Last month, China’s capital Beijing was blanketed by a really thick smog which made the city look like a scene from Blade Runner (or Silent Hill, if you want to be freaky). See here and here.
Although most days are clear, Beijing really has a high level of pollution. In response to the air problem, the eccentric but extremely wealthy Chinese entrepreneur Chen Guangbiao pulled a publicity stunt to bring awareness to Beijing’s smog problem (as if the actual smog was not convincing or obvious enough) — he manufactured canned fresh air and sold them.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the cans of clean air come in different atmospheric flavors, such as pristine Tibet, post-industrial Taiwan and revolutionary Yan’an.
In the meantime, a man with a mechanical engineering background rigged his bicycle to give it air cleaning properties.
And just like the name Hiro Protagonist tells us who is Snow Crash’s hero and protagonist, guess what this bike hacker’s name is? Matt Hope. A ray of light shining through heavily polluted skies.
The “Breathing Bike” is not perfect though. It produces high-voltage electricity that is hazardous if there is a downpour. If you get caught in the rain, you’re probably toasted, literally. Nevertheless, it is an interesting prototype that can be improved upon.
Video credits: ElvinProskaz, Xiao Li Tan / Youtube
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A futuristic glow in the dark highway will debut in Netherlands by mid-2013.
The Smart Highway will be introduced in the Dutch province of Brabant and is a collaboration between Studio Roosegaarde and Heijmans Infrastructure. The idea won Best Future Concept in the Dutch Design Awards 2012.
The concept aims to save energy and improve road safety. The technology will use road markings painted using photoluminescent paint. The markings will charge during the day then light up up to 10 hours at night. Temperature-responsive road paint will display snowflake designs when the temperature hits below zero to warn drivers that the road might be slippery. Interactive lights will turn on when a vehicle is approaching then switch off after the vehicle has passed. This will conserve energy when there is no road traffic. Wind-powered lights will also light up using the draft produced by passing cars. Furthermore, induction coils embedded in induction priority lanes will recharge passing electric vehicles.
According to Wired, the first several hundred meters of the glow in the dark, weather-indicating road will be installed in mid-2013. The priority induction lanes, interactive lights, and wind lights will follow within the next five years.
Image credit: Studio Roosegaarde
Video credit: NMANewsDirect
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