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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
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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
Park benches charge phones and offer local area information
Park benches are typically pedestrian affairs, but they can be redesigned to offer greater practicality. We’ve already seen ideas such as the Water Bench, which enables outdoor seating to double as a water reservoir in drought-affected areas. Now Boston-based Soofa is turning urban furniture into solar-powered information centers and charge points for cities’ public spaces. READ MORE…
SmartWalk projects real-time subway info onto the sidewalk
Printed posters offering public information and transport schedules feel almost unreliable in an age where apps can offer details of up-to-the-minute changes and alerts. We’ve already seen Points embed dynamic displays into street signposts, and now TransitScreen has created SmartWalk, a projected display system that lets cities display the latest transport information on any surface. READ MORE…
‘Methane backpacks’ capture cow farts, turn them into green fuel
It’s common knowledge that certain types of organic waste can be harnessed as energy sources, with UK firm 2OC even recently turning huge greaseballs found in the country’s sewers into power for local homes. Now Argentina’s INTA governmental research body has developed cow backpacks that trap the methane they produce in order to turn it into green energy. READ MORE…
Project leverages Instagram to clean up abandoned bikes on NY streets
We’ve already seen Canada’s Trashswag help document the useable goods that are left on the sidewalk. Now the Dead Pedal NY project is getting residents to document the city’s abandoned bikes via Instagram so authorities can do something about it. READ MORE…
In Belgium, speed camera locations are crowdsourced from citizens
As much as local authorities try to, they aren’t able to stop every single civic infraction because they only have a limited number of eyes on the street. However, smartphones have already enabled councils to crowdsource details of law breaches, through apps such as Parking Mobility that let users log when a driver is using a disabled parking bay without a licence. Now the ikflitsmee campaign in Belgium has encouraged citizens to send in locations where they believe speeding is a problem in order for the police to invest in safety measures. READ MORE…
In Austria, council uses app to crowdsource community issues
Civic authorities can’t be everywhere at once and often rely on citizens to inform them of the improvements that need making. The NYPD already launched its own crowdsourcing crime reports app, and now the Bürgerforum Vorarlberg mobile app is enabling citizens to flag community issues that need addressing by sending photos and text direct to the council. READ MORE…
App keeps citizens informed and engaged about political issues
They say that a week is a long time in politics, which is what makes it so hard for citizens and businesses to track what’s going on in Washington. While FiscalNote already offers information and predictions about new legislative bills for businesses, a new app called iCitizen is now helping voters stay more informed by tracking the issues that matter to them. READ MORE…
Jeans are made by prison inmates
In the UK there are 85,000 prisoners, but only 10,000 of them are doing valuable work with their time. In order to change this, Gaolhouse Denim is now collaborating with a number of British inmates, giving them meaningful, paid work while also creating premium jeans for consumers. READ MORE…
Public urinals harness pee to grow food
How much use is a city-load of urine? Quite a lot, it turns out. So much so that the Netherlands’ Waternet utilities company has placed some pee-collecting urinals in Amsterdam, with the hope of turning it into fertilizer for the city’s urban roof gardens. READ MORE…
Multi-use city square built to collect floodwater
Thanks to its proximity to the sea, the flat nature of its topography and high levels of precipitation, the Netherlands is a country that is prone to flooding. When rainfall hits cities such as Rotterdam, it can cause closed roads and ruined basements due to the lack of drainage. Aiming to tackle this problem, Watersquare Benthemplein is a public space featuring a sports pitch, theater and greenery that automatically becomes a reservoir for excess water during heavy rain. READ MORE…
In Peru, beach cleanup scheme helps disadvantaged people become entrepreneurs
The ocean is full of waste produced by humans, and beaches often end up collecting the debris that washes ashore, which is unsightly and potentially deadly to marine animals. While cleanup initiatives have the obvious benefit of ridding trash from coastlines, the recyclable waste can also be used for creating products and opportunities. In the past we’ve seen schemes in the UK develop the Sea Chair — a stool made entirely of trash trawled from the ocean — and now Plastic Bank is enabling those participating in beach cleanups in Peru to exchange their help for training, micro-loans and access to 3D printing facilities. READ MORE…
Electronic tags deliver real time patient data to responders during disasters
During emergency relief efforts, a common tactic among responders is the practice of triage, which involves placing color-coded tags onto patients to determine the severity of their injury and allow medical help to be distributed more efficiently. Now the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology has developed eTriage, a digital wristband system that lets emergency services track injured citizens on the ground. READ MORE…
Interactive map helps patients find the fastest emergency healthcare
Waiting is an activity that most people receiving healthcare have acutely experienced, whether it’s being put on a list for treatment or simply passing time before a GP visit. Cutting waiting time is something that can drastically improve patients’ experience, and in the past we’ve seen ideas such as HealthSpot use telemedicine to deliver healthcare advice remotely. For accidents and emergencies that require more hands-on attention however, a new platform called ER Wait Watcher enables users to determine which nearby hospital is likely to see them first. READ MORE…
App makes parking tickets go away with a snap
Outsourcing painful tasks has been made infinitely easier with smartphones, especially through snap-and-send apps such as PaperKarma — which identifies junk mail and automatically unsubscribes users. Working on a similar concept, Fixed enables users to simply take a photo of their parking tickets and have them challenged in court by an expert team. READ MORE…
Army camo changes color with the seasons
Reactive clothing has a number of useful applications and we recently wrote about Germany’s Fraunhofer Research Institution, which has developed color-changing gloves that warn wearers when they’ve come into contact with a hazardous substance. Now Cabela’s ColorPhase camouflage is using similar technology to enable soldiers’ uniforms to dynamically match their surroundings throughout the year. READ MORE…