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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Nearly Invisible Hearing Aid

Oticon Delta Hearing Aid (Image courtesy Oticon) By Andrew Liszewski

The majority of OhGizmo’s readers consist of those who grew up with personal music devices like the Walkman or the iPod and all those years of wearing headphones with the music blaring are going to catch up with us. Unfortunately for a lot of us this will probably mean having to wear a hearing aid type device at some point in our lives. Thankfully though it seems that companies like Oticon are designing the next generation of hearing aids that are nearly invisible while being worn.

While the Delta series doesn’t look like a traditional hearing aid it can apparently perform just as well, if not better than the larger versions. The aid consists of three parts, a triangular amplifier that sits behind the ear and houses the battery as well as 2 state-of-the-art microphones, a speaker and dome that is placed in the ear canal making it nearly invisible and a thin wire connecting the two components. The Delta weighs less than 2 grams so it’s light and comfortable to wear and even comes in a range of 17 different colors depending on if you want the device to stand out or blend in with your hair or skin.

From what I can tell the Delta hearing aid is currently available but of course you’ll need to see a hearing specialist first. Oticon currently provides a hearing center locater on their website for finding the nearest one where you live.

[ Oticon Delta Hearing Aids ] VIA [ SlashGear ]

Gibson HD 6X Pro Digital Guitar

Gibson HD 6X Pro Digital Guitar (Image courtesy Popular Science)
By Andrew Liszewski

Since I don’t know of a professional studio out there that doesn’t rely on digital technology these days for the recording and mastering processes it seems odd to me that analog pickups and mics are still a common means for recording instruments. Now I realize that most instruments are analog in nature but the sooner you can get that sound converted to a digital signal the cleaner it’s going to be in the end.

Gibson seems to be heading in the right direction with their new HD 6X Pro electric guitar. First off the most important aspect is that the guitar is a traditional Les Paul design so that the musician doesn’t have to compromise by playing on some weird digital hybrid. The pickups on the HD 6X are a new ‘Hex’ system designed by Gibson that uses 6 small humbuckers positioned under each string at the bridge that send 6 individual signals to studio-grade preamps allowing them to be immediately digitized.

These digital signals are then sent to a BoB (break out box) via a special ethernet port designed by Gibson called ‘MaGIC’ that can carry up to 32 bi-directional channels of audio over a single cable. The BoB can then be connected to a multi-channel sound card where the guitar can be recorded with a piece of professional software such as Cakewalk SONAR which is included with the instrument.

The Gibson HD 6X is available now and retails for about $5,000.

[ Gibson HD 6X Pro ] VIA [ Popular Science ]

Walk, Don’t Walk Or Sit – Road Tested Chair

Road Tested Chair (Image courtesy UncommonGoods) By Andrew Liszewski

Keeping with the theme of designer furniture here’s a great way to bring the hustle and bustle of the big city indoors. The Road Tested Chair created by John Carter is made from an actual New York City ‘Walk-Don’t Walk’ sign that still functions. It plugs into a standard 115V outlet and includes a remote control to turn the signals on and off.

The legs are made from steel street sign brackets that have been reconfigured and the seating surfaces have been replaced with new one-inch polished resin cushioned with felt. You also have the option to order the chair with the genuine nicks, dents and stains it received while serving its duty in New York City or with a fresh coat of yellow paint instead.

I’m not entirely sure how the lights are procured but I suspect a portion of their $3,700 cost is going towards someone’s bail money.

[ Road Tested Chair ] VIA [ Chip Chick ]

Superstring Pendant Light

Superstring Light (Image courtesy Superfamily) By Andrew Liszewski

Even though this Superstring light may look like it’s been created by some mad scientist in reality it’s just fiberoptics that have been arranged in such a way to give the appearance that strands of light are just hanging in the air. However that doesn’t make it look any less cool.

The light is produced by a company called Optolux who specialize in unique lighting and because of the nature of fiberoptics the color of the Superstring lamp can be easily changed by simply swapping in a color filter at the light source.

Unfortunately though I was unable to find any info on pricing or availability.

[ Superstring Light ] VIA [ Cribcandy ]

Mini Horse Racing Track

Mini Horse Racing Track (Images courtesy Pro-Idee)
By Andrew Liszewski

When you just don’t have the time to bundle up all the kids so you can take them to the horse races for some ‘quality time’ why not bring the track to your home instead? While most families will opt for the traditional slot cars or model trains if Dad makes his money betting on the ponies he’s probably going to want the kids to follow in his footsteps. In my opinion there’s really no age that’s too young when it comes to learning the finer points of gambling.

