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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Go-Karts In A Suitcase

Suitcase Go-Karts (Image courtesy Pro-Idee)
By Andrew Liszewski

Among the thousands of “whatever happened to…?” things from the 80’s I specifically remember a time where these miniature ‘trainset-in-a-briefcase’ kits were quite popular. While I haven’t seen one of these in many years I was excited to see something very similar pop-up in the form of this miniature go-kart track in a suitcase.

In fact while the mini train kits were as boring to play with as most train kits are the go-kart kit improves on things by introducing a little bit of competition. The track actually allows for two karts to be raced head to head through the use of two wired remotes. The winding course is full of hairpin turns and a couple of short straightaways and in total runs for about 2 full meters. And from what I can tell the whole thing is powered by a 9V battery providing up to five hours of play time.

The Suitcase Go-Kart kit is available from Pro-Idee for about $780 after currency conversion.

[ Pro-Idee Suitcase Go-Karts ] VIA [ The Red Ferret Journal ]

FRWD GPS Unit

GPS Watch By David Edney

If any of you out there workout like crazy and wouldn’t mind another gadget on your body, the FRWD GPS watch is for you. The unit includes a FRWD Recorder which contains the GPS chip, a wrist display, armstrap, re-player PC software, USB dongle, heart rate transmitter belt, battery charger and 4 rechargeable batteries. You wear it on you sweating self and can watch the stats live on your wrist display. Alternatively, you can get the software to transmit the stats to your phone via Bluetooth. Now, there are many other GPS type workout products out there, but the FRWD records direction of travel, altitude, pitch angles, heart rate, and afterwards gives you a complete readout. With that you can jog like Rocky and it will show that you actually ran up the Museum steps. I wonder if you could hack Google Earth and link it?

[ FRWD ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

360 Bag Goes All Around

360bag

By David Edney

It’s a complete breakthrough in photography transporting! Well, not really, but it is a damn clever way to access your photography camera/accessories without having to take off your back pack and drudge through everything. The Rotation 360 bag lets you access your gear without taking off the bag. The top part holds necessary accessories or whatever else you would need and the bottom half is a secret fanny pack [Fanny packs, wtfomglol! -Ed.] that slides around your waist when you need it and tucks away under the top bag when not in use. They also include a method for mounting two SLR’s on the front of the shoulder straps so you don’t have to set them down on anything, a rail on the waist belt to add accessories easily and a built in rain cover for the entire bag. The best addition is the hold down strap that holds the camera to your chest in case you’re running for your life, like most freelance photographers do. For $280 it’s a steal, especially if you spend the arm, leg, half an ear and nose worth of cameras and equipment that would go into it.

[ 360 Bag ] VIA [ Sci Fi ]

DIY Wii Sensor Bar

DIY Wii Sensor Bar (Image courtesy Brian 'DoctaBu' Moore)
By Andrew Liszewski

One of the things I don’t like about the Wii is the fact that the sensor bar really needs to be permanently mounted on top of or below your TV for the controllers to be effective. As a result taking my Wii to a friend’s house really isn’t possible since I don’t want to have to keep sticking and unsticking the bar so I can travel with it.

Well thankfully now that the Wii is finally in the hands of a precious few it has been discovered that the sensor bar isn’t really a sensor bar at all, but simply a few strategically placed IR emitters that the Wii’s controllers use to triangulate their position. So ‘maker’ Brian Moore set out to build his own.

With just a bit of perf board, a few cables, some skillful soldering, four AA batteries, and a few IR LEDs, one can easily make their own, homemade Wii Sensor Bar, completely absent of wires. Enjoy!

Because I’m devoid of any and all soldering skills I unfortunately am not able to make my own sensor bar but since it looks pretty easy to do I imagine we’re going to see a lot of people making, selling and even possibly improving on Nintendo’s own design.

[ HOW TO - Make your own wireless Wii sensor bar! @ The MAKE: Blog ]

Twilight Tracer Golf Balls

Twilight Tracer Golf Balls (Image courtesy Latest Buy) By Andrew Liszewski

When I play golf I can honestly say I’ve never lost a ball because thankfully the cameras in Tiger Woods PGA Tour automatically follow it right to where it lands. But believe it or not I’ve heard there are people who will wake up sometime in the A.M. and go to an actual golf course to play a few rounds. And when a ball veers off the straightaway they’re forced to go hunt it down no matter where it lands.

