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Monthly Archives: July 2007

Haier WasH2O Cleans Clothes Without Detergent


By Evan Ackerman

I’m not really sure what detergent is, but I guess it’s a big deal that the new WasH2O washing machine from Haier doesn’t use any of it. Instead, it uses dihydrogen monoxide, a dangerous chemical that corrodes metal and can be deadly if inhaled. The dihydrogen monoxide is separated into two ions (OH- and H+) which can apparently remove stains and sterilize fabrics. Whether or not you decide to call that “clean” is up to you, since there are lots of totally gross things that are technically sterile. Ew. The WasH2O can handle a soiled 6kg of unmentionables in about 29 minutes and comes in 6 different stains for a smudge under a grand; currently available in France.

If you’re concerned about the potential dangers of dihydrogen monoxide, you can learn more about it here.

[ Haier WasH2O ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Fuwapica Furniture Devours Your Self-Esteem

snipshot_e4r64sa7r7v.jpgBy Ryan Nill

Fuwapica Furniture glows!

…based on how much you weigh. The Fuwapica project was unveiled at the SIGGRAPH 2007 in San Diego; the glowing cube-shaped furniture comes in two varieties, Honeycomb and Ice. Upon sitting down, the furniture will assign you a color based upon weight. The Ice types are inflatable and display solely based on your weight, while the Honeycomb ones can coordinate with the seats and the table.

The Honeycomb’s table contains a computer and LCD display screen that can control the chairs. If you place something on the Honeycomb’s table, the computer will analyze it and then instruct the chairs to glow in a matching, accompanying color. Or you can just let them ravage your self-worth at will by glowing based on your weight.

Sources indicate that this technology is more than just a design exercise and will be available commercially within one or two years. Currently, the Fuwapica Honeycomb retails ¥417,000 (or US$3,505) and the Fuwapica Ice sell for¥179,000 (or US$1,500) and are both available now from the Proto-Type Inc., located in Tokyo. No word if they have an online site.

[ gizmodo ] VIA [ inventorspot ]

500-In-One Electronic Science Lab

500-In-One Electronic Science Lab (Image courtesy Edmund Scientific)By Andrew Liszewski

Before it became crappy, Radio Shack was an oasis for DIY electronics types and I remember the various kits they sold when I was younger for making things like lie detectors and crystal radios. Of course today’s kids most likely never even listen to radio and since everything they own is already embedded with microchips and LCD displays those old kits from Radio Shack of yesteryear will probably seem like ancient artifacts.

So this updated Electronic Science Lab provides over 500 experiments and tutorials that will hopefully keep even today’s modern super-child interested. You still get to run wires and such but the kit also includes LEDs, LCD displays and light sensitive elements like phototransistors allowing your creations to fit in with other 21st century technology. There’s also a full (though miniaturized) keyboard that gives you the chance to try your hand at software development without the worries of deadlines or pending product launches. The whole kit even folds up into its own hard-shell carrying case for travel but with all the exposed wiring and circuits I would suggest keeping it well clear of airports.

The 500-In-One Electronic Science Lab is available from Edmund Scientific for $199.95.

[ 500-In-One Electronic Science Lab ]

Initial D Arcade Setup Uses Full Sized Cars

Initial D Arcade Stage 4 Limited (Images courtesy
By Andrew Liszewski

I’ll admit I’m pretty ignorant at what the anime series Initial D is actually about but I do know it involves cars and is ridiculously popular. So popular in fact that the Initial D arcade game apparently warrants the use of full sized cars mounted on motion simulators instead of a standard gaming cabinet.

The game/simulator can be found at the SEGA Joypolis in Odaiba (Tokyo), Japan and comes in three versions using the actual bodies of a Subaru Impreza WRX, a Toyota GT-APEX and a Mazda RX-7. The game itself plays out on a 90-inch monitor mounted in front of the vehicle and for only $5 (long gone are the days of 25 cent arcade machines) you can cruise around one of three different courses.

Unfortunately since I don’t have any plans to visit Japan in the near future I guess I’m just going to have to wait for the home version to be released.

[ Initial D Arcade Stage 4 Limited ] VIA [ Kotaku ]

iTeddy Will Destroy Teddy Ruxpin

iTeddy (Image courtesy Argos)By Andrew Liszewski

I think iTeddy and Teddy Ruxpin should have a battle royale. It would be kind of like Terminator 2 where the old-fashioned Schwarzenegger T-800 model (Ruxpin) would be fighting the high-tech Robert Patrick T-1000 model (iTeddy). But since Teddy Ruxpin isn’t the star of the movie I’m pretty sure iTeddy would destroy him with his superior features.

