Swipe and wipe with toilet paper for your smartphone.
Microbial Factories

Toilet Paper for Your Smartphone

Usually when you cross the border or when your flight lands, you’ll receive a welcoming text message that informs you about roaming charges, and maybe sends you a code to get free WiFi access. If you are planning to travel to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport anytime soon, expect to find this information on a roll of tiny toilet paper that you can simultaneously use to disinfect your phone.

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Suburban Utopia

Dutch Trains Now Run on Wind Power

The train is the most sustainable mode of transport for long-distance travel. And from January 1st, the Dutch Railways NS made it more environmentally friendly. They partnered with renewable energy supplier Eneco to solely operate all electric trains on new green energy, allowing 600.000 daily passengers to travel 100% carbon-free. That’s 1.200.000 train rides a day!

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Introducing nanobionic spinach plants that can detect explosives.
Hypernature

Using Spinach to Detect Explosives

Researchers at MIT are taking superfoods to the next level. By embedding spinach leaves with carbon nanotubes, a team of MIT engineers has converted spinach plants into biological bomb detectors. The introduction of “plant nanobionics”, a method to augment plants with nanomaterials, basically give them superpowers.

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Society of Simulations

Explore Depths from Your Chair

Over seventy percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water. Yet, we mainly discover the land, since this is the part of the globe we inhabit. But since our body is not able to dive to the bottom of the ocean, we could send a super copy of ourself to explore underwater worlds. Stanford University developed OceanOne, a humanoid diving robot that creates a simulation of the underwater experience on land.

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A new feature rumored to be in the next iOS update called Theater Mode could dim smartphone usage in cinemas.
Intimate Technology

Put Your Phone on Theatre Mode in Cinemas

We all know how annoying it gets to sit next to a person in the theatre who is continuously using the phone. But according to Sonny Dickson, things are about to change. The Australian famed “Apple leaker”, who notably reveals accurate information when it comes to new tech, wrote: “iOS 10.3 to feature a new Theatre mode”. The initial update is scheduled for January 10th and has many users speculating on screen level brightness and the disabling of notifications. If the function will be truly launched, it will be a matter of days. Until then, we can just switch our phone off.

Source: The Guardian

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Wild Systems

The Economy of Ecology

What if we could redesign the system to work for humanity and the planet we call home? What would the economy of ecology look like?

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Hypernature

Animal Tsunami Alerts from Space

Since ancient times people have believed that animals have the ability to sense and anticipate earthquakes, tsunami or other natural disasters. And there’s evidence to support this belief. Back in 2005 when a tsunami hit many countries in the Indic Ocean there were many reports of odd behavior in wild and domestic animals and there were almost no animal victims in the aftermath. Now, there is a way to “borrow” this mysterious sense using tracking tags and the International Space Station (ISS).

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BladeRanger Drones and Robots solar panels cleaning
Wild Systems

Drones and Robots Co-Work in Solar Farms

Every day in the Arava region in southern Israel a group of drones, called pelicans, carry solar panels cleaning robots, called plecos (like the fish known for their ability to clean algae from aquariums), at work. It could be a story from our What’s Flying There? book, instead it is a project by BladeRanger, an Israeli company specialized in managing autonomous robots with unmanned aerial vehicles. Their first application is for the inspection and cleaning of photovoltaic installations.

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3D print song
Information Decoration

3D Print Your Favorite Song

Since the earliest days of media players with visualization software, such as Winamp, we have started to become accustomed to not only hearing, but also seeing our favorite songs. The pulsating animations on the screen brought an optical sensation to our experience of music. Artist Matthew Hollings aims to turn these into physical sculptures.

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