We first reported on what we're calling "vroom tones"—artificial noises that electric cars are required to generate for safety reasons—back in '09 and '10, and it hasn't turned out the way we wanted. What we hoped was that e-car owners would be able to download different sounds in the manner of a ringtone, leading would-be sellers to come up with some truly creative vehicle noises.
Instead Ford has picked four engine sounds for their new Focus and posted them on Facebook, asking you social-network-using whippersnappers to rate which ones you like. The sounds are so disappointing I won't embed them here, but you can hear them at the link above. They sound like airplanes dithering around on the runway waiting for a take-off slot; they might as well add a fifth one of a guy saying "BOR-ring" in a singsongy voice.
Am I the only one that wants to hear an electric car that sounds like this, below?
I'd even settle for this:
Obviously the laser sound would be connected to the horn.
I'm pretty convinced that if guidelines could be set and users could create their own vroom tones, or buy/download them by choosing from a variety of developers, that alone would boost the standing of electric cars.
Get ready to rotomold your lunch inside your stomach
This might be the world's first amusement park ride that resembles a product design production method. The engineers at Swiss outfit ABC Rides have developed the Tourbillon (a French word that is used to refer to everything from merry-go-rounds to whirlwinds and maelstroms), a literal stomach-turner that does, well, this:
The U.S. and Japan might have been on the same team in Pacific Rim, but that was a movie, and this is real life. Last week America's MegaBots, the robotics firm that's partnered with Autodesk to make giant fighting robots (that admittedly fire paint cannonballs rather than live rounds), threw
After many years of development, rumor has it that Martin's first commercial jet-pack is to hit the market next year at $150,000 a piece.
Considering the onslaught of incredible inventions that the march of modern technology has unleashed on the world in recent years, it is perhaps surprising that dreams of the sci-fi staple jetpack have failed to come to more fruition. Of course, we've sat in wonderment at spectacular water jet variety, but
Francois Chambard's screen printing press celebrates printmaking's rich history within the realms of industry and craft
When thinking of mechanical objects, we don't often consider their beauty as much as their basic utility; bulldozers are rarely described as elegant and table saws are prized more for their ability to effectively cut wood than their grace. Despite this underappreciation, there have been a number of designers who