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Monthly Archives: August 2006

Give Me A Liberty Shelf Or Give Me Death

Thermador Liberty Shelf (Image courtesy Thermador)By Andrew Liszewski

Slapping an LCD on the door of a fridge so you can call it hi-tech and charge more money is kind of lame. If that’s all it really takes to upgrade something to hi-tech status then wait till you see my upgraded lawnmower, sofa or German Shepherd, they’re going to take the world by storm.

Thermador on the other hand has actually added something that is both hi-tech and actually useful to their Freedom Collection of refigerators. The Liberty Shelf as they call it is a motorized shelf that can be raised or lowered at the push of a button even when fully loaded with heavy bottles or containers. The idea is to make it easier to access items at the back of the fridge without having to first empty the contents of the shelf.

The Freedom Collection from Thermador runs about $3,500 to $4,300 depending on the specific size and model you choose.

[Thermador Freedom Collection with Liberty Shelf] VIA [Home Improvement Ideas]

The Entertrainer Exercise Motivator

The Entertrainer (Image courtesy PowerUp Fitness)
By Andrew Liszewski

The hardest part to exercising on a stationary bike or other piece of equipment is staying motivated. The people behind the Entertrainer realised that since most people watch TV while working out it could also be used as an effective source of motivation.

To use this device simply put the wireless heart rate monitor around your chest and then synchronize the main Entertrainer controller to your television set. As you’re working out the device will slowly turn down the volume on your television unless you maintain the target heart rate you selected. If your exercising falls well below the desired amount the Entertrainer will turn the TV all the way down and eventually shut it off. It’s definitely not a bad idea and will probably be especially effective for those persons hopelessly addicted to that wonderful glowing box.

The Entertrainer is currently available on their website for $139.99.

[The Entertrainer] VIA [The Red Ferret Journal]

Urban Basketball Backpack

Urban Basketball Backpack (Images courtesy Yanko Design)
By Andrew Liszewski

Designed by Ramon Villanueva this urban styled backpack doesn’t just cleverly hold a basketball but incorporates the ball into the overall design of the pack itself. Unfortunately there is no word on pricing or availability at this time.

[Urban Basketball Backpack @ Yanko Design] VIA [Popgadget]

Renova, Toilet Paper For The Rich

renova toilet paper

By David Ponce

Now tell me… what do the rich and famous wipe their butts with? No, no, not dollar bills. But you can’t seriously think they use the same toilet paper normal people do, do you? That’s why there are products like Renova. These toilet paper rolls come in four colors, are said to be soft and silky, and more importantly, cost enough to make you feel special. It’s $13 to $20 for a three-pack, which arrives in a tube of similar color. Or, you can also order a regular pack of six, wrapped in plastic, which goes for $13 to $15.

[Renova Colored Toilet Paper] VIA [Popgadget]

A Syringe Shaped USB Flash Drive

usb injection needle

By David Ponce

There isn’t a whole lot of pertinent things to say about this product. It’s a USB flash drive that comes in sizes of 128MB to 1GB, and has the notable feature of looking just like a syringe. It’s made by Wide Shine Technology Co., Ltd based in Taiwan. And you can only order it in bulk.

So, maybe cool for a tech novelty store or something.

[Wide Shine Website] VIA [I4U]

The PML Mini, Aka The 640Bhp Hybrid, Aka “Kicking a Porsche’s Ass Green-Style!”

mini hybrid

By David Ponce

We don’t feel quite comfortable enough to call it a trend yet, but we’re seeing more and more eco-friendly vehicles that don’t suck. By this we mean, vehicles we’d actually want to drive for their blistering performance, rather than by our knowing treehuggers worldwide cream their pants every time we step on “the gas”. First, we came across the fully electric Tesla Roadster, and now we come across news of the PML-modded Mini. This one’s a hybrid, with the notable feature of being able to leave a Porsche in the dust.

It does this by combining a small internal combustion engine (ICE) and four electric motors: one at each wheel. Each of these motors can output 160bhp, for a total of 640bhp, a 0 to 60 time of 4.5 seconds and a top speed of about 150mph. The energy is stored in a large Lithium ion battery, and power output with the help of a large ultra capacitor. It has an electric-only range of 200 to 250 miles, and a total range (if using the ICE) of about 930miles, which seems to work out to around 80mpg. Braking is non-mechanical, but rather achieved through very efficient generators that return most of the inertial energy the car acquired during acceleration into electric energy it can later re-use.

Of course, the minute we read non-mechanical brakes, we got a little worried. I mean, what happens if, for some reason, power fails?

Still, it’s a very cool mod, though it’s not a production car. Seems like PML makes the wheel motors, there are Lithium-Ion batteries around (Dell probably has a few spare ones)… so nothing really stops you from making your own.

[PML Modded Mini] VIA [TreehuggerM]

The ReGen, A Self-Charging Yo-Yo MP3 Player

regen mp3 player

By David Ponce

Some time ago, Popular Science, in collaboration with Core77 organized a design competition called Human Powered, which sought to design products which harnessed human energy to power themselves. The winners were Chris Aimone et Tomek Bartczak for their design of the ReGen, an MP3 player that doubles as an electricity-generating Yo-Yo. Simply toss the player 10 to 12 times every hour, and it’ll stay fully charged.

If ever developed, the designers envision it coming with 512MB of memory, as well as Bluetooth headsets so you won’t run into any tangle issues when “recharging” it. Song and artist information would be displayed on an LCD screen, on the face of the player.

The competition was for the development of a concept only, so there doesn’t seem to be any concrete plans to commercialize this device any time soon.

[ReGen Yo-Yo MP3 Player] VIA [TechEBlog]

The X-Sport BTH-11

x-sport bth-11By David Ponce

While you will almost certainly always look like an asshole walking down the street with a Bluetooth headset attached to your ear, this doesn’t mean the devices don’t have their use. They certainly come in handy when you’re driving, or otherwise using both your hands, and if you’re going to be wearing one, then at least try to make it look half decent. We’ve highlighted the Jabra JX10 before, and now we bring you news of the X-SPORT BTH-11, from Teling Technology. We think it looks rather good, though we’re sure it’s only a matter of time until someone tells us we should get our eyes checked.

So, to sweeten the deal, the company claims this to be the only headset in the market with a range of 20 to 30 meters. This is quite a lot if you think about it, and unless you live in a mansion, means that you can walk around most of your home without carrying your cellphone on you.

Seems to be available for $90.

Update: Yeah, and it looks like it’s Australian only at this point.

[XSport BTH-11] VIA [BlueTomorrow]

Railz Skateboard Conversion Kit

railz conversion kit

By David Ponce

Here’s something so useful and groundbreaking, we’re surprised it’s taken this long to hit the market. See, the Railz Conversion Kit, from Flowlab will allow your everyday, cement-loving skateboard… to carve the ski slopes! It’s genius! No one’s ever thought of taking the sport of skateboarding, and putting it on snow.

Never been done.

Genius, I tell you!

And the best part is that award-winning innovation like this will only set you back $50.

[Railz Ski Conversion Kit VIA [BoofOfJoe]