TIME ces 2015

These New Headphones Are Hiding an Amazing Secret

Avegant

Proof virtual reality doesn't have to make you look like a massive nerd

Startup Avegant unveiled its latest prototype of a virtual reality headset at the Consumer Electronics Show Wednesday, and it proves the words “stylish virtual reality goggles” do not have to be an oxymoron.

The headset, called Glyph, looks like an ordinary pair of noise-canceling headphones, only with two eye holes tucked discreetly underneath the headband.

That discretion could make all of the difference for shoppers who want an immersive video experience without having to immerse their heads in a clunky contraption. “It can’t look like I’m wearing a pope hat,” Avegant’s CTO Allan Evans said in an interview with Re/code.

Flip the Glyph’s headband down in front of the eyes and 2 million micro-mirrors will project light from an image directly onto the retina. Glyph’s designers say it mimics the experience of sitting in a darkened movie theater at a reasonable distance from the screen, making it uniquely suited for long haul flights, though it might still draw stares from neighbors unaccustomed to seeing headphones strapped across the face (see demonstration video below).

The Glyph is slated to go on sale in Autumn 2015, Re/code reports, for $599.

TIME ces 2015

There’s a Crazy Futuristic Washing Machine Taking CES by Storm

LG Washing Machine CES 2015
LG Electronic's David VanderWall introduces the LG front loading washing machine with the new Twin Load System allowing the consumer to do two separate washing loads at the same time, at the LG press conference at 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada on Jan. 5, 2015. Robyn Beck—AFP/Getty Images

Innovation isn't dead

LG has a simple idea for revolutionizing your laundry experience—letting you wash two loads at once.

The electronics company revealed Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show its brand-new TWIN Wash System for its front loading washing machines, according to an LG press release. The system is an add-on, pull-out washer beneath your main machine, and it’s ideal for washing your delicates that require a different wash cycle than your normal clothes.

The washing machine also comes with TurboWash 2.0, LG’s high-speed washing process that uses differently pressured nozzles to quickly rinse your clothes—and once they’re clean, the TurboSteam function allows for faster drying times, up to 50% speedier than previous LG machines.

The machine’s also connected to Wi-Fi, so you can operate it remotely and receive notifications when your clothes are ready. Naturally.

Read next: The Science of Why Your Kids Can’t Resist ‘Frozen’

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: January 6

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. China is the key to solving the problem of North Korea.

By Christopher Hill in Project Syndicate

2. Squeezing cells to make their walls temporarily permeable could open the door to new cancer and HIV treatments.

By Kevin Bullis at MIT Technology Review

3. Survivors of domestic violence are getting immediate protection from their abusers via videoconference with a court officer from their hospital beds.

By Laura Starecheski at National Public Radio

4. Japan is testing underwater turbines to harness the power of ocean currents for clean energy.

By Brian Merchant in Motherboard from Vice

5. Drones are the new tool of choice for biologists and ecologists studying endangered species.

By Aviva Rutkin in New Scientist

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME society

This Is How to Melt Soda Cans Into Almost Anything

Here’s how you recycle the cool way

We all know how to recycle the lame way: Just dump your aluminum cans into that blue bin and let the garbage man haul them off and turn them into who knows what—probably just more cans.

Here’s how you recycle the cool way: You build your own tiny foundry like Grant Thomas, aka The King of Random. Then you melt down your old soda cans yourself and turn them into whatever you want with a few molds from the Dollar Store.

We should say upfront that building mini foundries and working with molten aluminum might not be for everyone. For the DIY-challenged, it’s probably a good way to end up with a very confused doctor looking you over in the emergency room.

But even if you aren’t ready to fire up a forge in your backyard, watching Thompson melt down cans with ease and turn them into metal biscuits and other goodies (including a sword) is a fun visual representation of how recycling and reusing metal isn’t just some ambiguous concept. It’s something anyone can do, even at home. Just don’t use your good muffin pans.

Bring on the 18-pack of Mountain Dew!

This article originally appeared on FWx.

More from FWx:

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: January 5

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. After 13 years at war chasing shifting priorities and the wildly different visions of civilian leadership, America’s military is a force adrift.

By Andrew Tilghman, Hope Hodge Seck, Michelle Tan, Patricia Kime, David Larter, Steve Losey and Leo Shane III in the Military Times

2. Sending kids to jail only ups the chances they’ll commit crimes again. States should raise the age of criminal responsibility.

By Sarah Childress at Frontline

3. 95 percent of the world’s population doesn’t own a computer. Repurposing old or unused tech can help close the gap.

