Bright Ideas

iHome: Apple Files Patent for Futuristic Home Automation System

iHome: Apple Files Patent for Futuristic Home Automation System

Is the fully automated iHome of the future on the horizon? It just might be - Apple recently filed a patent for a new intelligent home automation ecosystem that could seamlessly connect all the gadgets in

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Shreddies Fart-Filtering Undies Eliminate That Awkward Elevator Moment

Shreddies Fart-Filtering Undies Eliminate That Awkward Elevator Moment

Maybe you're lactose-intolerant but yogurt was the only breakfast option. Maybe you had Indian food for lunch. Either way, you may find yourself trapped in a cab, cubicle, or even worse, elevator with a

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Science Fiction Novelist Plans World’s Tallest Skyscraper to Launch Rockets into Space

Science Fiction Novelist Plans World’s Tallest Skyscraper to Launch Rockets into Space

Could space travel be just an elevator ride away? Science fiction author Neal Stephenson is teaming up with Arizona State University scientists and engineers to develop a concept for the tallest tower on

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Innovative Birth Simulator Device Trains Women To Handle Life-Threatening Complications

Innovative Birth Simulator Device Trains Women To Handle Life-Threatening Complications

Expectant mothers in developing nations don't always have the luxury of a nearby hospital or well-trained OB/GYN. Instead, when the baby decides it's ready to be born, they must rely on the assistance

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MIT Scientists 3D Print Tiny LEGO-Like Building Blocks for Creating Large Modular Designs

MIT Scientists 3D Print Tiny LEGO-Like Building Blocks for Creating Large Modular Designs

3D printing is all the rage, and designers around the world are competing to see how they can create the biggest, most jaw-dropping stuff. Here at Inhabitat, we've featured lots of cool 3D designs, from

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7 Eco-Friendly DIY Summer Crafts for Creative Adults (and Kids!)

7 Eco-Friendly DIY Summer Crafts for Creative Adults (and Kids!)

Tin Can Table Lantern Planning a barbecue or an al fresco dinner party? These recycled tin can lanterns are an easy way to add some sparkle without stretching your decorating budget. The materials are

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Ohio Professors Remediate Streams to Turn Toxic Runoff into Vibrant Paint Pigments

Ohio Professors Remediate Streams to Turn Toxic Runoff into Vibrant Paint Pigments

When heavy metals leach out of Ohio's abandoned coal mines, the sulfide minerals acidify the water and turn streams into sites of slimy toxic sludge, killing fish and destroying ecosystems. Ohio

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3D-Printed Vibrating Shift Knob Made From an Xbox 360 Controller Can Teach You How to Drive a Stick

3D-Printed Vibrating Shift Knob Made From an Xbox 360 Controller Can Teach You How to Drive a Stick

A Ford engineer by the name of Zac Nelson recently took the guts from an Xbox 360 controller, stuffed them into a 3D-printed shift knob casing, and used open-source technology to transform it into a

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7 Incredible Inventions by Teenage Wunderkinds

7 Incredible Inventions by Teenage Wunderkinds

An Ocean Clean Up Array to Remove 7,250,000 Tons of Plastic From the World's Oceans When we first covered Boyan Slat's Ocean Cleanup Array it generated a phenomenal amount of excitement, as well as

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SolSource Sun-Powered Grill Coming to the US via Sizzling Kickstarter Campaign

SolSource Sun-Powered Grill Coming to the US via Sizzling Kickstarter Campaign

Back in March, Inhabitat reported that One Earth Designs (OED) enlisted Google Glass creator Tom Chi to perfect the design of their parabolic solar cooker, the SolSource. Readers wanted to know where

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NASA Sends ‘Grover’ Solar-Powered Rover Right Over Greenland’s Shrinking Arctic Ice Sheet

NASA Sends ‘Grover’ Solar-Powered Rover Right Over Greenland’s Shrinking Arctic Ice Sheet

NASA's Mars Rover might have captured headlines, but a new bot deployed in Greenland might be doing even more important work. NASA's newest scientific rover, a robot known as GROVER, is on its

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Liquid’s Peer-to-Peer Bike Share Program Makes Renting a Bike Easy

Liquid’s Peer-to-Peer Bike Share Program Makes Renting a Bike Easy

Visiting a city or live in a place that doesn't have a bike share program yet? Don't fret - Liquid is a new peer-to-peer bike rental marketplace that makes it easy to borrow a bike from individuals or

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Brazilian Fast-Food Chain Cuts Waste By Serving Up Burgers Wrapped In Edible Paper

Brazilian Fast-Food Chain Cuts Waste By Serving Up Burgers Wrapped In Edible Paper

A Brazilian fast-food chain has introduced a clever solution for customers tired of having to unwrap their hamburger before eating it: edible packaging. As part of a marketing campaign designed to

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Patents A Crash-Proof Airbag For Your Smartphone

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Patents A Crash-Proof Airbag For Your Smartphone

Photo via Shutterstock In an effort to forever vanquish the cracked, scratched smartphone screen, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has filed for—and received—what may be the world's first patent for a

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Autonomous Sunlight-Hunting Drone Keeps Your House Plants From Wilting

Autonomous Sunlight-Hunting Drone Keeps Your House Plants From Wilting

Potted plants are a great way to bring the healing qualities of nature indoors while also generating clean air. Keeping them alive and healthy once they're inside is another story. Belgium-based sculptor

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CiclaLabs’ Pedal-Powered Mobile Entertainment System On Show at the European Solar Decathlon

CiclaLabs’ Pedal-Powered Mobile Entertainment System On Show at the European Solar Decathlon

Utilizing the combined power of a couple of efficient photovoltaic panels and bicycles employed as dynamos, the Ciclalab team provided the crowds with music and entertainment all weekend. Both the panels

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DualWash: Waterless Dishwasher Doubles as a Kitchen Cabinet!

