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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
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…
This ring lets blind people read non-Braille books
One of the problems with Braille is that it’s typically printed in specialist books aside from the copies created for sighted people, meaning that those with sight difficulties can’t borrow their friends’ books and need to seek out the bookstores and libraries that cater for them. In the past, we’ve seen projects such as Thailand’sMr. Light and Mr. Dark — which uses special typography to enable the blind and non-blind to read the same book. Now the FingerReader initiative from MIT provides visually impaired readers with a wearable ring that can scan written text and read it out loud. READ MORE…
Waterproof smart band lets lifeguards know your emergency information
Lifeguards will be well aware that in the case of an emergency on the beach or by the pool, time is of the essence. Lives could be saved more frequently if responders had access to the right information to allow them to act more quickly. With this in mind, Safe Mate is a wristband for swimmers and surfers that stores medical and emergency data in case they need assistance. READ MORE…
Offline device stores user passwords and deletes them if it’s tampered with
The information we place online is highly private — ranging from credit card details to personal photos — and yet the average consumer continues to use a single password for their multiple accounts. In order to encourage web users to diversify their security measures, Gilmo is a device that allows them to quickly pull up the password for any account without storing the details online. READ MORE…
Hotel restaurant’s pop-up store lets diners wear what they eat
The hospitality industry is a hotbed of resource waste and unsustainable practices. Bedsheets need washing every night, lights are left on 24/7 for guests coming and going, and leftover food can’t be reused and has to be thrown away. In the past, hotel chains such as UK Marriott have aimed to recycle resources by turning its used bedsheets into the Bed Linen Tote as a memento for customers. Now Marlow Goods has launched a pop-up store at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, which turns meat byproducts from the venue’s restaurant into leather clothes and bags for guests. READ MORE…
Portable, wireless cash register is designed for informal economies
Running a business in environments such as Africa is a completely different challenge than in the Western world thanks to lack of access to electricity and unreliable internet infrastructure. In the past we’ve seen portable devices such as the eChaja enable anyone to sell phone charging facilities wherever they are. Now Nomanini has created a rugged point-of-sale register that can facilitate cash payments for airtime, electricity and insurance. READ MORE…
Add-on turns bike helmets into a lock
Sometimes bike riders just need to drop into a store or café to quickly pick up a coffee or something on their shopping list. Since most stores don’t like riders carry their bikes inside, they either have to risk propping them up with no security or go through the whole process of locking up. Now Belgium-based sportswear company Lazer has developed the Cappuccino Lock, a helmet strap add-on that enables bike owners to use their helmet to quickly lock both. READ MORE…
In France, supermarket turns ugly fruit and veg into own-brand soups and juices

The amount of perfectly edible food that gets thrown away is now well documented, and yet there still aren’t too many options for retailers to ensure they avoid contributing to the problem. We recently wrote about the UK’s Sainsbury’s chain, which is powering one of its outlets entirely from the food waste it produces. Now Intermarché is now turning fruit and veg that’s too ugly to sell into a range of new products. READ MORE…
Smart power adaptors track seniors’ daily routines to make sure they’re ok
The population of the elderly is growing, and along with it the strain on nursing homes. Even if some seniors value the independence of living in their own home, they can still worry about the lack of help if an accident happens. We’ve previously written about Amulyte, a wearable emergency assistance button that helps seniors let family and caregivers know if they’re in trouble, wherever they are. While this could help the elderly lead more active lives, it comes with the price of having to wear it constantly. Evermind is a new system which tracks the seniors’ use of home devices so that relatives can be alerted to breaks in routine. READ MORE…
For premature babies, haptic mattress helps them feel their mother’s heartbeat
Around 15 million premature babies are born every year, and many of those need to spend at least the first weeks of their lives in isolation before they can go home with their parents. However, during this time they lose the vital physical and emotional connection with their mother, who is often limited to one hour of holding time a day. Platforms such as BabyTime, which uses Apple’s FaceTime system to visually connect mothers with their newborns, have previously tried to tackle this disconnection. Now, Babybe is a system that translates mothers’ heartbeats into haptic feedback for the baby inside the ICU. READ MORE…
Sandals for kids grow as they do
Any parent will tell you that kids grow at an alarming rate, meaning that clothes and other products have a ridiculously short lifespan as their bodies and personalities change. Some product developers have attempted to tackle this — takeThe Froc chair or Orbea bike for example. Now a UK design student has created Grow, a pair of sandals that can be adjusted to cater for bigger feet as children get older. READ MORE…
Service taps communities’ unused storage space
In financially unstable times, more people are looking to take advantage of the sharing economy to save money on goods and services they only use occasionally. We recently wrote about Canada’s Kitchen Library, which gives consumers low-cost access to otherwise expensive cooking equipment. For homeowners who can’t afford to use self storage services, there’s now Roost, a peer-to-peer platform that lets them find and rent storage space from others in their neighborhood. READ MORE…
At hotel for cyclists, guests can ride right up to reception
For those who want to see the world by bike, there aren’t actually that many options when they travel — most hotels don’t provide secure facilities for locking them away, and airlines often charge extra for taking them on board. In Japan, Hotel Cycle is hoping to make cyclists feel more welcome, with accommodation designed especially for bike-riding tourists. READ MORE…
Micro beacon stickers turn any object into a smart one
GPS already helps smartphones make sense of the outdoor world, and devices such as iBeacons are enabling indoor spaces such as stores and homes to be connected to mobile devices. For example, San Francisco Airport recently installed beacons to help blind people navigate its Terminal 2. Now Estimote stickers are tiny adhesive beacons that can be attached to any surface to help unconnected objects interact with smartphones. READ MORE…
Like airline food? Service wings it to your door each week
Airline food, especially in economy class, has a bad reputation, although part of its tastelessness can be attributed to the desensitization of the tastebuds at 30,000 feet. Back on the ground, its full flavor can be enjoyed and we’ve even seen Arlanda Foodtrucks offer up airport food on the street. Now Germany’s Air Food One is a subscription service that lets anyone get airline meals delivered to their home once a week. READ MORE…