It’s a good time to ride a bike, especially in England. Bike-sharing abounds in London town. By this time next year, the North-South Cycle Superhighway should be open for business. And Volvo just announced LifePaint, a new spray-on visibility enhancer for cyclists that promises to reduce the number of injuries and deaths associated with roadside bike rides.

Volvo’s retro-reflective temporary paint is only available on a trial basis in the UK. It’s not exactly glow-in-the-dark spray, but it works much like the safety tape and the reflective panels sewn into biking and jogging jackets.

The spray-on reflective paint appears to be a simple rebranding of Albedo100’s Invisible Bright product. LifePaint is a branding partnership between Volvo, creative agency Grey London, and, of course, Albedo100. In other words, it’s possible to get a similar (if not identical) product here in the US. It’s just not branded as LifePaint.

According to the Volvo LifePaint and Albedo100 websites, this spray-on product is designed to be applied to textiles and shoes—everything except leather, and it reportedly has a bit of trouble sticking to nylon and plastic. The paint washes out with laundry detergent. There’s an adhesive mixed in that could irritate sensitive skin, and you’re supposed to spray it from a distance to make sure it comes out of clothing after one wash.

A FAQ on the Albedo100 site says the paint is rainproof as long as it’s applied to dry fabric. It’s laundry detergent, not water, that breaks the bond between the paint’s adhesives and your clothing.

Once the paint is applied, it’s purportedly invisible in daylight unless you shine a bright light directly at it. It’s designed to reflect light back towards its source like reflective safety tape. At night, car headlights will ping off the paint and make anything covered with it look like a glowing blob. It’s easy to see a glowing blob.

If you’re wondering why, if LifePaint is intended for fabrics, there’s a brightly glowing bike in its promotional materials, that’s probably a little bit of misdirection on Volvo’s part. Albedo100 also has more permanent solutions in its stable, including “Permanent Metallic,” which is designed to be sprayed onto bikes, signs, and stenciled patterns. That could be what’s lighting up the bike, rather than LifePaint itself.

For what it’s worth, there another water-soluble version of the paint called “Horse and Pets” that you can spray right onto horses, dogs, cats, and other critters that keep running into the road—or that you want to invite to your next rave.

It’s not clear if LifePaint will ever come to the US, but a 4.6oz can of the Albedo100 Invisible Bright, Horse and Pets, or Permanent Metallic spray goes for $19 stateside, while a 2.3oz can of the Invisible Bright sells for $14. Not the cheapest can of spray paint, but more affordable and versatile than buying a similarly glowing Mission Bicycle Co. Lumen.

Published in NEWS Archives
Thursday, 21 August 2014 15:52

16 Modern & Creative Camper Trailers

What do you do if you are absolutely in love with travel or camping, cannot compromise of your way of living and need your own things for comfortable living? Your own living space, your own amenities and a motor vehicle which has it all, that’s what you call a Camper Trailer.
Whether it is to be used for short leisure activities, vacations or camping or whether you are just interested in having a mobile home for yourself, these camper trailers will kick your senses to new heights!

1. The Rolling Stone
Sustainability and Functionality form the core of this modern and creative camper trailer. It accommodates a minimum two and maximum six people.



camper trailers

Each unit has a small closet, bedroom with a double bed, shower & sink and a toilet. A living room space and a kitchenette and living area can be created in summers and otherwise the open area can also function as a workshop area or theatre.
Energy can be had from two systems: either the wind turbine or the solar panels. Every unit also has a bathtub combination area and a water reservoir on the roof and a grey water treatment facility under the floor of the caravan.

2. The Foldoub Caravan Concept
This camping trailer is all about maximizing available space. It is a very simple concept yet very functional in use and can be towed away to be used whenever needed. It has a bright and bubbly unique design which adds to its appeal.


camping trailer

It offers us plenty of maneuverability options while doubling the available floor space. Three cheers to such innovations!

3. Mehrzeller Caravan
This camper trailer design is a direct reflection of a multi-cellular creation.
Several polygonal structures form this design which is far from being a conventional one. Every unit is custom made by the customers itself, through an online medium, which makes every single unit a unique one.


camper trailer


And inside, every cell performs a different function. No doubt all this makes it such a cool design!

4. The Case Van
This mobile trailer design is the mix of a conventional and a mobile home. It’s a modular mobile home which is extremely functional and yet chic in its looks.


mobile trailers


One of the walls inside will have a touch screen display with internet connectivity to be able to connect to the outside world. The lighting as well as other utilities on the inside are neatly built to fit the walls.

5. Colim Caravan
This camping trailer has its name ‘Colim’ in short for ‘colors of life in motion’, which is a multifunctional vehicle, and can be a small car when you don’t need the RV and a whole RV when you actually need one.


camping trailer

It is geometrically shaped and has a flexible living space with individually applicable multi-functional modules. Equipped with auto technology and modern amenities this RV is a very unique and an intelligent design combination.

6. Bob Villa’s Caravan
This camper trailer is far from the square boxes crowding caravan parks. It looks cool, features whitewall tires and wheel covers, aluminum band and dark windows and a smooth airstream form.


camper trailers

Its modern and sophisticated interior boasts of a bedroom covered by an electronically operated pop up roof above the living area. The bedroom can be accessed through a changeable ladder at the end of the kitchen.

7. Opera Mobile Holiday Home
It is more a mobile designer suite than a pop up camper giving you luxuries and amenities you cannot expect from a mobile home.


mobile trailers

It has features like electrically adjustable beds, teak veranda, water heater, low energy LED floor lighting and a hot air heater.
This is certainly not an affordable option but a must have for those who want a well-appointed mobile home.

8. 252° Living Area
This camp trailer is a concept spaceship house and boasts of being compact yet spacious.


camp trailer

There is a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom and an office in the 252° Living Area which fans out like Japanese fan. Looks like loads of fun!

9. Bob The Caravan
If you love leading a nomadic like then this is one of the best camper trailers. This motorhome trailer is designed for a small family giving them quality living space, literally a home away from home.


motorhome trailer

It fulfills all basic needs of the traveler and is effectively designed for maximum functionality.

10. Westfalia Verdier Solar Powered Camper
This camper trailer can accommodate a family of four, and give the travelers a realistic moving home for all their weird dreams and needs.


camper trailer

It generates electricity to sustain on-board accessories even if the vehicle is not moving. A GPS over the vehicle and an inbuilt installed PC are its other plus points.

