Category Archives: Tech

Self Cleaning Fish Aquarium

This self cleaning Beta Fish aquarium uses no batteries, filters, or fuss. Using physics alone, the clean water you put in flushes the dirty water out.  You can then use the wastewater to fertilize your plants.  The tanks are made in the US and won Best New Aquatic Product at the Global Pet Expo 2013.

Learn more at The Grommet.

Fight Crime with a Fashionable Hair Clip

first_sign_clip-3The First Sign Hair Clip was designed by Rachel Emanuele as a tool to protect women from violent crime.  The clip can attach to hair or even a purse strap, and then detects through algorithm  if you are being attacked (it knows the difference between a violent attack, a bump on the head, or jogging for instance).  It also has a panic button you can push in case of danger as well.  The included app collects data as evidence such as where you are, records your conversation, notifies authorities that a crime is being committed, and sends out a verbal message saying you have been located and help is on the way (thus possibly scaring away the attacker so no more harm is done, but also gathering information about him for prosecution).

Here’s the background story

You can reserve a clip for yourself or a loved one, and bring this hair clip to market through your contributions to this  Indigogo account.

Thanks to Gizmag for this article on Impact Sensing Hair Clip Helps Fight Violent Crime.

Garden Terrace Apartment Building uses recycled water and solar power

clearpoint-12Here’s an innovative apartment building in Sri Lanka.  It uses recycled water (including rainwater) to water the outdoor plants and flush toilets, and a solar panel to run the lobby lights and other shared resources.

When it’s completed in 2016 it will be the tallest residential vertical garden in the world, with planted terraces circling the entire structure.  The 164 apartments, each with 2300 square-feet of floor space and an open feel, are designed to give residents a sense of ground-level living, as well as privacy and tranquility in a bustling city.

The planted terraces for each apartment will help absorb sound, provide shade, and cleanse the air. They’ll be automatically watered using a drip-irrigation system of rainwater, and along with recycled water to flush toilets, will help to reduce intake from the national water supply by an estimated 45 percent.

Check out this innovative Sri Lankan apartment building here.  Thanks to Gizmag for this article.

inventors create affordable brace to correct clubfoot

What looks like a toy, works like a charm, and corrects clubfoot in children … all for $20?  This new invention by Stanford students is a game changer for the 1 in a thousand children born worldwide with clubfoot each year.  These kids currently wear heavy ill-fitting braces with attached boots that are difficult if not impossible to walk in – that is, IF their parents can afford the $300-$700 price.

These new braces are lightweight, designed to look and feel like a child’s toy, children can stand and walk in them, and they cost $20.  Instead of boots attached permanently to a metal brace, this new technology  features  shoes that can be removed and worn separately, so it’s easier for parents to fit them on wiggly toddlers.

Learn more about this new clubfoot brace and see a video of happy kids using the technology here.

25 year old starts innovative ride-where-you-want bus system

Due to severe Detroit city cutbacks, the bus system didn’t meet the needs of the community.  So 25 year old Andy Didorosi bought a bus and started his own innovative transportation company.  He uses an app that lets riders know exactly when the bus will arrive, creating a new kind of transit system that only runs when and where it’s needed.

Another goal of Mr. Didorosi and his now public/private partnership with The Skillman Foundation, is to get not only people to work, but the elderly and disabled to their appointments, and kids safely to after school programs.  With that in mind, he’s created an online portal to show parents every after school program available for the kids by region, and has worked with these programs to create bus stops convenient to both the kids as well as the programs themselves – and this after school transportation is FREE to the students.  By creating only the routes needed, the savings are nearly 90% of what a traditional transportation system costs!

The Detroit Bus Company runs on bio fuels, technology, and lots of community support.  Read more about this innovative founder and community transportation idea here.

My son is not going to college

Toby dressed as the 'Repair Wizard' at Mac PCx on Halloween 2013

Toby dressed as the ‘Repair Wizard’ at Mac PCx on Halloween 2013

My high school senior is chomping at the bit ready to move on after 14 years of classroom education.  He’s going to high school part time and working part time at a computer store diagnosing and repairing computers.  His past resume includes volunteering at Free Geek where he learned to take apart and put together computers, then trained others to do so.   As a high school sophomore he took computer classes in C++ and other programming languages.  He’s currently studying on his own to get CompTA+ certified, and through a school class learning to write code and design his own website.  He’s been saving up his work money and when he turns 18 plans to purchase professional design software and begin his own software company on the side.

As a parent, I’m getting bombarded at all sides by society telling me my son MUST get a college degree or he’ll never get a living wage job. My son tells me “I know what I want – to work with computers and design computer software.  Why spend 4+ more years in a classroom and be thousands of dollars in debt before I do what I want?”

He’s got a point there.

He says a company should pay to train him in what else they might need because he’s a fast and motivated learner.  He also said that computer technology is growing /changing so fast that what he’d learn in a classroom would be practically obsolete by the time he got out of college, so taking courses now and building on those courses as he works makes more sense than spending his money/time on PE 101 and introduction to Lit classes.  He is studying and problem solving on his own to be on the cutting edge, and expects to be paid for his work (he feels he’s already done the internship route and proved himself).  He is calm about this.  He is focused.  I’m the one freaking out inside.  I’ve heard my whole life “Everyone needs a college education to get a good job”…yet many people in their 20’s  (as well as older adults) who have expensive university educations are looking for work that pays a living wage.

My child has his own vision.  I trust my son and support his wisdom.  And if in a few years he decides that a college education would be beneficial to him, he’ll have the money saved up, or the contacts made, to create a path where he doesn’t have debt.  That’s pretty amazing planning/thinking for a 17 year old.

Make your own prosthetics for less then $10

Using free internet plans, your local 3D printer, and less than $10 for materials you can make your own hand prosthetics (what currently cost $20,000 ready-made).  Here’s what curiosity, collaboration, and a little love can do.