Monthly Roundup


28 November 2016

It's already November! So here's what inspired the studio throughout the last month...

Material Technologies

Hyperloop High-speed Transportation System

We got pretty excited by a sneak preview of Hyperloop One, a high-speed transportation system between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Hyperloop is the vision of entrepreneur Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla Motors, Paypal and space exploration company SpaceX. Hyperloop One, developed by BIG, is just one of many companies developing technologies and infrastructure, in order to build Hyperloop for the very near future. Initially revealed in 2013, Hyperloop One is officially set to be unveiled on 7th November 2016.

Jakob Lange, director of BIG Ideas, claims the 'infrastructure has the potential to transform how people live, giving them greater choice over where they live by connecting remote regions with the city in a matter of minutes.' Earlier this year, Hyperloop One carried out testing of its propulsion technology for Hyperloop in the desert outside Las Vegas, where it achieved speeds of 187 km/h in 1.1 seconds.

"You spread out the possibilities for everybody to live where they want: by the sea, by the water, in the forest, wherever."

Hyperelastic Bone - the future of reconstructive surgery?

A new synthetic material called Hyperelastic Bone has been developed, which can be implanted under the skin as a scaffold for new bone to grow on, or used to replace lost bone matter altogether. The material can be 3D-printed into any required shape, the flexible nature HB lets surgeons squeeze it into gaps between bones for a perfect fit.

Not only can it be printed to order, and custom-tailored to the individual, it can also be manipulated after use. It seems like an exciting, and possible breakthrough within reconstructive surgery, across the globe.

Laser burns colour into metal

The Finnish Company, Cajo Technologies, has developed a laser that can burn colours into a variety of materials.

Although the company is being relatively secretive about how their technology works, they stated,"Our colour patterning and marking method is based on a unique innovative application of the traditional laser beam. It alters the surface structure of the material, and no additives or pigments are needed. The method allows for extremely precise, permanent and practically everlasting colour patterning on almost all materials."

Food Technologies

Beyond Meat And Its Veggie Burger Campaign

Over more than three years, Beyond Meat has teamed up with scientists from Stanford University, Caltech, and elsewhere, to develop its Beyond Burger. Made from pea protein and coconut oil, the Beyond Burger is a veggie burger that aims to closely simulate the feel of eating meat. Last month, we saw the veggie burger hit US supermarkets, and with great success. Startups like Beyond Meat, and Impossible Foods, are catering for the new consumer - waking up to the health and sustainability benefits of reducing meat consumption.

However, the biggest challenge for Beyond Meat lies ahead...the company is now trying to convince grocery stores to put the Beyond Burger in a place no veggie burger has gone before: the meat aisle. CEO, Ethan Brown, envisions this space will be called the "protein" aisle, similar to the way that dairy aisles have made room for almond milk, soy milk, and a proliferation of other alternative products alongside the traditional cow variety. 

Tyson Foods Buys Into Beyond Meat

Tyson, one of the world's largest meat producers, has just bought a 5% stake in the startup Beyond Meat. The investment follows a current trend of large corporations taking stakes and acquiring well-known sustainable brands. It seems like the fake meat sector is possibly the next big target. 

Beyond Meat has had many tech investors, such as, Bill Gates and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. However, the Tyson investment is a clear sign that alternative meats are making a large impact on the market and the meat industry is taking note.

Some very exciting and inspiring developments, let's see how these pan out in the coming months.