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Trends and Innovations
  • Climate justice and environmental ethics in tech, with Amazon engineer Rajit Iftikhar
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    Nearly 8,000 Amazon employees, many in prestigious engineering and design roles, have recently signed a petition calling on Jeff Bezos and the Amazon Board of Directors to dramatically shift the giant company’s approach to climate change. By deploying a kind of corporate social disobedience such as speaking out dramatically... Read more »
  • Rivian and ‘Free Solo’ star Alex Honnold team up to build solar microgrid with used EV batteries
    Rivian, the once secretive company that made its public debut in November with an electric pickup truck and SUV, plans to give its batteries a second life and put them to work in a solar microgrid project in Puerto Rico. The automaker is teaming up with The Honnold Foundation, an organization... Read more »
  • Zume buys packaging company, with eyes on plant-based plastic alternative
    Zume Inc. (they of the robotic pizza) has acquired Southern California-based Pivot, designer of plant-based packaging material. Along with the deal, Zume will be opening a 70,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in the area. Zume notes that it has actually been in the food packaging industry in one form or other since 2016,... Read more »
  • Tesla says solar roof is on its third iteration, currently installing in 8 states
    Tesla is currently installing its solar roof product in eight states, according to Elon Musk, speaking at the Tesla Annual Shareholder Meeting on Tuesday. The solar roof-tile project has had a relatively long genesis since being unveiled three years ago, in 2016. In 2017, the company claimed its first-ever... Read more »
  • Embraer’s new EmbraerX eVTOL concept is accessible, autonomous and courteous
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    Short-distance commuter air travel has come a long way in the past few years — at least when it comes to concepts. The latest vision from Embraer of how we’ll get around in the city skies of the (near?) future involves some of what we’ve already seen, and highlights a... Read more »
  • Google offers new treasure trove of air quality data to researchers
    Google has employed its network of street-view vehicles to also measure street-level air quality in recent years, through an initiative it calls “Project Air View.” Today, it’s making available to scientists and researcher organizations more of the resulting data from that ongoing initiative. The company is releasing an updated... Read more »
  • KLM Airlines wants to help build a more efficient jet with in-wing seating
    Air travel accounts for a significant chunk of greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants, and the amount of air travel has risen steadily over the past few decades, with emissions from aviation predicted to grow significantly through 2020 and beyond. Electric passenger planes are in the works, but unlikely to... Read more »
  • ‘Weirdo’ fintech VC Anthemis marches to its own drummer
    Entering into the world of Anthemis is a bit like stepping into the frame of a Wes Anderson film. Eclectic, offbeat people situated in colorful interiors? Check. A muse in the form of a renowned British-Venezuelan economist? Check. A design-forward media platform to provoke deep thought? Check. An annual summer... Read more »
  • Fintech and cleantech… an odd couple or a perfect marriage?
    The Valley’s rocky history with cleantech investing has been well-documented. Startups focused on non-emitting-generation resources were once lauded as the next big cash cow, but the sector’s hype quickly got away from reality. Complex underlying science, severe capital intensity, slow-moving customers and high-cost business models outside the comfort zones of typical venture... Read more »
  • These ‘microbe-grown’ headphones could be the future of sustainable electronics
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    The culture of planned obsolescence in electronics produces a huge amount of toxic waste unlikely to go anywhere but a landfill for the next millennium or so. Nature produces some of the strongest and most versatile substances we’ve ever encountered, so why not use them instead? That’s what Finnish design... Read more »
  • This is one smart device that every urban home could use
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    Living in a dense urban environment brings many startup-fuelled conveniences, be it near instant delivery of food — or pretty much whatever else you fancy — to a whole range of wheels that can be hopped on (or into) to whisk you around at the tap of an app. But the... Read more »
  • Generation closes $1B growth fund targeting sustainable startups
    Generation Investment Management, the firm co-founded by environmentalist and former Vice President Al Gore, was built on the premise of backing sustainable startups. Now, as the idea of sustainability starts to gain wider traction, the firm is doubling down on the concept. Today, Generation is announcing that it has closed a... Read more »
  • Market map: the 200+ innovative startups transforming affordable housing
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    Daniel Wu Contributor Dan Wu is a privacy counsel and legal engineer at Immuta. He holds a JD from Harvard University, and is a PhD candidate for Social Policy and Sociology at The Harvard Kennedy School. More posts by this contributor Market map: the 200+ innovative startups transforming affordable housing Innovations in inclusive housing In... Read more »
  • Innovations in inclusive housing
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    Daniel Wu Contributor Dan Wu is a privacy counsel and legal engineer at Immuta. He holds a JD from Harvard University, and is a PhD candidate for Social Policy and Sociology at The Harvard Kennedy School. More posts by this contributor Market map: the 200+ innovative startups transforming affordable housing Innovations in inclusive housing Housing... Read more »
  • Scalable, low-cost technologies needed to repair climate, Cambridge professor suggests
    Cambridge University has proposed setting up a research center tasked with coming up with scalable technological fixes for climate change. The proposed Center for Climate Repair is being coordinated by David King, an emeritus professor in physical chemistry at the university and also the U.K. government’s former chief scientific adviser. Speaking to... Read more »
  • Despite declines for the quarter, Tesla is bullish on its overall energy business
