Magnetic Kinetic

Slauerhoffbrug Cantilever DrawbridgeTalk about a crazy looking bridge. This looks like something out of Short Circuit, the Johnny 5 of Draw Bridges. Located in Leeuwarden, Netherlands and know to the locals as the “Slauerhoffbrug”. This is quite a unique and unconventional design for a drawbrige. Kinda reminds me of a large robotic fly swatter.

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Google SyncOkay, so I’m not exactly sure how new this function is, but I just noticed in the top right corner of my Google Calendar page that you can now sync your Google Calendar with your iPhone. I have been wanting this feature for a long time. If your an avid user of Google Calendars and you have an iPhone you probably already know how cumbersome it is to sync the calendars without this new function. You originally had to create a private url link for each calendar in Google Calendars that iCal uses to update it’s calendars. Then you had the extra step of having to hook up you iPhone to your computer via usb and sync. As you could imagine this is quite a time consuming ordeal. Google Sync also support Symbian based phones, Blackberry, and Windows Mobile phones. With it’s push technology you never have to physically connect your phone to a computer to sync. It’s all done in the background wirelessly. Google sync also synchronizes you Google Contacts.

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Personal Landscape ReaderThe Plastic Logic Reader may very well be this next Kindle Killer, but we will have to wait at least a year before that is proven. And even at that point who knows what Amazon will do with their widely accepted Kindle. But will products like the Plastic Logic Reader and the Kindle change the way we read newspapers, books, and magazines? I for one still like the tactical feel of reading a magazine or newspaper. However with products like this becoming lighter, thinner, and more natural in form factor. The real benefactor will be having a plethora of reading choices at your finger tips without the added weight of carrying such articles. The Plastic Logic Reader uses a flexible plastic substrate instead of silicone glass that is typically used for active matrix displays. This makes the display more rugged, lighter and thinner. I really am infatuated with simplicity and minimalism, but I feel this product is a bit to similar to the Kindle in terms of aesthetics. I hope they revamp the design to differientiate it from the Kindle.

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Timeless GardenAn interesting concept “The Timeless Garden” designed by Francesco Castiglione Morelli & Tommaso Ceschi relies on the chemical reaction between mud and metal to power its built in digital clock. I for one have wanted to see more products like this come to light. As well thought out engineering and design should be used in ways to be less reliant on other sources of grid based power. Not all products of coarse will be able to be self sufficient, but we need to strive toward reaching that goal. Do you remember that experiment in science class of building a battery from potatoes? Well this concept is really not that much different. This I believe is still in the conceptual stages because there is no indication whether or not this product is in production. Not only is this device self powering, it also helps absorb CO2 from the air to create oxygen (like all plants do).

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Mother of RiceThis is strictly a conceptual design of the perfect rice cooker by Sang-Jang Lee. Simple in design and form bring a minimalist approach to this beautifully designed rice cooker. The design calls for a touch screen display housed inside of the  lid that disappears when not being used. Like a joystick you have four directions for menu options being up, down, right and left.

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Airpod
Well if it’s up to Motor Development International then we might just start seeing these in the near future. The designers are former aerospace and formula F1 engineers. With the idea of using compressed air to power these small pod like vehicles. Currently the Airpod is only a prototype, but has gained the interest of  Tata Motors (India) and an American start-up called Zero Emissions Motors. Also to note that Air France/KLM officials have announced a six-month test trial at Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris and Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam to ferry passengers in between departure gates. The Airpod holds four people with an approximate range of about 135miles with a top speed of about 43mph. This would make a great vehicle able to transport people in very dense areas that don’t require fast speeds. Hence why Tata Motors of India is most likely interested in this technology. According to Zero Pollution Motors the Airpod can be filled with a maximum of 350 bar (5,076 psi!) in about 90 seconds. This is ideal for the fast paced airport industry were time is critical. These claims seem to good to be true, and like others I will remain to be skeptical. The technology presented has promise, but until the Airpod can be proven on a full fleet scale we will not really know how realistic compressed air will be for and alternative fuel for automobiles.

Anti-theft Bicycle System
Grant Howarth has designed this cleaver Anti-Theft Bicycle Security station to help combat the problem of thefts stealing anything and everything they can possible get and leaving the just the frame. This is quite a common problem in large cities like New York. Hundreds of bicycle frames are striped of their part. With no wheels or seat the owner sometimes leaves the bike frame as-is which can be very unsightly. Here’s the designers description:

Bike security that protects all quick release components. Modularity was the cornerstone of this project. Once the arms lock into place the bike cannot be moved in any direction protecting the seat, wheels and other quick release components as well as protecting the entire bike from theft.

The bike is rolled up the curved surface until its back wheel falls into a groove which prevents the bike rolling back. The “gutter”, which serves to protect the wheels, also prevents the bike from moving in any direction. Once in place the arm can be moved downwards.

The whole locking process takes less than a minute. Furthermore the product promotes safety in numbers, as the more bikes stored the greater the protection of the “pack”.

The product also [recoups] costs within 3 years through the ability to use it for advertising purposes (assuming advertising space costs in Glasgow, Scotland).

I think this is a great ideal for cities of all densities as it helps to promote more exercise and the use of non-oil dependent transportation

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