Weekly 'Pulse' Issue 40

Our weekly round-up of thought-starters, opportunities & ideas... 


Coffee in bed

Australians drink an estimated 16.3 million cups of coffee per day and up until now most of the discarded grounds were just that; discarded. A local bedding company, Ettitude plans to change this by incorporating coffee ground waste into their fabric yarn, which was originally a blend of bamboo and recycled plastic water bottles.

Their new coffee range will include separate pillow cases, sheets and complete bedding sets. The grounds are treated to remove the distinct smell of coffee and their properties are said to have anti-ageing and moisture wicking benefits, giving you a sound (sustainable) nights sleep. 

Read more at https://goo.gl/uLN7J5

How else can waste and byproducts of the commercial food industry be repurposed into desirable, everyday consumer luxuries?

Nosy neighbours

If you have ever wondered which suburbs in your city were the most affluent, wonder no more. A San Francisco design studio has partnered with a global satellite mapping company to develop an AI tool called Penny who will do the digging for you.

Penny's algorithm combines satellite imagery with census data to predict income in different areas, and when a prediction is made Penny can be up to 99% certain of the income-level of that suburb. 

While Penny will help to curb our natural curiosity, she also provides urban planners with a set of tools that allow them to test the impact adding a freeway or park would have on the affluence in that particular area.

Read more at https://goo.gl/psH5Uw 

How can we use data from machine learning and artificial intelligence to plan the future urbanisation of our cities?

Break a sweat

A team of researchers from the University of California have developed a biofuel skin patch that uses the lactic acid from our sweat to power a radio. The patch is made from enzymes that essentially work the same way as metals inside a normal battery, however they are powered by the lactic acid our body naturally produces when we sweat.

To date the research team have been able to power a sweat-driven radio for two days straight, and there are predictions that this technology could be used for a variety of applications like charging our phones, track athlete performance and monitor key bodily statistics like glucose levels.

Read more at https://goo.gl/vwjMxJ

How can we use the energy and biofuels created by our body to power our environments or develop more accurate ways to track human health?