Apple, Google and Amazon Join Forces for More Connected Smart-Homes

A new coalition (which officially launches this year) between Apple, Google, Amazon and the Zigbee Alliance will result in most new devices being compatible with each aforementioned brands’ smart-home products. Setting an official standard for how products should coexist and connect will “make it easier both for consumers to build their ideal smart-home environment and also for manufacturers to develop new products.” That means one …

Nest LivingHome Toolkit Drastically Reduces Costs of Housing Construction

Starting at $57,900, Plant Prefab and architecture firm Brooks & Scarpa offer modular unit designs that can be assembled with prefabricated, customizable parts—from shelters that house hundreds of people to standalone units that run off the grid. These designs, named Nest LivingHome Toolkits, seek to combat the housing crisis in many US cities by employing innovative design in situations that usually require costly construction sites …

The US Air Force Leans on Biomimicry for New Body Armor

The US Air Force plans to research whether or not body armor can replicate the strength of an arapaima’s exterior. This Amazonian fish, native to places like Brazil, Peru, and Guyan, is capable of fending off deadly piranha with its scales. This natural self-defense system is courtesy of evolution over millions of years, and has made the fish’s body protective and incredibly flexible. Naturally, the …