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Monthly Archives: May 2011

SharkEye Rugged iPhone Case Features A Sliding Screen Door

SharkEye Rugged iPhone Case (Images courtesy SharkEye)
By Andrew Liszewski

Most iPhone cases, even those purporting to be rugged, still have one weak spot. Since it’s a touchscreen device they always leave the screen exposed, meaning there’s still a chance your phone could get damaged. But the rugged cases from a company called SharkEye are the first I’ve encountered that also protect the display. Instead of just using a clear screen protector though, their cases feature a sliding frosted door inspired by a shark’s nictitating membrane. It of course means you can’t use the touchscreen while the door is closed, but you can at least see who’s calling or what track is playing.

And like other rugged cases, the SharkEye features a hard plastic outer shell combined with a soft elastomer inner-lining to absorb most of the impact force of a dropped iPhone without damaging the hardware inside. And given the ports are all protected with easily removable rubber plugs, I’m going to assume the SharkEye is at least splashproof or water-resistant. $49.95 available for both the AT&T and Verizon versions of the iPhone 4.

[ SharkEye Rugged iPhone Case ] VIA [ CNET ]

DryShot Fire Extinguishing Gun – Do You Feel Lucky? Well, Do Ya, Fire?

DryShot Fire Extinguishing Gun (Images courtesy The Red Ferret Journal)
By Andrew Liszewski

It’s not as exciting as the prospect of using an incredibly powerful hose to douse the flames of a fire, but this DryShot fire extinguishing gun still has a certain bit of Dirty Harry appeal to it. Instead of awkwardly hauling around a big can of fire retardent, you can keep this DryShot gun clipped to your belt if you happen to live or work in fire prone areas, and then quickly whip it out to blast a shot of dry fire extinguishing powder on a flare up. For $43.65 you get the gun itself plus 3 additional cartridges, and more importantly the opportunity to recite famous movie quotes before saving the day. “Hasta la vista, incredibly burnt brownies because Andrew didn’t read the directions properly.”

[ DryShot Fire Extinguishing Gun ] VIA [ The Red Ferret Journal ]

Trash Amps Turns Discarded Boxes And Cans Into Speakers… Kinda

Trash Amps (Images courtesy
By Andrew Liszewski

When I first came across these Trash Amps, which were recently shown off at the 2011 Maker Faire in San Francisco, they seemed like a great way to upcycle old cans or Chinese food takeout containers. But after reading up on the product, I’m less excited about their eco-friendly potential.

At first I assumed they used old cans as a resonance chamber, boosting the performance of the Trash Amp speaker which sits on top once the can is beheaded. But it turns out the can is really only used as a decorative sleeve for the self-contained speaker unit that slides inside. In other words, by itself the Trash Amp works just fine as a compact speaker without the need for a can or other container. The inventor, who shows off the product in the video below, even encourages you to switch things up when you get tired of one can design, so in a way you’re not even really giving a used can a permanent home.

Admittedly the speaker sounds like a vast improvement to the built-in speaker on your smartphone as demonstrated in the video, but for $49.99 it better!

[ Trash Amps ] VIA [ Treehugger ]

Win A Smartfish Whirl Mini!

By Chris Scott Barr

Who’s ready to win something? Well, that’s probably a pretty silly question, and there are few people in the world who don’t feel like getting something for free. Well it’s time that we did another giveaway, and this time we’re not just giving away one thing, but we’re giving away three Smartfish Whirl Mini mice! If you don’t remember, these are the cool mice that actually tilt while you’re using them. I’ve spent a good bit of time with mine, and love it.

So what do you need to do? Just drop a comment down below, and we’ll select three winners next Friday. Unfortunately the contest is limited to those in the US only.

