Wednesday, 31 July 2013

NASA and ESA to communicate with lunar orbiter using lasers

Space communications have relied on radio since the first Sputnik in 1957. It’s a mature, reliable technology, but it’s reaching its limits. The amount of data sent has increased exponentially for decades and NASA expects the trend to continue. The current communications systems are reaching their limits, so NASA and ESA are going beyond radio as a solution. As part of this effort, ESA has finished tests of part of a new communications system, in preparations for a demonstration in October in which it will receive a laser data download from a NASA lunar orbiter. .. Continue Reading NASA and ESA to communicate with lunar orbiter using lasers

Section: Space

Tags: Communications, ESA, Laser, MIT, Moon, NASA, Orbit, Spacecraft

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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Sony's head-mounted 3D video display gives surgeons an inside view

Having introduced its HMZ-T1 personal 3D viewer aimed at the home entertainment market in 2011, and updating it in 2012 with the HMZ-T2, Sony has ventured into the operating theater for its latest head-mounted display. Unveiled last week in Tokyo, the "head-mount image processing unit" gives surgeons virtual X-ray vision by means of an endoscope feeding images to a pair of head-mounted monitors. This setup allows surgeons to view high definition 3D images from inside the patient while carrying out laparoscopic surgery... Continue Reading Sony's head-mounted 3D video display gives surgeons an inside view

Section: Health and Wellbeing

Tags: 3D, Display, Head Mounted Displays, Japan, OLED, Sony, Surgery, Video

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Monday, 29 July 2013

Holovision aims at life-size 3D projections

Close on the heels of the 21st century complaint of “Where’s my jetpack?” is “Where’s my holographic projector?”. Nothing spells “future” like having a conversation with someone whose life-size image is beamed into the room. Provision of Chatsworth, California wants to bring that one step closer to reality, with its Holovision life-size holographic projector. The company is currently running a Kickstarter campaign aimed at raising US$950,000 to fund the development of new technology for the projector, with hopes of unveiling it next year... Continue Reading Holovision aims at life-size 3D projections

Section: Good Thinking

Tags: 3D, Display, Holographic, Kickstarter, Projectors

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Slingatron to hurl payloads into orbit

People have been shooting things into space since the 1940s, but in every case this has involved using rockets. This works, but it’s incredibly expensive with the cheapest launch costs hovering around US$2,000 per pound. This is in part because almost every bit of the rocket is either destroyed or rendered unusable once it has put the payload into orbit. Reusable launch vehicles like the SpaceX Grasshopper offer one way to bring costs down, but another approach is to dump the rockets altogether and hurl payloads into orbit. That's what HyperV Technologies Corp. of Chantilly, Virginia is hoping to achieve with a “mechanical hypervelocity mass accelerator” called the slingatron. .. Continue Reading Slingatron to hurl payloads into orbit

Section: Space

Tags: Kickstarter, Launch Vehicles, Orbit, Prototype, Satellite

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Sunday, 28 July 2013

Video tour of formerly top secret Cold War nuclear weapons facility released

A secret of Cold War came to light recently with Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico releasing a video tour of what was once one of the most secret and secure locations in the United States. For decades, Tunnel Vault was used to house nuclear weapon components, but the now declassified facility has now become an artifact of the Dr. Strangelove age... Continue Reading Video tour of formerly top secret Cold War nuclear weapons facility released

Section: Military

Tags: History, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Nuclear weapons, Video

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Friday, 26 July 2013

The Canary: A self-contained security device controlled by smartphone

According to the US Justice Department, people who live in rented homes are more likely to be burgled. In part, this is may be because flat dwellers aren't generally allowed to install security systems. As an alternative to teaching the hamster to bark, the Canary aims to put a complete security system into a self-contained, plug-and-play container that can be controlled by a smartphone app... Continue Reading The Canary: A self-contained security device controlled by smartphone

Section: Around The Home

Tags: Indiegogo, Security, smartphone

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Thursday, 25 July 2013

Nukes, kids and the Cold War: In conversation with the creator of Nukemap3D

Feeling cheerful? Why not remedy that by going online and seeing what would happen if someone dropped an H-bomb on your hometown? The browser-based Nukemap3D uses a Google Earth plug in to produce a 3D graphic of the effects of a nuclear weapon on your city of choice. All you have to do is pick your target, select your favorite thermonuclear device, and you can see an animated mushroom cloud rising over ground zero. Gizmag caught up with the creator, Dr. Alex Wellerstein, to talk about Nukemap3D... Continue Reading Nukes, kids and the Cold War: In conversation with the creator of Nukemap3D

