In January, microblogging site Twitter launched Vine, a free mobile app that lets users capture six-second looped videos. The video-sharing service is a potential source that governments can tap to crowdsource ideas or solve e-gov problems like 311 complaints.
Swim, bike, run? 26.2? If you get this, you’re likely a body constantly in motion — and soon the heat that you produce might power your personal electronics. Perpetua Power, an Oregon startup, is developing a chip that converts body heat into electric energy. The thermoelectric generator chip absorbs body heat directly from the user’s skin and could produce enough power to run cellphones and other gadgets, according to the company.
Two British designers created a low-cost, gravity-powered LED light for use in developing nations. Users would simply hang a 20-pound weight from the device — a small bag of rocks or soil, for instance — for up to 30 minutes of illumination. The designers say their idea requires no batteries and would minimize the burning of kerosene in rural areas. They hope to sell mass-produced versions for around $5. Development of the device, dubbed GravityLight, was financed via crowdfunding site Indiegogo. Source: Indiegogo
Want to print a new companion? French artist Gael Langevin is posting 3-D printer files and instructions on inmoov.blogspot.com for a robot he is building. Interested DIYers can download the open source files and create their own. In a video demo, however, the artist’s robot has difficulty understanding a voice command, so it might be a while before homemade robots rival dogs as man’s best friend. Source: Tech Crunch & Inmoov.blogspot.com
Karen Stewartson served as the managing editor of Government Technology for many years. She also contributed to Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines.