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Sunday, September 1, 2019

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Modular guitars and a self-charging smartwatch

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Modular guitars and a self-charging smartwatch

At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion different crowdfunding campaigns happening on the web. Take a stroll through Kickstarter or Indiegogo and you’ll find no shortage of weird, useless, and downright stupid projects out there — alongside some real gems. We’ve cut through the fidget spinners and janky iPhone cases to round up the most unusual, ambitious, and exciting new crowdfunding projects out there this week. Keep in mind that any crowdfunding project — even those with the best intentions — can fail, so do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams. 

August 30

Boaz One — modular electric guitar

This thing is pretty rad. In short, it’s a modular electric guitar designed with swappable bodies and pickup modules that allow you to adjust practically every aspect of the instrument in a quick and efficient manner. It also has some sweet features that eliminate the need to buy ancillary guitar equipment, like a built in stand, or a swappable body that has a built-in battery and amplifier.

Q-Mic — simplified microphone

If you’re an aspiring YouTuber, podcaster, streamer, vlogger, or any other form of internet-era storyteller, you should probably give this project a look. Q-mic, as it’s called, is a no-nonsense microphone designed specifically for content creators. It has three modes: Directional, Omni, and ASMR — and that’s it. The device ditches fine-tuning and confusing options for a dead-simple 3-mode interface, so you can focus more on telling your story and less on adjusting your equipment.

Kammok Burro — modular, waterproof, high-performance packs

Full disclosure: I f*&#ing love Kammok. It’s arguably one of the most innovative and forward-thinking outdoor brands that’s popped up in the past decade, and practically everything the company makes is ridiculously high-quality (check out their adjustable insulation sleeping bag, their tent/hammock hybrid, or their rain-collecting tarp). I haven’t had a chance to try out these packs yet, but based on my previous experience with Kammok gear, I have zero doubt that these suckers will be nothing short of bulletproof.

Ooni Karu — portable wood-fired pizza oven

If you haven’t had a wood-pizza before, then you’re not living your life to the fullest. Wood-fired pizza is the way all pizza should be done, and if this Kickstarter project delivers on its promise, you’ll soon be able to make it wherever you go. The Karu, as it’s called, is a collapsible wood-fired pizza oven designed for portability — without compromising on quality. It heats up to over 900 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing you to cook perfect pizza in under a minute.

Supercharger 2 — self-charging smartwatch

Self-winding watches have been around for ages at this point, but self-charging smartwatches? That’s a whole different level of awesome. This sucker uses kinetic charging technology (basically a refined version of those shake-to-shine flashlights) to power itself indefinitely. According to the creators, you never need to charge it — despite the fact that it can track your activity, store information, and sync with your phone.

August 23

Oru Inlet — ultraportable origami kayak

Kayaking is amazing, but one of the big downsides of the sport is the cumbersome nature of the gear. In order to partake, you typically have to buy specialized racks for your car in order to transport them. But what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if your kayak could fit in the trunk of your car? That’s precisely the idea behind Oru’s latest (and smallest) foldable kayak, the Inlet. Thanks to some origami magic, this little sucker collapses down into a form that’s so small you could easily fit three of them in a standard car trunk.

Duotek — reversible hi-viz jacket

Reflective jackets are a great idea if you do a lot of cycling, scootering, walking, or just existing in an urban area with a lot of car traffic. The only problem is that if you happen to wear that jacket anywhere off the street, you look like an absolute dweeb. Luckily, the folks at Fullframe Design have developed an ingenious solution: A reversible reflective jacket. When you need to be highly visible, wear it reflective-side out. When you don’t, just flip it inside out and rock the matte-black look. It’s amazing that nobody thought of this until now!

Norm — normal-looking AR glasses

AR glasses certainly aren’t a new thing at this point, but practically all of the existing versions are bulky and ugly as hell. It’s a rare thing to see a pair that resembles a normal set of spectacles — but Norm hopes to change that. Despite boasting features like voice control, touch control, and audio playback, the glasses themselves are nearly indistinguishable from a set of normal glasses. The quality of the software remains to be seen, but we’re definitely going to keep an eye on this company.

Innochiller — ultrafast beverage chiller

Ever forget to put a drink in the fridge, then end up settling for a lukewarm beverage later on because you’re too thirsty to wait for it to cool down? Well if the folks behind the Innochiller succeed in their mission, you’ll never have to experience that ever again. This gizmo leverages some clever physics to take a room temperature drink and chill it down to refrigerator-level coolness in just 10 minutes. You’ll definitely want to check out the pitch video — the creators explain how it works far better than I ever could.

Woojer Edge — wearable subwoofer

Headphones are great, but no matter how high you crank the volume, they never seem to make you feel the sound in the same way a gigantic set of speakers and subs can. So, to make your headphone listening experiences more engaging, immersive, and similar to what you’d experience at a live concert, the folks at Woojer have created the Woojer Edge, a wearable subwoofer that adds a tactile dimension to your experience of music. Just plug it into your headphones and you’ll be able to feel the vibes of your tunes without cranking your earphones to max volume.