The track comes with 6 miniature horses as well as 6 different jockeys of varying weights. Using a special key the participants can vary the speed of their horse but setting it too fast with the wrong jockey could result in a race ending fall. The horses take about “90 thrilling seconds” to complete the race and an electronic timer will display the first 3 horses to cross the finish line in case of a photo finish. The horses are recharged with an included quick charge station and will last for about 5 races between charges.

The Home Horse Racing Track is available from Pro-Idee for about $120.

[ Mini Horse Racing Track ]

Home Recording Studio – Vintage Styling, Modern Features

Home Recording Studio (Image courtesy the Herrington Catalog) By Andrew Liszewski

I don’t want to debate the notion that analog vinyl records sound better than a modern digital recording, if someone prefers to listen to their old LPs more power to them. However it’s unfortunately a non-debatable fact that vinyl records don’t age very well and start losing their sound quality from the first time they’re played.

So if you’re still holding onto a mountain of vinyl that you’re afraid will one day turn into a box of dust it might be time to start thinking of a way to better preserve those tunes. If you don’t have the time or money to invest in a professional turntable and recording gear you might want to consider this all-in-one solution instead. The Home Recording Studio not only plays LP’s and 45′s but will also transfer them to CDs which are probably a bit more convenient these days for those who didn’t get the turntable option on that new Honda. The recording studio can also transfer cassette tapes to CD (sorry no 8-track support) and comes in a very retro finish.

The Home Recording Studio is available from the Herrington Catalog for $399.95.

[ Home Recording Studio @ The Herrington Catalog ]

Polaroid Media Backup Photo Edition

Polaroid Click Free Photo Backup Drive (Image courtesy CrunchGear) By Andrew Liszewski

Pretty much every member of my family who enjoys photography has made the switch to a digital camera but based on their varied levels of technological prowess I can only wonder how many memories end up getting lost. While most companies do ship some kind of photo management software with their cameras Polaroid believes it’s still not simple enough and has teamed up with Storage Appliance Corporation to create the Media Backup Photo Edition.

The device is basically a 40Gb hard drive that uses Storage Appliance’s ‘ClickFree’ technology to make the backing up process a no-brainer. Just connect the drive to your PC with a USB cable and it will automatically backup any and all image files on your computer. This includes some 60 different file types which is a pretty comprehensive list. The drive doesn’t even have any sync or power buttons on the outside to confuse people either, just a jack for power and a mini-USB connection. (It can be powered by the PC too where applicable.)

At $129 the price isn’t too jaw-dropping but with only a 40Gb capacity it seems you’re probably paying quite a bit for the ‘ClickFree’ technology. And of course I’m uncertain if the drive can be set to ignore certain folders on your PC you don’t want backed up. For example I would hate to see it grab a folder of rendered sequential tiff files numbering in the thousands which would fill the 40Gb up pretty quickly.

[ Polaroid Media Backup Photo Edition @ CrunchGear ]

Stain Revealing Light

Stain Detector Light (Image courtesy Miles Kimball) By Andrew Liszewski

If anyone out there is looking to become a freelance or private CSI (those exist right?) you’ll definitely want to make sure to have one of these in your kit. The Stain Detector Light uses “amazing” ultraviolet light to reveal stains that aren’t visible under normal lighting conditions. While this particular version is probably not ideal for tracking down blood or… other stuff… I’m sure it’s still useful for finding out that spilled glass of wine is still embedded in your carpet. The detector runs on 4 AA batteries and also includes a flashlight function just in case you prefer cleaning your rugs with the lights off.

Oh and probably like a lot of other people as soon as I saw this gadget I was reminded of a joke from one of the greatest comics of all time, the late Mitch Hedberg.

“When you go to a bar that has a black light, everybody looks cool. Except for me, because I was under the impression that the mustard stain came out.”

The Stain Detector Light is available from Miles Kimball for a pretty cheap $6.99.

[ Stain Detector Light ] VIA [ Uber-Review ]

D-Note Digital Note Pad

LaPazz D-Note (Image courtesy LaPazz) By Andrew Liszewski

While I’ve only ever known one person who regularly used a digital notepad like this I’m going to assume there are actually a lot of users out there since they’re still being produced.

The D-Note (clever, score one for the marketing guys) from LaPazz is a lightweight digital recorder that can capture text or diagrams but doesn’t need any special type of paper to do so. It does however require the use of its own pens but they come in red, blue and black colors which are individually recognized by the device and the ink can be replaced with a standard refill which is nice. The D-Note can also function like a tablet when connected to a PC though I have no idea what the precision is like. (Probably well below what a Wacom is capable of.) Unfortunately though the D-Note only comes with 32Mb of onboard storage which is not expandable and only seems to support USB 1.1.

The D-Note can be found online now for about $185.

[ LaPazz D-Note ] VIA [ Krunker ]