Section: Military

Tags: 3D, Google, Harvard, Nuclear

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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Monday, 22 July 2013

Gizmag goes inside the world's largest tunnel boring machine

On Saturday, a tunnel boring machine (TBM) so large that it looks like something out ofThunderbirds was dedicated in the city of Seattle. “Bertha,” as it’s known, is the world’s largest TBM and will spend the next 14 months boring a 1.7 mile (2.7 km) tunnel under the city as part of a US$1.2 billion project to replace a viaduct damaged in a 2001 earthquake. As part of a press tour, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) allowed Gizmag inside the giant machine... Continue Reading Gizmag goes inside the world's largest tunnel boring machine

Section: Architecture

Tags: Building and Construction, Hitachi, Transport, Tunnel, World's Largest

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Saturday, 20 July 2013

Apollo 11 rocket engine recovery confirmed

A lost bit of the Moon landing era isn't lost anymore. founder Jeff Bezos announced on Friday that one of the F-1 rocket engines found by his deep-sea expedition was indeed part of the Apollo 11 Saturn V rocket that sent the first astronauts to land on the Moon in 1969. A conservator at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, Kansas, where the engine was being restored, was removing corrosion from the engine when he discovered evidence confirming the significant find... Continue Reading Apollo 11 rocket engine recovery confirmed

Section: Space

Tags: Amazon, Apollo 11, Engine, NASA, Rocket

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Nightclub urinal tells patrons when they've had one too many

Alcohol and driving definitely don’t mix, but those most in need of having their keys taken away are the worst judges of how much they've had to drink. As part of an anti-drink/drive campaign by Singapore’s Zouk nightclub, DDB Group Singapore developed the Pee Analyzer: a system fitted to urinals that tests patrons’ alcohol levels every time they take a trip to the bathroom... Continue Reading Nightclub urinal tells patrons when they've had one too many

Section: Good Thinking

Tags: Alcohol, Driving, RFID, Singapore

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Friday, 19 July 2013

SAMS wetsuits make surfers look less tasty

Worldwide, around 100 people are attacked by sharks each year. The anxiety this produces isn't helped by the fact that traditional black wetsuits make divers and surfers look like seals, and it’s not a good idea to dress up as a shark’s favorite snack before going into the water. Australian company Shark Attack Mitigation Systems (SAMS) is developing wetsuits designed to deter shark attacks rather than ring the dinner gong by using disruptive patterns that sharks have trouble seeing, or that make them think twice about attacking. .. Continue Reading SAMS wetsuits make surfers look less tasty

Section: Marine

Tags: Australia, Sharks, Surfing, Swimming, Underwater, Wetsuits

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Imperial College develops cancer-sniffing Intelligent Knife

Dr. Zoltan Takats of the Imperial College London has developed one very sharp knife – and we're not referring to its keen edge. The Intelligent Knife (iKnife) is equipped with a nose and a brain that can sniff out cancer as it cuts. Using a mass spectrometer to detect chemical profiles associated with tumors, it enables instant identification of cancerous tissue and helps surgeons to make sure that all of a tumor has been removed... Continue Reading Imperial College develops cancer-sniffing Intelligent Knife

Section: Medical

Tags: Cancer, Imperial College, Knife, Surgery

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Streaming media: New fuel cell powers a mobile phone with pee

If asked what would be a great power source for mobile phones, it’s a fair bet that most people wouldn't make urine their first choice. But that's exactly what a group of scientists at Bristol Robotics Laboratory in the UK have done. As part of a project to find new ways to provide electricity for small devices in emergency situations and developing countries they have created a new fuel cell system powered by pee... Continue Reading Streaming media: New fuel cell powers a mobile phone with pee

Section: Science

Tags: Electricity, Energy, Fuel Cell, Mobile Phones, Power, Samsung, University of Bristol,University of the West of England

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Thursday, 18 July 2013

Know when to fold 'em: Advances in self-assembly techniques

Sure, flat-pack furniture is inexpensive and easy to transport, but when you open the box the first question almost everyone asks is, “Wouldn't it be great if it would assemble itself?” You could get a robot to help, but engineers at the Harvard Microrobotics Laboratory are working on ways to get objects to assemble themselves ... and they might give 3D printing a run for its money at the same time... Continue Reading Know when to fold 'em: Advances in self-assembly techniques

Section: Science

Tags: Harvard, Robotics, self-assembly

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Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

