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A 3D model of your home based on photos you take

HOVER is the first platform that provides an interactive 3D model of a home and accurate exterior measurements using photos taken with your smartphone. A minimum of eight photos are taken capturing every angle of the home. Once the photos are uploaded, HOVER’s patented technology transforms them into a fully measured and customizable 3D model. https://hover.to

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A self-healing material

An international team of scientists has developed a transparent, self-healing, highly stretchable material that allows ions to flow through it. The material, which was inspired in part by the regenerative ability of the comic book antihero Wolverine, could someday be used to improve the lifespan of electronic devices or develop self-repairing robots. Imagine a new class of robots that are based on soft, elastic materials, being powered by stretchable electronic circuits and thus much more closely resemble the elegant design of biology, This is the type of robot that may help us out in the household or care for elderly people in the future. https://www.csmonitor.com/Technology/2017/0102/Scientists-develop-Wolverine-inspired-material-that-heals-itself

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An emergency fund for NFP’s

Open Road Alliance has launched a low-interest loan to offer NFP’s access to working capital and credit lines understanding that the goal isn’t just money making, but to benefit society at large. Organizations can now apply for assistance and receive a below-market rate loan with a maximum two-year window for return. The fund will basically cover three destabilizing scenarios: delays in expected funding (because some funder or investor had a management hiccup), organizational misfortune (like a warehouse fire or key staffer getting seriously ill), or Acts of God or Economics (devastating weather, devaluating currency issues, or shifting governmental policies). Open Road is encouraging other foundations and impact investors to develop their own funding mechanisms to better serve the needs of nonprofits and social enterprises working for impact. www.fastcompany.com/40534806/when-nonprofits-have-a-financial-emergency-theres-now-a-fund-to-bail-them-out

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Designs fabricated as soon as they are created

A team of scientists at Cornell University is building a robotic assistant to fabricate 3D digital designs in real time. Called the Robotic Modeling Assistant (RoMA), the system combines augmented reality (AR) with robotic modeling, allowing users to design primitive 3D models on one side of a platform while the robotic arm fabricates the object on the other. The combination of AR with fast 3D printing, makes it possible for the designer to not only receive the visual cue of their design, but also the fast, in-situ tangible feedback that otherwise couldn’t be possible. www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/robotic-3d-printing-augmented-reality/

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Smart ring makes contactless payments fashionable

As credit card surcharges and minimum purchase amounts gradually disappear, contactless payments are becoming more practical for small purchases. As wearables strive to become more fashionable, Bankwest in Australia has launched a Halo smart ring which lets you simply wave your hand to pay for things at the counter. Waterproof to 50 metres, the ring doesn’t require charging and isn’t dependent on a linked smartphone, meaning there’s no danger of a flat battery leaving you in the lurch. www.smh.com.au/technology/innovation/tap-and-go-smart-ring-makes-contactless-payments-fashionable-20180128-p4yyz3.html

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A temporary tattoo that warns you when you’ve had too much sun

LogicInk UV is a temporary stick-on tattoo that visually records your accumulated exposure to UV radiation from the sun, alerting you of your daily recommended limit based on your skin group. This patent-pending invention helps you reduce premature aging of the skin and helps prevent health risks associated with overexposure to the sun. www.logic.ink/

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Your face as your passport starting in Sydney

You will soon be able to walk through Sydney Airport’s international terminal to your waiting plane after only showing your passport once. That is the goal of a trial of biometric testing due to start in May with Qantas passengers. Biometric processing has the potential to revolutionise the journey through the airport to planes. http://www.smh.com.au/business/aviation/your-face-will-be-your-passport-sydney-airport-to-trial-biometrics-20180221-p4z14p.html

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A ban on texting while crossing the street

Hawaii’s capital Honolulu has introduced spot fines, ranging up to $US99, for pedestrians using their mobile phones while crossing the street. The Distracted Walking Law is one of the first of its type in the world and comes in response to an increasing pedestrian accident rate in the United States, Britain and Australia. The ban comes as cities around the world grapple with how to protect phone-obsessed “smartphone zombies” from injuring themselves. https://www.npr.org/2017/10/25/560089121/distracted-walking-law-bans-texting-while-crossing-streets-in-honolulu

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97% of plastic bottles recycled

An industry-led scheme in Norway is credited with increasing plastic bottle recycling levels to 97 per cent. Consumers pay a small additional charge on each bottle they buy. When the bottle is returned either to the shop or a recycling machine, the deposit is refunded. Shops are given a small handling fee for taking the returned bottles. Recycling machines – often found in supermarkets – read the barcodes of the bottles and usually offer customers vouchers for the shop, or the option of making a charitable donation. www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-plastic-bottle-recycling-system-norway-adopt-ocean-pollution-latest-news-a8198761.html

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A simpler and more effective way to purify water

A new patented form of graphene, called Graphair, is an effective filter that supercharges water purification; making it simpler and faster. Researchers from the University of Sydney, UTS, QUT and Victoria University tested and analysed Graphair and its water purification qualities.They found that without Graphair, a membrane’s filtration rate halved in 72 hours, as contaminants clogged it. When the Graphair was added, the membrane didn’t clog, plus it filtered more contaminants and water. Graphair is made out of soybean oil, most often found in vegetable oil. So now there is a better, cheaper, water filter using a common cooking ingredient. This could mean proper, effective water filtration is in reach of developing world communities. https://blog.csiro.au/super-material-filters-sydney-harbour-water/

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A platform that connects food producers with the public

A startup in the UK called farmdrop delivers fresh food of your choice within 19 hours. This offer is different because all food is sustainably sourced, you can choose the producer, the producer gets the majority of the price rather than a supermarket and delivery is by all electric vans -which can be within one hour intervals. https://www.farmdrop.com/

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