A unique combination of spider silk and wood fiber discovered by researchers at Aalto University and VTT could hold the solution to the age-old material engineering challenge of achieving strength and extensibility at the same time.
Back in Black: MIT “Accidentally” Invents the Blackest Material in Existence
Last week a team of MIT engineers reported that they’d created a material that absorbs 99.995 percent of light — making it even blacker than the already mind-bending Vantablack.
Biophilic Design Benefits Students, Even in Schools with Tight Budgets
Long before the term ‘biophilia’ entered the scientific lexicon in the 1970s, it served as an innate design practice. In Hellenistic Greek and Roman architecture, open-air courtyards functioned as the center of the home, providing a calming respite with fresh air, natural light, and views of nature. Though few homes today are built around secluded outdoor oases, biophilic elements enable designers to create similarly stimulating and restorative spaces in built environments, ultimately improving the health and wellness of those within them.
Airpods may be the hottest headphones around now, but in the future, Frog Design believes isolating individual audio experiences will fall by the wayside. Instead, consumers will want headphones that support augmented audio experiences without disrupting their real-world communications.
Is the Age of the Airship on the Horizon Again?
The age ocean-crossing zeppelins ended in the 1930s, but new advances in technology are positioning the old-school airships for a modern comeback. Driven by environmental concerns, Lockheed Martin's hybrid airship could offer a more sustainable solution to commercial shipping.
Scientists Turn to Soap and Detergent in Quest for Battery Alternatives
As the demand for energy storage grows, given our increasing reliance on technology, scientists say inexpensive products, like soap and detergent, have properties that could help create alternatives to lithium-ion batteries.
Would you enjoy doing laundry more if your washing machine played music? Some companies are hoping the answer yes, as they strive to create user experiences that strengthen brand loyalty.
Facebook Wants to Read your Mind
Although it may seem like it, Facebook can’t yet read your thoughts, but the company’s Research Lab is making progress into getting inside your brain using infrared. In collaboration with the University of California in San Francisco, Facebook has run recent experiments analyzing brain activity in real-time.
Colgate Jumps on the Eco Train with Reimagined Toothpaste Packaging
The new design will be fully recyclable, reusable, or compostable, as compared to the current tube that is not accepted by most recycling facilities.
It looks like Nestlé and Unilever have swallowed the climate change Kool-Aid. On top of their commitment to develop reusable packing with TerraCycle, they are now a part of the Sustainable Food Policy Alliance. Through this Alliance they are pressuring the U.S. government to double down on Paris Climate Accord-like plans such as a carbon tax and clean energy development. Jokes on them, though—this administration doesn't believe in climate change! They do, however, believe in acquiescing to Big Business so there could be hope!
Tezuka Architects Designs Super-Cute, Bubbly Nursery School
In Fuji City, Japan, Tezuka Architects have built what is quite possibly one of the cutest and most wholesome nursery schools, ever. The Muku Nursery is comprised of a series of round timber structures that when viewed from above look like bubbles or parasols. Inside, the rooms are open and are drenched in natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows that wrap around the structures.
Burger King Will Give You A Free Whopper In Exchange For Virtual Arson
Who says crime doesn't pay deliciously? In Brazil, Burger King will give you a coupon for a free whopper if you use their app to burn rival fast-food chains' advertisements in augmented reality. The campaign is tied to the launch of Burger King's mobile payment technology.
SETI is gearing up to release a brand-new mixtape out into the cosmos, following their deployment of the Golden Record 40 years ago. This mixtape, called EARTHLING, will feature crowdsourced human voices, contributions from professional and amateur musicians, and an app that will allow anyone with a smartphone to capture sounds and mix them into a musical contribution. EARTHLING was revealed at this year's SXSW and is helmed by Felipe Perez Santiago, a composer and SETI's artist-in-residence.
New Algorithm Turns Doodles Into Hyper-Real Imagery In Seconds
MS Paint may be gone, but there's a souped up, soon-to-be-released tool out there waiting to take its place. This new tool, called GauGAN, can transform simple computer doodles into breathtaking photo-real images in real time. GauGAN even comes with different filters that adjust for time of day and style of painting, meaning someone could turn a simple doodle into a beautiful Impressionist sunset picture.
New 3-D Printer Uses Light to Create Bespoke Objects In Just 2 Minutes
It's called the Replicator and it could very well be the future of 3-D printing. Inspired by both Star Trek and CT scanners, the Replicator projects a video of a 3-D image into a synthetic resin that solidifies under certain intensities of light. The result is a super smooth, bespoke object. Right now the Replicator can only print things at the centimeter scale, but the possibilities once it is scaled up could be astounding.