We’ve just gotten a little bit closer to realizing Professor Farnsworth’s Smell-O-Scope from Futurama. British designer Dominic Wilcox and creative technologist James Rutherford collaborated to create this pair of Binaudios, an awesome device which enables a participant to listen to the sounds of the city.

Located within the Sage Gateshead building, overlooking the River Tyne where it runs through the town of Gateshead in Tyne and Wear, England, the Binaudios can be pointed at over 50 locations, seen out of the building’s floor-to-ceiling windows.

"Turn the giant listening cones toward the football stadium to hear the crowd chanting or to the Tyne Bridge to hear King George V’s speech when he opened the bridge in 1928. Point it toward the park to listen to sounds such as skateboarders and local tennis players.

As the Binaudios are rotated the stereo sounds move from one ear to the other creating a real feeling of listening to the city across the river.”

Click here to experience the Binaudios in a brief video.

Visit Dominic Wilcox’s website to learn more about this interactive aural art project.

[via designboom]

Even the most seasoned cyclists have steep hills they sometimes dread. In the city of Trondheim, Norway, one of those dreaded hills has been turned into a breeze thanks to the awesome Trampe CycloCable, the world’s first bike lift.

Since the prototype was built in 1993, the CycloCable has helped over 200,000 cyclists up the hill. It has also proven to be useful for people pushing strollers or riding scooters.

"Using it is pretty simple: you position your bicycle 10 centimeters away from and parallel to the lift rail, with your left pedal in a lower position. While standing astride your bike, put your left foot on the left bike pedal, and your right foot in the start slot of the lift. Push the green ‘start’ button and it’ll gently haul you up the hill."

Click here to watch a video of the CycloCable in action.

[via WebUrbanist]

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If you’ve ever watched a fireworks show and wondered what it would look like to fly right through them, this video may be the closest you’ll ever (safely) get. It was shot with a GoPro Hero3+ Black edition camera attached to a DJI Phantom quadcopter drone that was flown by a friend of Vimeo user . The music played over this spectacular display is “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” by Arcade Fire.

[via io9]

Did you know that we’ve been in the middle of a Loch Ness Monster sighting drought? Last year marked the first time in almost 90 years that Nessie hadn’t been spotted for an entire year. In fact, there hadn’t been any ‘confirmed sightings’ of the elusive cryptid for 18 months, leading some veteran spotters to voice concern that perhaps the famous monster had finally given up the ghost.

But wait! Something awesome just happened: Two different people, both using Apple Maps, captured screenshots of something measuring approximately 100ft long, with what appear to be two large flippers, powering along just under the surface of the loch. Experts from the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club have been studying the images and Gary Campbell, club president, reports that they’ve been steadily ruling out alternative explanations, leaving it increasingly likely that these images are brand new ‘confirmed sightings’:

‘We’ve been looking at it for a long time trying to work out exactly what it is. It looks like a boat wake, but the boat is missing. You can see some boats moored at the shore, but there isn’t one here. We’ve shown it to boat experts and they don’t know what it is. Whatever this is, it is under the water and heading south, so unless there have been secret submarine trials going on in the loch, the size of the object would make it likely to be Nessie.’

‘Now that we have spies in the skies above Loch Ness, maybe we will get more sightings which will whet the appetite of more down to earth Nessie hunters to come north. Furthermore, the use of satellite technology means that if Nessie is just swimming below the surface like in this case, we can still pick her up.’

Visit Dailymail.co.uk for additional information about this exiting development and the history of Nessie hunting.

[via Geekosystem and Dailymail.co.uk]

This is Moss FM, the world’s first plant-powered radio and “the first working moss-powered object requiring more electricity than an LCD.” It was created by Swiss product designer Fabienne Felder in collaboration with Dr. Paolo Bombelli from the University of Cambridge. Powered by the process of photosynthesis, Moss FM is an example of biophilic design. “Biophilia is a hypothesis that there is an instinctive bond between plant life and human beings.”

According to Felder, “Moss FM makes use of an emerging biophilic technology called Biophotovoltaics. Electrons and protons produced by photosynthesising plants are harnessed and transformed into electrical current.”

Click here to watch the Moss Radio in action. At present the radio can run for a few minutes powered by a battery that is charged exclusively by moss.

You can learn more about Moss FM and Biophotovoltaics here on Tumblr at mosspower.

[via Design Taxi]

We often hear about the incredible variety of vending machines in japan that dispense everything from hot meals and new phones to clean undies, but this is the first time we’ve read about a giant vending machine specifically designed to replace an entire grocery store.

The village of Clifton, Derbyshire, England lost its local shop 14 years ago, which meant that when residents needed something as simple as a pint of milk, they had to drive over two miles simply to reach the nearest supermarket. Local electrical engineer Peter Fox invented this marvelous machine to replace his village’s long-absent convenient store.

The faux brick exterior and awning give the modern automatic shop a traditional feel. “The machine, which contains chiller compartments, stocks essentials such as bread, milk, eggs, toiletries, pet food – and umbrellas. Residents select their items, pay by cash or credit card and take the goods from the dispenser.”

Mr Fox thoughtfully designed the machine so that it can dispense a wide variety of products regardless of their respective weight or delicacy.

"It works by lifting a small basket up to each shelf before a mechanism pushes out the desired product.That way it only has a small distance to travel, preventing milk bottles from bursting or eggs from smashing."

The machine is also linked to a website which allows villagers to check stock availability before they even leave the house. 

Visit Dailymail.co.uk to learn more about this Peter Fox’s awesome automatic shop.

[via Foodbeast and Dailymail.co.uk]

While it’s true that a bunch of ants can ruin a picnic or turn a camping trip into a stinging nightmare, they’re also amazing. The New York Times posted this fascinating video from the Georgia Institute of Technology about researchers studying how groups of fire ants can flow together like a liquid or band together in a solid, rubbery mass. Both of these awesome behaviors may facilitate the development of self-assembling robots and self-healing materials.

For more information about astonishing ant physics, head over to the New York Times.

[via Laughing Squid]

Forget Google Glass, Android Wear, Smartwatches or contact lenses that give you night vision. Instead let’s talk about the awesomeness that is this 17th century Chinese abacus ring. It’s wearable tech from the Qing Dynasty, perhaps the world’s oldest smart ring.
Measuring a mere 1.2 centimeter-long by 0.7 centimeter-wide, the miniature abacus is a fully functional counting tool, but it’s so tiny that using it requires an equally dainty tool, such as a pin, to manipulate the beads, which are each less than one millimeter long.
"However, this is no problem for this abacus’s primary user—the ancient Chinese lady, for she only needs to pick one from her many hairpins."
[via Fashionably Geek and Gizmodo]

Forget Google Glass, Android Wear, Smartwatches or contact lenses that give you night vision. Instead let’s talk about the awesomeness that is this 17th century Chinese abacus ring. It’s wearable tech from the Qing Dynasty, perhaps the world’s oldest smart ring.

Measuring a mere 1.2 centimeter-long by 0.7 centimeter-wide, the miniature abacus is a fully functional counting tool, but it’s so tiny that using it requires an equally dainty tool, such as a pin, to manipulate the beads, which are each less than one millimeter long.

"However, this is no problem for this abacus’s primary user—the ancient Chinese lady, for she only needs to pick one from her many hairpins."

[via Fashionably Geek and Gizmodo]

Today we learned that the reindeer in Finland are magical creatures with luminous antlers. We’re still waiting on confirmation that they can also fly.

Okay, maybe not, but the truth is still pretty awesome. The Finnish Reindeer Herders’ Association is testing a reflective spray on the antlers of 20 reindeer in hopes of preventing their caribou from being struck by motorists at night. Roughly 200,000 reindeer roam the wilds of Lapland. So far reflective tape and road signs have been ineffective in preventing the road deaths of thousands of the animals, so the herders are hoping this spray will be much more effective.

But first they have to see how the animals react to it and find out if it can withstand the harsh Arctic climate. Produced by Swedish company Albedo 100, it’s made of transparent glue and “reflective microspheres”.

"The goal is specifically to prevent road accidents, "Anne Ollila, the association’s executive director, told YLE, the country’s public broadcaster. “The spray is being tried on their fur, but it is maybe more effective on their antlers because the reflection can be seen in every direction.”

We hope it this radiant experiment is a success. Or, failing that, that the reindeer really do learn how to fly.

[via Chris Hauk, CKOM and Strombo]

Here’s an awesome high-tech sweet for geeky valentines. Liz and Kyle von Hasseln of The Sugar Lab (previously featured here) used their ChefJet™ 3D printer to create these beautiful long stemmed chocolate sugar roses for Valentine’s Day.

It took their machine about an hour to produce three 7-inch-long chocolate roses. Although the long slender stems are delicate, the roses are strong enough to be displayed in a vase. According to Liz and Kyle, the roses taste like a rich chocolate cookie. Yum!

[via Cubify]