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Monthly Archives: November 2007

Avurt IM-5 Self-Defense PAVA Projectile Launcher

Avurt IM-5 (Image courtesy Avurt) By Andrew Liszewski

These days there seems to be a lot of concern over tasers as a form of self-defense, and anyone who’s ever used pepper spray knows it has a limited range, and requires a bit of accuracy to be effective. So a company called Avurt has taken the best parts of both tasers and pepper spray, and combined them to create the IM-5 launcher.

Instead of firing pepper spray though, the IM-5 uses compressed nitrogen to launch small balls that are packed with PAVA powder (Pelargonic Acid Vanillylamide.) The powder, which is significantly stronger than pepper spray, is dispersed in a cloud on impact causing a burning sensation that will leave an attacker debilitated while you make your escape. The IM-5 even includes a laser sight that is activated once the launcher is unfolded. This makes it a bit easier to accurately aim the gun, particularly at its maximum range of 40 feet.

The launcher is currently available on the Avurt website for $299.99 in your choice of blue, red, black and pink and includes 10 practice rounds. Live rounds are available separately in packs of 16 for $29.99, or 32 for $53.99.

[ Avurt IM-5 ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Remote Control Beverage Pager

Beverage Pager (Images courtesy The Lighter Side)
By Andrew Liszewski

Here’s the perfect way to class up a holiday party. This beverage pager ensures you’ll never forget where you set your beverage, since at the push of a button the can’s koozie (coozie, cozie, cozy, kozy?) will light up and emit a hi-larious belching sound effect, allowing you to easily track it down.

The pocket sized remote works from up to 60 feet away, even through walls if you find yourself in another room. But since I assume all the pagers work on the same frequency, you’re probably limited to only using one per party, which is kind of lame.

It’s currently available from The Lighter Side for $19.98.

[ Remote Control Beer Pager ] VIA [ Shiny Shiny ]

ezSECU External Hard Drive Case With Touchscreen

ezSECU ez850 Drive Enclosure (Image courtesy Akihabara News)
By Andrew Liszewski

Instead of relying on a finger print reader to secure your data, which will work whether you’re conscious or not, this external drive enclosure actually has a touch screen that can be used to enter a secret PIN.

The ezSECU ez850 from IOTEK only supports 2.5 inch SATA hard drives, but at least that means it’s small and easy to carry around. And hopefully it uses a rechargeable battery to power that touch screen, so you don’t need to carry the bulky power adapter around as well. The enclosure supports USB 2 and Windows 2000/XP/Vista and Mac OS 9.2+.

[ ezSECU Portable External Hard Drive ] VIA [ Akihabara News ]

LA Auto Show: Honda FCX Clarity & Home Energy Station

Honda FCX Clarity

By Evan Ackerman

Hybrids are the current consumer automotive buzzword when it comes to fuel efficiency, and they were everywhere at the 2007 LA Auto Show. So, I’m not really going to talk about them, because we’re looking forward, to what’s so brand new that, in some cases, it’s borderline impractical (albeit a step in the right direction). The most promising car (in the immediate short term) that I saw unveiled at the show perfectly illustrates what I mean: it’s the FCX Clarity, by Honda, and it’s powered exclusively by hydrogen.

Honda FCX Clarity

First, the good news: the FCX Clarity is a production car. Want one? If you live in the LA area, you’ve got a shot at the first batch of leases in the summer of 2008 for a mere $600 a month. That even includes maintenance, which is good, since I somehow doubt your local garage knows how to handle a car like this. The Clarity runs on pure hydrogen, combining it with oxygen in the atmosphere to generate electricity to drive the wheels. The only exhaust is pure water. It gets an equivalent 68 mpg on a 5,000 psi hydrogen tank that gives the car a range of 270 miles. According to the rep, the high pressure tank has been crash tested extensively and is perfectly safe (although that’s a lot of compressed explosive gas under the back seat, if you ask me).

So, why only the LA area? That’s part of the bad news; LA is one of the few places with hydrogen fuel stations (I think there are about six). Recognizing this, Honda has also introduced a Home Energy Station, which is able to convert natural gas (the stuff that may heat your house or run your stove) into enough hydrogen to fuel your car on a daily basis, while at the same time providing enough electricity to power your house. Oh, and it provides heat, too. Honda wasn’t able to provide much in the way of specific information about the Home Energy Station, although a commercial launch is rumored to be on the way within a few years.

