Have an idea for an innovative product sitting around in your head, but never have the time or the wherewithal to kick any kind of serious effort into high (or even low) gear? If so, here’s a Web site to check out. Quirky.com, which is being billed as a social network for product development, is trying to become the launching pad for the best ideas among those countless product doodles tucked away in pockets, drawers and notebooks.
Founded by a 22-year, serial entrepreneur Ben Kaufman, Quirky lets anyone submit their product idea for $99 and then the community of users vote, rate and influence those ideas. After a seven-day evaluation period, the Quirky community chooses one of the products as the idea of the week and the social networking spin on the collaborative product development process begins.
The chosen product is put on the Quirky Web site where “influencers” can vote and contribute to all aspects of product’s development, from ideation, design, naming, manufacturing, even marketing and sales. Once the product is completed, it’s pre-sold at the Quirky online store and when (and if) it meets a threshold, it then moves on to production and delivery. The original idea owner and the “influencers” get a cut of the sales. Quirky says even those idea owners who don’t get chosen walk away with valuable research and analytics about their product to help them if they choose to move forward and build the product on their own.
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.
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
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