Dyson unveils futuristic headphones that double as air purifier

Dyson has created a pair of headphones that also includes an air-purifying visor designed to help people avoid polluted air in cities

By Anthony Cuthbertson

DYSON ZONE PROTECTS FROM BOTH AIR AND NOISE POLLUTION 

Dyson has unveiled its first ever wearable, which serves as both noise-cancelling headphones and and air purifier.

The Dyson Zone delivers filtered air through a face visor and is designed to help wearers avoid breathing polluted air in urban environments.

The UK firm cited World Health Organisation (WHO) figures estimating nine in 10 people globally breathe air that exceeds its guidelines on pollutant limits, while around 100 million people in Europe are said to be exposed to long-term noise exposure above its recommended level.

The headphones are the result of six years’ development and more than 500 prototypes, Dyson said.

Compressors in each ear draw air through built-in filters and project two streams of purified air to the wearer’s nose and mouth through the visor.

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WE NOW HAVE THE FIRST EVER GRAPHENE HEADPHONES

The Ora GQ headphones by Ora Sound uses a membrane made of a patented material called GrapheneQ. 

By PRATEEK JOSE

Graphene has, despite the odds, lived up to its hype. The carbon compound has made everything from solar-powered artificial skin to safer condoms a reality. Now it has been tapped to reinvent the world of high-performance audio by Ora Sound, who have created the first ever graphene headphones, the Ora GQ. The Montreal-based company’s pitch has been a hit on Kickstarter, where they have raised $270,000 with contributions from over a thousand backers.

So the obvious question that comes to mind is, “Why graphene?” And the answer has everything to do with the material’s properties, which make it 200 hundred times sturdier than steel and lighter than paper by 1000 times. The latter makes it possible to create extremely thin graphene membranes, which Ora has patented under the name GrapheneQ. The GrapheneQ diaphragms that are used on the Ora GQ headphones lend it a high level of fidelity, resulting in improved sound quality compared to standard mylar membranes.

And it doesn’t end there. The benefits of using graphene include an extended frequency response, lower distortion, and more efficient heat dissipation as a result of the ability to direct heat away from the headphone’s voice coil. They also claim a 70 percent increase in battery efficiency, which would mean having to plug them in much less often. The company has put the device through third party tests, and the results are available on their Kickstarter page with a bunch of graphs and measurements.

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Honda Just Invented a Self-Balancing Motorcycle That Never Falls Over

The Honda Riding Assist concept motorcycle keeps itself upright at a stop or during low-speed maneuvers.

BY BOB SOROKANICH

Dropping your bike at a stop sign or during a low-speed maneuver is the fear of any new motorcyclist. It’s easy enough to keep your bike upright at speed, but sneaking through a parking lot, all that mass is dying to tumble. Honda seems to have the perfect solution, with a new concept bike that can balance itself either during a low-speed crawl or when stopped completely.

Honda Riding Assist was first demonstrated today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The system is brilliantly simple: When engaged, the system increases the fork angle, lengthening the bike’s wheelbase and, apparently, disconnecting the front forks from the handlebars. The system then uses minute steering inputs to keep the bike perfectly balanced, without the use of heavy gyroscopes or other mass-shifting devices. The concept bike Honda built to demonstrate the tech can even silently propel itself along, following its owner through a hallway like an obedient puppy. 

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OpenSeed Meditation Pod creative escape gives you a calm space at work

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The OpenSeed Meditation Pod creative escape provides a room at work you didn’t know you needed: a place of calm.

More than just a space to retreat, this pod also integrates sound, meditation, essential oils, light, and technology. Sure, it’s nice to get away from the hustle and bustle for a moment and recharge, but that’s not all this is about.

In fact, because of all the integrations in this workspace escape, you’ll have access to higher states of awareness and creativity, which will improve your effectiveness.

