Incredible Futuristic Ideas That Will Save Cities

Speaking as someone who grew up in the ‘burbs and now lives in the city, the lack of the natural world is noticeable to me, especially through the winter months. It can be a grey, bleak setting in the right conditions that saps your energy and inspiration.

Woe is me.


via Vincent Callebaut

But maybe it doesn’t have to be. Here’s a cool BBC article and gallery on how some new, futuristic ideas can help us save cities (and by extension, ourselves).

Witness a marriage of architecture and technology with some stunning results – everything from floating algae airships to bridges housing homes, offices, parks and retail space to metropolises built on reclaimed wasteland. Sleek, beautiful and functional, I really hope to see some of these concepts implemented in the near future. Or else

Amazing (and Slightly Creepy) Medical Breakthrough

While essential and life-saving, organ donation is an incredibly tricky and difficult procedure. Trust me, I’m a doctor. Kind of.



After an organ is removed from the body, it’s put in a cooler and sent where it’s supposed to go without a second to lose. The time window that organ is still good for is very small (5-10 hours for lungs and only 4-6 hours for hearts), so the entire team involved on both sides of the transport can’t afford a single mistake. This also means that some organs go to waste as the possible transplant recipient is simply too far away.

But maybe not anymore. Innovative medical device company TransMedics wants to change all that. Instead of the current system which uses cool temperatures to slow the organ’s death, they’ve created a system that keeps the organ warm and pumping during transport, greatly increasing its available travel time.



It’s an incredible discovery and a huge step forward in medicine. However, as a movie geek, it also reminds me of this:

Keep reading >

Copenhagen Wheel Makes Biking Smart

It’s kind of funny to think of the bicycle as an unfinished concept, or something that can still be built upon. It’s been around for over a hundred years in more or less the same shape and design (recumbent bikes excepted).

We tried a bunch of things, and this seems to be the way it works best.



American start-up Superpedestrian has teamed up with MIT to think differently, though. While it’s not tampering so much with how the bicycle is largely put together, it’s taking that 100-year-old idea and putting a modern tech-based spin on it with the Copenhagen Wheel.

Keep reading >

Get a 3D Scan of Anything with the Structure Sensor

3D scanners have been around for a while, allowing you to scan an object and receive a 3-dimensional interpretation of the data. These have even been around in trendy, handy dandy ways for a while. But not so handy dandy as this.



Meet the Structure Sensor, a tiny product that’s kind of amazing. Hooking up to an iPad, the Structure Sensor is a light and portable way to map spaces and objects in real-time. The practical applications are astounding – digitize a model for a VG character? No problem. Capture a room’s contours for a big move? Done. Want to show the class what that famous statue looks like to scale? Presto.

If you’re as amazed as I am but bummed out about the surely-exorbitant price on this thing, think again: it pre-orders for $349. Hollaaaaa. has just published a great article on the Structure Sensor covering all the details with several photos. Or, if you just want to cut to the chase, just see the Structure Sensor in action:

Rob Sweere Solves Winter Living in the Wilderness

Despite the calender, winter officially arrived in Toronto these past few days with some wicked winds and a dusting of snow. Mind you, it’s nothing compared to the rest of Canada, but hey – you have to start somewhere.

I guess the cold got into my head because the next thing I know, I’m looking up some awesome mobile pod homes for the Arctic. On skiis. Hells yeah!



Dutch artist Rob Sweere has designed a number of sled habitats that can be transported through cold regions and provide adequate room for 6 to cook, sleep and sit in insulated comfort.

The sledge habitats also come with some cool features like bubble windows for panoramic views and tabletops inside for general horizontal handiness. I feel compelled to also point out that I can’t help but look at these things and just know they’re Dutch. They just are, I mean, look.



Speaking as someone who’s camped out in the arctic tundra in less-than-warm conditions, these would have been completely indispensable for the trek. A little comfort goes a long way.

