The Surpisingly Old Origins Of The Fax Machine

Today, we mostly think of the fax machine as an outdated piece of technology. While there are still some uses for it in an office-setting, technological advances are sending the fax machines to the same pasture as pagers, landline telephones and disposable cameras. Even if this is the last we hear of the beeps and bops that echo as an incoming fax is transmitted, the fax machine had a very long life — an amazing 171 years to be exact. Yes, the fax machine was invented in 1843, before the Model-T was even a dream, before the telephone was invented, and even before the American Civil War broke out.


Kohler Is Manufacturing A Solar-Powered Toilet With The Gates Foundation

Globally, about 2.5 billion people don’t have access to basic sanitation facilities. One of the biggest initiatives to improve this statistic comes from the Gates Foundation, which sponsors an annual challenge to reinvent the toilet. Now big-time bathroom manufacturer Kohler is making one of the winning ideas a reality for rural India.


When Porn And Virtual Reality Collide [NSFW]

The porn of the future is titillating. As virtual reality matures, we’ll be aroused in three-dimensional immersive alternative realities, interacting with super-lifelike porn stars customised to our taste. People will look back on our passive and lonely 2D smut and pity us. But… when?


5 New Details That Show How Apple Wants Us To Use Its Watch

This week the Apple Watch made a big step towards reality, with the release of WatchKit for developers of watch apps. Hidden within a fairly mundane document are plenty of glimpses at how Apple envisions smartwatches fitting in with our lives.


In-Depth: The Current State Of Smart Locks

I’ve been following the smart lock market with great interest. There are some odd ideas, common mistakes and a lot of hyperbole, but also intrepid engineering, smart marketing and a level playing field. For the first time in decades there is serious public interest in locks and it’s pinging the historian in me hard. I’m going to provide some context, refute some dubious claims, and offer my opinion on what’s exciting, what’s overhyped, and what I hope is coming next.


You Can Never Really Be Late With A Flux Capacitor Watch

You can cross a smartwatch off your wish list this holiday season now that ThinkGeek has revealed this utterly amazing compact Flux Capacitor Watch that really fluxes. The red LED readout on the bottom shows the current date, while the flashing LEDs on the flux capacitor do indicate the time, although deciphering it will take some practice, according to the folks at ThinkGeek.


Mophie Powerstation Plus Is A Burly, Convenient Backup Battery

Mophie portable batteries are some of the best out there, mostly because you can count on them to be reliable. The last thing you want is a cheap backup that fails you. The company’s latest top-tier line packs integrated charge and sync cables into a slick design that might actually be worth the hefty price tag.


Motorola Keylink Helps Find Your Keys Or Phone When Your Brain Can't

Motorola has had a busy couple of months (like really busy), but they have still got one more little piece of hardware to push out to the masses. This is the Motorola Keylink, a $US25 keychain that will help you find your misplaced keys or smartphone, Android and iPhone alike.


How A Medical Stress Sensor Evolved Into A Beautiful Wearable For All

Seven years ago, an MIT professor named Rosalind Picard developed a wristband called iCalm to help autistic kids manage stress by measuring electrodermal activity on the skin. Today, Picard and her team want to put their device in your hands. What happened in between is a fascinating story about the role of accidental discoveries in science and design.


How Magic Leap Is Secretly Creating A New Alternate Reality

Don’t you hate it when someone claims to have a magical new technology, but won’t tell you how it works? When I saw that a super stealthy startup called Magic Leap had raised $US542 million to make animals appear out of thin air, I resolved to find out exactly what was going on. Here’s what I found.


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