• Retractable sunshades have long been used to adjust the amount of sunlight an area gets during the day, but these are usually driven by motors. Taking inspiration from the humble pine cone, engineers have now developed a shading system that can open and close automatically – no electricity required.
  • The boffins at architecture firm NBBJ have created the Sunbreak, an intelligent automated shade prototype that can be operated using a smartphone. It could potentially lower a building's running costs and make life more comfortable for those inside.
  • The Shelf is a clever car cover comprising solar cells that collect enough when parked in the sun for long periods to power the vehicle's air conditioner, tail-lights and other electronic equipment.