chairCushioning fashion
The Sofa Dress is a foam cushion which  slips over a metal, plastic or wooden chair to make the experience of sitting on these unyielding materials a little less uncomfortable. It was created by design studio MAEZM (maezm.com)

 



 

China knocks off electric carsinno2-270909
Somewhere, in the grey legislative wilderness between motorcycle and automobile, is a little electric car that has become a familiar sight on the roads in China's Shandong province. Most of the vehicles do not have licences yet, since the government has not decided how to classify them. According to a TIME video, demand for the cars, which are being produced on a small scale in garages and micro-factories, is on the rise, because they are cheap to run and much less expensive than the commercial luxury models on offer by big car makers. The cars emit absolutely no greenhouse gases, take between six and eight hours to charge and can drive up to 120 km before they run out of juice.  They sell for around R20 000.

inno3-270909Dowse for WiFi
Designer Mike Thompson justifies this wacky take on a wireless network detector by stating: "By basing the design for a wireless internet detector on century’s old technology, the user feels immediately at home with the product, whilst feeling less intimidated by the simple shape and natural materials." In response, Oh Gizmo's (ohgizmo.com) Andrew Liszewski quips: "I’ve tried using a dowsing rod before and quite frankly, I’m not sold on the technology. My results were less than successful. But wifi detectors? I’ve never had a problem getting them to work. So maybe for his next project Mike could design a dowsing rod that looks and works like a wifi network detector, but for finding sources of water."

Nano's no-no's not known
Nanoparticles,  tiny particles that  measure less than 0.00001 centimetre have hundreds of potential applications in the food and cosmetics industries. Problem is, scientists are not too sure about how they will react in the human body. At a recent seminar in the Austrian city of Salzburg, chemist Susanne Stark, of the Consumer Information Association, said: "There are more questions than answers on the effects of nanoparticles."