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This coffee table’s sliding indoor garden is the ultimate millennial-friendly plant parenting hack

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Home gardening is difficult enough as it is, but it gets even trickier when you live in small city quarters. With city living’s and home gardening’s popularity rising in recent years, those of us who live in apartment complexes might feel discouraged from starting home garden projects – they’re messy and time-consuming, not to mention that a lot of space is usually a prerequisite. That’s why SOLE was created. SOLE, a home gardening system, poses first as a small coffee table only to reveal a hidden, self-maintained, miniature garden for city dwellers who want to fill their homes up with some natural greens, but not the fuss that typically comes with them.

More people are moving into cities, which means that access to home gardening is decreasing since natural light is harder to come by and smaller apartment spaces, like efficiency studios, are preferred. Thankfully, SOLE’s coffee table was designed to take up as little space as possible in order to fit into even the smallest of studios. Indoor urban gardening is usually practiced by using grow box containers that require a lot of window ledge space and natural sunlight – both of which can be hard to come by in city apartment searches. In order to make home gardening possible in any city-living space, SOLE maintains the perfect climate, temperature, and nutrients for you and your chosen plants so long as they fit inside the coffee table’s extensive body. While researching the influence of temperature, exposure time, intensity, color from visible light, along with the distance and angle of light distribution, the designers behind SOLE decided to incorporate a lighting system that would enhance plant growth by imitating the effect the sun’s rays have on indoor plants.

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3D printing for residential in market-ready: Germany’s first building is under construction

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The first 3D printed residential building in Germany, built by PERI GmbH, and designed by MENSE-KORTE ingenieure+architekten is undergoing construction in Beckum, North Rhine-Westphalia. The two-story printed detached house with approx. 80 sqm of living space per floor is using a system put into practice in Germany for the first time. In fact, the construction technique has come through all of the regulatory approval processes over the last few weeks and months.

3D printing technology for residential construction is now market-ready. Part of North Rhine-Westphalia’s “Innovatives Bauen” or innovative construction development scheme, the first residential 3D printed building is under construction in Germany. In collaboration with Schießl Gehlen Sodeikat, the Technical University of Munich, and MENSE-KORTE ingenieure+architekten, the two-story house is being built for the client Hous3Druck GmbH. A milestone for 3D construction printing technology, the construction of the 3D-printed residential building in Beckum, has engendered other residential printing projects to be drawn up in Germany, according to Thomas Imbacher, Innovation & Marketing Director at PERI GmbH.

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This extremely slippery VR treadmill could be your next home gym

The Virtuix Omni One is supposed to ship next year

Virtual reality startup Virtuix is building a VR treadmill for your home. The Omni One is an elaborate full-body controller that lets you physically run, jump, and crouch in place. Following an earlier business- and arcade-focused device, it’s supposed to ship in mid-2021 for $1,995, and Virtuix is announcing the product with a crowdfunding investment campaign.

The crowdfunded Virtuix Omni started development in 2013. It’s not a traditional treadmill — it’s a low-friction platform that’s used with special low-friction shows or shoe covers and a harness. (You may remember the overall VR treadmill concept from Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One.) As an Omni One prototype video demonstrates, the device basically holds you in place while your feet slide across the platform, and that movement gets translated into a VR environment. We’ve tried earlier iterations of the Omni, and it’s an awkward yet fascinating experience.

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This vegan leather made from cactus is a genuinely green alternative

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This is Desserto by Adriano Di Marti, a vegan leather made from cactus that is an eco and animal-friendly alternative to animal leather or synthetic leather. Like the aforementioned leathers, Desserto has competitive features, such as elasticity and it’s also customizable and breathable. It’s also biodegradable, flexible, non-toxic, and doesn’t stain.

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Electric Brand’s eBussy modular electric van can turn into 10 different vehicles

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Sucks to suck, Optimus Prime.

