Springwise
Your daily fix of new business ideas Springwise and its network of 17,000 spotters scan the globe for smart new business ideas, delivering instant inspiration to entrepreneurial minds. More at www.springwise.com
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Your daily fix of new business ideas Springwise and its network of 17,000 spotters scan the globe for smart new business ideas, delivering instant inspiration to entrepreneurial minds. More at www.springwise.com
Through app, kids ask questions about politics via text
While general elections in the UK typically receive a moderate voter turnout — usually above 60 percent — there’s still widespread disaffection with politics and voter numbers have been dropping since the 1950s. Young people especially aren’t engaged by political activity in their region and learning about it isn’t mandatory in schools. Now a new campaign in the country is looking to change this with Ask Amy, an app that uses artificial intelligence to provide kids with answers to their questions about politics. READ MORE…
$1 ‘origami’ microscope is made from a single sheet of paper
Citizen science is becoming a more popular past-time thanks to the plummeting cost of complex technologies. We’ve previously seen ideas such as PublicLab’s Infragramturn basic digital cameras into infrared plant analyzers, and now Foldscope wants to make microscopes more accessible with a printable version that can simply be folded into shape. READ MORE…
3D printed reproductions enable gallery visitors to touch and feel precious historical objects
A parent’s worst nightmare during a museum visit can be when kids try to grab the artefacts on display, but ‘no touching’ rules do present a barrier to interaction, making exhibitions less engaging. Dutch designer and art historian Maaike Roozenburg now hopes to change this with her Smart Replicas project, which uses augmented reality and 3D printed reproductions of priceless museum objects to make visits more hands-on. READ MORE…
Robots enable web users to virtually roam London’s Tate art gallery at night
Opening up access to art galleries and museums is certainly a good thing, but for some entry can be too expensive, galleries can be located too far away or the experience can be ruined by bustling tourists. While Google’s Street View Art Projecthas already brought brick and mortar institutions into the digital world by allowing users to virtually walk through its rooms, the UK’s Tate Britain has developed the After Dark scheme, which enables anyone to browse the collection through a robot that moves around the gallery when everyone else has gone home. READ MORE…
Real Detroit graffiti transformed into high end jewelry
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it can often be found in the most unsuspecting of places. In the past, we’ve seen jewelry created out of the shrapnel and scrap metal left behind by landmine explosions in Cambodia, and now Detroit’s Rebel Nell is turning pieces of graffitied wall — considered an eyesore by some — into luxury jewelry pieces, while also helping disadvantaged women. READ MORE…
Smartphone-connected debit card teaches kids how to take care of their finances
Money management isn’t something that’s officially taught in schools, which means many people reach adulthood without really knowing what’s best for their finances. The KidZania Mumbai theme park has previously enabled children to roleplay as bank customers in order to teach them about the real world, and now UK-based Osper is a prepaid debit card for pocket money that gives 8-18 year olds independence while providing parents with tools to track their spending. READ MORE…
Energy-harnessing musical instrument provides power to communities off the grid
There are areas in the world where energy infrastructure is next to nonexistent, meaning that the people living there can’t rely on a consistent source of electricity. In the past, products such as theSOCCKET soccer ball have harnessed energy from human activity when they’re interacted with in order to provide power later on. Now a new project has developed SPARK, a musical instrument that takes a similar approach. READ MORE…
An all-in-one communication and fundraising platform for PTAs

Parent Teacher Organizations are a great idea in theory, but in practice, they can often amount to little more than long paper trails and ineffective disorganization. Our latest spotting — Monday Envelope — is looking to change all of that, and help every PTA realize their potential. READ MORE…
These colorful boxes provide disconnected communities with books, e-readers and tablets
The luxuries enjoyed in the West are often taken for granted, but there are areas of the world where children can’t even gain access to a basic education. In the past, we’ve seen the Mobile Movies project bring cinema experiences to those who’ve never seen a film before, and now Ideas Box is a new scheme that aims to help communities disrupted by war and crises continue to learn with mobile boxes containing educational, creative and cultural resources. READ MORE…
Video chats connect language students with native seniors looking for conversation
Online education is booming thanks to platforms such as Khan Academy, YouTube tutorials and even educational video games such as Koe, which recently crowdfunded on Kickstarter. However, language-learning especially is a skill that’s best acquired by speaking one-on-one with natives on a regular basis. Aiming to facilitate this, a new service in Brazil called Speaking Exchange is enabling students to practise their English through video chats with US seniors in retirement homes, who benefit from regular conversation. READ MORE…
Paper-thin, flexible electronics modules can add tech to any surface
Any complex electronic device is essentially a collection of modules that each perform a particular task, which is why kits that make assembling circuits — such asCircuit Stickers, for example — are becoming popular for those without the knowledge to build them themselves. The latest iteration is Printoo, an Arduino-compatible set of prototyping modules that can be attached to any object to give it various smart capabilities. READ MORE…
Chrome add-on lets users annotate the web
One of the problems of conducting research on the internet, or even partaking in online discussions, is that misinformation can often go unchecked and spreads easily. In the past we’ve seen platforms such as TruthMarket aim to bring to account those making statements in public, and now Factlink enables anyone to add a comment or reference to any piece of text on the web. READ MORE…
Kids’ book teaches young girls to code
Books still play a major part in the development of children’s understanding of the world, of which new digital technologies are most definitely now a part. We recently wrote about MakerBot’s LEO the Maker Prince kids’ book, which teaches readers about 3D printing, and now Hello Ruby is another title — this time designed to appeal to girls — that hopes to get them inspired by the web and programming. READ MORE…
Open-source educational quizzes aim to teach without the teacher
The web has now become a great tool for learning — whether through Wikipedia or YouTube tutorials — but these channels sometimes lack the kind of interactivity of the physical classroom, where teachers can offer encouragement or help children work their way through a math calculation they’re stuck on. Aiming to replicate this, Oppia is a new open-source platform from Google that lets anyone create interactive online learning activities that give feedback at every step. READ MORE…
Free lecture series replaces inane bar conversations with stimulating talks
The web has made higher education-level learning more accessible, and even free, through programs such as MIT and Harvard’s EdX and the nonprofit Khan Academy, but it’s actually inspiring adults to want to learn new skills and knowledge that can be difficult. New York’s Raising The Bar is an event placing 50 lectures in 50 bars across the city, replacing drunken conversation with stimulating talks. READ MORE…