Some Big Ideas

Stove Operated Remotely By SMS

Published on June, 13th, 2012, View comments

So you’re out with your friends or on your way to work when you realize that you left your stove on. Normally this would mean that you would have to turn around and drive back to go switch it off, but with a new innovation from AGA you will no be able to operate your stove from anywhere using only SMS messages.

You also have the option on controlling your stove using a mobile web page that works on almost any smart phone and then there are also apps available for Apple and Android handsets. You can also access the service form a normal computer using a dedicated website.

Just imagine the amount of energy and time that will save in the long run. and then we’re not even talking about the potential of fires!

AGA iTotal Control

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What It Could Be Like In The Backseat

Published on September, 14th, 2011, View comments

The European branch of Toyota launched a concept video that imagines the future of, essentially, the car window. The video shows a girl interacting with the window as if it’s a touch-screen that interacts with passing scenery. She also draws and trace objects on the window with her finger and able to zoom in on distant subjects and tap the screen to hear a voice that tells her what she’s pointing at. Giving the child an opportunity to learn new things in a fun way while spending time in the car.

I can see this sort of thing happening in the no-so-distant future, also if Apps get introduced (similar to apps on the Apple iphone), this can have multiple practical applications, from child education to games to tour group guiding.

The video is titled ‘Window to the World’ and was launched in partnership with the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design.

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Illuminated Wheels for Safer Night Cycling

Published on July, 28th, 2011, View comments

Project Aura is a lighting system designed to keep cyclists safe who often ride at night by increasing their visibility to motorists and, hopefully, avert accidents.

The wheels are lit up by tiny LED lights and accompanying reflectors. These LED strip encircling both wheels of the bicycle. According to designers Project Aura has a larger visibility footprint from the side and that conventional reflectors doesn’t even come close.

The lights also changes color from red when slowing down to white when going faster, so motorists can respond appropriately. Project Aura is powered by a hub generator instead of batteries; all cyclists have to is pedal.

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Cheap plastic made from sugarcane

Published on July, 26th, 2011, View comments

Making plastic from sugar can be just as cheap as making it from petroleum, and it’s a lot better for the environment. Dow Chemical plans to build a plant in Brazil that it says will be the world’s largest facility for making bio-based chemical products.

Most large-volume chemicals are made from petroleum. About 80 million tons of polyethylene are made annually around the world. But high oil prices have increased the costs of petrochemicals. Sugar-cane ethanol production has allowed the industry to drive down costs, making ethanol competitive with fossil fuels.

Dow Chemical is keeping costs down by handling every part of the process, from growing the sugar-cane to producing the polymers. This makes it possible, to provide energy to run the plant with biomass left over from producing sugar from sugar-cane.

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Saving lives with recycled hotel soap

Published on June, 17th, 2011, View comments

Remember the last time you stayed at a hotel? Remember that bar of soap you used to wash your hand once. When you left the hotel probably threw that away. That bar of soap might now be helping poor children fight disease.

Each year, hundreds of millions bars of soap are discarded all around the world. We are throwing away that much soap at the expense of other people who don’t have anything. That might not seem like a big thing, but in some 3rd world counties a bar of soap is the difference between being healthy or being sick.

When people fall sick because they didn’t wash up your hands, it’s more expensive for them to go to the hospital to get treated. That’s where the problem begins and people end up dying.

With the support of his wife, local friends and hotels in Atlanta, USA, Derreck Kayongo began a Global Soap Project in 2009. The big idea is to collect these used bars of soap and send them to 3rd world countries were they are needed.

So far, 300 hotels in America have joined the collection effort, generating 100 tons of soap. Some participating hotels even donate high-end soaps such as Bvlgari, which retails up to $27 for a single bar.

Volunteers across the U.S. collect the hotel soaps and ship them to the Global Soap warehouse in Atlanta, USA. On Saturdays, volunteers gather there to reprocess, clean and package the bars.

The rest of the world should adopt this idea, it’s truly a great cause.

(via CNN)

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