11. The T@B Xl
This is not an RV but a uniquely and brilliantly furnished tear drop shaped tow-away camp trailer, measuring 22 feet with AKS safety coupling and AL-KO trailer control system for easy maneuvering abilities.


camp trailer

It is no doubt expensive what with the teak finishing, 23-inch flat screen TV fitted with a CD-DVD player and leather upholstery but a thing certainly worth having.

12. C3 Hotel Cube
This is one of the cool concept camper trailers with the makings of a futuristic model RV.


motorhome trailers

A dual action stove or refrigerator to pull out awning, an electronically controlled glass and other features as such, this camper van seems like the perfect choice for a weekend get away.

13. The Cam Concept Camping Car
This is a heavy duty off road camping vehicle and an ideal choice of a motorhome trailer. It has dual mode wheels with 5 spokes for additional grip to the vehicle.


camping car

The windows can be kept transparent or be made tinted with the touch of a button depending on what you want to do, whether it is enjoying the outside scenery from inside or having some privacy for happy moments. This new camper van design is surely to attract a lot of travel lovers.

14. Earthroamer Xv-Jp
This might not be a very roomy option for a camping trailer but it certainly is a sturdier one.
Unlike normal RV’s which require a ribbon smooth road to move on, this one guarantees going on without flipping on its roof because of its Jeep Wranger Rubicon Unlimited platform.


camping trailer

It has an 80-watt solar panel on the roof to charge the batteries when the vehicle is parked and a 160-amp engine alternator to keep things powered while its on the move.

15. Sylvan Sport’s Go
It boasts of being the most useful piece of outdoor equipment created and looks like a very versatile mobile trailer.



camper van

This camper van conveniently turns into a tent complete with sleeping platforms, entry awning, and various other living configurations for a comfortable on–the-move journey.

16. Compact Caravan Concept
Constant wanderers and campers will prefer this uniquely designed camper trailer because it not only is a fun factor but also gives the traveler a sense of comfort. It is designed to accommodate three people and is very compact in design.


camper van

It not only flaunts a roofed slide out elevated outdoor zone along with pull down seats but also a Mosquito net and other features to give greater flexibility and more freedom to interact with fellow neighbors.


Published in NEWS Archives
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 12:24

Solar FREAKIN' Roadways

Smart streets and solar roadways produce energy for the power-grid
American electrical engineer scott brusaw’s system of solar powered roads. conceived as an initiative to change the face of national highways by re-purposing them with photo-voltaic panels, the idea for ‘solar roadways’ was to introduce smart streets capable of directly inputting energy into ‘the grid’. if realized, the concept could essentially power an entire country with the generated electricity.
now in it’s second prototyping stage, the project has been further developed as a modular photovoltaic (PV) paving system that can withstand the heaviest of trucks – up to 120,000 kilograms. the plan would see the ‘solar road’ panels installed on highways, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, bike paths and even playgrounds.
smart streets and solar roadways produce energy for the power-grid
Parking lot
Phase II Prototype Solar Parking Lot

Pet Friendly!


Snow melt
Snow test - Powered row is snow/ice free.

Artist's rendition of interstate
Graphic design by Sam Cornett

Artist's rendition of downtown Sandpoint, Idaho - Home of Solar Roadways
Graphic design by Sam Cornett

Artist's rendition of downtown Sandpoint sidewalk
Graphic design by Sam Cornett
Published in NEWS Archives
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 11:59

The KiraVan

The KiraVan
For the multi-talented and massively successful Bran Ferren, who is the CEO of tech and design firm Applied Minds, as well as the former President of Research and Development of Walt Disney Imagineering, one of the biggest challenges he's had to face is figuring out how to give his 4-year-old daughter a way to travel the world and gain experience and knowledge while still staying completely safe. His solution? Spending four years and millions of dollars constructing the greatest adventure truck known to man, named the "KiraVan" after his daughter.
The KiraVan, which was adapted from a Mercedes-Benz Unimog, will be the most elaborate exploration vehicle ever made when it finally hits the road later this year. Measuring over 31 feet long and more than 10 feet high with the trailer attached, the KiraVan's Kevlar-reinforced tires are capable of traveling over nearly any terrain, from swampy roads to rock-covered paths to small bodies of water. Even with its tough exterior, the inside of the vehicle is as luxurious as can be, featuring an eco-friendly bathroom, a custom-designed upscale kitchen, a luxe dining area, a high-tech office, and a "penthouse" loft for Kira.
As lavish and high-tech as the adventure truck is, Ferren's motivation behind building it remains simple: out of love for his daughter. Ferren, who is currently 61 years old and will be in his mid-seventies by the time Kira becomes an adult, wants to ensure there's some safe way for his daughter to be able to explore the world. “I’ve loved watching my daughter learn about life,” he says. The KiraVan provides a way for Kira to continue her journey of endless learning, as well as a way for their family of three to cherish their time together on the road.
Published in NEWS Archives
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 11:50

Pigment-Matching Pen

This Pigment-Matching Pen Captures All the Beautiful Colors in the World
If you’ve ever wanted to capture the exact color of something, now you can. The amazing Scribble pen makes it possible to match any pigment you see by using an RGB sensor and a five-color ink cartridge, and it will allow you to translate the beautiful hues of real life onto paper or your digital device.
The top of the Scribble pen has a scanner that will save any consistent color it’s pointed at, and then uses its combination of inks to match what it sees. According to Scribble’s manufacturers, it’s capable of storing 100,000 colors in its internal memory and runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

If you’re strictly a digital illustrator, have no fear. Scribble also makes a stylus with the same capabilities. In addition, there will be an app available for both models that instantly syncs every color that you scan with your mobile device.
The pen is not yet for sale, but is expected to launch on July 7th of this year. You’ll be able to pre-order it via their Kickstarter campaign.
Left: Ink Pen Right: Stylus Pen
Published in NEWS Archives
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 11:44

CreoPop - The 3D Pen

CreoPop 3D Pen Allows You to Draw in the Air Using Light instead of Heat
Drawing is even more fun when you’re working with another dimension. The CreoPop is a 3D drawing pen that allows you to make imaginative and colorful sculptures without the use of melting plastics or heat. Instead, the device creates a chemical reaction with light-sensitive photopolymers. A tiny motor inside of the pen forces gel through a nozzle, and three blue UV lights harden the gel once it reaches the tip. This means that there’s no smelly plastic or a risk of burning yourself - you can even use CreoPop on your skin!
There are a ton of playful possibilities with this pen which makes it fun for artists and non-artists alike. The gel adheres to itself, so you’re able to draw on top of hardened lines or create flat shapes that you can later piece together. It takes approximately 40 minutes to charge the device for two hours of drawing.
Watch the video below to see it in action. CreoPop is currently raising funds via an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.
Published in NEWS Archives
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 08:50

