Welcome to Top 5 Coolness Countdown, the site that separates the coolness from the lukewarm. This week: Apple CarPlay, future villas, robot drumming and a lot more.
5. Energy-Producing City of the Future
If architect Vincent Callebaut has his way, spectacular villas from the future will be creating more energy than they consume, turning the wasteland that is the city of Kunming in South West China into a Nirvana resembling paradise. More than 45 energy-producing abodes will be built in the middle of a community garden that grows its own organic food. Sign us up.
4. Samsung Rocks the Milk
Samsung has announced a new music service, Milk, that brings streaming radio to Galaxy devices. Built by the same people who built Slacker, the service comes free with Samsung phones — although hackers have already figured out how to load the service onto other Android phones. It is ad-free and will appear on the Galaxy S5 when it launches in April.
3. Orgasmatron Coming
Speaking of feel-good technology, researchers at a university in Winston-Salem, North Carolina have created an implant that, shall we say, excites the pleasure centers of men and women automatically. Designed by Jim Pfaus, the box is shaped like a pack of cigarettes (but it’s smaller), and can trigger orgasms on cue. It’s made specifically for folks with dysfunctions down there so don’t think you’re going to install one anytime soon.
2. Apple CarPlay
Connect any iOS device with a Lightning cable, and you’ll see Apple’s lovely user interface on the car’s screen. You’ll see it first on Volvos, Mercedes-Benz and Ferraris this year, with almost every other car brand on the way.
1. Play That Funky Music, Cyborg
Gil Weinberg of Georgia Tech makes music with robots. His latest invention, however, flips the script: It’s a robotic drumming hand that gives amputees and the disabled the chance to bang on snare drums or sizzle on cymbals.
The system, which straps to the arm, has two drumsticks. The first one is controlled with electrical signals passed through the muscles of the arm. Another smaller stick taps out a rhythm automatically based on the music being played. It’s an amazing invention that can truly change lives.