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Company Recycles Coffee Grounds into Durable Coffee Cups

German company Kaffeeform combines dried coffee grounds and biopolymer to create stylish-looking coffee cups and saucers that are not only durable and dishwasher-safe, but even smell a bit like coffee.

For every cup of coffee you brew, about two tablespoons of grounds wind up in the trash. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but just think about the millions of coffees consumed around the world every single day, and you’ll start to see the problem. Sure, some of those coffee grounds are recycled as fertilizer or beauty products like face masks, but most of it ends up at landfills. It was while contemplating this issue that German designer product designer Julian Lechner came up with a radical new and sustainable way of recycling coffee grounds – turning them into tableware.

Lechner first came up with the idea of using coffee grounds to create eco-friendly crockery while attending university in the Italian city of Bolzano. “We were always drinking coffee at university,” he remembers. “Before classes, after classes, meeting friends, hanging out at espresso bars—all the time. And that’s how I started to wonder, What happens to all that coffee? It was all just getting thrown away.” He began consulting with his professors about ways of using coffee grounds to create a solid material, but it took him years to actually come up with a viable solution.

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English Company Creates World’s First TV Remote Control for Dogs

Dog owners feeling guilty for leaving their pets alone at home for too long will son be able to take comfort in the fact that at least the animals won’t be bored. They’ll be too busy changing TV channels and enjoying their favorite shows thanks to the world’s first dog-friendly remote control.

UK-based pet food brand Wagg apparently surveyed a number of pet owners and found that 91% of respondents said their canine friends regularly watch TV with them. Inspired by this interesting finding, the company teamed up with Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas, an expert in animal computer interaction design at the University of Central Lancashire, to create the world’s first remote control for dogs. They came up with a prototype for the ingenious device which is currently in a trial and analysis period.

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Inventor Creates Wheels That Let Cars Roll in Any Direction

Omnidirectional wheels have been around for a while, but they are mostly used on utility vehicles like forklifts. London-based inventor William Liddiard has created a special set of omni wheels that can be bolted on to any car, allowing it to move in any direction, spin 360 degrees and slide into a parallel park with ease.

“Unlike other omni capable wheels, my wheels do not require the vehicle to be built around them. This is a world first bolt-on application for anything with wheels,” Liddiard wrote in the description of a YouTube video he uploaded to show how his invention works on an old Toyota Echo. “They are stronger, faster, and more accurately controlled than prior art. They can take a beating. The tires can have the same build characteristics (siping, grooves, rubber compounds etc.) as regular tires. Now you can drive in all directions, and turn on the spot, when needed.”

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German Company Creates the World’s First Vegan Wooden Sneakers

German sneaker company nat-2 has recently unveiled the world’s first vegan wooden sneakers which are up to 90% real sustainable wood.

Just last week, we wrote about Piñatex – a new material made from pineapple leaves that is all set to become a sustainable alternative to animal leather – and today we present yet another interesting innovation, wooden footwear. According to a press release by German high-end sneaker brand nat-2, to make it flexible “the wood is applied to an organic cotton and vector engraved in a way that the material bends and becomes soft and flexible like a fine nappa leather. The feel is very smooth and fine, while you can smell the wood and see the tree’s natural texture.”

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$249 Smart Pen Scans and Replicates Any Color on Earth, Allegedly

The Scribble Pen is one of those awesome things that exist in our imagination, but that we never expect to actually become a reality. This high tech pen lets you draw in any color imaginable just by scanning things around you.

‘The world’s first color picking pen’ incorporates a color sensor and microprocessor to detect and process whatever color you want to  replicate. All you have to do is place the top of the Scribble Pen -where the sensor is located – on the object, flower or anything else that you want to scan, and the device will copy its exact color. Say you want to draw in the exact red shade of a beautiful rose, or in the vibrant green of a certain tree leaf, all you have to do is scan it with the Scribble Pen and you’re good to go.

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This “Impossible Burger” Is Made of Plants, Tastes Just Like Real Meat

San Francisco-based startup Impossible Foods might have just achieved the impossible – making plants tastes like meat. Their Impossible Burger is made entirely of plants, but sizzles on the grill, oozes fat and reportedly tastes like a delicious cooked beef patty.

Red meat consumption around the world is at an all time high, but producing high quantities of meat to satisfy demand is not sustainable and it’s already taking a heavy toll on the environment. In recent years, experts have been busy coming up with alternatives to animal meat, like switching to a protein-rich insect-based diet, growing meat in the lab and even artificial meat made from sewage mud. But one San-Francisco company may have discovered a much more viable solution – a mashup of plant-based ingredients that tastes just like real meat. Impossible Foods has been working on an alternative to meat for the last five years, and its soon-to-be-launched Impossible Burger is already receiving high praise for its likeness to beef patties in taste, texture and appearance.

When former Stanford biochemist Patrick Brown founded Impossible Foods, he set his goal on creating a product that would change the world, and the Impossible Burger might do just that. He and his research team have spent years analyzing meat molecules to find out what makes a burger taste, smell and cook the way it does, in the belief that everything animal can be replicated using plant-based compounds. And judging by the testimonies of the few people who have actually sampled this revolutionary burger, Brown was right.

