his mother use her own makeup arsenal on his face.

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This Treadmill Bicycle Lets You Cycle to Work by Walking

Who could have imagined that a treadmill on wheels would one day become a thing?!? Lopifit is an unusual means of transportation that allows you to power an electric bicycle by walking on a treadmill. It’s actually way cooler than it sounds.

Lopifit founder Bruin Bergmeester says it all started when he asked himself the question “How can I use a treadmill outdoor?” Why anyone would asked themselves that, I have no idea, but the point is that this guy spent the next few years figuring out a way to make it work. He eventually came up with an functional design, added an electric engine, and the Lopifit was born. It’s similar to an electric bicycle in that the motor only engages when the rider puts power in as well. Only while typical e-bikes give pedal assist, the Lopifit senses when you walk on the treadmill and uses the motor to turn a drive chain at the rear of the treadmill, helping you reach a top speed of 17 miles per hour.

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Ukrainian Scientist Creates Battery That Can Power Smartphones for 12 Years

Ukrainian scientist Vladislav Kiselev claims that he has developed a type of battery that can power gadgets like smartphones and even cars for up to 12 years, without having to be recharged.

Kiselev, a senior researcher at the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry and Petrochemistry in Kiev, and professor at Ukraine’s National Academy of Sciences, unveiled his intriguing battery prototype during the 2016 edition of Sikorsky Challenge, a prestigious international competition for research projects. The matchbox-like device looks fairly unimpressive, but the Ukrainian scientist claims that it has been continuously powering electrical devices for a year and four months without a single recharge, and will continue to do so for the next 11 years. That’s because his “battery” produces energy instead of simply storing it.

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Indian Company Makes Edible 100% Biodegradable “Plastic” Bags

In an effort to combat plastic pollution, Indian startup EnviGreen has come up with a combination of natural starch and vegetable oils that looks and feels just like plastic, but is 100 percent organic, biodegradable and eco-friendly. You can even dispose of such a “plastic” bag by eating it.

EnviGreen founder Ashwath Hedge came up with the idea for these revolutionary bags after seeing people struggling to find alternatives to plastic bags, following bans imposed by several Indian cities. “People were concerned bout how they would carry products from the market now. Everyone cannot afford a bag worth Rs. 5 or Rs. 15 to carry a kilogram of sugar,” he told The Better India. So the 25-year-old decided to work on something that would solve this problem while being environment-friendly.

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Japanese Designer Creates Solar-Powered Coat That Charges Gadgets

If you’re sick of running out of battery on your smartphone when you need it the most, and don’t mind paying a whopping $2,480 on a coat, you might want to consider getting this solar-powered jacket that can charge your gadgets on the go.

COMME des GARÇONS’ alumnus Junya Watanabe first unveiled his FW16 solar-powered men’s coat back in March, but his unique creation is doing the rounds once again, after becoming available for purchase at the hefty price of $2,480. So what makes this coat so special, apart from being a designer item, you ask? Well, just in case the four large solar panels on the back and the two in the front haven’t given it away already, this coat harnesses the power of the sun, converts it to electricity and stores it in a hidden power pack for on-the-go charging.

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The Kooty Key – A Wacky Device That Helps Germaphobes Keep Their Hands Clean

Developed by champion bodybuilder and auto parts salesman Ken Kolb, the Kooty Key is a handy little tool designed designed to help people avoid touching germ-infested surfaces like door handles, ATM machine keyboards public toilet faucets.

Ken Kolb says that he spent most of his life as a traveling salesman, and the years he noticed how air blowers in public restrooms were replacing old paper towel dispensers. While the new technology does have it advantages, it also prevents people from using the paper they would wipe their hands with after washing them to open the bathroom door on their way out. This he claims increases the risk or re-contamination, so he took it upon himself to come up with a solution. That’s basically the short story behind the Kooty Key, a small hook-like plastic device that allows germaphobes to interact with potentially-germ-infested surfaces without the risk of contaminating their hands.

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Company Creates World’s First Running Shoes for Horses

For over 2000 years, the good ol’ iron horseshoe has remained the only reliable footwear for horses, but an Austrian company is ready to “take the horse out of the Iron Age” with the world’s first equine running shoes, the Megasus Horserunners.