10 Futuristic Musical Instruments

10 Futuristic Musical Instruments
this list of ten futuristic musical instruments takes a closer look to how new mechanisms and interface designs, can impact the way artists create music in the coming years.  The trajectory of future musical instruments is aligned within the intersections of emerging genres of contemporary music and advancements made in analog and digital technologies.
K-Bow becomes the smart bow for string players.
The K-Bow was the recent winner of the Guthman Musical Instrument Competition.  The idea enhances the historically unchanged instruments from the string family and embeds sensors in their bows.  By measuring and transmitting statistics from its movement, the innovative bow can detect how far it is from the bridge, how much it’s being tilted, the amount of hair tension, and the speed and directions of its movement. It parallels the effects pedal for electric guitars. String instrument players now have a gestural component to music playing. For example, shaking the K-Bow or performing special sequences in bow movements can activate digital modulations like echo or reverbs. It is Bluetooth equipped to wirelessly transmit information to special software.  Statistics retrieved from bow movement may eventually create real-time visualizations for symphony concerts of the future.
Reactable merges tangible and digital interfacing for electronic musicians.
The Reactable concept mashes tangible and digital interfaces to create one of the most futuristic instruments available today.  The Reactable was handpicked by world-renowned Icelandic artist Bjork to accompany her on her last tour.  The modular synthesizer is a digital table-top that manipulates sound by having users drag and rotate different physical blocks.  It also becomes a collaborative instrument as up to four players can participate in shaping its sound.  Although the Reactable has been around for some time, it has pioneered the multi-touch gestural interfaces for musical instruments and we will probably see many iterations of this being developed and marketed for mass distribution in the near future.  Electronic musicians that were confined to small rectangular laptop screens are now able to experience music creation to the fullest extent.
BeatBearing takes a DIY approach to mainstream implementation
Unlike the previous Reactable, the BeatBearing is a fully tangible interface that caters towards making electronic music.  Users can compose different rhythms by picking up bearings and placing them into different slots, making for a more engaging and intuitive music-making experience. Designed by musical instrument designer Peter Bennett, he plans to share his idea not through signing a contract with a musical instrument-manufacturer, but by using DIY-site MakeZine to distribute a tutorial for others to make themselves.
The Swarmatron
The Swarmatron, developed by brothers Brian and Leon Dewan, is a purely analogue instrument recently used by industrial musician Trent Reznor for his latest musical effort “How To Destroy Angels.” The Swarmatron uses an analog aesthetic that differentiates itself from its similar-sounding electronic counterparts. Two pitch ribbons and multiple knobs which are the controllers to separate or cluster eight layers of sound. It’s primitive mechanism produces a genuine ambient texture not often found in electronic instruments.
CrudBox harnesses open-source Arduino board for electro-mechanical sound manipulation.
The CrudBox, invented and used by the folks at CrudLabs, creates an interface for an embedded Arduino board.  Arduino is a very successful open-source micro-controller project aimed to be affordable and democratic.  The housing is the controlling interface that harnesses the potential of Arduino’s open source programming – users can configure the output sound through simply programming on an inexpensive board.  CrudLabs aims to explore the juxtaposition between electronic and mechanical sound qualities with this 16-step sequencer.
Songwriting and visual composition intersect with Tenori-On
Songwriting and visual composition intersect with Tenori-On
The Tenori-On was invented by Japanese interactive media artist, Toshio Iwai, to create a device that merges the experience of playing music and drawing pictures.  The futuristic musical instrument features a 16×16 matrix LED grid surrounded by an aluminum frame.  Users can play sounds and create loops by pressing down the LEDs for a certain duration.  The Tenori-On can also join in on synchronized sessions with others with the device, making it a collaborative song-writing experience.  Music legend Jim O’Rourke have composed music with the device.
A UK-based company invested about 8 years and $16 million USD to develop Eigenharp, a state-of-the-art musical instrument. It features 120 keys that are pressure and direction sensitive to provide the utmost control for professional musicians. Built-in sound managing capabilities enables musicians to record, playback, and loop at ease. It incorporates three inputs (the keyboard, mouthpiece, and tap-pad) to make one of the most advanced electronic instruments on the market.
Continuum Keyboard is a seamless digital interface that tracks finger coordinates.
Haken Audio has developed a musical instrument that produces sounds by tracking the x, y, z, coordinates for fingers. With the Continuum Keyboard, musicians can slide their fingers up and down to digitally “pluck” the instrument. Depending on the performer’s playing technique, the device can even accurately resemble the sound of an acoustic instrument. The Continuum Keyboard can also track 16 fingers simultaneously.
The Double-Slided Controller manipulates sound through on-board computer chips and hand movements.
The Double-Slided Controller by Tomas Henriques looks like an electronic trombone. It incorporates two hand controllers embedded with sensors and two slides. The user manipulates the sound by gestural arm and hand movements. An on-board computer chip programmed with music software generates complex sounds from the device.
Square Band is a solar-powered wearable technology that functions as a synthesizer.

