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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Plush Radio Perfect For Kids Who Probably Never Listen To The Radio

Plush Radio Cushion (Image courtesy eToys)
By Andrew Liszewski

I like the idea of plush electronics for younger kids, cause let’s face it, they don’t exactly take care of their stuff. And given the choice, I’d rather have a plush radio hurled across the room, instead of a real one. But I have my doubts that today’s kid are even aware of FM radio, let alone listen to it.

In fact the only time I listen to the radio these days is when it wakes me up in the morning, and I was raised on it. But if your toddler gets cranky if they haven’t had a chance to listen to their morning talk shows, I suppose this is a good way to go. It has soft buttons for volume, power and a digital scanner and of course includes a built-in speaker. And even though it looks gigantic in that product shot, it’s actually only about 12 inches wide.

eToys has got it for just $14.99.

[ Plush Radio Cushion ] VIA [ 7Gadgets ]

Philips Electronic Tattoo Concept

Philips Electronic Tattoo

By Evan Ackerman

This demonstration of a tattoo concept, developed by Philips, illustrates how an electronic, touch sensitive tattoo might work. The project is a “Philips Design Probe,” which aims to understand what a post-2020 lifestyle might be like. This particular design probe “explores the body as a platform for electronics and interactive skin technology.” Sounds titillating, right? It gets better: “Stimulated by touch, an electronic tattoo traverses across the landscape of the body, navigated by desire.” Wow! But then, things go way, way wrong in the concept video, which is mildly NSFW and majorly creepy:

You can’t get anything like this, it’s just an illustration of a concept that Philips may or may not be working on. If you like this idea, or hate it, tell Philips by clicking here.

[ Philips SKIN:Tattoo ] VIA [ Fark ]

Not A Joke: Restaurant, Concert Hall, Conference Center Inside World’s Largest Moose

Moose

By Evan Ackerman

Well, it was only a matter of time, I guess. The Swedish government has officially approved plans to construct the world’s largest moose. To be located on top of a mountain in northern Sweden, the “big moose” (actually named “Stoon,” which means “big one”) will stand some 150 feet high. 350 people can fit inside the moose, entering through the mouth via an elevator disguised as a tree, whereupon they can browse art displays in the twisty innards of the moose, attend concerts and conferences, or even enjoy moose munchies at restaurant in the moose’s belly. Here’s a promotional video, it’s priceless:

Oh, and for all of our Swedish readers (?), this is an elk to you guys, but it’s the same animal: alces alces. Construction should begin before the end of this year, and the total cost of the moose is predicted to be about $6.5 million. On the news that his project has finally been approved after three years, the creator of the moose, Thorbjörn Holmlund, says: “This is such unbelievably good news. My whole body is shaking with joy. People have really wanted to make this happen. There have been plenty of days when I have come close to crying but today I can do nothing but laugh.” Me too, buddy. Me too.

[ Big Moose ] VIA [ Gizmowatch ]

OptiWind Mouse Keeps Your Hand Nice And Cool

OptiWind Mouse

By Luke Anderson

There’s nothing worse than having sweaty palms when you’re stuck working at your computer for long hours. Naturally, your mouse and keyboard tend to get a bit slippery with sweat, and it makes your work go so much slower. That’s why some of you will love this OptiWind Mouse which features an internal cooling system.

Inside the mouse you will find a small cooling fan which will circulate air up towards the palm of your hand. This should be enough to keep even the sweatiest palm dry. They even take advantage of the holes in the top by adding in some cool LED lights. If you have a problem with a sweaty mousing hand, you can pick one of these up for just $22.

[Brando] VIA [SlipperyBrick]

Aquavista 500 Living Art Aquarium

Aquavista 500 (Image courtesy Smarthome)
By Andrew Liszewski

Fish may not be as rewarding a pet as say dogs, cats or lions can be, but when it comes to easy maintenance, they’re at the top of the list. But if you’ve been put off by those large tanks of water they need for living, the Aquavista 500 could be a better alternative.

