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Dutch Designers Create Anti-Surveillance Clothing

KOVR, a new Dutch apparel brand, specialises in creating clothing that can make the wearer completely untraceable by modern tracking devices. The anti-surveillance line is made of a metalliferous fabric used to render computer chips in identification cards and credit cards unreadable, and even effectively take a phone off the grid.

Founded by performance artist Marcha Schagen and graphic designer Leon Baauw, the company focuses on how surveillance systems monitor people and their behavior. While developing the clothing line, the co-founders discovered that various surveillance systems, including computer chips the size of a rice grain, can send and receive information when placed at the right proximity.

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Spanish Company Creates High-Tech Mattress That Detects Infidelity

Thanks to Smarttress, a brand new product from Spanish company Durmet, keeping tabs on unfaithful partners is now easier than ever. This special, infidelity-detecting mattress is embedded with ultrasonic sensors that can capture even the slightest ‘suspicious movement’ in bed.

The company came up with the idea for the strange mattress when they came across a statistic showing that Spaniards are the most unfaithful people in Europe. “One day we saw the latest figures on infidelity that said Spaniards were the most unfaithful in Europe and we thought of an idea that would bring peace of mind to men and women, not just during the night but also during the day while they are out at work,” company spokesperson José Antonio Muiños said, speaking to The Local.

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Simple Iconspeak T-Shirt Helps Break Down Language Barriers When Traveling Abroad

If you’re the kind of person who loves travel but find it difficult to break down language barriers, you may want to check out Iconspeak, a T-shirt covered in basic pictographs ranging from clocks to bathrooms. Simply point to the symbol associated with your need, and hopefully, the person you’re talking to will understand. It’s better than having to play charades with strangers, I can tell you that.

Iconspeak is the brainchild of friends George Horn and Florian Nast. They were traveling through Asia in 2013 and found themselves in a remote village with “no infrastructure, zero tourism, and just some locals.” The problems they encountered while trying to communicate their needs to the locals inspired them to start working on a simple yet effective solution to the language gap. Two years later, they came up with the Iconspeak t-shirt.

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Smart Umbrella Lets You Know It’s Going to Rain Half an Hour in Advance

Giving Mary Poppins’s magic umbrella some serious competition is the all new high-tech ‘Oombrella’ – not only can it predict the weather, it’s also impossible to lose. The smart umbrella syncs with a smartphone app, sending users updates about weather conditions 30 minutes in advance, and reminders if they happen to leave the device behind. And here’s the added bonus – it won’t ever flip inside-out.

Designed by French company Wezzoo, the rainbow-colored Oombrella comes in two versions – classic and modern. The classic is 3.1-ft long with a curved handle, while the modern version is 0.8-ft long with a straight handle. The company describes the device as a ‘portable weather station’, made of a reflective surface with built in sensors that record real-time data such as light, humidity, pressure, and temperature. The Oombrella collects and processes this data as well as information from a social media community before sending out alerts about when it’s going to start raining.

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Researchers Create Transparent Wood That Could One Day Replace Glass in Windows

It may seem inconceivable, but believe it or not, there really is such a thing as transparent wood. After decades of work, scientists at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm have finally managed to create a viable material that, if mass produced, holds the potential to revolutionize architecture and solar technology.

According to researchers, transparent wood is a low-cost, renewable resource, which can help reduce the cost of indoor lighting and can even be used to make solar-cell windows. It can also be used to make ‘privacy windows’ that let the light in while maintaining semi-transparency.

“Transparent wood is a good material for solar cells, since it’s a low-cost, readily available and renewable resource,” said Lars Berglund, a professor at KTH’s Wallenberg Wood Science Center. “This becomes particularly important in covering large surfaces with solar cells.”

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New Purple Bread May Look Strange But Is Apparently Really Good for You

Bread has long since been considered the enemy of dieters, but this new weird-looking bread might just change the way we look at the staple food forever. White bread is linked to obesity and high blood pressure, but a Singaporean food scientist claims he has come up with a way of solving these problems, while retaining the texture and flavor of bread. There’s just one catch though – his bread is purple.