The Square Band is a portable square wave synthesizer. It is wearable musical instrument that’s lightweight and straps around the wrist like a watch. The strap is embedded with flexible solar panels and a light sensor. Arm movement and sunlight are the variables that manipulate the electronic synthesizer.  It was designed with the intention of the user wearing it throughout the day and having it ready to play when a spurt of creativity strikes.
Published in NEWS Archives
The human touch: five futuristic controllers reconnecting musicians with machines
There are plenty of controllers out there that allow musicians to control laptops and hardware in the studio and on stage, though some of the most interesting progress with regards to their evolution is coming from the fringes. A perfect example of this is the monome, a custom-built controller that has grown over the past decade to encompass a worldwide community of users and creators, with perhaps its most famous live exponent being Daedelus, who uses it for his own live shows.
We take a look at five of these new instruments developed over the past few years to allow musicians to take more control of their music on stage. Many of these also make the most of the new mobile and touchscreen technology that have become increasingly omnipresent in our lives, making them accessible to more musicians than ever. So if you’re looking for inspiration to unlock your creativity in the studio and get your music heard and seen in new ways, this should be a good place to start.
Beat Surfing
Beat Surfing is described by its creators as an organic MIDI controller builder. It’s available as an iPad app that lets you draw three-dimensional controllers which you can then use via the iPad’s touchscreen interface to control any MIDI-enabled device, be it software, hardware or even certain other apps.
While this isn’t necessarily a new idea, Beat Surfing has really improved on it by making movement the key component of this new controller. Where most touchscreen controllers rely on tapping, Beat Surfing works best when you slide on the iPad’s surface, hence the name. The interactions this creates between instruments and controllers are like nothing ever seen before with physical hardware.
The app is one of the most interesting of its kind in recent years, not least because of how it’s used by its creators, Belgian duo Herrmutt Lobby, who built the app with Yaniv De Ridder and have in the past worked with Cupp Cave, among others. Herrmutt Lobby work fully outside of the grid (like Japanese producer Jealousguy, who we profiled this summer), meaning their music – both recorded and live – isn’t locked to any sort of clock or counter. They designed the app originally as an extension of various controllers they’d been developing for years to allow them to fulfil their own musical ambitions on stage. For those seeking a way to get a real human feel into their music, Beat Surfing is a great place to start.
Herrmutt plays a Cupp Cave Beat Surfing ‘scene’:
Beat Jazz
Onyx Ashanti is an American musician who has travelled the world, notably spending time in London in the early 2000s where he played alongside Basement Jaxx and Soul II Soul. Later he began developing a custom-made instrument and controller called Beat Jazz, which ended up landing him a spot at a TED talk. Following this, the project has now been renamed ‘exo-voice’ and made open-source.
Onyx explains the latest evolution of his invention as “an integrated sonic exploration construct – fully custom software and 3D-printed hardware – whose internal architecture is based on fractal logic.” So essentially anyone can now use Onyx’s tools and work to create their own version of the open-source software and hardware with 3D printing technology.
While Beat Jazz/Exo-voice is arguably a lot more complex than other new instruments, the project’s evolution and its creator’s desire to make it so open are interesting as examples of alternate ways to evolve instruments and live performances. As the video below shows, it certainly beats watching someone twists knobs on an MPD.
2011 Beat Jazz presentation:
AUUG Motion Synth
Augg Motion is a brand new project that aims to make iPhone or iPod touch musical apps more interesting to use in a live or studio setting. Started by Joshua Young, the AUGG Motion synth app allows you to control other audio apps and MIDI-enabled hardware remotely while leaving you free to move instead of being stuck with both hands on your phone or iPod.
It comes with a grip that’s easily attached and has button windows to trigger keys on the screen. The app’s motion sensor converts touch and movement into sound signals which the app transfers to other iOS music apps or external MIDI-enabled devices. It also allows for control of background visuals, which is a nice touch for live performances. As you devise ways of controlling sound through motion you can also save these as presets.
AUGG Motion Synth is still in the early stages and currently seeking funding via Kickstarter, but it already has an online community where people can share presets, ideas and tips. As far as portable app controllers go, this is one of the more interesting and easy-to-use ideas out there and in a way not dissimilar to what Onyx Ashanti has been going for with his own device. Considering how many producers have iPhones, this could easily become quite a normal addition to a portable studio and live setup.
Watch the controller in action:
Polyplayground is an iPad app designed by producer and instrument builder Mike Gao. Based in L.A, Mike has been a part of the local beat-focused scene for years, as well as its turntablist roots. Mike made early forays into app-based instruments back in 2010 with a beatbox-to-MIDI converter called Vocal Beater, an app that enables you to beatbox a drum pattern into your phone and email the corresponding MIDI information to yourself for use with a DAW or hardware.
With the arrival of the iPad, Mike designed Polyplayground to take full advantage of bigger control screens. Much like Herrmutt Lobby with Beat Surfing, Mike created Polyplayground first and foremost as something he could use himself (it has appeared on every one of his recent releases). The app allows you to write and improvise chords and melodies in a simpler, more intuitive way. It has an onboard synth and it can also be synched to your favourite synth via MIDI. Scales are represented by colour regions, making them easier to remember, while progressions can be memorised via a system based on Tetris-like shapes. Harmonic relationships can be mastered through colours and shapes, and you can record chords and play them back to yourself while playing over the top, or even use the app to see what others are playing thus allowing you to improvise without being lost. The iPad’s tilt sensor is also used to control parameters, like a mod wheel on a synth.
Basically if you’ve ever been half decent at Tetris, Polyplayground allows you to take this ‘skill’ and apply it to playing chords and melodies. And considering the convergence of electronic music and video games in the past couple of decades, Mike’s approach is not just logical but also obvious. Mike’s use of the app in his live shows hints at its great potential for visual display and interaction with the crowd. just like any normal instrument.
Polyplayground demonstration:
The last project is perhaps the most ambitious. Developed by a team of Japanese musicians and interactive designers and designed by Funktronic Labs with beat boxer Ryo Fujimoto, aka Humanelectro, SIGMA is very much a futuristic ideal of what instruments could become.
The device comes in the shape of a pair gloves fitted with sensors that track heart rate, muscle movement and finger positioning. The movements and information from the sensors are turned into data that is then converted into audio and visual output.
The core technology behind SIGMA at the moment is the leap motion controller, a new type of user interface that enables very precise tracking of human motions. This technology is at the core of various new projects that open up possibilities for controlling applications via touch and gestures.
As the video below shows, SIGMA isn’t yet aimed at being a consumer device. Certainly the way its creators talk about it implies that they’re most interested in seeing how far they can go with it in a live setting that’s halfway between a live music show and art installation. There’s little doubt that their progress, and that of others using the technology, will at some point become integrated into simpler apps that everyone can use.
SIGMA creators introduce their idea:
Articles from:
Published in NEWS Archives
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 17:25

Manna Machine

The Manna Machine is an ancient astronaut book by George Sassoon and Rodney Dale which concludes that a machine device was given to the Israelites, when they went on their 40 year journey in the Sinai Desert.
The device was said to create manna, which is thought today to actually be a type of algae. It explains how the Israelites survived their 40 year wandering in the Sinai Desert. It is said by Sassoon and Dale that a nuclear reactor used to power the manna machine was stored in the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark was supposed to have powered the machine to run continuously, producing manna for six days. On the 7th day it would be taken apart for cleaning so it could run the following week. This is where Sabbath is thought to come from. The knowledge was preserved within the Jewish Kabbalah that the authors claim to have correctly decoded.
There are many ways of producing food but the efficiency of the process depends upon the product’s position in the food chain.