    Even as its solar business declined in step with its overall earnings, Tesla is bullish on the prospects for the energy side of its business over the course of the year. The energy business is an unheralded part of Tesla — overshadowed by its headline-grabbing (and much larger) auto exploits... Read more »
  • Corporations and private investors are backing new ‘green’ deals as climate worries mount
    In the nine years since private equity and venture capital investments into sustainable technologies last crossed the $6 billion threshold, the problems caused by global carbon emissions have only intensified. Now, as the world confronts the reality that there’s not much time left to reverse course on carbon emissions and the... Read more »
  • EAT Club acquires Taro to expand its corporate lunch program
    EAT Club, the lunch delivery service that counts companies like Facebook, Postmates and others as customers, has acquired meal delivery service Taro. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Taro’s business model worked by shipping pre-made meals directly to consumers. With the acquisition, however, Taro will no longer serve... Read more »
  • Sila Nano’s battery tech is now worth over $1 billion with Daimler partnership and $170 million investment
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    Sila Nanotechnologies and its battery materials manufacturing technology are now worth more than $1 billion. The company, which announced a $170 million funding led by Daimler and a partnership with the famed German automaker, started building out its first production lines for its battery materials last year. That first line is... Read more »
  • New registrations for electric vehicles doubled in US since last year
    Electric vehicles, still a small percentage of the total automotive market in the U.S., are beginning to gain ground, according to analysis by IHS Markit. There were 208,000 new registrations for electric vehicles in the U.S. last year, more than double the number filed in 2017, IHS said Monday. That growth in... Read more »
  • AYFRAYM: Modern, Portable A-Frame Cabin Version of Classic Vacation Home in The 1960s
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    AYFRAYM A-Frame Cabin is a beautiful and affordable 1,574 square foot cabin inspired by popular vacation homes of the 1960s. It has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and accommodates up to eight people. AYFRAYM offers a modern version of your classic A style cabin, it’s been designed as a modular building... Read more »
  • Hop – The Step Stool Suitcase Gives Little Children Extra Help to Gain The Independence
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    Submitted by Knack Design Studio, Hop is a concept suitcase that wants to give children independence. It’s a combination of a suitcase and a step stool in one, making destinations kid-accessible. This adds ease to travel and puts the focus back on making memories while staying the weekend at grandma’s... Read more »
  • Minimalist Adelaide Etagere from Mogg
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    Mogg has collaborated with Claudio Bitetti to design this minimalist shelving unit, Adelaide Etagere. This structure features 13 shelves, prepared for fixing to the ceiling, the unique, minimalist design enhances the room décor with its standing and open design. The material for this structure is available in two options: Matt... Read more »
  • A’ Design Awards & Competition 2020: Early Call for Entries
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    What’s the fastest way to make professionals notice you as a new designer? The answer would be winning a prestigious design competition. A’ Design Award and Competition 2019-2020 is calling you for entries. Many of you have won and enjoyed benefits from this competition, but some of you might not... Read more »
  • S1 Flying Motorcycle for Future Personal VTOL Vehicle
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    S1 is an award winning design concept for electric flying motorcycle. This futuristic vehicle features a canard-wing configuration around the driver in motorcycle-like orientation, yes, it’s a single person vehicle. There are two electric motors with ducted rotors that power S1, it’s like an aircraft that makes a 90-degree transition... Read more »
  • RoType Transparent Rollable Keyboard – Flexible Portable Keyboard
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    After the revolutionary Flexpai Foldable Smartphone (world’s first commercial folding phone), Royole releases RoType Transparent Rollable Keyboard. Unlike LG Rollable Keyboard that folds up along four rows, RoType uses a transparent special film with a hidden circuit with a thickness of only 0.04mm, making it stretchy and rollable many times... Read more »
  • Mogg Swing Circular Metal for Space Divider
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    Designed for Mogg, Swing is a circular space divider from the imagination of Alessandro Di Prisco. Here’s an unconventional screen made of metal circle fixed to a cylindrical stone base, allowing you to rotate it ninety degrees, giving rise to a right or left rotary movement. It’ll quickly cover, separate,... Read more »
  • Linky Foldable Electric Longboard is an Air-Travel Friendly Battery Powered Skateboard
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    Linky is an easy-to-carry electric longboard that gives you freedom in your bag, thanks to its foldable feature. It’s a 32-inch electrical skateboard for adults with patented folding mechanism that makes it easy to fold in and out when needed. Designed in Italy, this longboard delivers unique dynamic performance. Weighing... Read more »
  • Spinning Together: Baby Cradle and Static Exercise Bike in One
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    Spinning Together is a unique concept that combines baby cradle and a static bike, it looks like this design is meant for mothers with newborn. Exercise helps to keep you fit, but it also relives stress to establish a more positive attitude towards others, in this case the children. Due... Read more »
  • DJI Releases RoboMaster S1 Advanced Educational Robot to Create The Next Generation of Innovators
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    DJI releases RoboMaster S1, it’s a robot designed specially to introduce children and adults to educational technology. As a global leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, DJI takes a pretty bold step into ground-based robot technology. Designed and developed by passionate engineers who have continued desire to push... Read more »