By Revivn

4. We must build systems for overcoming subconscious racial bias.

By Sendhil Mullainathan in the Upshot

5. A new tool harnesses data to give teachers personalized roadmaps for professional development.

By Christina Quattrocchi in EdSurge

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Innovation

This Is the Apple Watch’s Killer Feature

Apple Watch Convenience
View of the Apple watch displayed in a shop on the Saint-Honore street, a day after after the unveiling of the new and highly anticipated product in Paris on Sept. 30, 2014. Loic Venance—AFP/Getty Images

A tech editor says it boils down to something extremely simple

Nicholas Carlson’s Business Insider headline Friday morning — “The Apple Watch Is Going To Be A Flop, Top Startup Investor Says” — bears almost no relation to what the top startup investor (Fred Wilson) actually said. I mention it partly because I like making fun of Business Insider’s headlines, and partly because it gives me an excuse to dig out a piece I bookmarked a few days earlier.

It’s by Rene Ritchie, editor of iMore and co-host of almost as many tech podcasts as there are days in the week.

The Apple Watch’s killer feature, he wrote in late November, having digested nearly three months of post-intro analysis, is convenience.

Read more at Fortune.com.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: January 2

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. Never doubt the power of play to transform communities.

By Natasha Gardner in 5280 Magazine

2. It’s time to start connecting the dots between executive compensation and better corporate citizenship.

By Judy Samuelson in the Guardian

3. To fight contamination of lake water, these floating toilets grow there and clean themselves.

By Nsikan Akpan at National Public Radio

4. We owe approaching breakthroughs on String Theory to science’s patience for nurturing new ideas.

By Brian Greene in Smithsonian Magazine

5. “Nothing stops a bullet like a job:” A small investment in summer jobs for teens in Chicago reduced violent crime in the city.

By Emily Badger in the Washington Post

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME

Big Idea 2015: It’s Time for Political Leaders to Work Together

capitol-building
Getty Images

Adam Goldstein is President and & COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises.

Let’s agree to make progress on each of these five points during 2015 and in return we can continue to fight about everything else as usual

I believe the topic for this month is the one big fantasy for 2015 (well, something like that). So here it is: my idea is that our political leaders actually work together to address the nation’s challenges. As opposed to elected officials acting as if parties that alternate winning by a small margin every two years always have a mandate to have things their own way.

So let’s willingly suspend disbelief for a moment or two and imagine that in 2015, a sudden surge in bipartisan spirit will enable the United States to:

  • Recommit to educating our children so we remain competitive in the world economy for decades to come
  • Invest in our failing infrastructure so that in addition to preserving our bridges, roads and buildings for the long term we will promote employment for the short term
  • Pass budgets, manage debt ceilings and fund essential programs without histrionics and embarrassing brinksmanship that reduces the world’s respect for our principles of democracy
  • Take advantage of an unforeseen window of opportunity that lower energy prices and greater domestic production have afforded us to reduce our dependence on oil, especially imported oil
  • Motivate job creation by businesses both large and small to spur economic growth

What idea could produce such a far-fetched outcome? In a word, leadership. That is the missing element between fantasy and reality. As long we have a two party political system where each side believes it has all of the right answers and the other side has all of the wrong answers, the gap persists. But my fantasy need only stretch so far. Let’s agree to make progress on each of the above five points during 2015 and in return we can continue to fight like cats and dogs about everything else as per usual. If we achieve this limited but essential success next year, then let’s pick five more areas to cooperate on in 2016. Oh, sorry, that’s a Presidential election year. Maybe we’ll just shoot for odd numbered years until we establish a favorable trend.

For those of you who find this “idea” of mine utterly unrealistic to the point of absurdity, please be advised that this is only my second most outlandish fantasy for 2015. My first, which I did not have the guts to write about, is that the Philadelphia Eagles will win the Super Bowl next year. It’s a privilege to write for LinkedIn and I didn’t want to risk my readership writing about something that could never happen.

This Influencer post originally appeared on LinkedIn. Adam Goldstein shares his thoughts as part of LinkedIn’s Influencer series, “Big Ideas 2015” in which the brightest minds in business blog on LinkedIn about their predictions on ideas and trends that will shape 2015. LinkedIn Editor Amy Chen provides an overview of the 70+ Influencers that tackled this subject as part of the package. Follow Adam Goldstein and insights from other top minds in business on LinkedIn.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Innovation

Big Idea 2015: Technology Can Save Us Time, But Are We Spending Those Extra Hours Well?

wall-clock
Getty Images

Maynard Webb is Chairman of the Board at Yahoo! and founder of Webb Investment Network. Webb is also the author of "Rebooting Work: Transform How You Work in the Age of Entrepreneurship".

in the midst of all of the productivity hacks and exciting advances we must remember to retain our humanity

Everyone starts with the same number of hours in the day. But what differentiates us is how much we get out of those hours. The most successful people achieve things in less than a third of the time it would take an average person to complete the same task.