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These Experimental Glasses Stop You from Staring at Screens

With so much information available at our finger tips, at all times, it’s no wonder that most of us spend more time staring at our smartphones or computer screens than we do interacting with other real-life people. Some of us are so addicted to modern technology that we come up with all kinds of crazy ways to keep ourselves from using our phones or laptops all the time. One such solution is this pair of glasses that become opaque whenever you look at a screen.

The experimental glasses, called “Screeners”, were thought up by 28-year-old Chino Kim, as a way to rid his life of screens. “I’m tired of this mainstream tech culture that’s obsessed with things like virality and monetization and locking down our eyeballs for as long as possible,” he told VICE Motherboard at the recent NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program Spring Show. “I feel like the guy in A Clockwork Orange with my eyes clamped open. The Screeners address this head-on and they fit into my general interest in poking fun at the things I find alienating about everyday life by turning them on their heads.”

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The ‘Shock Clock Wake Up Trainer’ Will Zap You Awake if Nothing Else Works

If the loudest, most annoying alarm clocks have failed to separate you from your beloved bed, ‘Shock Clock Wake Up Trainer’ might be just the thing for you. This wearable alarm clock will literally shock you awake every morning, if beeps and vibrations don’t do the trick.

Pavlok, the company behind Shock Clock, is a wearable-device startup founded by entrepreneur Maneesh Sethi, who first rose to internet fame after hiring a woman to slap him every time he opened Facebook. Having had previous success with his ‘Pavlok Breaks Bad Habits’ device that helped people quit bad habits like nail biting and smoking, Sethi based the new Shock Clock on the popular concept of classical conditioning that Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov used to train dogs to respond to a stimulus. He claims that the device’s ‘sensory inputs’ have the potential to create permanent behavioral changes. It is apparently world’s first device that “uses effective, tested sensory inputs to wake you up and keep you alert.”

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Catterbox – A Smart Collar That Translates Cat Meows into Human Speech

Cat lovers of the world, rejoice! You finally have the chance to understand what your pet is saying thanks to a smart collar that can interpret feline meows and translate it into human speech. Aptly named ‘Catterbox’, the collar supposedly has a digital sensor that detects meows, and uses a special program to decipher the meaning behind them.

Developed by London ad agency adam&eveDDB, for Temptations cat treats, the invention comes preloaded with a dictionary of cat purrs, meows, and several other sounds to make the interpretation as accurate as possible. “We’re fascinated by cats, so we set out on a mission to get to know them better,” said Pete Simmons, global brand director of Temptations.

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Dutch Designer Grows Eco-Friendly Dress from Mushroom Root in One Week

While most fashion designers prefer to sew their creations, 41-year-old Aniela Hoitink has chosen to ‘grow’ hers in petri dishes. The Amsterdam-based textile designer recently created a 100 percent biodegradable dress – good for the environment and your skin – using nothing but discs of mushroom root.

By sticking the discs together, Aniela created a surprisingly good-looking dress that seems to fit the female figure perfectly. She needed 350 discs to make a single dress, so she spent a week-and-a-half growing them in petri dishes before they were ready to be used. Because the dress requires no cutting or sewing, there is no leftover material that needs to be discarded. The material doesn’t require hemming either, so it can be cut to suit the wearer’s requirements of length or shape. And more discs can be added to create sleeves or length. The dress can be composted when it is no longer needed, so it doesn’t actually end up in landfills.

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Japanese Home Gardening Pod Lets You Grow Vegetables Indoor

Many of us living in tiny apartments can only dream about growing vegetables in our own backyards, but thanks to Foop, an ingenious home gardening pod developed by Japanese company C’estec, we can now grow veggies in the comfort of our own home.

Foop (a combination of the words ‘food’ and ‘people’) is a small-size hydroponic agriculture kit that allows users to grow plants in water instead of soil. Its designers claim that you can use Foop to grow small crops of popular vegetables, including lettuce, arugula, basil, parsley or shiso, all of which can be raised from seeds and will develop faster than non-hydroponic plants.

The elegantly-designed wooden frame of the Foop is is produced by craftsmen from Hida, in Gifu Prefecture, one of Japan’s most famous woodworking regions, but the device also comes with a clear acrylic cover that lets you check the progress of your crops. There are no buttons or switches visible on the Foop, because all the settings – temperature, humidity, light, water levels, etc. – are done via a smartphone app. The Foop will also regularly send notifications regarding the state of your indoor garden and alert you when the crops are ready to be harvested.

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The PodRide – A Four-Wheeled Electric Bicycle Disguised as a Tiny Car

Swedish designer Mikael Kjellman has created a unique vehicle that looks like a tiny car, but has the internal workings of an electric bicycle. He calls it the PodRide bicycle car.

“I really like to bike, but where I live in Sweden, the weather is not always very bicycle-friendly,” Mikael explained. “So I designed and built a four-wheeled bike with full fabric body to keep dry and warm in all weathers. I have driven it to work every day for a year now and it has proven to be a very practical and comfortable little vehicle.”

The ‘bicycle car’ has several advantages over a traditional electric bicycle – it comes with a waterproof body, heated windscreen, soft seat with back support, studded tires for snowy roads, and air suspension. It also has some trunk space in the back, as well as functional headlights and a tow bar in case someone wants to add a bike trailer.

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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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