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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Kork iPad Case Is Tough And Eco-Friendly

By Chris Scott Barr

There are iPad cases out there that are every color under the sun, and made of many different materials. Including cork! The Kork iPad case is pretty much exactly what you would imagine it to be. It’s a giant piece of cork that fits snug around your iPad. It’s really tough and sturdy, yet flexible. We all have nylon, plastic, and rubber cases, but how many people are able to say that they own a cork case?

There is the obvious threat of it breaking in half, but there’s a good chance that’s only going to happen when your iPad isn’t in there. It does seem like it would be able to protect your tablet rather well, since the material should be able to take an impact. This only costs around $67 bucks, and you must admit it’s pretty spiffy, in addition to being eco-friendly

[ Kork ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]

Upcoming LG Mouse Gets A Scanner Built-In

By Chris Scott Barr

Your mouse; It points, it clicks. Don’t you sometimes wish that it could do so much more than that? What if it could scan documents? That could be useful, right? I’m sure there’s someone out there that gets excited at the prospect of waving their mouse over a sheet of paper in order to reproduce it digitally on their computer.

I could see this being useful for oversized documents that won’t fit on a normal scanner, but that’s really about it. Honestly, with a resolution of only 300dpi, I can’t say I’d be all that excited to use it. Maybe if they could increase that to at least 600 by the time they bring this thing to market, LG might be able to sell a few units.

[ LG ] VIA [ Engadget ]

i-Con Bed Is Probably The Largest iPad Dock You’re Ever Going To Find

i-Con Bed (Image courtesy Hollandia International)
By Andrew Liszewski

If ‘go big or go home’ is your mantra, then we’ve found an iPad dock that should satisfy your grandiose needs. And by iPad dock we mean a bed frame with matching upholstered headboard that not only features two places to dock a couple of iPads, but also a set of four built-in speakers powered by a 250-watt amplifier. Assuming the docks are located on the headboard as pictured it seems a little awkward, particularly when it comes to surfing your music AND playing it through the bed’s sound system.

According to The Gadgeteer this little taste of luxury will set you back $20,000, more if you need a bed larger than a queen size. And while it doesn’t completely justify the price, keep in mind this is also one of those beds with the individually adjustable mattresses.

[ Hollandia International i-Con Bed ] VIA [ The Gadgeteer ]

Sound Recording USB Flash Drive Has Me Suspiciously Eyeing A Mountain Of CES Press Kits

Sound Recording USB Flash Drive (Images courtesy Amazon)
By Andrew Liszewski

So we returned from CES this year with around 180GBs of USB flash drives, mostly from press kits and the like. But now paranoia has me suspiciously eyeing that bag of drives, wondering which ones might be recording my conversations, since a few of them look exactly like this little invasion of privacy. It’s got 2GB of internal memory, but more importantly, a built-in mic capable of recording any and all audio in a 16-foot radius at the flick of a switch.

It captures directly to WAV files giving you about 4 1/2 hours of continuous recording, and of course charging the drive and/or recovering the recordings is accomplished by connecting it to your PC via the USB connector. It’s not the most elaborate piece of spygear we’ve ever covered, but to be honest I think it’s one that people will least suspect. And it’s just $19.99 available from Amazon.

[ Amazon – 2GB Flash Drive Memory Spy Audio Digital Voice Sound Record Recorder ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]

Sony Announces Their New ICZ-R50… Radio Recorder?

Sony ICZ-R50 (Image courtesy CrunchGear)
By Andrew Liszewski

Sometimes it’s hard to understand what a large corporation like Sony is thinking when they release certain products, but at the same time I guess I’m not completely up to speed on what’s popular in the markets they serve outside North America. So while radio has lost some of its popularity to MP3 players and podcasts here, I’m assuming it’s still popular enough in Japan to not only warrant a fancy new unit, but one with PRR (personal radio recorder?) functionality.

Available in Japan on February 21 for ~$217 (¥18,000) the ICZ-R50 is at its core an AM/FM radio with advanced tuning functions like the ability to easily specify one of 54 locations in Japan to automatically load up a list of local presets. But instead of just listening the to the radio, its also got 4GB of built-in memory (expandable via SD cards or Memory Stick Duos) for recording your favorite shows. And while not as robust as the PVR in your living room, it does let you setup 20 pre-scheduled recordings for catching your favorite shock jock every morning, or whatever it is people listen to on the radio these days.

