• BURN MEDIA
    • Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

Innovation

  • Meet Flatev: the world’s first tortilla food replicator

    Nespresso coffee machines, with their fancy pods and sleek design have pretty much taken over the tech-hipster scene. Remember grinding coffee by hand, packing it, filling the coffee machine and hoping for the best? Us neither. The most appealing part of the process is the immediacy of it all. Drop in a coffee pod, press a button and and instant store-grade coffee. It’s time for the pod to make its way to other foods, and tortilla is next on the list. That’s the concept of the Flatev, a dough-filled pod that makes instant tortilla’s at the touch of a...

  • Kano custom PC makes coding awesome for kids, technically-challenged adults

    We’ve probably all heard the term “square-eyes” passed around a lot back in the Nineties, when TV and computer screens were still boxes spurned from the bowels of the devil himself. But two decades on and children are now encouraged to use computers to learn as much as possible. Kano, a novel Kickstarter project, takes this one step further. Kano is a computer that, according to the developers, anyone can build, learn to code on and “create the future”. It’s largely aimed at kids who love things with screens and electricity, but its now available for everyone. Powered by the ubiquitous...

  • Powering ‘The Internet of Things’ using ant-sized radio chips

    Researchers at Stanford have developed a radio the size of an ant that can transmit and receive radio signals the team hopes will someday wirelessly power and connect every object and device in the world. The device costs pennies to make and can even harness its own energy collected from incoming electromagnetic waves picked up by the chip’s tiny receiver. The three year project started in 2011 when Amin Arbabian, who is now an assistant professor of electrical engineering, was a PhD student working with Professor Ali Niknejad, director of the Wireless Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Amin was...

  • ACHIRES the bipedal robot will somersault into your heart

    I’m not completely sure if robots chasing humans on wheels is scarier than robots chasing humans on two legs, but the University of Tokyo just took one step closer to the latter. Its latest bipedal robot can reach speeds of 4.2km/h — fast enough to chase a very unfit human being. As fate (or a slow news week) would have it, a robot clocked at the speed of melting butter is not anything special. Tokyo’s little sprinter, dubbed ACHIRES, can only keep the pace for a mere ten seconds, not nearly enough to take it to Usain Bolt, or Haile...

  • Vanadium ‘CellCube’ batteries could power South Africa independent of Eskom

    We’ve seen questionable substances used for energy storage in the past year, from hemp to used cigarette butts, but the latest breakthrough seems more traditional than others. Vanadium, a metallic element falling between titanium and chromium on the periodic table, can be used for shed-sized batteries that according to the creators, lasts forever. Vanadium is a nifty little element and is used in creating strengthened steel alloy (it was part of the Ford Model T, for example). Batteries containing the element are not rare either — the initial patent for a vanadium-based battery came about in the late Eighties, but the...

  • Star Citizen inspires monster gaming PC cockpit: 32GB RAM, four Radeon R9 290X GPU’s and one Buttkicker

    I’m aware that there are PC gamers who want to push their systems to the limits of what is truly possible. PC gamers demand a certain level of immersion and sitting on a couch with gamepad in hand can’t cut it. How much is too much though, and what qualifies as a true beast of a gaming rig? Both questions are answered by “PC Master Race” Reddit user Halada, who’s created the nuttiest PC rig I’ve yet seen. Halada made this three monitor monstrosity specifically for Star Citizen, one of Kickstarter’s most successful projects and an epic space adventure in...

  • F-16 pilot plus GoPro equals crazy first-person video

    Recently, Danish Air Force pilot John Kristensen used a GoPro camera to film his flight in a F-16 Fighting Falcon over Greenland. The video provides views of the entire arch of his flight from take-off to landing. In the video, we can see Kristensen jet past snow-covered plains, icebergs, glacier dotted expanses of ocean, and narrow inlets. We can also see Kristensen flying in formation alongside other pilots who are members of the Fighter Wing Skrydstrup. All of these images prove flying a jet is a thrilling mix of speed, sight, and sound that’s not for the faint of heart....

  • Diabetics hopeful laser device succeeds in testing blood sugar levels

    Researchers at Princeton University are developing a non-invasive device that uses mid-infrared light to test a diabetic’s blood sugar levels, a process researchers hope will someday replace the current method of pricking one’s finger to draw blood for testing. One of the most important tasks diabetics must perform multiple times throughout each day is testing their blood sugar levels, whose results are key to helping them assess the amount of food they can consume and the extent of insulin they need to inject in order to maintain their health. As a type 1 diabetic, I can also attest to the annoyance...

  • Savvy Imgur user builds working 1KB hard drive inside ‘vanilla’ Minecraft

    Imgur user smellystring has officially changed my view of Minecraft —  and he’ll change yours as well. Below is a fully functional 1KB hard drive, created within Minecraft and it’s incredible. Smellystring walks us through the process which includes binary blocks, pistons, a data collection room, indicator lights and “bit” emulators. Watch and learn. For references sakes, and to appreciate the size of the Minecraft hard drive, 1000KB equals 1MB, therefore 1000000KB is 1GB. “Redstone signals can pass through solid (opaque) blocks, but not clear blocks. The signal does not pass through this block since it is glass.” “The redstone signal does pass...

  • Eye see what you’re doing there: German scientists creates first portable retina scanner

    It’s small enough to fit inside a purse, light enough to carry without inconvenience, and it could hold the key to your personal security. Developed by Uwe Schelinski, a researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems in Dresden, this device is able to identify people by scanning their retina, a light-sensitive layer at the back of your eyeball. While a retina scanner is nothing new, the innovation of a compact, portable scanner is groundbreaking. The device is 5″ long and 3.5″ wide, making it miles more convenient than traditional stationary scanners. Similar to your fingerprint, your retina can serve...