Really interesting concepts and products frequently come across my desk and the latest two could not be more different. One is a Jersey barrier equipped with a turbine and generator set to capture the wind off passing automobiles while the other is a clever vinyl pad called Softswipe for cleaning golf shoes while on board a golf cart.
The "New Jersey Barrier" as Metropolis magazine calls it is the invention of architect Mark Oberholzer. He was the runner-up in a Metropolis design contest and I thought the concept was worth exploring. However the 15 comments he recieved are pretty skeptical for reasons ranging from the subversion of the Jersey's barriers role as a safety fence to the complaint that the origin of this `renewable' source is still gasoline.
Softswipe from Teknor Apex of Pawtucket, R.I., is a much simpler and from the looks of it, a proven concept (see photos below). It's a vinyl disk seven inches in diameter with molded-in rods to scrape off mud, dirt, grass or whatever is fouling your golf spikes. Teknor Apex claims the Flexalloy elastomer makes the disk super tough.
Softswipe from Teknor Apex of Pawtucket, R.I., is a a clever vinyl pad for cleaning golf shoes.
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
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