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Li-fi: Data through illumination

Soon, you’ll be able to go onlight instead of online. Li-fi is coming and it might be the death of Wi-fi. In fact, we already have the technology to transmit data, even hi-def video, through light beams. It’s just a question of making it available to devices.

So how does it work? Simple! The new LEDs flicker and transmit the series of ones and zeros. When the LED is on, it’s transmitting a digital 1. Off = digital 0. And the flickering happens so quickly, we mere mortals can’t detect it.

Now, you might say to yourself, who wants to keep lights on in the house in the middle of the day just to watch a YouTube video? Well, they claim that with his technology, one can dim down the lights to the point where the average person can’t even detect that they’re on, while still transmitting data. Check out the video below to hear Harald Haas from the University of Edinburgh describing how it works in more detail. I recommend skipping ahead to about 5 minutes in.

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Weather Watch
Heated Mats Keep Steps Ice-Free in the Winter
Amazon
Amazon

The first snow of the season is always exciting, but the magic can quickly run out when you remember all the hazards that come with icy conditions. Along with heating bills, frosted cars, and other pains, the ground develops a coat of ice that can be dangerous for pedestrians and drivers alike. Outdoor steps become particularly treacherous and many people find themselves clutching their railings for fear of making it to the bottom headfirst. Instead of putting salt down the next time it snows, consider a less messy approach: heated mats that quickly melt the ice away.

The handy devices are made with a thermoplastic material and can melt two inches of snow per hour. They're designed to be left outside, so you can keep them ready to go for the whole winter. The 10-by-30-inch mats fit on most standard steps and come with grips to help prevent slipping. A waterproof connector cable connects to additional mats so up to 15 steps can be covered.

Unfortunately, this convenience comes at a price: You need to buy a 120-volt power unit for them to work, and each mat is sold separately. Running at $60 a mat, the price can add up pretty quickly. Still, if you live in a colder place where it's pretty much always snowing, it might be worth it.

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Courtesy of gentlewasher
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This Washing Machine Fits Anywhere—and Takes Just 5 Minutes Per Load
Courtesy of gentlewasher
Courtesy of gentlewasher

In-unit laundry is a luxury that many apartments lack. Laundromat trips can be annoying (and expensive) if you’re not washing in bulk, but many people don't have the space, or ability, to purchase their own units. That's why Dutch company gentlewasher has created an affordable, hand-powered device that’s expressly designed for small loads—and small spaces—according to Inhabitat.

The gentlewasher, an at-home laundry gadget designed for small loads of laundry
Courtesy of gentlewasher

The gentlewasher is technically designed for clothing items that should be washed by hand, but it can accommodate all kinds of garments, including those that can be thrown in a regular washing machine. The zero-electricity device, which is small enough to fit on top of a table or counter, uses just five gallons of water and can reportedly tackle 12 T-shirts or eight dresses in just five minutes.

The gentlewasher, an at-home laundry gadget designed for small loads of laundry
Courtesy of gentlewasher

Simply attach a water hose, toss in your clothes and some detergent, and begin cranking the gadget’s ergonomic handle. The process is broken into a two-minute wash cycle, followed by two-minute rinse cycle. Once you’re done, hang-dry your clothes.

The gentlewasher, an at-home laundry gadget designed for small loads of laundry
Courtesy of gentlewasher

The gentlewasher costs $269, and can be purchased online.

[h/t Inhabitat]

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