We may chose to eat meat, if so then we will need a fair sized field for an animal, a cow say, to graze on. When the cow has fattened up we can eat it, however, we may only be able to have one such cow a year on the given field. In that time though, the cow would have munched through a much greater mass of grass than what ended up as meat. So maybe crops are a more effective method.

Instead of the cow we may choose to flood the field and plant rice. This will give us a much better return on our land, not as tasty perhaps, but if it’s a matter of survival then tastiness is not high priority.

Perhaps algae would start to grow in the stagnant pools. If we harvested this then there would be substantially more than what was produced from the rice. Of course no-one wants to eat algae even if it is nutritious.

The cow increased its weight by eating grass, the rice gained its mass from the soil and from the atmosphere while the algae gained all its mass by absorbing the atmosphere. The power which drives the whole system is of course the sun, without which everything would soon wither and die.

For a practical manna machine we need to produce as much food as possible in as small a volume as possible. It follows that such a machine must grow a simple life-form, the simpler the better. The life-form George Sassoon and Rodney Dale based their design on is a single celled plant known as chlorella. It doesn’t have to be chlorella but this plant has shown promising results in experiments.
Once we have the chlorella the next thing we need is a culture tank filled with water. The volume of this tank is determined by the number of people that will be fed by the machine, and by the maximum size that can be carried if it is intended to be portable. There is no way the sun could supply sufficient energy, so a powerful artificial light must be provided, situated in the centre of the tank.
Chlorella Cultivation. Compare these stages with the components of the Ancient of Days
Since the chlorella production  would slow down if there was overcrowding in the tank, the solution should be drawn off and processed continuously, this requires the tank to also be continuously topped up with fresh water. The Israelites (or any other user) cannot simply connect up to the nearest water supply so another solution must be found. The atmosphere can supply water if it can be extracted from the air. A good example of this is if the freezer door’s been left ajar, the ice rapidly builds up even though there is virtually no air flow. Another example, reminiscent of the “dew that distils on the outside part of the skull” is the condensation that forms on an ice cold glass.
So if air is made to pass over a chilled surface (not necessarily 0° Centigrade) then water droplets will be created. This may not be the only method of creating water but at least we know that there is one. For an effective air flow this chilled surface needs to be covered over creating a seal so that the air is forced to flow over, and close to the surface. A good way of doing this is as shown.

What we have at this stage is an illuminated water tank with a constant supply of clean water. It’s still no good at this stage throwing in a shovel full of chlorella and hoping it will grow, it will still need contact with the air. This can be achieved by attaching pipes to the outside of the tank.  The pipes would have to be made from a material porous to gases but not to liquids and preferably shaped to create maximum surface area.
The heat from the light source will make the liquid surrounding it rise, consequently the liquid will be pulled down through the pipes. Inside the tubes the chlorella is able to absorb carbon dioxide and nitrogen while releasing oxygen to the atmosphere.
For now that’s the culture vessel, we need to go on and look at the processing and storage. As with any machine we need a power source, this would have to supply huge quantities of energy - about half a megawatt. There is only one way known that can do this and still be small and portable - that is nuclear power. Nuclear power can be either from fusion (combining atoms) or fission (splitting atoms). Fission is by far the simplest, using uranium. For convenience the reactor is best placed at the rear of the machine. With an exhaust directly above it the enormous heat off the reactor will force the air out by convection, but this air needs to be drawn in from elsewhere. The obvious source is the air from the culture tank, which has already been chilled to remove its moisture.
In order to make the manna the chlorella solution needs to be continuously harvested. We cannot expect the Israelites to eat green sludge so it needs to be processed to be more palatable. The chlorella is rich in cellulose which is great if you want a high fibre diet but that would be wasteful. Instead it is necessary to convert this cellulose to sugar. This can be done by bringing the chlorella into contact with cellulase, a catalyst which will perform the reaction and remain itself unchanged.
The extracted chlorella needs to be dried and broken up and then stored as grains. This will be a staged process beginning with a liquid slurry which is sieved then dried and finally produces a granulated mix.

One large storage tank may seem the obvious choice and the best use of space however, remember the machine will need to be switched off regularly in order to be cleaned. This means an extra day’s manna must be built up to cover this period, so it is easier to ration if the every day manna is kept separate from the extra day’s supply. The capacity of the machine and its volume will determine how long it can run without being cleaned, although there will be a limit due to the speed of contamination (yeast would be especially damaging as this would ruin the entire process).

So there will be two large storage tanks and these will be connected to the final outlet pipe.
To determine the size of the Ancient of Days we need to know how many people depended on it. The Book of Exodus states that 600 thousand people went into the wilderness. This is thought by most to be an exaggeration and I believe the answer lies with the dual meaning of the Hebrew word for “thousand” which can also mean “families”. If it should be translated as 600 families, and an assumption of four people per family, then we have about 3000 Israelites at most.

With this information and by referring to previous experiments George Sassoon and Rodney Dale calculated that the culture tank should be about 5000 litres, so its dimensions would be a couple of metres in each direction. If manna has a density similar to modern bread, and it was produced on a seven day cycle then the storage tanks would hold 2200 litres (that is each tank holds 600 omer rations).

The design of machine shown on this site is about ten feet wide and long and sixteen feet high, giving a perfect fit in the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle. I estimate it will probably require about fifty men to carry it on its 30 ft carrying poles, even if it could have fitted on a cart the vibrations would damage the delicate machinery.
Alternative structure - filter (ether skin) at top, 13 beard parts, 3 eyes and 3 cavities of the brain, and 2 hosts.
Curious Egyptian symbolism - Head of Osiris and the Djed Pillar. Interestingly, these 2 objects are depicted in Egyptian art to the correct scale.
Published in NEWS Archives
Monday, 26 May 2014 14:33

