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Monthly Archives: May 2009

Constant Shaker Chair Calculates Your Calories Burned While Fidgeting

Constant Shaker (Image courtesy Alice Wang)
By Andrew Liszewski

Growing up I had a nasty habit of bouncing my leg under the table during dinner which I’ve since solved by simply eating my meals on my living room couch instead. But seeing the Constant Shaker chair created by Alice Wang as part of her Chairs for the Dysfunctional exhibit, I have to wonder if all my fidgeting wasn’t a good thing.

According to her site, researchers think that the unconscious muscle movements might be intentionally triggered by our brains to burn additional calories when we’re inactive. So Alice’s Constant Shaker chair features a sensor that will actually calculate the amount of calories you’ve burned while not sitting still, and will display the results on a simple LCD.

[ Alice Wang – Chairs For The Dysfunctional – Constant Shaker ] VIA [ MoCo Loco ]

Star Wars Darth Vader Back Buddy

Star Wars Darth Vader Back Buddy (Image courtesy
By Andrew Liszewski

Well it looks like Lucas has completed yet another trilogy. First we brought you the Plush Yoda backpack way back in 2006, followed by the overly hairy Chewbacca Backpack in 2007, and now it looks like the Sith Lord himself, Darth Vader, is finally getting the backpack treatment. Unfortunately there’s just something about seeing a 3-foot version of Vader hanging off of someone’s back that makes the character seem a whole lot less menacing. If you only knew the power of a nice understated courier bag… has them for pre-order for $39.99, and they’re expected to ship sometime in August of this year.

[ Star Wars Darth Vader Back Buddy ]

Aqua Pulse Heart Rate Monitor For Swimmers

Aqua Pulse (Image courtesy FINIS)
By Andrew Liszewski

Heart rate monitoring is an important part of training for any athlete, and while there are plenty of compact devices for those who stay dry during a workout, the Aqua Pulse is the first heart rate monitor designed specifically for swimmers. Besides being waterproof, the Aqua Pulse also features an infrared sensor that clips to the earlobe and measures the light pulses from the capillary blood flow in the skin, which can then be used to calculate the heart’s beats per minute. But it’s also important for a swimmer to be aware of their heart rate while training, so that they can stay in their ideal heart-rate-zone. So the Aqua Pulse cleverly uses bone-conduction technology allowing the swimmer to ‘hear’ their hear rate even while they’re under water.

The Aqua Pulse will supposedly be available sometime in May of this year for $139.99 from the FINIS website.

[ FINIS Aqua Pulse ] VIA [ The Red Ferret Journal ]

Super Talent Offers SSD Upgrades for Eee Netbooks


By Shane McGlaun

The netbook is one of the most popular categories in the notebook market right now. According to recent numbers form DisplaySearch netbooks accounted for 20% of the total notebook market in Q1 2009 and sales keep growing.

Asus sired the netbook category with its Eee netbooks back in 2007 and some of those early machines have tiny SSDs for storage. Super Talent has announced a new line of upgrade SSDs for owners of the Eee 900, 901, 901A, 901 GO, and S101 netbooks.

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Verizon Gets Three New LG Handsets


By Shane McGlaun

The mobile phone market is down like most other electronics categories thanks to the global economic recession. However, the smartphone segment is still booming and thanks to the success of smartphones, more and more devices are being introduced.

Verizon Wireless is getting three new handsets from LG this summer including the LG Glance, LG enV Touch, and the LG enV 3. The handsets share some of the same features including support for text, picture, and voice messaging along with Bluetooth support. The handsets work with VZ Navigator, email, IM and chat as well.

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Sharp Develops A Five-Primary-Color Display

Sharp Aquos (Image courtesy Sharp)
By Andrew Liszewski

Sharp has announced that they’ve developed a five-primary-color display that is capable of reproducing more than 99% of real surface colors that the human eye can discern. The new display features something the company calls “Multi-Primary-Color Technology” which is a combination of special image processing circuitry, as well as the addition of cyan and yellow to the standard red, green and blue pixel structure. Unfortunately there’s no photos of the new display just yet, but a prototype will be shown at the Society for Information Display (SID) symposium being held in San Antonio from May 31 to June 5, so hopefully a few shots will turn up.

[ Akihabara News – Sharp Develops Five-Primary-Color LCD That Faithfully Reproduces Real Surface Colors ]

Holy Safety Innovation Batman! It’s The Rescue Reel!

Rescue Reel (Image courtesy Popular Science)
By Andrew Liszewski

Created by Kevin Stone, an orthopedic surgeon and inventor, the Rescue Reel provides a better way for upper-floor residents or workers to escape a high-rise building in an emergency. The device is based on a fishing reel of all things, though the Rescue Reel improves on that design with an automatic centrifugal braking system that controls the rate of descent. And in the event that fails, there’s also a manual braking lever as a backup.

Now the most important feature on any emergency escape system is how easy it is to use, and the Rescue Reel only requires the user to hook a Kevlar cord onto a secure object and then climb into a one-size-fits-all harness before they start to rappel through an open window. No mountain climbing training is needed, and descending from 100 stories takes less than 4 minutes. The first working prototypes of the Rescue Reel were tested back in 2007, and a commercial ready version should be available next year for about $1,500, with that price dropping once it becomes mass-produced.

[ Rescue Reel ] VIA [ Popular Science ]

Heated Itch Relief

Heatd Itch Relief (Image courtesy Improvements Catalog)By Andrew Liszewski

I don’t remember the last time I’ve had a mosquito bite, but I do remember them being extremely annoying, though somewhat satisfying to scratch. But it turns out scratching could lead to infections, so the only options are to grin and bear it, or carry around this Heated Itch Relief device whenever you head outside.

You’re supposed to press the head of the device onto the bite and hold it for a few seconds, during which a heating element “helps neutralize the insect-injected proteins that cause itching and swelling.” The Heated itch Relief is also described as pocket-sized, though looking at that pic it seems a bit on the large side for something you’d actually want sitting in your pocket all day. But for just $16.99 if you live in a swamp, bayou, bog or near a large pool of standing water, it might just replace sliced bread as being the greatest thing.

[ Heated Itch Relief ] VIA [ 7Gadgets ]

Bulletproof Life Jacket Foils Sharks With Guns


By Evan Ackerman

If there’s one thing that scares me more than sharks, it’s this: sharks with guns. I’m relieved to report that Armor of America has seen this problem coming leagues away and has developed a bulletproof vest that also, somehow, floats. The ArmourFloat vest uses lightweight hard plate armor that can stop most assault rifle rounds, and includes shotgun shell holders and plenty of pockets for ammo clips. It’s available now in all kinds of colors including, for some reason that I can’t fathom, desert camo.

And in answer to your question, yes, the only reason I’m posting about this is so that I had an excuse to photochop a picture of a shark with a gun.

[ ArmourFloat ] VIA [ Crave ]