Fitness tracking wearables have exploded onto the market and Motiv’s fitness tracking ring has incrementally improved on the wristband and watch options. This titanium-encased wearable tracks sleep and fitness − including steps, calories and distance. It even has an optical heart rate sensor and boasts a battery life of three to five days. Waterproof up to fifty metres and available in seven different sizes, it features an LED band − for charging and syncing notifications to your phone − and is available in two colours: grey or rose gold.
The challenge that nearly every bookmarking site on the internet has is one of organisation. Sites such as Pinterest use ‘boards’, but require users to spend time meticulously categorising their own bookmarks. New bookmarking site, Stash – nicknamed the AI Librarian – automatically organises your bookmarks by category, such as articles and recipes. There is also a search functionality and tags can be added to create sub categories. It's social component allows users to send and receive bookmarks, plus snooze bookmarks for a later stage.
Google has introduced three new products, all with Google Assistant at their core. This shift from ‘interface’ to ‘interaction’ highlights how the company’s work in AI is leading its products away from screens and materials… and toward conversational interactions with machines themselves. Essentially, it concentrates on ‘Conversational Actions’, where you ask Google Assistant various questions in return for pre-scripted answers, much like Apple’s Suri. By having these branded personality ‘chatbots’, which control the conversation, companies such as Google could benefit from being able to (subtly) suggest what we buy and where we go – if users are happy to buy into this human-machine interaction, going forward.
An overhaul of long distance travel is underway, thanks to the new hyperloop transportation system from Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), which utilises direct point-to-point connections. The main objective is to eliminate waiting time, increase convenience and reduce interruptions for commuters. Passengers travel in various 6-person pods, connected to a ‘transporter’, which can be accelerated to 1 100 km/h. ‘On-demand’ travel is achieved, as passengers simply board the next available pod. The pod can also operate autonomously on regular roads, thus increasing efficiency.
Adidas has just created a new pair of prototype sneakers, made out of Biosteel, a material that will break down completely in just 36 hours. The extra-strong nature-inspired material is biodegradable with the addition of one special enzyme. The biggest breakthrough is that any product created from this material will not contribute to plastic pollution, which is threatening the oceans. The ultimate goal for Adidas is to replace virgin plastics in all of its products.
Italian scooter company, CityBirds, is changing the way people approach their daily commute. Nicknamed, ‘Raven’, the company’s lightweight uber-functional and stylish range of scooters aims to take the stress out of getting from A to B. The carbon-fibre body on Raven is both an eco-friendly and cost-effective mode of transport. The streamlined shape on the kick scooter means that it is light, yet stable and stylish – plus collapsible for easy carrying.
Mercedes-Benz has joined the likes of Tesla with their new generation EQ electric car. The EQ boasts a 70-kWh battery pack and two electric motors. Inside there is an advanced digital mapping system with an incredible 3D interface and fully piloted driving. The company is nearing full-scale production of the electric car, which will be a focus for future SUVs, sedans, wagons, coupés and convertibles under Daimler .
A new study has found that brainwriting is more effective than brainstorming. Why? The main downside of brainstorming is that only one person can talk at a time, so ideas are either fixated on… or forgotten about. Brainwriting (writing down ideas alone on a piece of paper, then reading out people’s ideas, while everyone continues to write down their thoughts) allows for group interaction that is constructive and collaborative within the work environment.
Francois Jaubert, a young retired architect who left his office life for surfing, has taken first place at the Upcycle Contest 2016. The competition aims to transform waste into an object of value within the ocean. 90% of the board is made from reused materials and Jaubert married his crafting and architectural skills to express ‘the thrill of surfing’.