DualWash: Waterless Dishwasher Doubles as a Kitchen Cabinet!

A team of industrial design students at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey, has developed an ingenious design for a bipartite, or two-compartment, waterless dishwasher that is

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Brilliant Keychain Bike Pump Fits in the Palm of Your Hand!

Brilliant Keychain Bike Pump Fits in the Palm of Your Hand!

City streets are a rough place for cyclists - they're strewn with bits of glass, metal, and potholes, so popping a flat is virtually inevitable. Fortunately, designer Pat Ramey has created a brilliant

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Green House’s New LED Lantern Runs on Saltwater and Doubles as a USB Device Charger

Green House’s New LED Lantern Runs on Saltwater and Doubles as a USB Device Charger

Green House Co. Ltd., a Japanese electronics firm, has developed a new "power-generation LED lamp" called GH-LED10WBW that runs on salty water. Requiring no batteries, the lantern runs for eight hours for

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Employees Work Harder When The Company Goes Green, New Study Reports

Employees Work Harder When The Company Goes Green, New Study Reports

Photo via Shutterstock What motivates you to give 150 percent at your job? Is it a friendly boss? Tasks that you really care about? Awesome clients? According to new research led by UCLA, employees of

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UGE’s New Hybrid Sanya Streetlight Goes Off-Grid For Big Savings

UGE’s New Hybrid Sanya Streetlight Goes Off-Grid For Big Savings

Urban Green Energy (UGE) today announced their newest alternative to power hungry outdoor lighting: the Sanya Streetlamp [pdf] is a standalone, off-grid street light that uses solar power, wind energy, or

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Australian Research Group Announces First Implantation of a Bionic Eye

Australian Research Group Announces First Implantation of a Bionic Eye

Bionic Vision Australia, a government-funded research consortium in Carlton, Victoria, announced Thursday that it has successfully implanted and tested an early prototype bionic eye. Dr. Penny Allen, a

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Modern Fresh Fish Pack Encourages Consumers To Choose More Sustainable Fish

Modern Fresh Fish Pack Encourages Consumers To Choose More Sustainable Fish

London-based designer Postler Ferguson has come up with an innovative and modern package to help ease the transport of fresh fish from the counter at your supermarket to your kitchen. Ferguson proposes

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Decaying Books in Quebec’s Jardin de la Connaissance Sprout Mushrooms and Moss

Decaying Books in Quebec’s Jardin de la Connaissance Sprout Mushrooms and Moss

Folkerts and LaTourelle have been helping to speed up the decaying installation originally designed as part of the International Festival des Jardins de Metis. While some fungi has appeared on its own,

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See-Through Microchip Organs Help Scientists Test New Drugs

See-Through Microchip Organs Help Scientists Test New Drugs

To perfect new medicines and surgical techniques, scientists need to conduct experiments on real humans. The only problem is, there aren't too many living people who want to be guinea pigs for untested

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Brickstarter Makes It Easy to Say ‘Yes In My Backyard’ for Funding Community Projects

Brickstarter Makes It Easy to Say ‘Yes In My Backyard’ for Funding Community Projects

The team of developers at Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, know that urban landscapes are full of potential for innovation. But initiatives aimed at change and progress can often find themselves

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Groundbreaking Earth 2 Hub Platform Reboots Approaches to Sustainability (VIDEO)

Groundbreaking Earth 2 Hub Platform Reboots Approaches to Sustainability (VIDEO)

If you are a scientist, designer, filmmaker, or any kind of environmentally-conscious creative person who is tired of zipped-up and dull sustainability science, then Earth 2 Hub might be the solution

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OOO My Design’s Kids’ Pin Press Shelf Makes Cleaning Up Fun!

OOO My Design’s Kids’ Pin Press Shelf Makes Cleaning Up Fun!

Remember those retro toys that you could use to make 3D relief patterns with a tray of metal pins? OOO My Design has taken that concept and applied it to kids' furniture design with its striking new Pin

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Scandinavian Scientists Develop Textile That Fixes Its Own Tears

Scandinavian Scientists Develop Textile That Fixes Its Own Tears

A self-healing raincoat? It sounds like something out of a comic book, a group of Scandinavian researchers working for the EU project Safe@Sea have been developing a new type of textile coating that

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Groundbreaking Elastec Oil Skimmer Awarded $1 Million in Oil Cleanup X Challenge

Groundbreaking Elastec Oil Skimmer Awarded $1 Million in Oil Cleanup X Challenge

When BP's Deepwater Horizon well started gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, it soon became clear that neither BP nor the US government were equipped to deal with such a disaster. Next time

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