remember as a child, your parents used to tell you stuff like “it’s just a movie, it’s not possible in real life” or maybe “it’s all make believe”? however much i like to believe in my parents, this project undertook by National Geographic just blew that concept away. last week, National Geographic teamed up with some scientists to launch a 18-foot tall, 16-foot by 16-foot house into the air by the power of 300 eight-foot weather balloons, imitating closely to the Pixar Studio movie, Up – except this time, Grandpa Carl Fredricksen wasn’t on board.
the flying house reached an altitude of over 10,000 feet and flew for approximately an hour. the whole event was filmed and will be part of a new National Geographic Channel series called “How Hard Can It Be?” which is set to premiere in fall 2011. check out some images of the proceeding below.
curious car tech enthusiasts might be wondering when was the first hybrid automobile ever built? apparently, it turns out to be Porsche and it was in the year 1900. dubbed the ‘Semper Vivus‘ (‘always alive’), this serial hybrid drive automobile has two engines charging the batteries and the Porsche electric hub motors provides the drive power. check out the protruding hub at the front wheels. well, i supposed it looks kind of futuristic for a piece of 1900s machine, albeit still looking like a horse carriage in general. it took Porsche four years to recreate this ground breaking innovation by Ferdinard Porsche and since its recreation, it has graced the recent Geneva Motor Show. the recreated Semper Vivus is destined to be part of the collection in the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart. Continue reading ever wonder how does the world’s first hybrid auto looks like?→
there are products that just so straight to the point that they need no or little introduction, like this compact single speaker iPod speaker here. dubbed the WALdock, this iPod speaker plugs direct into your wall socket and you have one one nifty gadget that amplifies your music and charges your iPhone/iPod at the same time while taking up a space slightly bigger than a single wall socket. the rapid development prototype is looking good and the best part is, it comes with a built-in battery which allows this little speaker to be used virtually anywhere. cool.
Hern Kim is the designer behind the WALdock and he’s currently appealing for support to make the WALdock a reality via Kickstarter page. if you are keen in getting your hands on one, head on down to his Kickstarter page and make your pledge. a minimum pledge of $59 will get yourself one WALdock. though, no color options are mentioned.
Peel is not the first universal remote that’s designed for use with iPhone, but it’s the first that looks cute and perhaps, making your cable UI looks a little more presentable, if not more stunning. as with all universal remote for iPhone, the Peel, is in fact a go-between between your IR-commanded devices and your WiFi/Bluetooth enabled iPhone. Continue reading Peel lets you discover and control your TV programming→
even though it is named Adidas SLVR S-M-L Concept Shoes, this pair of sneakers is anything but a concept. thank goodness. how many times have we heard about concepts that thrilled us as fast as they could disappear? so what’s so special about this pair of sneakers? for starter, it features a 4-way stretchable mesh upper for breathability and fit, hence, it will fit most foot sizes within its three available sizes: S, M or L. clever? what can go wrong if you only have S, M and L to chose from? yeah, you have two in three chances of getting the wrong size but not to worry, Adidas has a guide on what’s the range of each size represents. other features include round two-tone laces, stretchable outsole and it’s unisex. great. no one can laugh you for donning a pair of ladies’ sneakers. the Adidas SLVR Concept Shoes retails for $140 and is available at the Adidas SLVR web store.
rather than giving the speakers a conventional boxy form, designer Corentin Dombrecht has chosen the form of a megaphone to represent the speakers. shaped in the distinctive horn of a megaphone crafted out of unfinished wood with, of course, circuitry components that’s worthy of any modern loudspeakers. it is, however, a concept which means no detail of its innards workings but it is no doubt beautiful. it will be cool if the ‘trigger’ of the megaphone could be turned into a switch. don’t you think so?
keys – essential items that we can’t live without. we have it for our house, rooms, cars, stores et cetera. it can be quite a frustrating experience to be handling so many of them in a bunch, making you look like a prison warden. KeyPort aims to solve our woes in this respect with its SLIDE, an universal key fob that reduces the clutter associated with numerous keys. each KeyPort SLIDE consolidates up to six keys into a compact box similar in size to a box of Tic Tacs.
KeyPort SLIDE keeps your keys tucked away within the compact box, until you need to access them. SLIDE uses KeyPort’s Blades which are keys with custom reduced key heads, enabling them to fit into the SLIDE. the SLIDE can also hold your auto’s key, however, that might require some chipping as some auto keys are chipped for security purpose. key is not the only item that the SLIDE is useful for. if you don’t have that many keys, you could easily accessorize the other free slots in your SLIDE with bottle opener, USB Flash Drive or the all-new LED Light Blade.
we find the LED light particularly useful as it could lend you a little light when unlocking in the dark. of course, these are options which would have additional cost on top of the standard bundle’s $79 price tag. a standard bundle for the SLIDE comes with six color nodes, six KeyPort blades and a detachable lanyard. KeyPort SLIDE is available via KeyPort web store.
for those who have used night vision capable video camera would be familiar with the green footages associated with it. however, the green footages could be a thing of the past with the newly developed color night vision technology that lets the camera sees red, blue and green objects using highly sensitive infrared photography technology. developed by AIST, this new technology would no doubt benefit a wide spectrum of field, including security and wildlife observation.
in term of security application, footages from this new night vision technology could let investigators easily identify the perpetrator’s clothing or automobile color, which at the present moment, are all in greenish perspective. this would means more accurate identification and hopefully, an earlier arrest of the culprits. the continual research and product development will be carried out by Nanolux Research, an AIST venture for technology transfer.
AIST has planned for a more compact and higher performance, commercial version camera based on this new development and it will try to make this new night vision camera less expensive then the current security cameras in the market.
we are familiar with ‘exploded view’ of vehicle in illustration for prints, but what about an ‘exploded view’ in real life? well, this was what exactly Dutch artist Paul Veroude has done to a Mercedes GP Petronas F1 car in his installation art, entitled “View Suspended II.” this particular Mercedes GP Petronas F1 was deconstructed and its 3,200 components hung in an exploded view display at Mercedes-Benz World exhibition in Surrey, UK. it is indeed a sight to behold, especially to all racing fans (F1 fans in particular). Continue reading Mercedes Benz F1 deconstructed and hung for display→
another concept that draws our attention, however, being a concept, it may not necessary be practical. so let’s just bear that in mind when we are viewing a concept. the Manta is a three-wheel amphibious personal transport designed to run on a pair of electric motors driving the rear wheels. the rear wheels also doubles as the vehicle’s propulsion when in water. the sports wheels are designed to be real working propellers, so when the rear wheels are turned 90 degree, the wheels becomes the propeller for the vehicle. each wheel would be individually powered, which in theory, could enable steering of the vehicle in the water. but i would imagine the huge turning radius it would make. being independently powered means some form of synchronization has to be in place to ensure that both wheels are traveling at the same speed when traveling on land. nevertheless, the idea and the aesthetic is great. i will take two! Continue reading Manta is a three-wheel amphibious electric concept vehicle→