Spirulina Food of the future

Spirulina: Food Of The Future
By Jack Joseph Challem and Renate Lewin
Reprinted with permission, LET'S LIVE Magazine
What is at the bottom of the food chain, yet is one of the most productive "food factories" in the world?
Not grains, not vegetables, not meat, not eggs, and not milk.
Simple, one-celled plants, called algae, are the oldest known makers of food on the planet, and they were here long before creatures left the sea to live on land. To this day, algae and other single-celled organisms, called plankton, form the basis of the food chain, especially in the oceans. Even enormous mammals such as whales live primarily on these simple cells.
Unlike other plants and animals, one-celled organisms don't have complicated bodies and biochemistries to maintain. They are built for one thing: food production. Using light, warmth, water, and minerals, algae devote almost all their energy toward producing protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, amino acids, and other nutrients vital to life.
Consequently, algae are one of the most concentrated food sources on earth. One type of blue-green algae, Spirulina, is making a name for itself as a nutritional supplement, diet food, and sustenance for those who need an inexpensive, quickly grown, and handy food, including everyone from astronauts to Third World villagers.
Spirulina, unlike many other types of algae, can live in brackish, still waters that are not suitable for other uses, such as drinking, fishing, or Irrigation. Spirulina can also live in very warm waters, such as desert lakes and ponds that are too hot to sustain other algae. And, if those ponds should dry up in the desert sun, spirulina transforms into sweet, wafer-like leaves that still provide protein and energy.
Although it is related to sea algae, spirulina is not "ocean-going." It grows in inland waters, and thus can be controlled and farmed just like any other crop. Given sunlight and minerals in the water, spirulina does nothing but produce food and more spirulina plants. Spirulina is so efficient a food producer that it photosynthesizes at a rate of 10 percent sun/food conversion. (In comparison, soybeans can only manage a three percent efficiency rate.)
And spirulina doesn't produce just any kind of food. Ounce for ounce, it provides more complete protein than meat -- about 70 percent compared with 22 percent for beef. In addition, spirulina has little or no fat, except for vital unsaturated fatty acids, and it is one of the few reliable vegetarian sources of the essential vitamin, B-12.
Spirulina is an excellent source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fat associated with heart health. GLA is also found in mother's milk, some cheeses, primrose seed oil, and flax.
Spirulina supplies all eight of the essential amino acids -- those that the body cannot manufacture itself -- plus 10 of the 12 nonessential amino acids. Amino acids are used by the body to build tissue, to maintain nerve and brain cells, and to control mood and energy levels, as well as cellular growth. Because it is especially rich in phenylalanine, an amino acid that energizes the brain and suppresses appetite, spirulina has been used in weight control programs.
Because it grows in mineral-rich brackish water, spirulina is an excellent source of many important minerals, including potassium, calcium, zinc, magnesium, selenium, iron, and phosphorus. It provides these in a naturally "chelated" form bound with amino acids, which is easy to digest and assimilate. Yet spirulina is low in sodium and resists contamination by heavy metals (such as lead and cadmium) when properly cultivated.
Most of the important vitamins, including the B-complex, E, and beta carotene (used by the body to make vitamin A), are concentrated in spirulina. This algae also contains various digestive enzymes, chlorophyll (for bowel health), and pigments that help liver function. Unlike most single-celled algae, including chlorella, spirulina does not have a hard, cellulose wall around its cells, thereby making it easier and quicker to digest.
While spirulina is loaded with all these positive nutrients, it is very low in calories, fats, sugars, and sodium. For example, spirulina is only seven percent fat, and most of that is in the form of beneficial fatty acids that help normalize cholesterol levels in the body. Spirulina's sugar content is only 10 percent, primarily in the form of rhamnose, a complex sugar that does not require insulin for digestion.
Last but not least, the average 500 milligram tablet of spirulina contains only two calories! And most of that is from protein.
Texas A & M University in College Station, Texas, has begun a long-term study to see if spirulina would make a good food for astronauts living in space stations. Obviously, a compact, easily grown, nutrient dense food source is desirable in space, where the room and the facilities to produce food are limited.
The study hopes to determine if spirulina, not just as a supplement but as a major food source, is economical, feasible, and safe. One concern is that spirulina, so rich in protein and amino acids, could raise uric acid levels in the body. In some people, too much uric acid can lead to gout. The study will also explore the effect of high levels of pigments, such as chlorophyll, phycocyanin, and porphyrin, on human physiology. These pigments are present to some extent in all plant foods, but they are not as concentrated as in pure spirulina.
Although modern studies are refining the applications of spirulina, it is not really a new food, but one that is being rediscovered. Spirulina has been a staple in parts of Africa and Mexico for centuries. It is currently one of the most popular dietary supplements in Japan, where it is extensively studied for its beneficial effect on diabetes, ulcers, liver disease, allergies, and cardiac problems.
Archaeologists have even theorized that the ancient Mayan Indians of Guatemala and the Aztecs of Mexico may have used spirulina. In both civilizations, "traditional" sources of high-quality protein (such as meat and milk) were scarce, and farming was difficult, especially for the jungle-dwelling Mayans. Yet these civilizations thrived and were able to support complex social organizations that had nothing to do with food production. How?
When the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in Mexico almost 500 years ago they reported finding the natives enjoying a mysterious green scum that thrived on Lake Texcoco, located near Mexico City. The green scum, called tecuitlatl by the Aztecs, was probably a form of spirulina that is still found on Lake Texcoco. And in Mayan country, archaeologists have found carefully designed ponds and waterways that may have been used as algae-growing ponds. Because the area receives more than 90 inches of rain a year and is in general not suited to agriculture, it is unlikely that the waterways were irrigation projects for traditional field crops.
When Europeans arrived in parts of Africa, they noticed natives were collecting and eating green scum -spirulina -- that grew on stagnant, Inland waters. French and Belgian scientists and engineers developed some of the local spirulina growing and harvesting techniques on Lake Chad for European markets, and they continue to study the feasibility of wide-scale spirulina farming as both a food base for poor villages and as a resource for European health food markets. And during the past 20 years, entrepreneurs in California's inland valleys have experimented with algae ponds to supply high-quality spirulina for the natural foods and supplements market.
Although some Japanese Buddhist monks are said to survive on spirulina and water alone, most of us would use spirulina as a supplement, not a replacement, for a balanced diet.
Dieters can use spirulina to fill in nutritional gaps left by a reduced calorie regimen, and feel safe knowing spirulina is low in fat, sugar, and calories, because it contains such complete nutrition, spirulina helps dieters feel more "satisfied" since their bloodstreams remain richly supplied with protein and vitamins.
Because spirulina contains phenylalanine, it also suppresses the appetite centers in the brain while making the dieter feel more energetic. Too much phenylalanine in over the-counter diet pills can cause headache and hypertension when abused, but the average supplemental dose of spirulina rarely causes such problems. (Check with your doctor if you have phenylketonuria or other medical conditions that could be aggravated by phenylalanine.)
People with reduced appetites, perhaps following surgery or as a result of other illness, may want to use spirulina as a concentrated protein and vitamin supplement so they can safely eat less without compromising nutrition.
Ulcer victims and those with touchy digestion or food intolerances can get nutrients quickly, in a concentrated form and with relative ease of digestion, by using spirulina as a supplement.
Are you pregnant or lactating? Check with your doctor: Spirulina could help you meet your nutritional requirements without over-consuming high-calorie foods.
Because it is high in folic acid, vitamin B-12, vitamin E, and iron, spirulina is a good supplement for menstruating women and people with anemia, although a good overall diet is also necessary to improve anemia.
Spirulina is currently sold as a supplement, not as a replacement for food. For people interested in optimal nutrition from varied sources, spirulina supplements can make sense.
Spirulina is available as tablets or powder. It is sometimes added to diet foods and supplements, although people who don't like a blue-green food that tastes a little grassy may prefer to stick to the tablets. Many people report actually liking the taste once they get used to it, and the blue-green color can certainly perk up an ordinary vegetable dip or muffin mix.
In time, perhaps spirulina-based food "boosters" will be common. And soon, spirulina could become space food while also feeding the hungry people on earth
Published in NEWS Archives
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 18:07

