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26 May

In recent years, wearable fitness trackers have surged in popularity, making it the fastest-growing segment in the running gear market. But the devices have their limitations, starting with the fact that they can only estimate the pace of a person’s activity based on steps and GPS tracking. Added to that is the fact that some consumers have complained about allergic reactions to the materials in the tracker bands themselves.

A team of researchers is currently working on a device called a WiGait, which can monitor the stride of a person using wireless signals. Walking speed is important because studies have shown that those who walk at slower paces are more likely to have poor health, including an increased risk of pulmonary and cardiac diseases.

24 May

The friendly skies may get a little rougher. New research is increasingly connecting climate change to the jet stream, which could have a direct impact on airline travel by the last half of the century. Scientists believe that warmer climates could mean more turbulence for passengers and flight crews, especially along transatlantic routes in the Northern Hemisphere. In other words, those flying from North America to Europe may be in for a bumpy ride.

Experts explain that the increase in carbon dioxide concentrations could directly impact the jet stream that crosses the flight corridor, which would not only mean bumpy rides but an overall increase in the cost of fuel and airplane maintenance. But most concerning is the possibility of an increase in severe turbulence, which goes beyond making passengers uncomfortable or nauseous. Severe turbulence has the power to put its victims in the hospital.

22 May

Last Fall, shoe company Nike announced its Ease Challenge, a contest for engineers, innovators, makers, and designers to come up with footwear designs for athletes of all abilities. The goal was to help athletes, including disabled athletes, to secure, put on, or take off their athletic shoes.

Submissions poured in from all over the United States from people with a wide variety of backgrounds. Every entry was given consideration based on factors such as performance, potential for use in different sizes and styles, and ease-of-use for athletes of all stripes.

In a Nike Press releaseJeanine Hayes, Nike’s Chief IP Officer, said, “The entries we received were inventive, creative and solution-orientated. It wasn’t just about designing a new shoe, we wanted a big idea that would accelerate footwear innovation in a way that makes the seemingly impossible possible for athletes of all abilities."

20 May

The all-electric bucket of bolts is priced at $52,000, accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, and can travel up to 80 miles on a single charge. But the most remarkable aspect of the Workhorse pickup truck may be that it is not the product of a Silicon Valley startup or genius factory.

No, Tesla didn't come up with this one. Plus, the vehicle isn't geared at those who would like to boast that they're saving the environment while taking their non-chore-related truck out for a pleasure ride. There's a gas-powered generator available to recharge on the fly for longer trips.

According to PSFK, "The Ohio-based manufacturer Workhorse is most widely known to the general public for making UPS trucks and its electric car hopes to become a more cost-effective electric alternative to complement business fleets around the country."

18 May

All the debate in the world over whether prescription drugs are the answer to human ailments goes for naught if the afflicted can't remember to actually take their medicine.

Pill organizers of various kinds have existed for years now, but even those compartmentalized containers aren't much good if the patient becomes confused about whether they've taken their daily doses or, again, simply forgets the doses are due.

Enter Pillsy, a Bluetooth-equipped pill bottle cap that can remind people to take their medicine, vitamins, or most anything else. The gizmo, which comes as a vitamin or pill bottle cap, retailed for $39 until May 5, when the price was expected to double. It syncs with an app (either iOS or Android) that extracts information about certain drugs from a Food and Drug Administration database.

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