August 18

Joola Infinity — robotic ping pong trainer

Here’s a quick cut from our full article: “In the most basic terms, the Infinity Smart Table Tennis Training Robot is like one of those ball-firing machines used by tennis players or in baseball batting cages. It fires out balls at a rate of 30 to 100 per minute. But it doesn’t stop there. It can perform just about any kind of shot — from no spin to topspin, underspin, or side spin — by moving 150 degrees side to side. The app-controlled drills will be selected by world-leading players and coaches.”

DRL Racer4 Street — Professional racing drone

“The DRL Racer4 Street is nearly identical to the DRL Racer4 drone that the pilots [will] navigate through complex courses in iconic venues around the world,” Drone Racing League founder and CEO Nicholas Horbaczewski told Digital Trends in a recent interview. “It has the same high-performance, speed, and modularity, so fans can experience exactly what it’s like to fly like the best pilots in the world. The only difference is that the DRL Racer4 Street will have 100 LEDs instead of a thousand, as well as simplified electronics. Our professional racetracks require an advanced radio package and diagnostics tools that aren’t necessary for flying on the street.”

Rype Go — A.I. language learning app

“Rype GO uses A.I.-powered speaking lessons that empower you to speak any language from day one without feeling judged,” CEO Sean Kim told Digital Trends in a recent interview. “Our speaking lessons are designed to feel like real-life conversations you would have with a friend, a co-worker, or a native speaker you just met. Rather than feel embarrassed by asking someone to correct you, our speech recognition technology gives you real-time feedback to keep you on the right track. Our app [also] provides bite-sized, engaging video lessons that we produced in our studio that you can enjoy before your speaking lessons. Instead of learning how to say ‘pineapple,’ you’ll learn everyday relevant topics like how to talk to someone at a party, and even how to communicate with your Airbnb host.”

Genki Covert Dock — ultraportable Nintendo Switch dock

Here’s DT’s Gabe Gurwin with the lowdown: “The Nintendo Switch is a brilliant hybrid console, and this is largely in thanks to its ability to be used either as a handheld system or a traditional system. Connecting it to a television requires a dock, and Nintendo’s own design is unwieldy and bulky. The Genki Covert Dock aims to eliminate this issue by combining the dock’s functionality with a charger in a tiny single device. The dock, which just launched on Kickstarter, includes an HDMI port, foldable prongs, and USB 3.1 and USB-C ports for charging and accessories.”

Pale blue — rechargeable lithium polymer batteries

Rechargeable batteries certainly aren’t a new idea at this point, but most of the ones you can buy right now aren’t particularly convenient. In addition to losing their capacity over time, many of the rechargeable batteries on the market right now also take a long time to recharge. Pale Blue batteries aim to alleviate these issues. They’re lithium polymer batteries, which means that in addition to being more power-dense, they’re also capable of recharging quite quickly.

August 4

Sonny — portable bidet

Somebody recently called this thing “the iPod of bidets” and honestly I don’t know what else I could possibly say about it. That says practically everything you need to know. I’m not even going to try to explain more than that.

Noir — security cam hidden in a charger

We’re at a weird point in human history right now. Somehow, “nanny cams” hidden in teddy bears are so common that, if you suspect you’re being watched, the nearest stuffed bear is the most logical place to check for a hidden camera. I’d argue that this is common knowledge at this point. So if you want to spy on someone without them knowing (though you probably shouldn’t, you goddamn creep), you’ll need something a bit more discreet — something like this HD security camera that’s cleverly tucked inside a standard-looking USB wall charger. I bet most people could look straight into the lens of this sucker without even realizing it.

Flit-16 — folding electric bicycle

Folding bikes just keep getting better and better, and at this point, I’m not sure how it’s even possible. This latest entry into the category is called Flit-16, and in addition to the fact that it packs down smaller than any folding bike I’ve ever seen, it’s also fully electric. If you live in a place where suitable bike parking is scarce, or you’re simply worried about thieves, something like this would be ideal. Instead of locking it up, you can just collapse the frame, pick up the whole bike, and carry it to the safety of your office or apartment. Pretty neat, right?

Alulu — receipt paper instant camera

Instant cameras are all the rage right now. Maybe it’s nostalgia for the Polaroid days of yore, maybe it’s a manifestation of our subconscious lust for tangibility in a world where everything is digital. Who knows. But regardless of the reasoning behind it, one thing is certain: instant print paper is expensive. Oftentimes you’re forced to buy a specific brand or style that’s compatible with your particular camera and have no choice but to pay whatever the price is. Alulu is an attempt to fix that problem. Instead of printing on proprietary photo paper, it’s designed to print photos on receipt paper. This way, it doesn’t use any ink and is also extremely cheap. The only downside, of course, is that it’s only capable of printing in black and white. Still — what a great idea!

Huskylens — computer vision camera module

This one blows my mind. It’s essentially an A.I.-powered camera module that makes computer vision cheap and accessible to the DIY electronics community. Plug this sucker into your favorite single-board computer (it’s compatible with Raspberry Pi, Arduino, LattePanda, and a host of others), and you’re off to the races. Thanks to its onboard computer vision software, it’s capable of recognizing (and tracking) faces, objects, lines, colors, and tags. You can also apparently teach it new things just by clicking on them. All that, and this thing only costs 40-50 bucks. It’s insane how cheap and accessible advanced A.I. has become in the past few years.



By: Digital Trend

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