Future Transportation Technology

Over the next decade, the idea of getting to work on time, heading out to the hinterlands for your family vacation or even going to the game will become much easier. Cars will drive themselves along pre-determined routes. Trains will use new magnetic rail systems. And an amazing new “hyperloop” train will speed along at 800 miles per hour.

The best part? These innovations are not just spinning their wheels. They are set to debut within the next 10 years or have already started transporting us.

“New technologies have the potential to make our roads and transit systems safer, greener and more efficient,” Gregory Winfree, the administrator of the Department of Transportation’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration, told “We are working hard to ensure that these technologies can be integrated safely into our existing system.”

“We will need to do something,” said Thilo Koslowski, the lead automotive analyst at research firm Gartner, who studies next-generation transportation, “given that we will continue to see more vehicles on the road but won’t be able to grow infrastructure at the same time. We have to get smarter about using that infrastructure and/or innovate in passenger vehicles and mobility.”

Maglev Trains
Various segments of the passenger compartments on these high-speed maglev trains can be removed as the train passes through the station.
These removable sections can then take passengers to their local destinations while other compartments are lowered in their place.
This method allows the main body of the train to remain in motion, thus conserving energy. In addition, the removable multi-functional compartments could be specially equipped to serve most transportation purposes.
Since military aircraft will be unnecessary in the future, emphasis can be shifted to advancing medical, emergency, service, and transportation vehicles. Here is an example of VTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landing) aircraft with three synchronous turbines, which allow for exceptional maneuverability. These delta-configuration aircraft can be controlled by electrodynamic means eliminating the need for ailerons, elevators, rudders, spoilers, flaps or any other mechanical controls. In addition to providing better maneuverability and aerodynamic qualities, this innovative technology will also serve as an anti-icing system. In the event of an emergency landing fuel will be ejected to prevent fires.
These Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft are designed to lift passengers and freight by the use of ring-vortex air columns. The helicopter in the foreground has a stationary center around which the rotors are propelled by engines at their tips. VTOL aircraft will be propelled by a variety of techniques, from ducted fans to vectored jets. They will be designed to combine the most desirable attributes of fixed winged aircraft, helicopters, and flying platforms. Transcontinental travel will be achieved through advanced aircraft and high-speed mag-lev trains, all integrated in a worldwide transportation system.
The central dome of this airport of the future would contain air terminals, maintenance facilities, service centers, and hotels. The runways are arranged in a radial configuration, which allows airplanes to easily take off into the prevailing winds and to avoid dangerous crosswind landings. Emergency stations are located at the edge of the runways, which are fully equipped with built-in fire fighting equipment and emergency arresting gear.
All of the runways will be equipped with built in sprinkler systems in case of emergency. Passengers will be transported to and from the airport by underground conveyors. Many of the terminals themselves will eventually be constructed underground.
Streamlined cars will provide high-speed, energy efficient, and safe, long-range transportation. Some vehicles will have wheels, while others will eventually be equipped with magnetic levitation or air-floatation capabilities. Most vehicles will be equipped with voice-recognition technology that will allow the passengers to program their destination by voice command.
Self-monitoring systems will tell the vehicles when service is required, and they will be able to transport themselves to service and maintenance facilities. Use of clean, non-polluting electrical energy allows for silent vehicle operation, while proximity-sensor devices linked to automated velocity and breaking systems enhance safety by enabling the vehicles to avoid collisions.
As a secondary safety measure, the entire interior will be equipped with ergonomically designed air bag systems. Within the cities, horizontal, vertical, radial, and circular conveyors will serve most transportation needs.
This modular freighter leaving a city in the sea consists of floating, detachable sections that can be rapidly loaded or unloaded.
The number of sections can be varied depending on the amount of freight to be delivered. When all of the modules are connected, they can be propelled as a single unit.
Then, when the freight arrives at its destination, the selected modules can be disconnected and towed to docks.
Sea craft
Sea craft will be available for recreation, exploration, and other submersible activities. Their hydrodynamic designs will permit high speed, safe and energy efficient travel.
They will provide maximum comfort for the passengers. Their internal construction will include flotation chambers, which will render them practically unsinkable.
They can be self-maintained and fully automated.
  • Autonomous vehicles

    A robotic driver can think faster and smarter than a human driver -- and look in all directions at once. That’s the idea behind autonomous driving, where you take your hands off the wheel and let the car do the driving for you. Ford has already announced a project called Traffic Jam Assist and Cadillac is working on something called Super Cruise that lets the car take over.
    Still, Google is leading the charge. It now uses a fleet of about 24 Lexus RX450h vehicles that have logged a total of about 500,000 miles on California roads. The cars can look for exit ramps, detect buildings, stop suddenly for other cars and change speeds as needed.
    Enderle says there are many prototypes already on the road, especially those being tested by Google in San Francisco. Nevada has already created laws that make them legal to use in cities, including Las Vegas. In fact, Enderle says autonomous driving could appear within two years if it weren’t for some nagging legal issues (such as how to insure them) and public safety concerns.
  • Smart cars

    One way to solve transportation problems in major cities is to make the cars much smaller and smarter. So-called “smart cars” have been around for many years. But there are signs of progress. Many automakers, including BMW and Nissan. already offer compact electric cars. The BMW i3, already available in Europe, can brake automatically when you take your foot off the accelerator, consumes no gasoline and operates for 80-100 miles per charge.
    “I do believe that there is a growing opportunity for new types of vehicles specifically designed for urban areas,” Koslowski said, adding that these cars need more of a “wow” factor and will have to become part of an urban area’s overall plan for better transportation in a city, not just showy small cars for individual drivers.
  • Urban transport pods

