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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Black Diamond Interactive Ambiance iPhone Dock Is All About The Mood Lighting

Black Diamond Interactive Ambiance iPhone Dock (Image courtesy CKIE)
By Andrew Liszewski

If a couple of entrepreneurs are able to raise enough money, Philips’ stranglehold on the color-changing ambient lighting market will soon be over! Designed by Ken Ouyang the Black Diamond is technically just another iPhone dock, but manages to set itself apart from the billions of others already on the market with a frosted, faceted sphere design that uses an accompanying iPhone app to create a continuously changing pattern of colors.

First and foremost the Black Diamond will serve as a colorful art piece sitting on your desk or bedside table, but other functions will also be available including voice controlled dynamic color effects, wake up and sleep functions and the ability to even let you know when a message from a friend has arrived based on an assigned color scheme. It’s a clever use of the iPhone while it’s sitting unused for syncing and/or charging, and if you think you’d like to help them reach their goal of $30,000 then head on over to CKIE where you can make an investment.

[ Black Diamond Interactive Ambiance iPhone Dock ] VIA [ SlashGear ]

Subsonic Chair – For Those Who’re Not Interested In Relaxing

Subsonic Chair (Image courtesy designboom)
By Andrew Liszewski

The Subsonic Chair was originally designed by Greg Ball, an instructor of mechanical design technology at SAIT Polytechnic in Calgary, Alberta, as an entry into designboom’s ‘teenage furniture’ competition way back in 2005. The design placed in the top ten, but he’s only recently gotten around to making the chair a reality- a very, very loud reality. Designed for teenagers who enjoy both lounging and cranking their music, the Subsonic Chair sports a set of 16-inch subwoofers which you end up sitting on, letting you hear and feel pretty much every single note and/or sound when hooked up to an MP3 player or a gaming console.

[ designboom – greg ball: subsonic – teenager subwoofer chair ]

Dr. Cool Router Cooler

Dr. Cool Router Cooler (Images courtesy Evercool)
By Andrew Liszewski

In the same way I’m mostly certain the beverage ‘Dr. Pepper’ has never spent a single day in medical school, I have my doubts this ‘Dr. Cool’ contraption from Evercool even has a single diploma hanging on its wall. But since the website does claim it “has extensive knowledge in the cooling field” I’m inclined to trust it when it comes to cooling my… laptop? Nope. Tower? I’m afraid not. This device is actually designed to cool your router. As far as benefits go the only real tactile advantage they give for using it is prolonging its life, but then you don’t have an excuse to constantly upgrade to a model with the latest and greatest wireless standards. So no thank you!

[ Dr. Cool ] VIA [ SlashGear ]

Own A Special Edition Version Of The New James Bond Book Crafted By Bentley Motors

Carte Blanche - Bentley Motors Edition (Image courtesy Bentley Motors)
By Andrew Liszewski

For some reason automotive manufacturers are all about limited edition books these days. First it was BMW with their CULTURE book, then it was Ferrari with their ridiculously overpriced The Official Ferrari Opus, and now it’s Bentley Motors’ turn. Except that instead of featuring a history of the company, Bentley’s got a tie-in with the new James Bond book- Carte Blanche.

Instead of the Aston Martin Bond was most commonly seen driving in the films, in his latest book he gets behind the wheel of a Bentley Continental GT, a brand he’s piloted a few times before in the original novels. And to commemorate the reunion, Bentley Motors, working with Hodder & Stoughton, created a limited edition version of the new book which comes in a custom polished aluminum case. And the book itself? Well they’ve gone a little overkill there since it even includes a bullet hole and 9mm numbered bullet hidden inside:

In deference to the title Carte Blanche, the book itself is bound in white Nappa leather, the same outstanding grade of leather used in a Bentley’s interior, mimicking the interior of the GT with its contrast of white leather trim and Pillar Box red edging. The title, author’s name and the familiar wings of the Bentley logo are carefully embossed into the front and foil-blocked onto the spine. The text is printed in two colours, black and red, on sumptuous ivory paper, with endpapers of a matching red leather. The pages are expertly cut and trimmed to reflect the handcrafted techniques of the Bentley construction process. As with the other details of the special edition, the colours are carefully selected from the Bentley range. The book sits on a base of black anodised aluminium, chosen not to mark the white leather.

In one last twist, playing on the idea of an agent being given Carte Blanche, is one of the most dramatic features of the design: a die-cut bullet hole that pierces pages of the book. Hidden within the pages is a single polished 9mm bullet, individually marked with a number distinct to each copy, making the edition truly unique.

The Carte Blanche SE is available for pre-order now for ~$1,650 (£1,000) and is limited to just 500 copies so you better order soon!