Charly Forstner, the founder of Megasus, used to work as an animal welfare inspector for horses in Austria. He learned that over 50% of horses that needed to be put down suffered from severe hoof and leg problems. 20 years ago, he decided to dedicate his life to coming up with a better alternative to the iron horseshoe. Over the last two decades, he invented various hoof protection products made of plastic, like the ‘Dynamix’ or the ‘Easywalker’, but he recently unveiled something truly revolutionary – clip-on running shoes for horses. Forstener claims that they combine the qualities of both the common horseshoe and the hoof boot to offer horses the protection and freedom of movement that they require.

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Chinese Farmer Invents Kidney Stone-Removing Bed for His Wife

Seeing his wife go through the excruciatingly painful process of passing kidney stones, a farmer in Jiangxi Province, China, created an ingenious bed that flips over and vibrates to help dislodge the stones.

Zhu Qinghua, a 52-year-old rice farmer from Jiangxi had been thinking of ways of helping his wife since 1993, when she had her left kidney removed because of kidney failure, and stones were discovered in her right one. Doctors told them that surgery to remove the stones was too dangerous for a person with one kidney, so she was advised to eliminate them naturally before they became too large. Zhu says inspiration struck in 1997, when doctors advised his wife to stand upside down for a few minutes every day, to help dislodge the kidney stones. That’s when he started working on his patented kidney stone-removing bed.

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Brewer Claims to Have Created an Alcoholic Beer That Doesn’t Give You Hangover

Dutch beer maker De Prael Brewery claims to have discovered the holy grail of alcoholic drinks – a pilsner-style brew laced with ingredients that greatly reduce the chances of next-day hangover and leave drinkers feeling fresh.

Thomas Gesink, the owner of Amsterdam-based De Prael Brewery, says he came up with the formula for his revolutionary beer after being challenged to create an alcoholic brew that would allow consumer to go to work the morning after without having to deal with the symptoms of hangover. So he and his team of brewers started researching what ingredients they would need to add to achieve their goal, while making sure that they didn’t affect the taste of the beer.

While the exact recipe for this 4.5%-alcohol hangover-free beer remains a closely-guarded secret, Gesink revealed that the main wonder ingredient is vitamin B12, which prevents headaches. “It is actually the only vitamin which can be dissolved in water, and that is why you can brew with it,” he said. The unique beer also contains sea salt to prevent dehydration, ginger and willow fibers, which are known to have a cleansing effect on the body.


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This Little Flashlight Is So Powerful It can Start a Fire and Cook Breakfast

The FlashTorch Mini flashlight is about as close as you can get to a real-life, commercially-available lightsaber. Its 2300-lumens halogen light output is enough to start a fire or cook an egg.

Created by Wicked Laser, the FlashTorch Mini is made of anodized, machined aircraft-grade aluminum and features a highly efficient, heat-resistant lens and reflector. That already sounds very impressive, but it’s the intense light this thing emits that really makes it special. The ‘torch’ in its name has a very literal meaning, as the 2300 lumens output is more than enough to start a fire if you hold the flashlight close enough to something flammable. It’s also strong enough to melt plastic and even cook eggs, if you balance the cooking container on top of the flashlight.

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Skunk-Like Bicycle Lock Sprays Thieves with Vomit-Inducing Gas

The aptly-named SkunkLock is an ingenious bicycle lock that blasts would-be thieves with a disgusting cocktails of chemicals that most of the time causes them to vomit uncontrollably.

When San Francisco-based Daniel Idzkowski learned that over 1.5 million bikes are being stolen across the United States, every year, he decided it was up to him to come up with a more efficient means of theft prevention. After six months of work, he came up with the SkunkLock, a hollow steel U-lock system which houses presurized noxious chemical deterrent that’s even detectable through some of the most advanced gas masks. The proprietary formula, known as D_1, was developed by Idzkowski and his partner Yves Perrenoud, and is perfectly legal.

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Leotards for Dogs Are Actually a Thing Now

Believe it or not, the best answer to your dog’s shedding problem may be a pair of skin-tight leotards. Reminiscent of 1980’s aerobic outfits, the Shed-Defender is a canine leotard that is supposed to keep falling hairs from covering your entire home.

Tyson Walters, founder of Shed Defender, recently revealed  that he came up the idea for the funny-looking leotard after failing to find an effective solution to his own dog’s shedding issue. “I had this huge Saint Bernard, called Harley, and I just couldn’t control her shedding,” he said. No matter how much I brushed and groomed her, she still left tumbleweeds of hair everywhere. I looked around on the internet and dog stores and I couldn’t find a solution to my product, so I decided to make one.”

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