WaterBee puts crop irrigation on a smartphone

With robots doing everything from milking cows to crop dusting, farming has come a long way since they days of plodding along behind a horse and plow. Irrigation practices are also benefiting from advances in technology. The large-scale WaterBee smart irrigation and water management system is a case in point: it allows farmers use their smartphones to not only switch on the water where and when it’s needed, but also to get up to the minute information on field conditions... Continue Reading WaterBee puts crop irrigation on a smartphone

Section: Environment

Tags: Agriculture, Farming, Smartphones, Water

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NASA's OPALS will use lasers to improve comms on the ISS

In internet engineering, there’s a problem called the “last half mile," which looks at how to connect users to high-speed fiber optic networks without going through old-fashioned copper wires that can slow data down to a crawl. NASA has more of a “last 250 miles” problem in making data connections with the International Space Station (ISS). The upcoming Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS) project is an optical technology demonstration for using lasers to improve communications with the ISS and other spacecraft in hopes of boosting connection speeds by a factor of 10 to 100... Continue Reading NASA's OPALS will use lasers to improve comms on the ISS

Section: Space

Tags: Communications, International Space Station, Laser, NASA, Spacecraft

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Monday, 15 July 2013

ERO demolition robot concept recycles on the fly

When it comes to demolishing buildings, there are almost as many ways to take them apart as put them up. We knock them down, blow them to bits, and build machines to take them apart. But what about a robot that eats buildings? Omer Haciomeroglu of Sweden’s Umeå Institute of Design has come up with the concept ERO concrete de-construction robot, which uses high-pressure water jets to strip concrete from rebar and recycle it on the spot... Continue Reading ERO demolition robot concept recycles on the fly

Section: Robotics

Tags: Autonomous, Building and Construction, Construction, Recycling, Robots, Sweden

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Portable SunSocket Solar Generator incorporates on-board tracking

To get the most out of solar panels they need to be facing the right way. Systems that track the sun are often used in large solar power stations and some larger home installations, but most flat panels for portable applications just lie there. Colorado-based Aspect Solar has come up with the SunSocket Solar Generator, a lightweight, portable, self-contained solar power system consisting of a battery and solar panels that brings the advantages of automatically tracking the Sun to small applications... Continue Reading Portable SunSocket Solar Generator incorporates on-board tracking

Section: Electronics

Tags: Automatic, Electric, Generator, Photovoltaic, Sunlight

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Sunday, 14 July 2013

Artificial island to house Asia's largest private art museum

Art Museums regularly push the boundaries in terms of architecture, but Beijing architecture studio MAD has gone one step further by designing an artificial island to form the Pingtan Art Museum. Dominated by three concrete mounds, the museum will feature exhibit halls and public spaces and be linked to Pingtan Island by an undulating pier... Continue Reading Artificial island to house Asia's largest private art museum

Section: Architecture

Tags: Architects, Art, Building and Construction, China, Museum

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Bremont Codebreaker watch turns history into a timepiece

Watches are meant to keep time, but the UK-based firm of Bremont and the Bletchley Park Trust have teamed up to produce a watch that preserves time. The Bremont Codebreaker is a limited edition chronograph that uses original artefacts from the famous cryptographic facility to commemorate British code breaking efforts during the Second World War... Continue Reading Bremont Codebreaker watch turns history into a timepiece

Section: Wearable Electronics

Tags: Bremont, Computers, History, Watches

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McLaren’s track-only 12C GT Sprint surfaces at Goodwood

McLaren engineers like to show off their prowess, which they were happy to display in their 12C model, including the 12C GT3 and the limited edition 12C GT Can-Am Edition. This weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed sees Mclaren GT roll out its track-only variant, the 12C GT Sprint. Boasting enhanced handling, aerodynamics and track focus, McLaren bills it as the bridge between the standard 12C and the all-out racing versions... Continue Reading McLaren’s track-only 12C GT Sprint surfaces at Goodwood

Section: Automotive

Tags: Festival of Speed, Goodwood, McLaren

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Friday, 12 July 2013

NASA 3D-prints and fires rocket engine component

Star Trek's Mr. Scott will have fewer reasons to panic as the day comes closer when even rocket engines can be cranked out on 3D printers. In recent tests, NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne fired a rocket engine injector at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio that was made using a 3D printer. The project, done in collaboration between NASA and private industry, aims at speeding up the manufacture of rocket components while reducing costs as well as eventually printing them in space... Continue Reading NASA 3D-prints and fires rocket engine component