When it comes time to buy a new vehicle, you usually need to make some choices. Are you looking for a sedan, an SUV, a minivan? If you’ve committed to a pickup truck, you can’t later turn it into a sports car. Which sucks, because most of us use our vehicles for many different purposes, and it’d be great if you could just swap out parts depending on your plans.

That’s one of the driving ideas behind the eBussy, an electric microbus concept from a German company called Electric Brands. The (sigh, unfortunately named) eBussy sports a retro-cute exterior evoking the swinging ‘60s, and a battery that promises a range of 124 miles on a charge. (You can also configure it with a larger battery for about 373 miles worth of driving range.) Roof-mounted solar panels help recharge while you’re driving, and regenerative braking can extend the range.

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Zin Boats reinvents the electric speedboat in a bid to become the Tesla of the sea

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The automotive industry is knee deep in the vast transition to electric, but one place where gas is still going strong is out on the water. Seattle startup Zin Boats wants to start what you might call a sea change by showing, as Tesla did with cars, that an electric boat can be not just better for the planet, but better in almost every other way as well.

With a minimalist design like a silver bullet, built almost entirely from carbon fiber, the 20-foot Z2R is less than half the weight of comparable craft, letting it take off like a shot and handle easily, while also traveling a hundred miles on a charge — and you can fill the “tank” for about five bucks in an hour or so.

Waiting for the other shoe to drop? Well, it ain’t cheap. But then, few boats are.

Piotr Zin, the company’s namesake, has been designing racing sailboats for 20 years, while working in industrial design at BMW, GM and other major companies. Soon after settling down on a houseboat on Seattle’s Lake Union, he realized that the waterways he had enjoyed his whole life might not exist for the next generation.

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Samsung’s automatic dry cleaning wardrobe removes 99% bacteria and is finally on sale!

What is your most hated chore in quarantine? I think its a tie between doing the dishes and laundry. For me, it is definitely laundry just because it takes longer and is so much more tedious! And while folding my clothes I think about Samsung’s AirDresser – an innovative wardrobe designed to steam, deodorize and sanitize clothes without putting them through a washer-dryer cycle.

Traditional laundry machine cycles can potentially damage clothes (how many of us even know the right settings for our loads?) and ever since the pandemic took over our lives we are doing laundry more often to stay safe – this is bound to wear them out 5x faster than usual. The Samsung AirDresser is here to save the day! Its sleek build is similar to a tall, thin fridge and can seamlessly blend in any room. The AirDresser uses a combination of steaming and heat-pump powered drying, and you won’t even have to plumb it in says Samsung. “That’s because, rather than a water connection like a traditional washer would require, the AirDresser relies on a refillable water tank at the bottom of the cabinet. It means it can be installed pretty much anywhere with a regular 120V outlet,” explains the team.

The wardrobe has space for six hanging garments and includes a set of weighted hangers for helping pull the wrinkles out of pants. The AirDresser is safe to use for suits, woolen clothes, knits, down, fur, leather, and denim making it super versatile and functional. Samsung also mentions that it is good to be used to clean babywear (definitely a lot of cycles there!), toys, and even bedding. I think the bedding bit is so important because traditional washer-dryer ties my bedsheet into such knots and we all know ‘entanglements’ aren’t good (right, Smiths?). It also saves water and makes it easier for the elderly to do their laundry!

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Proteus becomes the world’s first manufactured non-cuttable material

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That’s as far as an angle grinder made it through this Proteus non-cuttable bar

Researchers from the UK’s Durham University and Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute claim they’ve come up with the world’s first manufactured non-cuttable material, just 15 percent the density of steel, which they say could make for indestructible bike locks and lightweight armor.

The material, named Proteus, uses ceramic spheres in a cellular aluminum structure to foil angle grinders, drills and the like by creating destructive vibrations that blunt any cutting tools used against it. The researchers took inspiration from the tough, cellular skin of grapefruit and the hard, fracture-resistant aragonite shells of molluscs in their creation of the Proteus design.

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