At only 4.3 inches deep it can be hung on any wall using the included reinforced steel mounting bracket, and it apparently only needs about 10-15 minutes of maintenance every month to keep the fish alive and well. The tank comes pre-decorated with a 3D underwater scene complete with plants, and also includes all that technical stuff like a filtration system, water pump, overhead lighting and a programmable heating system with LCD control panel. The only downside is that I assume it has an ugly power cord hanging from it, unless you fill it with electric eels. According to the cartoons I grew up with, they can power anything.

The Aquavista 500 is available from Smarthome for $299.99 plus the cost of fish, and water.

[ Aquavista 500 ] VIA [ GadgetGrid ]

orbiTouch Keyless Keyboard

orbiTouch Keyless Keyboard (Images courtesy Blue Orb Inc.)
By Andrew Liszewski

Let’s face it, the Qwerty keyboard isn’t exactly a marvel of ergonomic design. And those who spend all day mashing away on one could find themselves with something like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome one day. But what are the alternatives? Voice recognition? Not in its current state, that’s for sure. Teaching a monkey to do the typing for you? It seemed like a good idea at the time, until he got access to my email account… So many swears…

Enter the orbiTouch, which is a very unique looking device that uses a couple of sliding domes to replace both your keyboard and mouse. Now the domes don’t twist, but can be moved in any direction kind of like the small trackpoint nubs that laptops use. Moving the domes at the same time in varied directions allows you to recreate keystrokes and actually type letters. While I can’t see this ever being as fast as typing away on a traditional keyboard, for those with limited mobility or hand injuries it actually seems like a viable solution.

Of course the orbiTouch probably won’t appeal to everyone, and I’m sure that’s part of the reason it currently sells for $399 on the company’s website. But it does make me wonder if something like this would be covered by a health plan or insurance.

[ orbiTouch Keyboard ] VIA [ DVICE ]

Guardian Flashlight Lantern

Guardian Night Light And Lantern (Images courtesy Vessel)
By Andrew Liszewski

Unless you’ve got an elaborate backup power and lighting system installed in your home, keeping a few flashlights handy in the event of an emergency is not a bad idea. The Guardian is another take on the ‘always recharging’ idea, but has a unique lantern shaped design that’s easy to carry and also allows it to be used hands-free.

It’s made of ABS plastic which means it can survive a drop or two, and easily hangs on the charging cradle which you plug into the wall. While charging the lantern remains off, but an electroluminescent panel on the cradle provides a small source of light making it easy to find in the dark. With a runtime of just 10 hours and no replaceable batteries, I have to question the Guardian’s usefulness as an emergency light. But as a flashlight that won’t blind you in the middle of the night, it’s not a bad idea.

The Guardian should be available from Vessel in January for $29.

[ Guardian Night Light And Lantern ] VIA [ Yokiddo ]

LCDetar: It’s Trippy, Man

LCD Guitar

By Evan Ackerman

I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a laptop stuffed into a guitar before, but the LCDetar makes me wonder why not. It’s such an obviously good idea for so many reasons, not the least of which is the capability to turn the face of your guitar into an adaptive visualizer:

If only I could get my bagpipes to do this. One more video of a motion sensitive version, after the jump.Continue Reading

Bar of Soap Multigadget Knows What You Want

Bar of Soap

By Evan Ackerman

Leave it to the MIT Media Lab to come up with a concept as innovative as this. The Bar of Soap is a prototype gadget that figures out what it’s supposed to be doing based on the way you’re holding it. So, if you pick it up and hold it like a camera, it’ll operate like a camera. Hold it like a cellphone, and it becomes a cellphone. TV remote, MP3 player, whatever… As long as you hold it in a unique manner (and research suggests that people have clearly distinguishable ways of holding different gadgets), it can theoretically be anything you want. The unit itself is a plastic block, with a touchscreen, an accelerometer, 72 touch sensors, and internal bluetooth. At the moment, it’s not offering much in the way of functionality, since it’s designed to test the grasp classification concept (currently, it’s about 95% accurate at knowing what you want). This is one of those things, though, that’s an easy trickle-down technology for things like the iPhone, which already is a touch sensitive gadget with an accelerometer and multiple modes of functionality.

[ Bar of Soap ] VIA [ Architectradure ]