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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
Restaurant teaches customers sign language to relay their order to its deaf staff
The problem with sign languages is that — although they give those with hearing difficulties a way to express themselves — non-deaf people often don’t learn it and therefore can’t understand it. While it’s not the first of its kind in the world — we’ve already written about the Atfaluna charity’s restaurant in Palestine — Canada’s Signs Restaurant is now hoping to get all of its customers to sign by printing ASL instructions next to each menu item. READ MORE…
Fire detector for tightly-packed slums alerts at-risk neighbors
In an average-sized home, a smoke detector is useful for sensing the presence of a fire while distinguishing dangerous heat from cooking. However, in the shacks found in the slums of South Africa, for example, ovens aren’t used and standard devices aren’t as suitable for determining real threat. The country’s Khusela startup has now developed a smart detector specifically for shacks, which enable community-wide warnings in the event of a fire. READ MORE…
Micro meal recommendations help drop calories and fight national hunger
Many people in the US are looking for ways in which they can lose weight at the same time that others struggle to get access to or afford food. Schemes such as Halfsieshave already joined the two together with half-size restaurant portions matched with donations to charity. Now FoodTweeks is an app that gives users small suggestions to tweak their diet, with each calorie cut rewarded with support for local food banks. READ MORE…
Software testing firm only hires workers with autism
While most companies will only accept the talent that’s the best fit for their business, this policy can occasionally be exclusive of workers with the right skills but personalities or histories that can leave a negative impression on employers. We recently wrote about the Tihar Food Court, which recruits local prisoners to prepare them for reintegration into society. Now ULTRA Testing, a debugging company out of MIT, has introduced a policy that gives those on the autism spectrum a chance to apply their talent. READ MORE…
3D printed kids’ books enable blind readers to visualize the story
We’ve already seen how on-demand 3D printing can turn simple web searches into a tactile experience for the visually impaired through Yahoo! Japan’s Hands On Search. Now the Tactile Picture Books Project is using the technology to help blind readers use their hands to get more from illustrated narratives. READ MORE…
Service enables Thailand visitors to take home a rescue dog
Those who have visited Thailand will know that it’s common to see stray dogs roaming the streets. The country has a huge problem with homeless animals, and there are over 120,000 street dogs in Bangkok alone. In order to help deal with this burden, animal charity Soi Dog has now launched a scheme to encourage overseas visitors to adopt a stray by taking it home on their return flight. 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…
In Singapore, mobile customers can donate unused 4G to good causes
While smartphones have become an indispensable part of many people’s lives, the monthly tariffs attached to them are often overpriced and limited to a few options that leave customers with excess data or calls each month. In the past, Korea-based mobile operator T’s LTE Data Gift scheme has let those with unused data donate it to family members and friends, and now Singapore operator StarHub has launched the #4Good campaign, which enables customers to give it to projects using technology for positive causes. READ MORE…
Zoo Jeans are ‘designed’ by lions, tigers and bears
Regular readers of Springwise may remember our recent coverage of Gaolhouse Denim, the social scheme that provides prison inmates with tailoring skills by getting them to create premium jeans for consumers. Now another charitable cause has developed Zoo Jeans, created with fabric that’s pre-ripped and chewed by dangerous animals before being fashioned into a pair of trousers. 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…
Shopping bag encourages consumers to donate clothing each time they buy a new outfit
It’s often the case that a perfectly good item of clothing can sit at the back of the wardrobe even when its owner knows they’ll never wear it again. In the past we’ve seen campaigns to remind fashion fans of the out-of-style apparel they own and could give away to charity. Now Swedish label Uniforms for the Dedicated has introduced The Rag_Bag, a shopping bag that can be turned inside out to become an envelope to send old clothes to those who need them. READ MORE…
App lets the infirm crowdsource help with daily tasks

Falling seriously ill can be a tough thing to go through, and to make matters worse, all of the daily chores still need doing but are much more difficult to complete. While ideas such as Bffl Bags have intended to provide cancer patients with the comforts to help them get through their hospital stays, STANDWITH is a new app that enables caregivers to tap patients’ friends and family to help with everyday chores. 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…
In Portugal, The Walking Dead store makes customers pay with their own blood
Cash isn’t the only currency that stores can accept in return for their goods — in the past we’ve seen South Africa’s The Exchange let only customers who pledge to sign up as an organ donor walk away with its products. In a similar fashion, Portugal’s The Walking Dead Blood Store is now getting fans to give blood in order to win merchandise from the series. READ MORE…
Book that teaches safe water habits doubles as a water filter
Lack of access to clean water is a massive global problem, especially because many of those affected end up drinking unsafe water and don’t realize it’s bad for them. The University of Virginia has previously made efforts to help with its PureMadi filter, which can be made from raw materials by the communities that use them. Now researchers at the institution are involved in the creation of The Drinkable Book, a manual that contains details of how to avoid unsafe water, with pages that can also be used to kill waterborne diseases. READ MORE…