If you’re part of this latter group I suggest you dump all those Titleists and replace them with a bucket of these Twilight Tracer balls. When the ball has been hit it will start flashing for about 5 minutes which should give most people plenty of time to find where it lands. And for those wondering these are not a novelty product but are actual regulation size and weight and are designed to be played with.

Unfortunately the balls use a non-replaceable 5V lithium battery giving them about 80 hours of life which means each ball will last for about 900 hits, or 8 or 9 games on average. After that they become regular boring balls again.

The Twilight Tracers are available in a pack of 3 from LatestBuy for about $32.

[ Twilight Tracer Golf Balls ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]

Earmuff Headphones

Earmuff headphones

By David Edney

It’s that time of the year where your extremities start freezing. Frozen extremities have a nasty tendency to simply fall off, and we think your gal (or boy) pal might take it badly to seeing you earlobe-less. Kills the mood and stuff. So of course, there are many ways to listen to music without freezing your ears off, but we kind of like Lobz. They’ve got you covered (literally) with their Audio Ear Warmers. They include removable stereophonic headphones that plug directly into the ear warmers, windstopper fabric for stopping the wind while keeping your ears snug, adjustable sliders for fitting, and an all-weather nylon construction that is foldable for easy storage. They go for $30 and they actually don’t look bad. If you’re going skiing or snowboarding, these would be the way to go for your audio/ear warming comfort.

[ Lobz ] VIA [ SciFi Tech ]

Canon HV10 HD Camcorder

Canon HV10 HD Camcorder (Image courtesy Amazon) By Andrew Liszewski

It’s been a long time coming but I’m happy to see true 1080p video recording technology finally trickling down to the consumer level. The Canon HV10 is based on HDV technology which allows a full 1920×1080 signal (yay!) to be captured to a standard DV tape which are almost as common today as VHS tapes were a few years ago.

Canon claims the HV10 is the world’s smallest HDV camera and looking at the shot there it does appear to slightly edge out Sony’s smallest offerings in the HDV market. The HV10 also allows you to record video in the standard 480 NTSC mode plus everything else you’d expect from a modern camcorder like fast auto-focus, image stabilization and still shot capabilities.

The HV10 is currently available on Amazon.com for what I consider to be a pretty reasonable $1,019.49.

[ Canon HV10 HD Camcorder ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

Aerogrow Puts The Green In Your Home

Aerogrow

By David Edney

Every time I have tried to grow any plant, I’ve killed it. Except for a cactus, because those can go a long time without water. Thankfully for my plants there is now the Aerogrow. With the Aerogrow you can grow plants anywhere in your home. It’s got a built in lighting system, an aeroponic optimizing chamber (artificial rainforest), computerized “smart” garden that notifies you when the plant needs watering, and a microprocessor that automatically adjusts the water/light/nutrients given to whatever type of plant you have growing. You can buy pre-seeded grow pods that are ready to grow, and the company boasts that it grows plants 5 times faster than normal dirt, and the plants grow healthier fruits/veggies. We can all go for more healthy fruits and veggies. This whole kit was originally developed by NASA to grow plants without dirt in space. It goes for $149.95, but can you really put a price on healthy food? [Healthy food... Right, that's exactly what people will grow with this. Healthy food. -Ed.]

[ Aerogrow ] VIA [ CNET ]

Random OhGizmo Giveaway: Neuros Recorder 2 Plus

neuros recorder 2 plus By David Ponce

Ho, ho and all that stuff. The time of giving is near, and we’ve got plenty of stuff in store for you all. Andrew’s doing something (he’ll tell you soon, as some of you may already know), and I’m going to be doing something as well. I won’t say what, just yet, but to whet your appetite, allow me to give away a brand new Neuros Recorder 2 Plus, valued at $129. For those of you who don’t know what it is, let me tell you.

It’s basically a little VCR that will convert your video signal into a variety of formats so you can play them back on pretty much any device: PSP, iPod, smartphones, you name it. Just plug your TV (or whatever video source) in, insert your memory, choose your settings (based on where you want to play the stuff back) and record.

And, since we’re feeling nice, we’re going to make it really easy for you to get one. Just leave a comment, with your email address so we can contact you (don’t worry about privacy, just read our policy on this). You can say whatever you want; we’re not saying how we’re going to choose a winner. Either randomly, or based on the funniest, smartest, stupidest comment. Not sure. We’ll be tyrannical about this, and will let you know eventually. But what’s for sure is you won’t win if you don’t comment.

And that’s it folks. You have until Monday, November 27th, to leave a comment.