Honda Home Energy Station

I give a lot of credit to Honda for introducing a production hydrogen fuel cell car into a world that, infrastructurally, just isn’t quite ready for one. If they can get their Home Energy Station technology out into the commercial market for a somewhat affordable price, it’ll help things immensely, since there IS an existing infrastructure for natural gas. The general public first has to get comfortable with the technology, and then be willing to pay for it, and Honda is doing their level best to make the transition as easy as possible.

[ Honda FCX Clarity ]

Nike Teams Up With KDDi Communications For Infobar 2 Shoes

Nike Infobar Shoes

By Luke Anderson

Shoes and technology aren’t generally two things that go hand-in-hand. However, since the inception of Nike + iPod, it has been a little more common to hear people talking about both in the same breath. As far as I’ve seen, Nike is really the only shoe company trying hard to cross-brand their products with tech gear. Well, they’re at it again, only this time they’ve decided to team up with Japan’s KDDi Communications.

When Nike teamed up with Apple, they created a very useful product. This recent partnership is not nearly as exciting. In fact, they’re apparently just shoes that bear some sort of resemblance to the KDDi Infobar 2 phone. I’ve heard of people buying shoes to match a particular coat or dress, but don’t you think buying a pair to match your phone is a bit much? They’ll be on sale in December in Japan for around $155.

[Mobile Fashion] VIA [Newlaunches]

Bright Blind Creates Fake Windows

Bright Blind (Image courtesy Generate Pipeline)
By Andrew Liszewski

I think this is a pretty great idea, and if you work in a windowless office you might also. The Bright Blind was created by Makoto Hirahara and it basically recreates the look of a window covered by venetian blinds, but on any wall. The slats on the blinds are made from electroluminescent sheets that produce enough of a glow to recreate the look of diffused light coming from outside.

Like with real blinds, turning the plastic stick will adjust the brightness up and down but unfortunately since the original version was actually created by hand, if you want your own you better have a lot of patience and probably a lot of money.

[ Bright Blind ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]

Wiimote Accessory Makes You Feel Like A Jedi

Wiimote Lightsaber

By Luke Anderson

I’m a big Star Wars nut, so it’s no surprise that I’m a sucker for almost anything that even slightly resembles a lightsaber. So upon seeing this awesome lightsaber accessory for your Wiimote, I’ve decided to make it my personal crusade to obtain a Wii this holiday season. Yes, I’m aware of the odds which I am up against.

This accessory, like many others, doesn’t really give you much of an edge in the game. It does however, look awesome. While the blade is shorter than the traditional Jedi weapon, its 22 ultra bright LEDs will give it that wonderful blue glow. Powered by 3 AA batteries and priced at $31, it’s the perfect gift for any Jedi-in-training.

[Play] VIA [GamerFront]

USB Remote Lets You Control Your Laptop From Across The Room

USB Media Remote

By Luke Anderson

I’ll admit that I don’t use my laptop for watching movies all that often. Only on long flights and train rides do I really ever feel the need to use it for something other than work.. When I do, the notebook is generally right on my lap, or close by. That’s why I’ve never used the small remote that came with it, honestly I wouldn’t be surprised to find that I’ve misplaced it. However, I’m sure that there are those of you that find such remotes to be quite handy. If you are one such person, and you weren’t fortunate enough to get one with your laptop, here’s a great alternative.

The Outel (worst pun ever) USB Multimedia Remote has most of the functions you’ll want on a tiny remote. It’s got your standard multimedia buttons, volume controls, arrow keys and more. It stows away inside your PCMCIA slot, so you don’t lose it. Unfortunately, most newer laptops only have the ExpressCard slots. If your laptop is a little older and you want a cheap remote, you can pick this one up for $30.

[USB Geek] VIA [GeekAlerts]

Bluetooth Helmet Lets You Rock Out Wirelessly

Bluetooth Helmet

By Luke Anderson

If you’re a skateboarder, or do any other sport whose main object is to lift your body off the ground at decent speeds, then there’s a chance you’ve discovered the benefit of wearing a helmet. Sure, you get by for a while without it, but after you bust your head open grinding on a handrail, you see the light. If you like rocking out while skating, you’ll generally be hindered by your most vital piece of safety equipment. That is unless you get this Bluetooth Sports Helmet.

This particular helmet features two built-in speakers that sit right next to your ear (yes, exactly like headphones) and a Bluetooth receiver. You also get a Bluetooth transmitter, which will hook up to just about any MP3 player on the market. You can then rock out and wipe out without getting tangled in the cord dangling from your ear buds.

This helmet will set you back a decent amount of cash. $300 may be salty, but at least it doesn’t look half bad.

[Hammacher Schlemmer] VIA [UberReview]