Professor Zhou Weibiao, of the National University of Singapore, wanted to find a way to change the formula of bread while retaining its soft texture and wonderful taste. The result was purple bread, which he says is made entirely from natural ingredients. He started by extracting anthocyanin – the natural blue pigment found in foods like grapes and blueberries – from black rice, leaving behind its starchy compounds. He infused the anthocyanin into bread dough and used it to bake loaves that are apparently much better for you than white bread.

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Researcher Creates Necklace That Counts Calories By Listening to You Chew

A computer scientist from the University at Buffalo, New York, has come up with a unique way of keepting track of consumed calories. Instead of writing down every single meal you’ve eaten, you just put on a choker-style necklace that can determine your calorie intake based on the sounds you make when you chew!

The wearable tech device, known as AutoDietary, works on the simple idea that different foods make different sounds when chewed. So Wenyao Xu – the brains behind the innovative gadget – is currently creating a library that catalogs the biting, grinding, and swallowing sounds of different types of food. This library will be included in the app that supports the necklace Xu is developing in collaboration with researchers at China’s Northeastern University.

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Smart Textiles Company Creates World’s First Musical Tablecloth

If you’ve secretly been perfecting your table drumming skills, now is the time to show off. Thanks to this unique musical tablecloth developed by Swedish company ‘Smart Textiles’, you can entertain your dinner guests with your musical prowess. The one-of-a-kind fabric has a drum kit and piano keys printed on it, which actually produce musical sounds when pressed!

Li Guo and Mats Johansson, the brains behind the company, explained that making a musical tablecloth is all about using sensors. While Mats is passionate about music, Li has a doctorate in textile sensors and is studying ways to integrate them into garments. So they put their heads together to combine Li’s research and Mat’s ideas, and came up with the innovative tablecloth.

“We wanted to combine sound and textiles and visualise the possibilities of textile sensors in a fun way,” Mats said. “Since I’m interested in music, we decided to create a musical tablecloth.”

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How India’s “Menstruation Man” Changed the Lives of Millions of Women

Meet Arunachalam Muruganantham, an award-winning social entrepreneur from Coimbatore, India, better known as the nation’s ‘Menstruation Man’. Deeply disturbed by the unhygienic menstruation practices among women in rural India, Muruganantham took it upon himself to find a solution to the problem. After several years of hard work, he invented a machine that women can use to produce their own sanitary napkins, at less than a third of the cost of commercial ones.

Born in 1962 to handloom weavers in Coimbatore, Muruganantham was forced to drop out of school at age 14 to provide for his family after his father’s death. For years he lived in poverty, working a number of jobs – machine tool operator, farm laborer, welder, and sales agent – just to make ends meet. But things were about to change soon after his marriage to a woman named Shanthi, in 1998. He discovered that his wife used filthy rags during her menstrual cycle because they couldn’t afford to buy sanitary pads, and this troubled him greatly.

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IKEA-Style Home Can Be Built in 4 Days Using Only a Screwdriver

French architecture firm Multipod Studio has come up with a revolutionary housing prototype – the PopUp House. This unique dwelling comes in the form of stackable blocks that anyone can put together IKEA style, using only a screwdriver. It’s supposedly as easy as building with Legos.

The company unveiled their PopUp House design in 2014, but was once again picked up by several media outlets last month, and since we missed the initial launch two years ago, we decided it was a good opportunity to include this amazing concept in our Architecture collection.

The PopUp House prototype, located in Aix-in-Provence, is a 1,614-square foot structure with an open layout – the living room is connected to a kitchen, dining area, and terrace. It also includes two bathrooms, an office, a master bedroom, and two smaller bedrooms. It doesn’t sound any different than a conventional house, but what really makes the PopUp House special is the construction process, which only takes four days and only requires an electric screwdriver.

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Bicycle Washing Machine Will Clean Your Clothes While You Exercise

Laundry workouts might soon be the new fitness trend, thanks to a new invention by a group of students at China’s Dalian National University. They’ve created a washer that’s powered by a stationary bike, and they’re calling in ‘b.w.m’ (short for Bike Washing Machine).

