There have been two trends in bicycle design over the past couple of years – foldable commuter bikes and electric bikes. Richard Heath, an industrial design intern in Australia has crafted a design that is a merger of the two and is aimed at commuters.
The concept is a bike that can be easily folded, thus able to bring into buildings as well as on trains and buses. This way the bike can be easily recharged, even in an office cubicle during the day and then unfolded and ready for the ride home. The bike is powered by a 250w electric hub motor, which can be charged via a standard outlet – or even powered up on the go from regenerative braking function “whilst braking downhill” Heath explained. Read the rest of this entry »
The Euphoria (top) and the Zelix (bottom) - the first two boards from the Shape Shack
If the shape of a snowboard wasn’t important to performance boards would probably look like flat – well boards! But shape is important, Colorado-based Venture Snowboards isn’t just going back to the drawing board, it is introducing its new experimental division, the Shape Shack, with the goal of coming up with odd yet funcation board designs that other companies haven’t thought of yet. Read the rest of this entry »
A shirt can arguably “look smart” but now a team of engineering and graphic design students from Northeastern University has used their collective brain power to develop a truly smart shirt. The SQUID is in essence a wired shirt that can track and monitor muscle output and efficiency during workouts.
Working with an Android app, and connected to an interactive website, the shirt can track biofeedback and monitor a workout in real-time. While heart rate monitors and other devices can track results, such as calories burned and heart rate, this shirt can also track muscles during a workout, which in turn can help wearers fine tune their workouts and possibly even correct the form as necessary. About the only thing it seems that technology can’t do at this point is workout for you!
There is no arguing that Apple is a very competitive company, and hardcore Apple users could be considered also a bit competitive, so it is no surprise that last week it was reported that Apple is developing a new fitness technology that could be the biggest thing in competitive workouts since the first time some guy yelled “bring it.”
According to online reports, Apple outlined details in a patent filing dated from October that suggests the company is looking to create a head-to-head tracking system that could allow for real-time competition in workouts. For example two runners could wirelessly sync their respective devices – such as two iPods – together and go for a run, tracking each other’s pace, distance, heart rate, blood pressure and even calories burned. Imagine the possibility for digital bragging rights – “my heart rate was so much stronger than yours and I burned way more calories!”
A long walk will get you where you need to go, and at the same time allow you to burn a few calories. But the rest of the process is just wasted energy that could be harnessed for something else. At least that’s the idea of the electrowetting process, where a liquid that is normally hydrophobic will be forced to move by applying an electric current.
This is now a concept being used in a pair of shoes but in reverse. By walking with special shoes that contain the special substance you could force the mixture over several electrodes and create a current while walking. This energy in turn could be stored on a battery for future use. Currently a team of engineers at the University of Wisconsin are looking into how to actually bring this from concept to an actual product – but in the future you could juice up your mobile phone simply by walking. Think of this as a way of walking and talking!
I can honestly say, never thought I’d see the day that you could move something with just your mind. You can, and this isn’t just something out of Star Wars. Toyota and bicycle manufacturer Parlee have teamed up to create a concept bicycle that is as cutting edge and trend setting as the Prius. The video above shows how this could be a game changer for cyclists. And in a related story the BBC takes its own look at mind control. Mind over matter indeed!
What does it take to get you to walk more? Would it get you on your feet to know each step you take will power your cell phone? That may soon be a possibility. InStepNanoPower is developing a shoe with a device in the sole that captures the energy created with each step. This energy is typically lost as heat in our tracks as we keep walking and creating more energy. Read the rest of this entry »
There is no denying that there are a lot of different concepts with bike locks. We’ve seen a lot of locks, and one issue remains that it means bringing something “extra” along for the ride or daily commute. But Jaryn Miller’s Senza has interesting twist, it is a bike lock that is also the bike’s handle bars.
Essentially, the bars come off the bike and are locked together to form a U-Lock. The idea is that it provides dual security, because if the lock is cut the bike is much harder to ride away with, as there is nothing to hold on to!
We like the idea and think the designers are on to something, but as others have mentioned there are some problems to be resolved. The most notable is that the handle bar has to be durable enough to be a lock and that could add weight for those times when you don’t need to lock the bike. It also means that riders have to like the style of the drop bar – and this could be a problem for the mountain biker who usually prefers a straight bar with bar ends. Read the rest of this entry »
There have been a lot of folding bicycles, including several that are small enough to fit in a suitcase, so when we heard that there was a briefcase bicycle we quite expectedly got a little excited. But in fact the bike doesn’t fold up to a size small enough to actually fit inside a briefcase, and instead the carbon fiber bike comes with a carbon fiber briefcase that helps maintain the rigidness of the frame while riding. The bike was designed by Marcos Madia, a finalist in the Seoul Cycle Design competition.
It is an interesting concept, and it is just in the concept stage at this point. The biggest downsides we see to the bike is that it is still likely to be too big to bring into most offices (those building managers have something against bicycles), and the briefcase is too small to transport much. Likewise, there is the fact that this could be a tricky bike to lock up too – and it has “steal me” practically written on the side, even if it isn’t quite stable enough to ride without the briefcase. Now if only there was a way to get a folding bike that could actually fit inside a briefcase. George Jetson had his aircar that folded up, so a bike should be a no brainer.