[ Sony ICZ-R50 ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]

Rima Desk Lamp Uses Sliding Rings To Specify Where The Light Shines

Rima Desk Lamp (Images courtesy Dreipuls)
By Andrew Liszewski

Winner of a much deserved (IMHO) Red Dot Design award, the Rima lamp, created by Dreipuls, uses a strip of 65 white LEDs that can be selectively turned on or off by sliding around two sets of metal rings. Apparently optical sensors are used to determine the position of the rings, and only the LEDs falling in-between them are turned on. Kind of like a shower curtain… except that there’s no water… so nothing like a shower curtain. You catch my drift right?

Now there’s little to no evidence the Rima lamp actually exists, or at least in a working form without the assistance of Photoshop, but it’s still a great idea. Particularly for anyone burdened with a glossy screen MacBook who spends an unreasonable amount of time getting the angle just right to avoid annoying glares. It’s not just me right?

[ Rima Desk Lamp ] VIA [ MoCo Loco ]

Tama-Robo Ball Bot Looks Like A Poor Man’s Sphero

Tama-Robo Ball Robot (Images courtesy the Japan Trend Shop)
By Andrew Liszewski

We’ve already expressed our excitement for Sphero, the smartphone controlled robotic ball, but at this point no one knows when we’ll actually be able to get our hands on one. And if you’re like us, and aren’t so great with the concept of waiting patiently, the Tama-Robo could be a half-decent alternative, if only because it’s available now.

It comes in a kit meaning there’s a bit of assembly required, but your $70 from the Japan Trend Shop, and a bit of hands-on labor, gets you a robot toy in a plastic sphere that’s able to autonomously follow a light source thanks to four sensors you’re probably not going to want to forget while putting it together. Tama-Robo doesn’t seem to be as refined as Sphero though. As you can see in the video included below it spends a lot of time just wobbling around while trying to follow the light, but like I already said it has the distinct advantage of being available right now, so we’re going to cut it a little slack.

[ Tama-Robo Ball Robot ]

Colosseum Sofa

Colosseum Sofa (Images courtesy Homedit)
By Andrew Liszewski

Is a t-shirt not a tacky enough way to commemorate your visit to one of the architectural wonders of the world? Well Italian-based furniture designer Tappezzeria Rocchetti has created this Colosseum Sofa which looks like the ultimate in tacky souvenirs. I mean don’t get me wrong, it seems like a pretty faithful reproduction of the original, complete with classy gold-fringe detailing on the cushions. But I can’t help but feel that people would actually prefer a 2-hour slide show of your trip to Rome instead of this.

[ Homedit – Colosseum Sofa from Tappezzeria Rocchetti ] VIA [ Cribcandy ]

ON/OFF Paint Turns An Entire Wall Into A Light Switch

ON/OFF Lightswitch Paint (Images courtesy Muuuz)
By Andrew Liszewski

While the lack of technical details makes this idea seem like nothing more than an impractical concept, from what I can tell it does exist and it does work, and will supposedly be available starting sometime in February of this year. Created by Nicolas Triboulot, Laurent Grapin and Thibault Thomas of Quark Design, the ON/OFF paint can be applied to any surface like regular household paint, but when used in conjunction with a special ‘electronic mechanism’ that entire painted surface then becomes a touch-sensitive light switch.

So instead of fumbling around at night in the dark hunting for a small switch on the wall, the entire wall can serve as the switch. Or, you can limit it to being just a thin painted strip that runs around the entire perimeter of a room. The point here is that the idea is infinitely flexible, not to mention the fact that it frees you from having to route electrical wires everywhere. Now the aforementioned ‘electronic mechanism’ which seems to make it all possible does have to be hidden somewhere, so it’s not a perfect alternative, but the pros do seem to make the idea very tempting. And let’s just hope the price does too.

[ A.P.C.I. – N/OFF, peinture sensitive qui transforme vos murs en commande tactile ] VIA [ Muuuz ]