You see instead of a cassette player mounted in his chest iTeddy has a personal media player with 512 MB of built-in memory that’s also expandable VIA an SD card slot. The media player can be used to listen to MP3s, watch videos and view photos and can even be removed from iTeddy’s chest once the child feels they’ve outgrown the whole teddy bear thing. There’s even a companion website where you can download content and parents can record messages and stories for their kids to listen to. But I have to ask, they couldn’t have come up with a more original name than iTeddy? That’s just lazy iMarketing if you ask me.

iTeddy should be available come August 6th from for about $120.

[ iTeddy ] VIA [ Shiny Shiny ]

Nightlighter Flashlight Illuminates Where You Are And Where You’re Going

Nightlighter Flashlight (Images courtesy firstSTREET)
By Andrew Liszewski

They say if you build a better mouse trap the world will beat a path to your door but what if that happens at night or when the power’s out? Thankfully someone has built a better flashlight with the ‘oval’ that not only allows you to see what’s ahead when walking in the dark but it also illuminates the area just in front of you so you can avoid any tripping hazards.

This ingeniously designed flashlight contains two light sources that work together to provide you with the ultimate illumination. This dual-light flashlight emits a forward-facing, narrow-angle beam (uses a high output Luxeon one watt LED bulb) to light the path ahead of you. It also emits a downward-facing wide-angle beam (uses two ultra bright 5mm white LEDs) to light the ground. Using both of these light sources simultaneously enables you to feel safer while walking in the dark. You also have multiple lighting options available with the flashlights three-way switch: the front light on alone, both front and lower lights on, and lower lights only.

The oval design and built-in handle apparently also makes the flashlight more ergonomic and easier to carry for lengthy periods. Though I have to admit I’ve never really felt strained after using a traditional flashlight design for long periods. But maybe that’s just because my arms are like pythons.

The oval is powered by 3 AAA batteries and is currently available from firstSTREET for only $29.95.

[ Nightlighter Flashlight ] VIA [ Ubergizmo ]

X-Rep Taser. Verdict? Smokin’

x-rep taser

By Ryan Nill

Guess what I want for Christmas! The embedded video makes this look so awesome I can’t even qualify for words. The person’s face after getting zapped? Priceless. I can only hope that he was compensated justly for being shot at with electrified bullets while being videotaped.

He is being shot at with the brand new X-Rep, a self contained arrow-taser-bullet with a range of up to 100 feet. Popular Mechanics says “The XREP punctures the target with multiple probes, and then unspools to dangle from the unfortunate belligerent’s body, all the while applying Taser’s infamous rapid-fire electrical pulses. As an added bonus, any helpful passerby trying to yank the XREP out of the target before the 20-second discharge cycle is finished will also get zapped, thanks to a ‘hand-trap wire’ that’s nestled in among the other hanging cables.” So hot, those facial expressions should be rated NC-17.

[ Popular Mechanics ] VIA [ techeblog ]

Space Invaders Door Mat

Space Invaders Door Mat (Image courtesy Charles & Marie)By Andrew Liszewski

Nothing says you’re about to enter the home of a geek (or more likely their parent’s home) than a Space Invaders themed door mat. Using flat panel LEDs and a couple of AA batteries this mat runs a simple animation loop of those invaders from space flailing their arms up and down.

Unfortunately unlike this Space Invaders Rug this door mat has absolutely no interactivity unless of course you stomp on the battery box which will probably bring the animation to an end. And while most geeks will probably refuse to actually use this outside for fear of something happening to it the mat is made of industrial grade rubberized plastic making it both durable and weather resistant.

It’s currently available from Charles & Marie for $110.

[ Space Invaders Door Mat ]

iPod DJ Mixer

snipshot_e41f5u6qf73g.jpgBy Ryan Nill

Remember; remixing a song is like admitting you were wrong. That being said, the Alesis iMultiMix 9R is a mixboard for playback and mixing straight from your iPod. It has video output as well, so you can share all of your poorly bootlegged videos. It features 5 mic/line inputs, 3 band per channel EQ, Mic/line inputs, 48V phantom power, auxiliary sends and returns, band pass/reject, and composite video. All from your iPod! it’s like buying that iTV thing, except without all the guilt from dealing with a frigid, soulless corporate evil.

The Alesis iMultiMix 9R should be available in late 2007 for $399.

[ alesis ] VIA [ Newlaunches ]