All posts by Lucy Ingham

Video Round-Up: How Algae is Taking Over Technology

From craft beer to the military, algae is cropping up everywhere. What was once just the scourge of ponds is now a global market, with growing and investment on a massive scale.

But this could just be the start. With many industries looking at algae, before long it could become a familiar sight in our daily lives. Known for its eco credentials, some are even hoping that the plant will help create cleaner, more sustainable technologies.

Here are some of the latest ways that algae is infiltrating our lives.

Eco-Friendly Craft Beer


This algae greenhouse that is currently on Kickstarter is for craft beer microbreweries to capture the CO2 released in the brewing process. The process also has a second benefit – once its captured the CO2, the algae converts it into obesity-fighting omega-3 oils.

 

Algae-Powered Lights


Your room could soon have a green glow if French biochemist Pierre Calleja has his way – he’s developed a light that is algae-powered. The algae photosynthesises in the tube, which allows it to thrive and means it soaks up CO2, making it particularly good for cities looking to clean up their air.

 

Combined Apartment and Algae Factory


This proposal for an apartment building has algae at its core – literally. The apartment units are in a grid on the outside of the building, with an algae farm at the centre, pumping out biofuel and bioplastics for 3D printing.

 

Algae-Powered Cars


Regular cars are now running on algae-based biodiesel in San Jose, the US , and there are plans to widen this to other areas of the country. Solazyme, the company supplying the algae is one of the major playing in the fast-rising biofuels industry, with algae fuels being used for everything from heating to military jet fuel.

 

Algae-Fuelled House


With its eco-friendly credentials, algae could become a standard fuel source for houses. The first ever example of this was built last year. The BIQ House in Hamburg, Germany has a bioreactor façade to generate biomass and heat to power it. Although the project cost too much to be easily replicated, the team behind it are now working to lower the costs for mass use.

In Pictures: This Week’s Most Futuristic Designs

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MV Recyclone

Designed by legendary British designer James Dyson, this barge uses the same cyclone technology as his vacuum cleaners to remove plastic waste from rivers. Acting as a giant hoover, the barge traps floating plastic in nets being pulled behind it before sucking up the plastic for removal and recycling.


Via Fast Co.Exist.


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Hive-Inn

This hotel structure is designed by OVA studio to enable individual units to be added or removed at will, allowing the whole structure to change and evolve according to need. The studio believe it could also be used for branding, with companies sponsoring individual containers.


Via DesignBoom.


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Poseidon Undersea Resort

Although there is no confirmed opening date, Fiji-based Poseidon is set to be the first underwater hotel in the world. From your Jules Verne-inspired underwater apartment you will be able to watch dolphins and tropical fish go about their day, fulfilling the dreams of 1960s futurists everywhere.


Image courtesy of Poseidon Resorts.


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Renault KWID

Designed for young drivers in India, this concept car from Renault combines modern glam with futuristic technology. Highlights include a white and gold interior with ‘birds nest’ detailing and DeLorean-style doors, as well as a personal drone that takes off from a hatch in the roof to monitor traffic.


Via Curve.


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Project Ara

This is Google’s modular smartphone, a concept product that should make its way into mass use by 2015. Different modules containing features such as batteries, processors, cameras and antennas will be attachable using electropermanent magnets, all of which can be styled using 3D printed shells to match existing hardware. This could be the start of a whole new type of gadget.


Via The Next Web.