Nissan have today lifted the covers off their new LEAF design, the world's first purpose-built 100% electric family car. Clocking up 100 miles for just £2.50's worth of power, and requiring only half an hour to get an 80% battery…
Do you remember March 2007? What stands out in your mind about it? If the answer to that question is "why, that's the month TfL announced they'd be trialling mobile phone reception on the underground of course", then prepare to be disappointed.
Two years later, they've decided it's not going to happen. Quite why it took so long is anybody's guess, but the reasoning can be helpfully pinned onto everyone's favourite excuse: the perilous economy. A TfL spokesman explained: "While it is technically possible to deploy mobile phone and data wireless solutions on the deep level Underground tunnels and stations, the unique nature and environment of the Tube mean that project costs would be prohibitively high at this time."
A coffin with tank treads. That’s what this thing looks like. Japanese city Yokohama’s disaster recovery department has come up with it as a way to ferry people from danger zones back to safety.
Basically, you stuff an injured person in the tube, and he can then be moved around remotely thanks to the onboard infrared camera. It’ll monitor the patient’s blood flow and vital signs, but I can’t help but think that it doesn’t look terribly cushioned, and there’s a good chance that the occupant might slide out if the robot goes up too steep an incline.
If you were lying in a disaster area with two broken legs, a concussion and a dislocated shoulder, would you get in this thing? Or would you rather walk? I know which I’d pick.
Okay, maybe that was mean. But you can’t claim that that thing over to the right doesn’t look like a pom-pom of some sort. It’s actually a speaker. The Yuen’To Music Ball, to be precise. Straight outta’ Japan, it’ll plug into anything with a 3.5mm jack connector and blare out sounds and music for upto five hours. After that, it’ll need recharging via USB.
It comes in red, blue, yellow, black and pink – nice bold colours – and costs $76.16 (£55 or so). That’s amazingly expensive. Still, no-one ever said that being a contra-auguste was cheap.
Okay, in reality this bears as much resemblance to a regular snowboard as a petrol-powered, three seater lawnmower with cupholders does to a hand-pushed traditional lawnmower, but bright yellow paintwork aside, doesn’t it look awesome?
It’s got a 6.5 horsepower engine, and can carry up to 250lbs as fast as 18mph. That might not sound fast if you’re used to cars, but when you’re whizzing along millimetres from the snow, it feels a damn sight faster than is comfortable. You steer by – *gulp* – leaning to one side, and it’ll run for two hours on three quarters of a gallon of petrol. The cost? A slick US$2,000. At that price, I’ll stick to my skis.
There’s been a number of attempts to invent new ways to commute over the years. There was the famously laughable Sinclair C5, the famously laughable Segway, and now designers have come up with some wheels that you put your feet in – dubbed the “CenterSkates”.
They seem to be basically a hybrid of skateboards and roller skates, in that they combine the convenience of having two separate components that you can relatively easily store in a bag and the frustration of having to ride them like a skateboard…
- Page 1 of 2