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Tasty Tech Eye Candy of the Week (March 20)
By Tracy Staedter,
Discovery News, 20 March 2016.

Just in time for spring, Tasty Tech's weekly gallery brings you a smart umbrella, a portable outdoor pizza oven and a beautiful bicycle tunnel.

1. Smart Umbrella


Oombrella's smart umbrella has electronics embedded in the handle that sense humidity, temperature, pressure, and light. The umbrella connects to a smartphone app to keep the owner up to date on the weather, while the Kevlar frame keeps the dome expanded when strong winds blow.

2. Electronics Work When Wet


A new flexible circuit loves getting wet. It comes from a huge team of scientists lead by Bartosz Grzybowski of Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea, who created the device by coating gold nanoparticles with charged organic molecules called ligands. Ligands actually produce a charge when they come into contact with water or humidity, making the circuits ideal for use in fitness bands and artificial skin.

3. Plant Lamps


These plants grow where the sun doesn't shine. German design team We Love Eames created blown-glass lamps that shine LED lights onto air plants that don't require watering. The self-sustaining ecosystem can be hung in windowless rooms, sunless office cubicles, basements, back rooms, and any other dingy den that needs brightening up.

4. Dragon House


"Game of Thrones" fans feast your eyes on this fantastical house. Built by GilBartolome Architecture for Jesus Granda, Casa del Acantilado evokes a time of princesses and fire-breathing reptiles.

But it's not just a beautiful dwelling adorning a cliffside in SalobreƱa, Spain. It's also energy efficient. The curving roof is packed with insulation and clad in zinc roof tiles, which when combined with a 15.7-in air cavity built between the retaining walls and interior, keep the house naturally cool in the intense heat of Spanish summers.

5. Hybrid Drone


This drone combines the capabilities of a quadrotor with the flying efficiency of a fixed-wing aerial vehicle. The Wingtra, from researchers who spun off a company from the Autonomous Systems Lab at ETH Zurich, takes off vertically and then levels out for horizontal flight. It flies on battery power for up to an hour, following a flight path autonomously. A removable module allows Wingtra to carry a variety of different sensors or equipment, including a camera, high-resolution LIDAR, or even medical supplies.

6. Amsterdam Bike Tunnel


A new access tunnel in Amsterdam, called the Cuyperspassage, gives cyclists and pedestrians a beautiful path from the city to the waters of the IJ-river. Designed by Benthem Crouwel Architects, the the 361-foot-long tunnel separates walkers from bikers with a raised footpath. About 80,000 hand-painted Delft Blue tiles cover the wall in a scene designed by Irma Boom that depicts the Warship Rotterdam and the Herring fleet by Rotterdam.

7. Wood-Fired Pizza Oven


Love wood-fired pizza? Then you might want to check out this new crowdfunding campaign for the Roccobox. It's a portable oven that heats to 930 degrees F and can cook a pizza in 90 seconds. It's lightweight, durable and great for outdoor cooking.

8. Curvy Bridge


A new pedestrian/cycle bridge in Australia is all about the curves. The Elizabeth Quay Bridge spans the Swan River in the shape of an "S." The upside-down "U"-shape of the masts supporting the bridge lean away from the deck, giving the bridge gorgeous sweeping lines.

9. Foldable Computer Screen


The Spontaneous Pop-Up Display - or SPUD - from Arovia is a 24-inch display that folds down to the size of a collapsible umbrella. It weighs just 1.5 pounds and will feature 1280 x 720 resolution. It was exhibited at this week's South By Southwest Festival by Alexander Wesley, who is expecting to launch a Kickstarter later this year.

10. Flying Eyeball


No, it's not Big Brother. It's an innovative inflatable drone known as the Skye. It was designed by engineers at the European start-up Aerotain and can be outfitted with an internal projector to display moving images on the balloon’s skin, turning it into a kind of futuristic, 360-degree flying billboard.

Top image: Rendering of the Elizabeth Quay Bridge in Perth, Australia. Credit: Arup Associates.

[Source: Discovery News. Edited. Top image and some links added.]