But now — and in a trend that will grow in 2015 — we are seeing more tools and hacks that will allow everyone to gain an edge on Father Time, allowing us to complete more, achieve more, and enjoy more in less time than ever before.

There are several advances in technology that will rapidly increase productivity:

Electronic Payments: Apple Pay and Visa Checkout enable us to save time from filling out information and making payments simpler and more secure than ever before.

Working Idle Assets: Airbnb and Relay Rides allow us to leverage our assets when we are not using them, and make money when we are not working, allowing us freedom do more in other areas.

Automobiles: Incredible advances are being made with cars, and I know my investment in a Tesla not only saves me money — I charge it at home overnight, when I get better rates and get credits for the solar panels I put in — but it also saves me time. I’m never wasting cycles of productivity sitting at a gas station. In the future, we will have driverless cars, allowing us to accomplish other things while we are in transit.

On Demand: I no longer wait to see the news in the morning paper, but get my updates from Yahoo! News Digest, an amazing tool that culls the biggest headlines curated just for me. I read all of my news on my sports teams on my phone and when I am waiting in line at Starbucks. Twitter is another example of an increasingly popular platform for scanning real-time news. I used to spend my mornings searching for that news; now I use that extra time I get back to work with the entrepreneurs we invest in and help more people make their ideas a reality.

Wearables: No question that there’s been a lot of hype around IoT, especially as it relates to high-tech wearables. Wearable devices are now at the heart of just about every discussion related to IoT, and I believe that 2015 will see us continue to move from viewing these as fun novelties and interesting gadgets, to a game-changing influence with the potential to not only disrupt the modern business world (i.e. Salesforce Wear), but also help us to be more productive in our personal lives.

In 2015 we will all have the opportunity to save more time than ever. But in the midst of all of these productivity hacks and exciting advances we must remember to retain our humanity. We must not spend meals with loved ones on our smartphones. We must not squander this saved time scouring Facebook or binge-watching seasons of TV shows. Too often we get savings in one area, and we waste it in another. Let’s not do that.

This coming year we should think about how to spend our newly gained time and resolve to give it back to the world. The people who learn how to harness time for good will be the most successful and make the biggest impact.

This Influencer post originally appeared on LinkedIn. Maynard Webb shares his thoughts as part of LinkedIn’s Influencer series, “Big Ideas 2015” in which the brightest minds in business blog on LinkedIn about their predictions on ideas and trends that will shape 2015. LinkedIn Editor Amy Chen provides an overview of the 70+ Influencers that tackled this subject as part of the package. Follow Maynard Webb and insights from other top minds in business on LinkedIn.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Innovation

Big Idea 2015: Make This the Year You Finally Launch Your Own Startup

small-business-meeting
Getty Images

Don Tapscott is CEO of The Tapscott Group, and was founder and chairman of the international think tank New Paradigm. Tapscott's new book is "The Digital Economy Anniversary Edition: Rethinking Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence".

Consider being a social entrepreneur

2015 will be the time to start a business. Here’s why and how.

Around the world we are facing unprecedented unemployment – even in the developed world. Youth are particularly hard hit. In 2014 more than 1.6 million students graduated from American colleges and universities. Many moved directly into the swollen ranks of the unemployed. After taking on enormous debt to finance their studies, they ended up competing for unpaid internships or low-paying jobs for which their education is irrelevant. This violates the tacit pact made with them: If they were industrious, law-abiding and diligent students, their lives would be prosperous.

The U.S. isn’t alone. According to the International Labor Organization, youth unemployment in most of the world is stuck at about 20 percent. “Young people [are] nearly three times as likely as adults to be unemployed,” says the ILO. In Spain more than 50 percent of young people are unemployed, in Italy it’s 35 percent, and in France the rate is more than 25 percent. When considering under-employment, these numbers could be doubled.

Such unemployment is corrosive to all societies, no matter what their level of development. All citizens want to play a productive role and contribute to their community. Unemployment gnaws at an individual’s well-being, and makes them feel surplus to society’s needs.

But traditional methods of job creation are stalled.

One of the keys to solving this problem is entrepreneurship. Research shows that 80 percent of new jobs come from companies 5 years old or less. So the need for entrepreneurs has never been greater, in both developing and developed countries. When given the right conditions to flourish, entrepreneurs are the foundation of growth, prosperity and even innovation. They bring fresh thinking to the marketplace and fuel the creative destruction that makes market economies prosper.

In addition to creating jobs, new companies are the foundation of the economy and the source of much innovation. They also create the new goods and services on which our standard of living is based. The Internet slashes transaction and collaboration costs for almost every institution in an economy. This is leading to a change in how societies orchestrate capability to innovate, create goods, services and public value. With such costs falling precipitously, companies can increasingly source ideas, innovations and uniquely qualified minds from a vast global pool of talent.

Many big companies benefit from startup entrepreneurship. They acquire small companies with great innovations rather than relying solely on their research and development departments. As the new saying goes, M&A is the new R&D. Entrepreneurship is also critical to social cohesion and avoiding the radicalization of youth and their recruitment to anti-social and dangerous causes.

Waiting for governments or big companies to solve the problem is not the answer. Necessity is the mother of invention. Is it time to take the bull by the horns and make your own job?

The best thing I ever did in my professional life was to become an entrepreneur. It was tough, but it worked out well for me and I have a life of influence, prosperity and fun beyond anything I ever dreamed. Here’s my advice to you.

  1. Create a business with customers. This may sound silly but so many startups are focused on getting traffic to their site, going viral or getting traffic to their website. Peter Drucker said years ago: “The purpose of any business should be to create a customer.” Create some value that a customer would want to pay you for. As for funding listen to Tony Hsieh the CEO of Zappos, who said: “Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.”
  2. Don’t seek venture capital. These days virtually no venture capitalist invest in a business plans or even early-stage companies. Besides, you don’t need them. Fortunately, it is less costly than ever to create a company. Thanks to the Internet, little companies can now have all the capabilities of big companies, without the main liabilities: stifling bureaucracy, legacy culture and processes. Talent can be outside enterprise boundaries and companies can use the new media to market and engage stakeholders in radically new, low-cost ways. One study found that readily available resources such as open-source software, cloud computing, and the rise of virtual office infrastructure has driven the cost of launching an Internet venture down from $5 million in 1997 to less than $50,000 in 2008. The best is to have a product or service that generates initial revenue so you don’t have to borrow money or give away equity. Or get a loan or small investment from your family or friends.
  3. Consider crowdfunding. The Internet offers a new solution for companies seeking capital, based on peer-to-peer networks that bring people together to achieve a common goal. New firms can source capital in new ways, and it should be no surprise that a young business builders are harnessing the power of mass collaboration to fund their companies. Individuals and new companies have used crowdfunding to raise billions of dollars in debt and equity during the past five years. In 2012, crowdfunding raised almost US $2.7 billion around the world, an 80 percent increase over the year before. Since 2009, Kickstarter has channeled more than US $815 million to nearly 50,000 projects. The early success of crowdfunding in the developed world shows how much potential this new way of raising capital has for aspiring entrepreneurs in the developing world. No jobs? Take a page from my daughter and her best friend who created Knixwear, a company that makes high-performing underwear for women. (“Women are multi-taskers, their underwear should be too”). Their crowdfunding campaign not only raised capital, it lead to a big deal with one of their most important target retailers. A year later, the company is a rocket.
  4. Consider being a social entrepreneur. With the rise of social entrepreneurship – businesses that seek to create social good – there are vast new opportunities to advance social development, sustainability and justice that supplement the efforts of traditional government and civil society institutions. Governments are increasingly inept at solving societal problems. So increasingly it’s up to us. I’m constantly inspired as I travel around the world by the new generation who want to do well by doing good.
  5. The Internet enables startups to focus on what you do best. Partner to do the rest. Companies such as Amazon are opening up their technology infrastructures to create an open stage where large communities of partners can create value, and in many cases, create new businesses. They set a context for innovation and then invite their customers, partners and other third parties to co-create their products and services.
  6. Don’t give up. From my experience, the conventional wisdom is correct — not banal. “Ninety percent of everything is just showing up.” “Success is 90 percent perspiration and 10 percent inspiration.” Or as Winston Churchill said, “If you’re going through Hell, keep going.”It’s a lot of hard work to build a business. But if you’re like me or the women at Knixwear, it’s worth it.

This Influencer post originally appeared on LinkedIn. Don Tapscott shares his thoughts as part of LinkedIn’s Influencer series, “Big Ideas 2015” in which the brightest minds in business blog on LinkedIn about their predictions on ideas and trends that will shape 2015. LinkedIn Editor Amy Chen provides an overview of the 70+ Influencers that tackled this subject as part of the package. Follow Don Tapscott and insights from other top minds in business on LinkedIn.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

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