Whether you prefer to take vacation in July or in August, it is soon holiday time! For the occasion, we are pleased to spotlight a selection of innovations on the theme of travel and summer. We recommend that you read it in a deckchair or a hammock!
Some ecology-focused innovations
Refreshing innovative pavement
With global warming, we are more and more often facing the vagaries of weather, with both intense rain events and heatwaves. This month of June 2021 has coupled the two events for a large part of France. To deal with these evolutions, engineering students from Normandy (ESITC) have developed revolutionary cobblestones made from shells. This original concept allows the cobblestones to absorb water in the event of a rain with a capacity of 500 liters per minute per square meter, thus limiting runoffs or even flooding. And it was also found that wet cobbles can lower the ground temperature by around 10 degrees, which is very useful in case of high heat.
Sunglasses made with… recycled fishing nets
You may already have heard of it in 2020: French entrepreneurs have started manufacturing sunglasses from recycled fishing nets. The Brest-based start-up Fil & Fab has partnered with Acuitis and Armor Lux to offer this new range of glasses frames, made out of used fishing nets.
The collected nets are remelted to be transformed into small balls that can be injected in moulds to manufacture the frames. The proposal is made in a responsible way to protect the environment, and more particularly the oceans where discarded fishing nets have a severe negative effect. Similarly, the French brand Awake Concept creates watches also made from fishing nets.
Visit Armor Lux’s website (sunglasses): www.armorlux.com
Visit Awake’s website (watches): www.awakeconcept.com
Innovations for more practical and secure vacations
Osmokey, a connected lock for campsites
This year, with the health crisis, innovations in the tourism sector often relate to new ways of travelling safe. A French start-up, European leader in connected services for campsites and vacation houses, created OsmoKey. It is a “contactless” connected lock where a RFID bracelet around the wrist replaces the key. So, there is no contact and no waiting period at the campsite reception desk, the access code is automatically sent by SMS.
Nowadays the dematerialization of documents and keys is clearly on the rise. The Accor Hotel group has been using “The Accor Key” since April. This key works with a QR code sent by e-mail that replaces usual keys and magnetic cards. The Edgar Restaurant app allows restaurant owners to generate a QR code customers will use to consult the menu (with the possibility of adding photos, etc.). The same code also allows to pay the bill, give an opinion, and, if necessary, be called in the event of a Covid alert. Finally, the app “Affluences” allows museums, swimming pools, shops, etc. to communicate about their actual number of visitors or customers in real time thanks to smart sensors.
Visit Edgar Restaurant’s website: www.edgar.restaurant
Visit Affluences’ website: affluences.com
NomadHer, a new app for women who travel alone
New travel platforms and apps are emerging everyday and we selected NomadHer, an application intended for women who travel alone and want to feel more secure. The application connects single travelers so that they can share their experience, identify co-travelers (to share the same means of transport) and also find secure accommodation options that are held by women and validated by the community of users. The start-up joined the incubator Welcome City Lab last May.
Visit the website: nomadher.com
New ways to travel
First space tourists in July
For the first time in History, a “sightseeing” spaceflight will take off on the 20th of July 2021! The voyage aboard the Blue Origin spacecraft will allow passengers to float weightless in a capsule for about 3 minutes and to observe the Earth before descending in free fall, slowed down by parachutes.
Unsurprisingly, the price of the ticket is not accessible to everyone. A wealthy woman won her place in an auction for 28 million dollars. This first flight can embark up to 3 space tourists, including Jeff Bezos, the famous founder of both Amazon and Blue Origin.
A 3D printed scooter
Not as spectacular as the weightless trip before, but far much closer to us, the Scotsman brand recently presented the first 3D printed electric scooter made from thermoplastics which are reinforced with carbon fibers. The advantage of this scooter is that it can be manufactured in one go, without losing time assembling parts of it and with a gain in stability. In addition, these 3D printed thermoplastics are both resistant (61 times stronger than steel) and light. The 3D printing also allows a complete customization of the device, from its size to its color.
The price of this technological toy is certainly higher than a classic scooter, but all the necessary comfort is included: GPS, traffic information, power supply system with 2 separate batteries that can also power other devices…
BlueWay, for a ride on the water
And since we are talking about scooters, Next Blue Way, a French start-up based in Aix-en-Provence and specialized in water sports, created in 2019 the BlueWay, a water scooter. For the moment, the scooter is intended for rental professionals. The device is noiseless and stable, and its electric motor makes it a zero-emission equipment. The start-up wanted to make a sustainable and responsible product by using recyclable materials and a dedicated recycling chain has also been set up.
At the moment, the water scooter is not accessible to the general public, but it should be the case for this summer. So, you just have to wait a couple of weeks to enjoy it!
Visit Next Blue Tech’s website: nextblue.tech
A solar barge
A barge running 100% on solar energy has just left the Castelsarrasin shipyard. Completely self-sufficient in energy thanks to its 24 square meters of solar panels, the boat, which is about fifteen meters long, does not need to find a charging station to operate. It is not the first boat to run using solar power, but its creator intends to develop this concept to make recreational boating more environmentally friendly.
We couldn’t end this article without finally talk about the original artwork of the Italian artist Salvatore Garau. Indeed, for the first time in the world, an invisible sculpture was sold by auction. Named “Io sono” (I am), its price reached nearly 15,000€.
The artist is anything but a beginner since he is already exhibiting one of his works, also completely void, “Buddha in contemplation”, in Piazza de la Scala in Milan. By not imposing a visual material, the artist wants each visitor to imagine his own representation of the chosen theme. What a vibrant call to individual creativity!
For the curious, but also the skeptics, the next “exhibition” is planned in New York. it is expected that the series will be limited to 7 void sculptures.
To know more about the innovations presented in this article (French articles):
Sunglasses made from recycled fishing nets:
Blue Origin: the first sightseeing spaceflight:
The “Buddha in contemplation” sculpture:
Scotsman: the first 3D printed electric scooter: www.3dnatives.com/trottinette-electrique-imprimee-en-3d-01062021/#! ;