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Monthly Archives: June 2005

The Octodog

Did you know it’s next to impossible to get a translation from Swedish on the internet? At least, it is when you were dropped on the head at birth. If anyone out there speaks the language and can enlighten all of us, please drop a note.

I know what I know from the picture. It looks to be a great little kitchen thing from Swedish company Barndesign that turns regular hot dog sausages into little octopuses (I know it’s octopodes, and not octopi as some of you might think, but, well octopuses sounds better). It costs 199kronos, which is about $25. You can get it here. Story VIA Designboom.

Update: Allright, we have our Swedish translation. Thanks to Mikael, from Fosfor Gadgets for it. Fellas, go to the comments section to read it.

Update #2: Ok, they can be had for $16 right here. Thanks Joe.

Smart Hydro from iHouse

I’ll just look the other way and prentend I didn’t notice the cheap abuse of the “iSomething”.

The Smart Hydro, from company iHouse is an intelligent bath. You can communicate with it in a number of ways: through your cellphone, PDA, or even across the internet. This way, you can tell it when to prepare your bath for you, what temperature to make it and such. You can even “watch the progress over the internet”. Don’t exactly know why I’d want to watch my bathtub filling up on the internet, but well, there you have it.

There’s a ton more details inside.
Continue Reading

French(Freedom?)-Fry Holder

How many times have you dropped ketchup covered fries on your lap while driving? Better yet, how many accidents have you been in because you were holding your fries with one hand, eating them with the other and driving with your knee? Well cheer up, you don’t have to endanger other motorists to indulge in your fat sticks any longer.

It’s a simple holder that fits into most car’s cupholders. It has a rubber base to keep it from slipping. And the best thing? It comes with a special clip-on ketchup cup.

Goes for $10, here. Story VIA Bookofjoe.

Network Connectable Speakers

I wouldn’t exactly want to sell my kidneys to be able to get one of these or anything, but they’re still a somewhat interesting piece of technology. Being developped by the National (that being the nation of Japan) Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), they’re speakers that can be operated through a network.


Doesn’t sound like much, but there are some interesting uses to this. I’m too lazy to think of them for you, but you can figure some out yourselves. It draws power right from the ethernet cable and shows up as a virtual sound device by a Windows PC and is controlled using a special driver and control software. The virtual sound device converts sound data to the speaker’s sound format in real-time.

There’s no word on price, as I don’t really think they’re being sold yet. The network speaker will be on display at the 2nd Next Generation Wireless Technology Showcase from July 13-15 at Tokyo Big Sight. Story VIA Tech Japan.

Optoma DV10, All-In-One Home Theater Solution

DV10This is really great. It’s an entirely self-contained home theater solution. The DV10, from company Optoma, integrates a DVD player, a set of speakers (two 5-watt stereo) and a projector. All you have to do is show up at a friend’s house with this, place it 5ft away from a white wall, pop in a DVD and you’ll be able to enjoy a 50inch screen, right then and there. It’s even HDTV compatible!

Of course, you can use it like a standard projector as well. It comes with a bunch of I/O connections (Composite (RCA), D-sub 15 VGA(analog RGB/component/HDTV), S-Video, RS-232 communication, Stereo audio in, Stereo audio out, Optical audio out), so you can play games, connect your satellite, hook up your real sound system, etc.

It features brightness of 1,000 lumens, a contrast ratio of 4,000:1 and a bulb life of 2,000 hours. So, as a regular projector, it does well enough also.

The price for all this wonder? $1500.

The product page is here. You can purchase it at amazon. The story came VIA Akihabara News.

Speecys Corp. Fuel Cell Powered Robot

Fuel cells sure seem to be the way of the future, least as far as alternate sources of energy are concerned. They’re getting smaller and more efficient everyday. Japanese company Speecys Corp. has annouced the release of this robot, entirely powered with hydrogen fuel cells.

It is 50cm tall, weighs 4.2kg and is operated by a personal computer via a wireless local area network.

The robot is powered by five fuel cell stacks located in its arms. A 16-liter canister of compressed hydrogen is inserted near the robot’s neck and provides enough fuel for around one hour of operation.

Don’t really know what it can do, though. Can it dance? Play soccer? Wash my dishes? I don’t know, the article doesn’t say. It only alludes to such banal things as research, universities, etc.

Oh, and it mentions the price: $23,000.


Read the article here. Story VIA Mike’s List.

In Stereo, Creating Live Stereograms from your Webcam

This is a little bit of free software written by Jeremy Newton, a graphic designer from Brooklyn.

I’m sure you must have come across stereograms before. They’re those pictures that you’re supposed to cross your eyes a certain way, pray to Jeevus and frown real hard at in order to be able to see a three dimensional image. Well, Jeremy’s made an application that lets you turn regular flat 2-D video into a live stereographic (3-D) video. Three dimensional video that doesn’t require special glasses or anything. It’s great! Except of course, you won’t get color or anything. But still…

Now, it’s not just any footage. You have to have some still background, which is then used as a frame of reference. This is ideal for webcams, which are usually pointed in one direction.

The software is free. The only problem is that it’s only available for Macs at the moment, though a Windows version is in the works.

You can download the file here. The website is here.

Jacob Jensen T-6, Luxury Wireless Home Phone

Designer Jacob Jensen makes all sorts of very sleek looking things for the home. We’ve already covered one of his products, the designer doorbell.

This time, it’s a wireless phone equipped with DECT technology, which stands for (for those of you not in the know, including me) “Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications Technology”. It would seem this makes things, uh, better. Anyhow…

Up to 6 cordless handsets can work together with a single base unit to perform the function of a telephone and intercom system with calls transfer between handsets and base unit. It has a long range of operation with digital call clarity and user-friendly driven functions.

In addition, its built-in caller ID decoder, caller ID memory for 30 incoming numbers, phone book for 40 pre set numbers, redial and redial list provide simple and convenient management of your telephone calls.

Not exactly technology to write home about, but combined with the look and the Jensen name, you can almost justify the $300 pricetag.

Get it here. Story VIA TRFJ.

i-Pocket, Driveless iPod Mini Clone

ipocketAh… the things you can get away with when you don’t set foot in America. Anyway, this is at least half a year old, but at least there are a couple of new details out. Taiwanese company ABOSS is selling, for all of $75, this blatant iPod Mini clone. What makes it so cheap, I imagine, is the fact that it has no hard drive at all. Instead, it has a slot for SD/MMC/MS/MS-PRO/MS-DUO memory cards.

Aside from that, it comes with all the standard features:

132×64 OLED 4 colors display
Plays MP3/WMA/WAV files
Build-in microphone for voice recording (WAV)
USB 2.0 port compatible with most PCs
5 pre-set EQ selections (DDB/POP/ROCK/CLASSIC/JAZZ)
3 repeat modes (REPEAT 1/ALL/10S)
Multi-language support
Adjustable background light
A-B repeat function for language learning
MEM FILES mode to program 16 songs
HOLD switch to lock interface

So yeah, if you have a bunch of memory cards around and want to have something that looks iPoddy, for less than $80 and happen to be in Taiwan, well this could be the thing for you. The company website is here. Story VIA Akihabara News.