Zero- packaging shops avoid plastic waste

Zero-packaging shops, sometimes known as zero-waste grocery stores, allow customers to bring and refill their own containers. They offer food products (cereals, pasta, oils) and even household products (soap, dishwashing powder). You simply bring your own jars and containers and buy as little or as much as you need. These new businesses demonstrate how products can be offered without packaging. In doing so they provide both environmental and economic benefits. www.sbs.com.au/news/zero-packaging-stores-show-we-can-kick-our-plastic-addiction

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Saving electricity costs by automatic switches of suppliers

A device that automatically switches supplier when cheaper deals become available is set to revolutionise the home energy market. The launch of Labrador comes as more and more people are changing their energy companies. The company’s free service is primarily targeted at the growing number of households which have smart meters, that automate readings. With investors including the Daily Mail and venture capital firm Hambro Perks, Labrador is considered one of the UK’s most exciting startups. www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/11/labrador-switch-energy-suppliers

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Clothes that can be tailored to your body while you wait

This year you’ll be able to buy a jumper from Ministry of Supply stores that will adjust to your size on the spot, using only heat. That means you could take a medium off the shelf, and after Ministry of Supply takes your measurements, an in-store robotic machine will use a heat gun to adjust the jumper to your size that you can see while you wait. www.fastcompany.com/90281007/ministry-of-supply-will-tailor-this-sweater-to-your-body-in-minutes

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Bringing life to an image

Researchers from the University of Washington and Facebook have developed a way to animate stationary characters in any image, resulting in them springing into action to sprint toward you out of the background. Most current AR applications are built for a specific image, like a billboard; this tool can identify a human silhouette, generate a 3D version of the person, and create a realistic animation for the figure to jump off the photo into the real world. https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/ar-figures-walk-off-backdrop/

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Unlocking value in textiles at a fibre level

BlockTexx is a fashion technology platform and marketplace for the world’s recycled textiles – an end-to-end recycling ecosystem unlocking the value of textile waste, one fabric at a time. Their idea is to change the fundamental model of the fashion industry that doesn’t consider end-of-life garments to have value – so everything that is considered either ‘waste’ or a ‘cost’… they have reimagined as a revenue opportunity, With the help of the CSIRO they have developed the S.O.F.T.® (separation of fibre technology), a process that can separate and recover the raw materials from clothing like polyester and cotton. https://www.chiefentrepreneur.qld.gov.au/stories/blocktexx

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A clever way to take revenge on thieves

An engineer has designed a Apple HomePod box that is “enticing” for any thief. It’s GPS-enabled, so its journey can be tracked once it leaves his home perimeter. It records video with embedded mobile phones, no matter how the thief picked up the parcel. And, once triggered, it sprays half a kilo of glitter. To add insult to injury it includes a can of “fart spray,” programmed to automatically spray after the glitter explosion is triggered. Reactions by the thieves are captured on the video. www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/thieves-stole-a-package-from-an-engineer-so-he-created-a-trap-using-glitter-and-fart-spray-20181219-p50n57.html

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Art workshops in exotic places

Art Travel Adventures is a boutique art and travel company, which combines cultural experiences with art workshops in exotic locations. They bring together exceptional artists, skilled travel guides and local experts and combine this talent with accommodation in historic buildings, adventures in dining, cultural festivals and art workshops.  http://arttraveladventures.com.au/

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A 3D printed house built in a week with a mobile robot

A 3D printed house built in a week with a mobile robot

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A budgeting tool for people with autism

People living with Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD) such as autism have trouble understanding numbers and abstract concepts such as value. As a result, they have been left without any financial products they can understand hence can’t aim to become independent. Olive allows for this by enabling carers to place rules ( limits, permissions) over certain categories of money (groceries, rent, etc). In this way, Olive can adapt to the decision making abilities of the user. Olive has been working with some major banks who are interested in transforming their products, and soon, she’ll be releasing a toolkit to help support banks in this process. http://awards.ixda.org/entry/2019/olive-finance-made-accessible/

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Workforce management software that reduces commuting time and traffic congestion

Staybil is award-winning, AI-powered software that allows organizations to incorporate multi-site hiring and rostering into their existing workforce management software. It allows staff to pick up and swap shifts in the best locations, and organisations to optimize travel for staff that they hire. Staybil’s vision to revolutionise how work is found and kept is based on the belief that the future of urban life depends on workforce geo-optimisation designed to reduce commuting time and traffic congestion. www.staybil.com

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