Check out Rob Sweere’s site for some of his other cool projects he does when he’s not solving cold-weather camping. Now that’s what I call–

Don’t do it…



Get a Unique Perspective with Bublcam

Since Google Street View’s been around, we’ve gotten more used to the idea of 360° photos of a location. And multiple companies like yellowBird (which probably has one of the longest URL addresses known to the Internet with “”) have pioneered 360° video.

But now, in the spirit of progressive technology, there’s a new kid on the block.



Bublcam is a device that does both of these things – HD[R] photos and high-res video – in a new way. Much like how the GoPro brought the ability to showcase intense experiences like surfing, skydiving and zip-lining from first-person perspectives, Bublcam is upping the ante by allowing all of this in 360°. It’s ultra-light, ultra-portable and ultra… round.

Check out Bublcam’s site for an exhaustive list of tech specs, use cases and crazy-cool imagery. In the middle of a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, you can bet you’ll be seeing these spherical suckers in stores soon.

Invisible Bike Helmet

What is it with the Swedish today? They’re a bunch of busy bees – or is it busy bikers?

Let’s face it – you’d rather not wear a bicycle helmet. It makes you look like Toad (in a really unflattering way) and it’s a minor annoyance to carry around, even when it’s not on your head. Let’s not forget that the inconvenience is vastly outweighed by the benefits though – wear a helmet, save your life. Easy… but try telling that to hipsters.



So what if there was a better way? What if there was a way to keep the protection AND the feeling of wind blowing through your hair (or just across your head – we love bald peeps too).



And now there is. Hövding is a Swedish start-up with an amazing idea for cyclists. Ditch the traditional helm and throw on a scarf-like piece of super-tech that bursts into a protective airbag for your head in the event of an emergency. It’s TOO cool.

Check out the official Hövding site for the video, the styles and more details. Ride swift, Sweden. Ride safe.

Live in the Trees like an Elf… Actually

Okay, so almost actually. While Antony Gibbon’s designs are still only concepts, it’s a great look at tree homes that are not only functional and un-damaging, but also aesthetically Middle-Earth-bitchin’.


Antony Gibbon via

Gibbon’s idea for his “Roost” design is to create living spaces above the ground using natural shapes that almost make the structure blend into its environment – indeed, it could almost be some sort of massive bee hive or birds’ nest. The Roosts would be built using sustainable materials and accessible to the forest floor with one spiral staircase for several pods, with each pod being connected by above-structure decks that also provide a view of the surrounding canopy. Holy Lothlórien, Galadriel.

Admittedly, I can think of at least one problem – what happens when the trees used in a structure grow at different rates? Does the design account for this? I’d hate to wake up one morning and find my connection to that spiral staircase splintered and inaccessible.

Still, Gibbon’s design is pretty incredible, and I for one would kill a horde of Orcs for the chance to live in one. What do you think? Does the Roost design appeal to you?

Next Level Smartphone Hack: Turn Your Phone Into a Microscope

YouTube user kmoyoshino has posted this simple and cheap smartphone hack based on this Instructables project.

It’s so easy and cool that Macgyver’s going to get jealous:

Sorry MacGyver, not this time

Sorry MacGyver, not this time

Turning your smartphone into a microscope: awesome! Having it only cost $10: priceless… oh, wait, that might not work. But still, pretty great, right?

Handle Zippers Like a Boss with Magzip

How many of us have been in this situation before?



Too many, too many times. What if I told you you might never have to experience this combination of torture and shame again? What if, using the power of magic and/or technology, you could not only indulge in a streamlined zipper experience, but also do it one-handed?

Welcome to the Magzip, ladies and gentlemen, created my engineer Scott Peters and finally licensed by Under Armour. Using a re-designed clasp and some bitchin’ magnets, the zipper ends fling themselves together and stay close aaaaalll the way up. Time for an amazing gif demo.

Still unconvinced? Just watch this stylish torso model do it in action.

Peeps, welcome to the future.