[ Carte Blanche Special Edition ] VIA [ Born Rich ]

TS3Cine Compact Hi-Speed Camera – 720P @ 720FPS

TS3Cine (Images courtesy Fastec)
By Andrew Liszewski

Sure, there are hi-speed video cameras on the market that can run circles around the TS3Cine when it comes to frame rate, but as an all-in-one portable package you’re going to find its form factor hard to beat. It boasts a massive 7-inch LCD display and the ability to capture video at up to 500fps at its maximum resolution of 1280×1024. Take that down to 720P and you can up the framerate to 720, and at its lowest resolution you can squeeze in as many as 20,000fps, though they don’t actually mention what res that is.

Its rechargeable battery pack is good for about 3 hours of use, though I assume that requires you to be stingy with that monstrous LCD display, and storage is handled VIA an SD card slot and a built-in SSD, available in 128 or 256GB capacities. Footage can be stored as sequential BMP, TIFF, DNG or JPG files, as well as AVIs, and the TS3Cine includes USB 2.0 and gigabit ethernet connections for dumping your clips to a PC. As for the price, a dream-shattering $29,900 for the 128GB SSD version, an extra $2,000 for the 256GB SSD, and there’s even a $5,000 ‘Turbo Mode’ which increases the frame rate even further. Sigh…

[ Fastec TS3Cine ] VIA [ Wide Open Camera ]

Recycled Paper Pens

Recycled Paper Pens (Images courtesy Contra Forma)
By Andrew Liszewski

I don’t care if you’ve created the most eco-friendly, carbon neutral, animal-friendly product on the planet, if there’s a cheaper alternative made with the most environmental unfriendly process known to man, people are still going to buy it. Case in point- these Paper Pens. Each one is made from a single page of used A4 paper, so when it runs dry, save for the ink cartridge, the pen can be recycled. However, at ~$5.85 (€4) each, it’s hard not to just opt for an entire box of BICS instead. No matter how many puppies were used in their creation.

Update: According to further research it turns out BIC pens are NOT made from puppies. Sorry for any confusion.

[ Paper Pens ] VIA [ RFJ ]

duaLink Sync Cable Handles Two iOS Devices At Once

duaLink Sync Cable (Image courtesy CableJive)
By Andrew Liszewski

I suspect the good majority of people who use an iOS device have at least a couple on hand. So instead of having to queue them up, taking turns to sync with iTunes on a single cable, the duaLink from CableJive lets you connect two iOS devices to a single USB port at the same time. Thanks to a tiny, built-in custom USB hub both devices can actually sync with iTunes at the same time too, though since they’re sharing a single USB port they’re going to take about twice as long to charge. Which also means you can forget about your iPad charging at all. But for $25.95 it at least seems like a compact solution for road warriors looking to minimize their cable clutter.

[ duaLink Sync Cable ] VIA [ Better Living Through Design ]

HandTrux Shovels Make You Feel Like A Superhero When Cleaning Up Your Dog’s Backyard Indiscretions

HandTrux Shovels (Image courtesy UncommonGoods)
By Andrew Liszewski

The one aspect of my parent’s dog I do not enjoy is dealing with his ‘deposits’ while out for a walk. Were an Iron Man-like suit ever available for sale, I would buy one for the sole task of just picking up his number twos. In my mind I can totally justify dropping millions and millions of dollars for that reason, but for those who can’t, these HandTrux shovels are a far, far, far cheaper alternative.

Made of durable ABS plastic and designed for kids as young as 5 (pfft, whatever!) the shovels are supposed to make digging in light materials like sand, snow and mud extra fun, but with a little imagination I’m sure they can make picking up after your dog make it feel like you’re saving the world from horribly toxic materials. And at just $18 per arm, you don’t need Tony Stark-like funds to properly equip yourself.

[ HandTrux Shovels ] VIA [ Random Good Stuff ]

Batman Returns

By Josh Campbell

In 2009, game developer Rocksteady Studio released Batman Arkham Asylum, and everyone thought that it would just be another failed attempt at making a superhero game. This game however, was different. This game was written by veteran Batman writer Paul Dini, who has helped write many different Batman story lines, such as Batman: The Animated Series. The game turned out to be an excellent representation of Batman. Unlike any other superhero game made before it, this one became a success, went on to win multiple game of the year awards and it even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for ‘Most Critically Acclaimed Superhero Game Ever’.

In the game at a certain point you come across some plans for something titled “Arkham City”. Nobody really knew what it was at the time, but it ended up being a little hidden message telling gamers that there were plans for a sequel. Then last year, the sequel was officially announced. Rocksteady has kept most things quiet about the game, but they have released a few trailers showing what it is going to be like. In the trailers are shown some new features that will go into the game. For instance Batman now has the ability to glide for even longer distances and he can now swoop down on enemies, unleashing devastating blows. All of the gadgets that Batman had the first time around are coming back, plus two new ones announced so far. These are smoke bombs, which will help with alluding enemies and a broadcast tracer to help track them. As of now the game looks great and the villains look to be even more intriguing than that of the first game. The original stayed true to the comic book Batman that we all love, and I do not see them changing that at all. Batman Arkham City is scheduled to be released in October of this year.

[ Arkham City ]