    Transport Systems Catapult
    What if you could jump into a moving pod and speed away to another part of the city? That is what the Milton Keynes neighborhood about 45 miles northwest of London is planning. The pods seat one person and move on their own over a pre-described route.
    The idea is that the human operator interacts with the pod using a touchscreen in the windshield. You swipe to select a destination, and you can read the daily news, check your e-mail or even play a video game during the trip. There will be a built-in wireless hotspot to connect your gadgets. The pod operates on its own, showing its current route.
    (Similar pods are already being used in Masdar City in Abu Dhabi and at the London Heathrow airport, but both are used in tightly controlled areas.)
    Jon Beasley, the program director at Transport Systems Catapult who is charged with developing the technology, told the project is an “urban laboratory” where they can test not just the autonomous pods but also how they work in a real public setting.
    “We want to gain familiarity with future transport solutions in one area, to make it easier for industrial collaborators to come together and work together,” he says.


Published in NEWS Archives
Friday, 09 May 2014 19:17

Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind

These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
Some of these sleek, weird houses look like they've been ripped out of the twenty-second century — and some look like they're from the next millennium. Get ready to move into the freaky saucer homes of tomorrow.
Sleeper House or Sculptured House, Genesee Mountain, Colorado (Charles Deaton, 1963)
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
This famous elliptical house was one of the places where Woody Allen took a nostalgic look at the future in his 1973 movie Sleeper.
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
The Steel House, designed by Robert Bruno, Ransom Canyon, Lubbock, Texas built between 1973 and 1996 out of 110 tons of steel.
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
Dupli Casa, designed by J. MAYER H. Architects, Ludwigsburg, Germany, 2008
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
House O, by Jun Igarashi Architects, Tokoro District, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan, 2009
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
House on the Flight of Birds, designed by Bernardo Rodrigues, located in Ribeira Grande, St. Michael Island, The Azores, Portugal, 2010
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
Himmelhaus, designed by Coop Himmelb(l)au, Venice, California
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
A house in Ashdod, Israel, designed by Zahavi Architects, 2012
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
The transparent Villa Kogelhof in Noord-Beveland, The Netherlands, designed by Paul de Ruiter Architects, 2013
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
The Monte Rosa Hütte (Monte Rosa Hut), a mountain hut near Zermatt, Switzerland, designed by Bearth & Deplazes Architekten in 2009. The hut is at an altitude of 9,459 ft (2,883 m).
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
"The prefabricated elements were transported by train to Zermatt and 3,000 helicopter trips were needed to take 35 workers and materials up to the glacier" – according to its Wiki page.
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
These Futuristic Houses Will Blow Your Mind
Published in NEWS Archives
Friday, 09 May 2014 18:59

3D Printers Save the World

Will 3D Printers Save the World?
3D printers have exploded in popularity with promises of reinventing everything from manufacturing to entrepreneurship. While 3D printing has a few detractors and people who point out that it won’t live up to the hype, I believe 3D printing  will actually do more than reinvent the way we design and build things. Ultimately, I believe it will dramatically improve lives in 3rd world countries by empowering everyone to improve their own lives.

This is why re:3D got my attention. They are creating a large format printer designed to work in developing countries that typically lack the infrastructure we take for granted. The company has been accepted into Startup Chile, a program run by the Chilean Government to encourage innovative entrepreneurs to launch businesses in Chile. They have also successfully raised over $100,000 with their Kickstarter campaign. Their goal, to do good while making a profit, is the cornerstone of social entrepreneurship and their mission is to revolutionize the way products are made all over the world.

Social entrepreneurship has long been focused on the Bottom of the Pyramid. This is the term applied to the largest (but poorest) group of people on the planet living off of $2.50 per day (All 4 billion of them). Selling shoes or laundry detergent in developing nations is one thing. Selling an advanced personal factory is quite another.
3D Printing Will Save Lives

The small build area of most consumer grade 3D printers makes it impossible to print truly useful objects for people who lack even the most basic of amenities…like toilets or a rain bucket. These are objects we take for granted that many people only dream of. This is the main reason re:3D is designing a large format printer that could ultimately accept recycled plastics. Landfills are overflowing with plastic and building a “complete solution” designed to take waste and turn it into useful objects has three benefits.

    1 - Most important, allowing a village to print out basic household objects that we take for granted will have a HUGE impact on their lives, health and wellbeing.
    2 - The feed stock will be available for cheap (and possibly free).
    3 - It will reduce waste in places that typically have very little (if any) environmental regulations.
Seriously? How will printing a toilet change the world? According to UNICEF, a lack of toilets is one of the leading causes of juvenile death. When I say “developing nations” I’m not talking about countries that only have basic cable and lack wifi. I’m talking about places where hygiene is still a big issue.
Improving the Local Economy
Affordable 3D printing will also help locals build micro-enterprises to sell products both locally and internationally. While the growing middle class in Chile will easily be able to afford one, a farmer living off of $2.50/day will not. This is where micro-lending becomes important.
In order to overcome this obstacle, the company is considering micro loans to help finance 3D printer purchases. In turn, the owner turned entrepreneur will start selling the wares she printed to finance the purchase. Micro-lending in developing nations has been credited with raising standards of living and empowering women. To date, most micro-lending has been geared toward businesses like goat herding or sewing. Imagine the possibilities when tied with 3D printing using cheap (or free) recycled plastics.
Culture Differences Are Important
Beyond the obvious differences such as lack of infrastructure or language barriers, there is one major (and very important difference)…culture. Failure to understand and work with the local culture will ensure failure. For example, the culture in Chile where re:3D is launching, is very focused on relationships. Who you are is just as important as what you’re selling. People in Chile will take the time to get to know you and will want to share ideas. This can be a huge culture shock to result-oriented Americans who tend to come “blazing in” absolutely convinced they have the right answers.
Developed nations like the United States have a lot of innovative ideas and products that can radically improve lives in the bottom of the pyramid. But these benefits can only take hold if the products are accepted by the community. Entering a market with the right mindset and a willingness to work within the cultural and social norms of that country will go along way in helping that happen.
What do you think?
Do you think 3D printing will change the world? Or is it just hype?


Published in NEWS Archives

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