While people are fairly fussy about things like bicycle tire pressure, they tend to be a lot more blasé when it comes to inflating basketballs – even though a ball’s pressure can greatly affect its performance. The Innoflate Perfect Pressure Needle is designed to help … by whistling.

Users simply screw the Innoflate onto a third-party pump’s hose, in place of the existing inflation needle. They then use it to inflate a basketball as usual.

The Innoflate’s bulb will subsequently emit a whistling noise, once the ball’s air pressure reaches exactly 8 PSI (0.6 bar) – this is the sweet spot for basketballs, as the recommended air pressure is generally considered to range from 7 to 9 PSI.

According to inventor Grahm Roach, his product is much more accurate than other methods, such as squeezing the ball or dropping it to see how high it bounces. And while it certainly is possible to periodically check a ball with a separate pressure gauge as it’s being inflated, the fact is that most people don’t bother doing so.

Sustainability will be at the heart of the Olympic games in Tokyo in 2020 — and now, Japanese olympic organizers have made a suggestion that will bring the focus on sustainability front and center at the summer games: They want to make medals out of recycled materials.

If they go through with the idea, the gold, silver, and bronze medals — awarded to athletes who place first, second, and third, respectively — will be created using materials from discarded and recycled electronics, such as cell phones and computers.

According to The Telegraph, the concept was first shared by members of a 19-person task force focused on developing a “legacy plan” for the 2020 Olympics, with the focus on  creating a positive legacy.

Once the concept is finalized, they will submit the idea to the Tokyo Organizing Committee for approval later this month. There are some basic requirements for medals; gold medals are required to be made from at least 92.5 percent silver, and must contain a minimum of 6 grams of gold. All Olympic medals have been required to be at least 60 mm in diameter and 3 mm thick.

Per The Telegraph, the same committee is also thinking about how to use recycled materials (such as aluminum, glass, and wood) when constructing the stadiums and buildings that will host the games.

In recent years, there has been an increase in discussions around the environmental impact that the games have on the hosting cities; with thousands of athletes, coaches, and fans traveling to a single destination, the emissions are high — not to mention, the amount of resources used to keep the games up and running. The Olympics of recent memories have definitely made efforts to include sustainability and environmental consciousness as part of their legacy.

All the way back in 2000, the Sydney games made environmentalism a priority by offering free train and bus travel for spectators of the games; they also added solar panels — and the largest single roof-based power station (at the time) was built atop the basketball venue. More recently, in 2012, the London games reported that once the event was over, 62 percent of the waste generated was reused, recycled, or composted rather than disposed to landfills.

However, being proactive and doing even more to help the environment is important. Ahead of the 2016 games in Rio — the last summer Olympics — it was predicted that the games would  generate 3.6 million tonnes of CO2 emitted into the environment, as well as 17,000 tonnes of waste produced.

Japan Suggests Using Recycled Materials for Medals at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games [GreenMatters]

It was a couple of years ago that Cerevo first unveiled its high-tech limited-edition Orbitrec road bike. Now, the Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer has announced pricing – the bike will cost you a whopping US$140,000, although that figure includes two return trips to Tokyo.

So, what business does an electronics company have making a bicycle?

Well, inside of its down tube, the Orbitrec incorporates a GPS unit, along with sensors that measure nine ride parameters including acceleration, angular velocity, geomagnetic orientation and ambient temperature. Data from these is uploaded to a cloud-based server, where it’s used to create a continuously-updated personal ride log. It’s also transmitted by Bluetooth or ANT+ to a third-party cycling computer, or to an iOS/Android app on the user’s smartphone.

One Micro-USB-charge of the battery that powers all the electronics should be good for about 15 hours of riding.

The custom-fit frame is additionally pretty fancy, in that it consists of carbon fiber tubes joined together by 3D-printed titanium lugs. That’s where the trips to Japan come in, as Cerevo will initially be flying all buyers to and from Tokyo (and accommodating them) in order to get their exact measurements – once the bike is ready, they’ll be flown back to take ownership of it.

Australia’s Bastion Cycles offers something similar, in that buyers submit their measurements online for a custom-made, carbon-tubed, 3D-printed-titanium-lugged bike.

Cerevo informs us that the complete weight and components package for the Orbitrec has yet to be determined. If you get one, though, you’ll be one of only 10 people worldwide to do so – that’s how many of the bikes are being made. And should you wish to add much of the Orbitrec’s sensor package to your present bike, you can do so by buying Cerevo’s existing frame-mounted Ride-1 module – it costs $299.

3D-printed internet-connected bike gets 140-grand pricetag [New Atlas]

Our near future is going to be packed with cars that can drive us around, robots to help with chores and virtual worlds to escape to when the real world gets a little dull. Teaching kids to speak the languages such technologies are built on is becoming just as vital as reading, writing and math. There are many toys aimed at giving future coders a kickstart, and the latest is a trainset from consumer robotics startup Innokind.

The intelino smart train has all the creative appeal of a child’s first train set, but is a bit more advanced than the wooden push models of old. Users get interlocking plastic tracks, a lead (smart) engine, an unpowered “passenger car” and a set of colored squares. Aimed at children from 3 years and up, the setup mixes off-screen action with onscreen app-based play.

The smart engine has 32-bit ARM-based microcontroller brains and is powered by a Lithium Polymer battery for over 100 minutes of play per charge. Kids can control the train’s speed, direction and other basic functions such as turning onto a branch line by placing colored squares at strategic points on the track – essentially programming the train’s actions.

The electromagnetic wagon coupler can also be activated using appropriate control tiles, to add or remove towed cars as the smart train moves around the track.

There’s Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, color sensors mounted underneath to read the track-mounted “code,” a 3-axis accelerometer, speed and capacitive sensors, and user-controlled LED lighting. And all of this smart tech is wrapped in a polycarbonate and ABS shell designed to withstand the rigors of child play.

Firing up a companion app running on a smartphone opens up play to more advanced features, with would-be programmers able to create custom commands for the smart engine module via the Snap Editor.

Innokind launched the intelino smart train at CES 2019. A J-1 starter set is expected to be released in March, though pricing hasn’t been revealed at this time. The video below has more.

Innokind puts kids on the right track to learn coding [New Atlas]