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In the world of creativity, if you're not starting a fire, then what's the point? So, we've created a portal to celebrate the most revolutionary and thought-provoking ideas we're seeing in the world today. Some are ideas we've recognized from others and we're tipping our hats to, and others are ones we thought of (go figure). Either way you cut it, you won't find a dull moment here, and hopefully we've inspired you to start your own fire.
Automatic Smart Driving Assistant is a gadget designed to unlock your car’s full potential, making driving safer and more efficient. Automatic can help you spend up to 30% less on gas (about $800/year) by learning your driving style and giving you real-time audio feedback when you do something that wastes gas. Automatic also monitors your car health and warns you when something is wrong. It provides written details of the problem and possible solutions; it tells you if it is something you can do yourself and save a trip to the mechanics or if needed, helps you find a mechanic nearby. But most importantly, if you are ever in a crash, Automatic provides a full-service crash response 24/7 and alerts 911 with your location and can even contact your loved ones to let them know what happened and that help is on the way.
Automatic is extremely simple to set up and use: plug the Automatic link into your car’s onboard computer with no tool required and connect it to your smartphone via the App (on iOS or Android). Automatic is only available in the US.
What Sparks Our Fire: A gadget that redefines people’s relationship with driving, making it safer and more efficient by giving you useful information.
Are you ready to be a better driver and adopt a smart driving Automatic Assistant?
It’s important for us to be able to interact with our phones while driving in a safe and non-disruptive manner. Apple’s CarPlay is their attempt to fully integrate the iPhone into cars to make a seamless transition. But, what about an option for those of us who aren’t in the market for a new car right now?
Navdy is here with their device, “Google Glass for your car, but without the glasses”. Navdy is mounted on your windshield and connects to your phone to provide notifications in a safe manner. The device also comes with it’s own software, providing navigation and voice and motion control capabilities. This device might not let your car drive itself, but it sure does make staying connected while driving both easier and safer. Navdy is available for preorder now at $299.
When we think about advances in technology and robotics we normally think about really revolutionary innovations, but in Germany robots are helping with something a little different – parking.
Düsseldorf Airport recently launched a new robotic airport parking system. The system saves customers a lot of time by providing the premium parking service. Customers park their car at the ParkingPlus station which scans the car for size and then you pay and receive a QR code for your car that shares your flight information through the associated app. The robot, Ray, then comes on over and picks up your car to park in one of the spots. The best part of the system is that it tracks your flight and will have your car ready and waiting for you once you land.
A robot moving a car into a parking space may not be as cool as a driverless car, but it is a really cool way to help save time at the airport.
What Sparks our Fire: Advances in robotics that help us save time at the airport?
What do you see as having a greater impact – self-driving cars or robotically parked cars?
Industry leaders are slowly finding touchscreens in new-model cars to be very distracting and can cause a loss of focus on the road. My car still has a cassette player, so this obviously doesn’t apply to me, but the minute controls and over-filled screens on many touchscreen-enabled cars can be a lot more frustrating than my current “two knobs and a button” setup. Therefore, a problem needs to be solved: how do you create a touchscreen interface that can be operated hands free?
Designer Matthaeus Krenn is testing an interface that may just solve this problem. In his words: “I propose a new mode that can be invoked at any time: It clears the entire screen of those tiny, intangible control elements and makes way for big, forgiving gestures that can be performed anywhere. In place of the lost tactile feedback, the interface leverages the driver’s muscle memory to ensure their ability to control crucial features without taking their eyes off the road.”
What Sparks Our Fire: Not following a trend, but rather native-izing an existing technology to the needs and constraints of drivers.
Do you think this is a useful concept, or would you prefer the old-school version?
Concept cars are all about the future, an idea of what could be and what we want to be. Most of the time, car companies reach just a little beyond what is immediately possible, such as improved electronics, supercharged engines, extra cupholders…you get the idea.
This new concept car from European car developer Renault, dubbed the Kwid, has strong, heavy lines, a highly funky color scheme, and a drone in the roof. This car is what every New Jersey-ite needs to get past the mess in the bridge and tunnel these days. The quadrocopter drone is meant to be controlled from the console and will warn the driver of traffic situations ahead. As well, the interior is as futuristic as the robot in the ceiling, with a center console steering wheel which isn’t a full circle. It’s like being in Star Trek.
The Kwid is Renault’s first concept car they are marketing outside of Europe, and judging by the response it’s getting in the blogs, the idea is a hit.
What Sparks Our Fire: An original concept utilizing a current technology in an unexpected way.