Section: Space

Tags: 3D Printing, NASA, Rocket, Spacecraft

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Thursday, 11 July 2013

Caterham 620 R brings extreme to Goodwood

For four decades, the Caterham Seven has been turning heads and packing large servings of performance into a very small package. This weekend, at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed, Caterham Cars is unveiling the slightly mad Caterham Seven 620 R, which will be put through its paces by F1 Team driver Charles Pic and other drivers from the Caterham stable. Built to celebrate 40 years of the Seven, Caterham says that it’s the most extreme version in the lightweight, high-performance line ever produced... Continue Reading Caterham 620 R brings extreme to Goodwood

Section: Automotive

Tags: Cars, Caterham, Festival of Speed, Goodwood

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NASA reports that Curiosity's successor to launch in 2020

While the Mars rovers Curiosity and Opportunity continue to set new records, NASA is looking at its next mission to the surface of the Red Planet. On Tuesday, the space agency released a 154-page report by the Mars 2020 Science Definition Team, which sets out the objectives and preliminary design of the probe scheduled to be sent to Mars in 2020. It's main task will be to seek out areas where life might exist and return samples to Earth... Continue Reading NASA reports that Curiosity's successor to launch in 2020

Section: Space

Tags: Mars, NASA, Rover

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Wednesday, 10 July 2013

X-47B makes historic first carrier landing

The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator put another page in the history books on Wednesday with its first unmanned arrested-wire carrier landing. The drone flew 35 minutes from Patuxent River Naval Air Station to the carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) off the coast of Virginia, where is landed at about 145 knots (167 mph, 268 km/h) with an arresting wire catching its tail hook and bringing it to a stop in 350 ft (107 m)... Continue Reading X-47B makes historic first carrier landing

Section: Military

Tags: Boeing, UAV, US Navy, X-47B

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Canadian Space Agency unveils next-gen Canadarm

The Space Shuttle may be gone, but one part of it is still going strong. The Canadian-built Canadarm robotic arm first flew on the Shuttle in 1981 and its successor, Canadarm2, is still working on the International Space Station (ISS) helping with experiments, supporting space-walking astronauts, and aiding unmanned cargo ships to dock. Not content to rest on its laurels, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is working on the Next Generation Canadarm (NGC). More flexible and compact than its predecessor, it’s part of a new 5-part system designed to fulfill the need for robotic arms to help with satellite repair and refueling. .. Continue Reading Canadian Space Agency unveils next-gen Canadarm

Section: Space

Tags: Canadian Space Agency, International Space Station, Robotics, Spacecraft

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Tuesday, 9 July 2013

BMW turns first class seating into "luxury islands"

Flying coach may make one understand what life is like for a battery hen, but not everyone who travels by air has it so bad. If you have the ticket fare, from this September you’ll be able to enjoy Singapore Airlines' next-generation First Class seats. These “luxury islands” with living-room ambiance were designed by the BMW Group DesignworksUSA and are being installed on the new Boeing 777-300ER for selected flights between Singapore and London... Continue Reading BMW turns first class seating into "luxury islands"

Section: Aircraft

Tags: Airlines, BMW, Boeing, Luxury

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DIFIS funnels up oil spills

When ships sink, as well as the loss of property (and very possibly life), there’s the danger of environmental damage. An oil tanker breaking up is a disaster, but even a cargo ship going down can mean oil leaking from fuel bunkers. Double Inverted Funnel for Intervention on Shipwrecks (DIFIS) is an EU project coordinated by Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) that uses a passive system to catch oil as it leaks out of a wreck on the ocean floor... Continue Reading DIFIS funnels up oil spills

Section: Environment

Tags: Environment, Oil, Ships, Shipwrecks

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Monday, 8 July 2013

Ford creates sheet metal prototypes in hours instead of weeks

Stamping sheet metal is an efficient form of manufacturing, capable of cranking hundreds or thousands of items an hour. The annoying thing is that making new stamping dies is a long, costly process. This is bad enough when it comes to retooling a factory, but creating prototypes for new products can leave designers waiting weeks. The Ford Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn, Michigan has taken a page from the 3D printing handbook and is developing a new way of forming sheet metal that allows designers to create prototypes in hours instead of weeks... Continue Reading Ford creates sheet metal prototypes in hours instead of weeks

Section: Automotive

Tags: 3D Printing, Ford, Prototype, Research

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Sunday, 7 July 2013

Rosphere spherical robot could be rolling up for work to monitor and tend crops

If you see what looks like a hamster ball rolling around a cornfield, it doesn’t mean that someone’s pet is incredibly lost. It may be an experimental robot developed by the Robotics and Cybernetics Research Group at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) called Rosphere. The spherical robot can propel itself over uneven ground and may one day be rolling up for work in fields to monitor and tend crops. .. Continue Reading Rosphere spherical robot could be rolling up for work to monitor and tend crops