“Riding a bike is a popular exercise, washing laundry is something that you might do on a daily basis or at least once a week, so why not combine them into a single useful equipment/appliance,” the makers wrote on Tuvie, a blog dedicated to tech innovations.

The clothes fit into a large drum positioned at the bottom of the stationary exercise bike “When you ride this bike, the pedaling motion causes the drum of the washing machine to rotate, at the same time, the superfluous electricity is generated which can be used to power the display screen or stored for future use.”

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Scottish Company Launches Made-to-Measure Bulletproof Furniture

In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris an other parts of the world, Scottish company Osdin Shield has come up with a new bespoke range of bulletproof sofas and chairs. These made-to-measure pieces will come with armor-plating sewn into the cushions, ensuring ballistic protection during a shooting.

“Unexpected gun attacks are becoming more and more frequent all over the world,” founder Darren Osdin said. “We designed the furniture with the natural human reaction to unexpected gunfire in mind: to duck and hide behind a barrier.” So in the event of a firearm attack in a hotel or any other indoor public space, people can immediately dive behind Osdin Shield sofas for cover.

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These Gravity-Defying Sneakers Simulate the Feeling of Walking on the Moon

Thanks to these new sneakers, you don’t need to wait for space tourism to take off to experience walking on the moon. Aptly named ‘MoonWalker’, these shoes rely on magnets to allegedly simulate walking in a low-gravity environment. 

On their Indiegogo campaign page, startup Moonshine Crea reveals that the ingenious shoes are made from an “incredibly durable yet soft and breathable” synthetic fabric on the outside, while the inside is made of a DuPont Tyvek synthetic polyethylene used by NASA in space station modules. The sole, made of memory foam, is designed to perfectly fit the unique shape of each wearer’s foot.

So far the shoes seem like regular sneakers, but what sets the 20:16 MoonWalkers apart are the two special layers hidden beneath the memory foam, which are embedded with the world’s most powerful magnets . According to the company, “each layer is made up of powerful N45 magnets that are strategically placed so the north poles face each other. This creates a repellant force, which leaves you light on your feet and happy as an astronaut.”

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Artist Creates Swallowable ‘Audiopill’ That Creates a Rave inside Your Body

Czech artist Jan Poope has created an “experimental art device” that allows you to pretty much ingest music and experience it from within your body. All you need to do is swallow the ‘Audiopill’ and wait for it to take effect.

The Audiopill is ingested orally and creates “a feeling like you are standing in the middle of a concert hall with a powerful audio-system” inside your own body. According to Poope’s Indiegogo page, the pill comes in three preset beats – 95 BPM (No Pussy Blues), 130 BPM (Die Antwoord), and 143 BPM (M.I.A). Once ingested, it will take an hour to travel through the upper section of your gastrointestinal tract. Then the fireworks begin, with a “very intensive” pain in your pelvic area that could make you “regret your experimental courage.” When the pain dies down, a “beating pulse” will take effect in your abdomen, creating mixed feelings of “restlessness, amazement, and elation.”

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Google Engineer Turns His Bathroom Mirror into Futuristic High-Tech Device

When you’re an engineer at Google, you really don’t need to wait around for someone else to invent the products you want to use. Max Braun, for instance, went ahead and made a smart-mirror for his bathroom, using simple, easily available supplies. The otherwise rudimentary accessory has now become a notification center of sorts, displaying the time, date, weather forecast, and latest news headlines.

Remember the smart mirror that greeted Arnold Schwarzenegger and showed him his daily schedule in the 2000 sci-fi flick The 6th Day? Well, like other futuristic inventions showcased in movies, it has become a real thing. And it turns out that all there is to it is the smart use of a two-way mirror, a display panel and a controller board among a few other secondary components and arts & crafts supplies. Braun has provided links to all the supplies he used, and also a brief description of the build process, but in a nut shell the display behind the two-way mirror is connected to an Amazon Fire TV Stick, using a mini controller board. The Fire TV Stick runs the software, while the board is also connected to a power button and green LED.

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