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Tasty Tech Eye Candy Of The Week (Mar 15)
By Tracy Staedter,
Discovery News, 15 March 2015.

This week we're doing the twist - we have gondolas that spiral, a towers that appears tornadic, water that whorls and tires that turn to generate electricity.

1. Helix Ride

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The Tricentennial Tower is a concept observation tower being pitched to city developers in New Orleans. The 320-foot building would have a restaurant, an observation deck, and two vertical gondola rides that spiral up the side.

2. Swirl Faucet

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The Swirl Faucet, designed by Royal College of Art student Simin Qiu, delivers water in two separate streams that together produce a lattice-like flow pattern. Not only is it beautiful, but the spinning water uses 15 percent less water that faucets that put out a single stream. Qiu won an IF Design Award last year for the concept and is currently working on a prototype.

3. 5G Exoskeleton

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A man wearing an exoskeleton from South Korean company SK Telecom controls a robot using a 5G wireless network. The demonstration was set up at the Mobile World Congress conference to show just how fast 5G will be. [Video]

4. Aquarium Counter

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I'm not sure how the fish will like living in a kitchen where their brethren are fried up in pans above, but this concept from Dutch interior designer Robert Kolenik is gorgeous. A push of a button lifts the entire counter-top up to give home owners easy access to the aquarium for cleaning.

5. Tire Charges the Battery

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Electric car batteries have their limit - they can only get a car so far before they need to be charged again. But this new tire from Goodyear could reduce the range anxiety that keeps people from buying electric vehicles. The idea, according to Goodyear, is that the tire would capture the friction heat and flexing action generated by the rolling tire and convert it to electricity.

6. Urban Farm

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New Jersey, the Garden State, is about to live up to its nickname. A new US$30 million vertical farm is being built as part of a ‘Makers Village’ redevelopment project underway in Newark’s Ironbound neighbourhood. Once built, the 69,000-square-foot facility will not only serve as the headquarters for the agricultural firm AeroFarms, but it will also be the world's largest indoor farm, capable of growing two million pounds of soil-free leafy greens and herbs each year.

7. Ferrofluid

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A fun Kickstarter project called Ferrofluid, A Symbol of the Future has, at its core, a desk lamp reminiscent of a lava lamp, but instead of using heated wax, this one uses a fluid in which magnetic particles are suspended. Owners use a magnet to manipulate the magnetic blobs, which shift and distort is mesmerizing shapes.

8. Tulsa Tornado Building

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They may be tempting fate, but architects from Kinslow, Keith & Todd (KKT) are proposing a new tornado-shaped building for downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma, smack dab in middle of a county where, since 1904, more than 75 twisters have torn through. The building would house the Oklahoma Weather Museum and Research Centre and would offer classrooms, convention spaces, a severe storm laboratory, multiple observation decks and a roof terrace to local residents.

9. Chameleon-Like Material


An ultra-thin chameleon-like material has been developed by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley that can change colour on demand by bouncing back light on the nanoscale level. It works thanks to tiny ridges that have been etched into a layer of silicon film one thousand times thinner than a human hair. Changing the spacing alters the colour, so that when the material is stretched, it produces a colour-shifting affect.

10. Apple Watch

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Apple showed off its new Watch this week at a special media event in San Francisco. The Watch, scheduled to go on sale April 24, will retail from US$349 to over US$10,000.

Top image: Tulsa Tornado Tower. Credit: Kinslow, Keith & Todd, Inc.

[Source: Discovery News. Edited. Top image and some links added.]

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