Section: Robotics

Tags: Agriculture, Prototype, Robots, Sphere, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid

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Saturday, 6 July 2013

Altair 8800 Clone: A near-empty box filled with history

Owning a piece of computer history can be expensive and not much fun. You can buy a vintage MITS Altair 8800, one of the world’s first successful desktop computers, on eBay, but a good one will cost you over US$4,000. That’s why computer enthusiast Mike Douglas developed the Altair 8800 Clone. It’s a modern, inexpensive, functional reproduction of the historic Altair 8800 computer that uses 21st century technology to recreate a bit of computer history for hobbyists and educators... Continue Reading Altair 8800 Clone: A near-empty box filled with history

Section: Computers

Tags: Computers, History

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Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Listening for leaks aboard the International Space Station with ultrasonics

In space, no one can hear you scream, but you can hear an air leak. In old science fiction movies, air leaks on spaceships and stations reveal themselves as convenient holes to slap a patch on, but on the complex International Space Station (ISS), it isn't that simple. NASA is working on a new system for detecting the ultrasonic noise of an air leak quickly before it turns into a dangerous race against time... Continue Reading Listening for leaks aboard the International Space Station with ultrasonics

Section: Space

Tags: Detection, International Space Station, NASA, Ultrasonic

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Pocket Spacecraft wants to send thousands of personalized satellites to the Moon

Launching more than one satellite at a time is common practice these days, but what about packing thousands of satellites into a rocket and shooting them at the Moon? As part of a Kickstarter campaign, Pocket Spacecraft is offering the public the chance to send small disc satellites into space. These will then either flutter back to Earth from orbit or impact on the lunar surface. Based in Bristol, UK, Pocket Spacecraft plans to create thousands of tiny customized “Scout” satellites to be launched in a cubesat as a way of promoting low cost, mass space exploration. .. Continue Reading Pocket Spacecraft wants to send thousands of personalized satellites to the Moon

Section: Space

Tags: Kickstarter, Moon, Satellite, Spacecraft

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Monday, 1 July 2013

All systems go for Planetary Resources' Arkyd 100 space telescope

Planetary Resources, Inc., the asteroid mining company based in Bellevue, Washington, completed its Kickstarter campaign on Sunday after a 33-day run that raised US$1,505,366 from 17,600 backers. The purpose of the campaign was to raise public interest in the company and asteroid mining in general by crowdfunding an Arkyd 100 space telescope that will be made available to the public... Continue Reading All systems go for Planetary Resources' Arkyd 100 space telescope

Section: Space

Tags: Asteroid Mining, Kickstarter, Planetary Resources, Space telescope, Spacecraft

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KeyMe stores keys digitally, cuts them when you forget yours

Getting locked out of the house is especially frustrating when you’ve forgotten the “safe” place where you hid the spare key. As an alternative to sleeping in the garden shed or emergency locksmith fees, KeyMe allows you to store a digital version of your house key in the cloud from which a duplicate key can be cut on demand... Continue Reading KeyMe stores keys digitally, cuts them when you forget yours

Section: Good Thinking

Tags: Keys, New York

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Molson's beer fridge that only Canadians can open

A fridge full of free beer sounds like a great thing to find sitting on a street corner, but what if you needed a Canadian to open it? That was the puzzle posed by the Rethink advertising agency on behalf of Canada’s Molson brewery. This northern spring, Rethink advertising agency set up red fridges at various locations around Europe that would only open if a Canadian passport was inserted... Continue Reading Molson's beer fridge that only Canadians can open

Section: Good Thinking

Tags: Advertising, Beer, Fridge, Passport

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Ikea's turns its flat-pack philosophy to improving refugee shelters

A tragedy of modern times is the millions of refugees displaced by poverty, oppression, war and natural disaster. Most end up living in canvas tents of a basic design that are hot in summer, cold in winter, and only last about six months in constant use despite some refugees living in such tents for up to 12 years. On World Refugee Day in June, the Ikea Foundation unveiled a new flat-pack refugee shelter with a modular design and solar panel designed to help improve living conditions for refugees... Continue Reading Ikea's turns its flat-pack philosophy to improving refugee shelters

Section: Architecture

Tags: Housing, IKEA, Modular, Prototype, Shelter

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