Science

These airless bike tires rely on a metal alloy designed for NASA rovers

The Smart Tire Company Inflatable rubber tires would not fare well on the surface of the Moon or Mars. The terrain is treacherous, and there’s no one there to throw on a spare if you get a flat. That’s why rovers typically use tires made of metal alloys that can endure the punishment that comes from puttering around on alien soil. Now, the Smart Tire Company is preparing to offer its airless alloy METL tires adapted from NASA rover tech…

Computer

Energous WattUp Wirelessly Charges Gadgets 3 Feet Away

Wireless charging has been growing in popularity over the past few years, but it is still quite limited. The main convenience offered is no longer having to plug a cable into the device that needs charging, but you still need to position each device accurately on a charging pad and a bigger or multiple pads are required for charging more devices. Energous is hoping to relax the rules of wireless charging with the WattUp Mid Field transmitter. As Liliputing reports, the transmitter…

Gadgets

Smart gadgets need security. Startups, that’s your cue

At CES next week, expect booth after booth of smart devices — and a host of approaches to their security. You know, locks, cameras, appliances, doorbells, electrical outlets — anything you can put a sensor on. Many of these will be made by brand-new companies, hoping to capitalize on the mania for devices that can talk with each other. The chatter between all those gadgets — known collectively as the internet of things — is going to be cacophonous. Machina…

Gadgets

Western Digital Drives Get Industrial Design Refresh

A hard drive is a hard drive, unless it gets a makeover from a French industrial designer, in which case it becomes an expensive work of art that just happens to store data. It’s a strategy that LaCie has been pursuing since the 1990s, and now Western Digital is doing it, too. The new My Passport and My Book drives will come in six bright colors chosen by the designer and brand strategist Yves Béhar (Okay, he’s Swiss, not French).…

Gadgets

45% OFF EPICA EMERGENCY SOLAR HAND CRANK AM/FM/NOAA DIGITAL RADIO, FLASHLIGHT, CELL PHONE CHARGER

Are you ready for a hurricane situation or other emergency weather? Looking for the perfect camping radio that will last for years? Be the prepared one in your group with this no-hassle, sure-fire emergency radio and flashlight. Two minutes of cranking nets you at least 20 minutes of lights on or radio. With its compact design, 3-LED flashlight, and 5-way charging (hand crank, solar, USB, AC and DC), and retractable antennae, you’ll never be left in the dark. The high-quality…

Gadgets

Glowforge raises $22 million to popularize its 3

Of all the ways to make a 3-dimensional object, 3-D printing is still the freshest, whether what’s involved is plastic extrusion, milling away wood or metal, or the spinning of cells into functional living tissues. Now, a company that makes a desktop laser cutter and engraver for home or office use, Glowforge , has raised $22 million to start mass production of its devices. The startup also plans to roll out a catalog of materials and premium designs for makers…

Gadgets

The future is a smarter world of dumber devices

With smartphones in all of our pockets, it’s easy to laugh at Thomas Watson’s reputed remark that “there is a world market for about five computers.” But what if he was off by only four computers instead of four billion? In the early 2000s, we lived in an era of expensive storage and slow connectivity. Those of us tasked with predicting the future faced a dilemma: Would processing and storage get so cheap that each and every device could store everything ever…

Gadgets

Skully officially admits it’s over

It took more than a week for remaining Skully execs to admit to themselves it was time to shut down. But late last night the company finally sent customers an email, which was obtained by TechCrunch, telling them it has officially closed its doors. The startup’s troubles have been brewing for several months but came to a head two weeks ago when Skully’s board forced founders Marcus and Mitch Weller out of their own company. Days later most of the employees,…

Gadgets

Microsoft signals broader gaming push with Xbox Wireless for partners

Microsoft wants everyone to know the joy that is low latency wireless gaming peripheral connections. The company is making the Xbox Wireless connection tech it uses between Xbox One and official controllers available to PC OEMs and accessory makers, starting with Lenovo’s new Cylon-like gaming rigs . Xbox One controllers can be used with PCs now, but you need a dongle to make them talk to each other, since Xbox Wireless isn’t a typical connection standard like Bluetooth which you’d already…

Gadgets

Pokemon Go goes mixed reality with Gestigon’s gesture tech

Come for the Pokémon Go AR, stay for the muzak Pokémon show theme: Gesture control startup Gestigon has created their very first mixed reality experience you can control with your own hands, and their source of inspiration is the Niantic and Nintendo-developed game that everyone’s going crazy for. The new offering from Gestigon uses its middleware tech combined with a Google Cardboard-based head-mounted display, as well as a pmd picoflexx 3D depth sensor and a Galaxy S7 smartphone from Android.…

Gadgets

MIT researchers develop a low-cost device to monitor home power consumption

A team of researchers at MIT has developed a device designed to give home owners a better picture of how much power their individual appliances are eating up. The gadget, which was outlined in a paper published in a recent edition of the IEEE Sensors Journal, offers a simple installation process that involves securing it over a power line with a zip tie. The stamp-size sensor self-calibrates and is capable of monitoring individual appliances courtesy of software developed by the team,…

Gadgets

Google’s Omnitone surround sound project brings us closer to web

As has been the case with so many industries, the pendulum of VR will eventually swing back from dedicated apps towards web-based systems — and when that happens, Google will be ready. It published details of a new method for delivering serious surround sound over the web, a system it calls Omnitone . Plain ol’ multi-channel surround sound may be fine for watching a movie on a flat screen, but when you’re navigating a virtual environment with total spatial autonomy,…