This week Dynamics is showing off a new credit card that can rewrite its own magnetic strip on the fly. So you get a card that you have to punch in a code before it can be swiped or before you can read the credit card numbers. After a few minutes, the information erases and it returns to being an inert piece of plastic. Or, for the convenience factor, a card can have multiple credit cards on it. Just push the button of the card you want to use. The future is here and its in your wallet. [More]
Self-serve wine tanks could be hitting American supermarkets within a year. These 500 and 1,000 liter mechanical kegs dispense wine into whatever container the shopper brings with them. [More]
Beat the heat with this cheap and cool treat, the beer popsicle, aka “The Hopsicle.” [More]
From the department of “of course!” UPS has introduced a new reusable express envelope. It’s got a second adhesive strip that lets the recipient reuse the same envelope on a new shipment. [More]
Run your fingers over one of TD Bank’s new debit cards and you’ll notice something missing. There’s no embossed numbers. It’s not a fake, it’s the future: a completely flat debit card that can be issued right on the spot when you open an account at a local bank, with no waiting for it to arrive in the mail. [More]
From the fell through the cracks file, Kevin Costner is going to save us all from the BP oil spill, using technology inspired by the urine-drinking opening sequence to Waterworld. Except this time the noxious substance extracted from the water will be oil and no one will drink it. [More]
Last week, Mercedes showed a bunch of journalists some new safety features it’s working on to prevent deaths in the event of a car crash, and BNET describes them. I hope you like air bags going off all around you–the demo even has air bags for the car. Sadly, the people-scooper feature–something about when you hit a pedestrian, the car “scoops” the body onto the hood and keeps the person there, probably so that his screaming can alert you that you’ve been in an accident–will only be available in Europe. [More]
Ideally, companies choose to lessen their environmental impact because it makes financial sense, not because it makes them feel good–which is a good thing, since companies don’t have feelings. Today, FastCompany published a slideshow that looks at 12 ways the mega-retailer is trying out various green initiatives. Some of them are more about selling the concept of green to consumers, which is dumb, but the ones that deal with shipping, energy consumption, and market creation are pretty impressive. [More]
One nifty device unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show was the Airnergy Charger, which generates electricity just by snagging WiFi signals. A demo on the showroom floor had it powering a Blackberry from 30% to full in 90 minutes. RCA says they’ll have a USB charger available summer 2010 for $40, with a battery soon to follow. Sweet idea! It remains to be soon how efficient it really is though. [OhGizmo!] [More]
Time Magazine selected the 50 best inventions of 2009. Topping the list are NASA’s Ares rockets, which take us one step closer to a Jetsons-like world of planet-hopping joy:
Like using different credit cards for different rewards programs but get tired of the bulk? Enter the $99 iCache, an electronic device as thin as a Razr cell phone, that carries all of your credit cards in the writer portion, and then temporarily writes the credit card info onto a card. The card is good for one swipe and then the card goes blank again and ready to be rewritten. The unit is protected by a fingerprint scanner.
Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas is the nation’s first hospital to have electronic kiosks for ER check-in. The goal is to speed the patient registration process and delivery of care, and reduce costs. Looks like a win-win situation. Just hope it doesn’t go all The Tower on you.
A major bank will offer Credit cards with built-in, constantly shifting passwords starting in May.