Portable Fan Powered By Your iPhone’s Dock Connector

iPhone Dock Fan (Images courtesy JTT)
By Andrew Liszewski

Talk about serendipity! Just the other day I was complaining to a friend about how long my iPhone’s battery lasts. And today I discover this amazing Dock Fan accessory which not only keeps you cool while having a conversation, but it’s also sure to be a huge drain on the iPhone’s battery. Perfect! The soft flexible blades ensure the fan’s not going to cut your chin open should you brush up against them while making a call, but if it does end up being a problem it also has a pivoting design that angles it 90 degrees away. Or, you know, you could just remove it. It’s available from JTT for ~$15 (¥1,260) and includes an adorable carrying case shaped like a smaller iPhone. (And let’s hope this is a feature we see built in to the iPhone 5.)

[ iPhone Dock Fan ] VIA [ InventorSpot ]

4-bit Chronograph Watch Keeps Your Geekiness On The ‘DL’

4-Bit Chronograph Watch (Image courtesy the Cadence Watch Company)
By Andrew Liszewski

If you’re a geek and aren’t afraid of the world knowing it, then companies like Tokyo Flash have an endless variety of watches allowing you to express your nerdy tendencies. But if you’re not ready for your co-workers to discover your bedroom covered wall-to-wall in Battlestar Galactica, then the Cadence Watch Company’s new 4-bit Chronograph watch provides a subtle way to be geeky without advertising it.

The watch is actually an update to the company’s 4-bit Binary Watch that adds chronograph functionality and a UTC time display. But like the original, the numbers around the watch face have been replaced with 4-bit binary graphics, giving it just a touch of geek. The watch also has a genuine leather wristband, luminescent hands that stand out against its black face, scratch resistant sapphire coated quartz glass and is water resistant to 5 ATM. And it will be available sometime in July for $195.

[ Cadence Watch Company 4-bit Chronograph Watch ]

EcoLife Box Is Like A Nightlight For Tissues

EcoLife Box (Images courtesy Kaikosha)
By Andrew Liszewski

It’s allergy season and instead of consuming antihistamines like they were breakfast cereal, I’ve succumbed to a brief life with a box of Kleenex always by my side. And for those times when it’s the middle of the night and I can’t breathe, I’m glad there are university students who have devoted themselves to making glowing tissue boxes that can be easily spotted when it’s pitch black.

The EcoLife Box is made of transparent acrylic and sits atop an electroluminescent sheet. Thanks to that total internal reflection phenomenon the edges of the box appear to glow, producing a subtle effect that would probably double as a fantastic nightlight. And I say probably because the world may never know if it actually works well as one since I can’t picture anyone in their right mind spending $120+ (¥9,900) on it.

[ EcoLife Box ] VIA [ Walkerplus ]

Volkswagen’s ‘Eat The Road’ Campaign Literally Encourages People To Eat Their Edible Print Ads

Volkswagen's 'Eat The Road' Campaign (Images courtesy Ads Of The World)
By Andrew Liszewski

Having taken ‘Fahrvergnügen’ farther than it really needed to go, Volkswagen has apparently been on the hunt for more unorthodox forms of advertising, and it seems like they’ve hit the nail on the head again. In order to literally demonstrate the “awesome road-eating power and acceleration” of their new VW Golf R they created the print ad pictured above featuring the tag line “Eat the road.” And it turns out the ad, which was placed in South African copies of the Auto Trader, was actually printed on paper made of glutinous rice, flour, water, salt, propylene glycol, FD&C color and glycerine. Meaning it was completely edible. Now I’ve no idea how it tasted, but I’m hoping the trend is carried on at upcoming auto shows since Doritos flavored brochures and press releases sound like the perfect snack.

[ Ads of the World – Volkswagen: Eat the Road ] VIA [ Adweek ]

Game Boy Camera Modded To Capture Video

Game Boy Camera Camcorder (Image courtesy kraettz)
By Andrew Liszewski

It was one of the crudest digital cameras ever to hit the market, but here’s to hoping the Game Boy Camera accessory never dies. It’s hard to deny the B&W lo-res imagery it produced had a certain unique charm, and it turns out it’s even more charming when those images are in motion. I can remember spending Saturday afternoons making stop-motion videos with the Game Boy Camera, but a modder known as ‘kraettz’ on the 8bitcollective community has taken things one step further. He took a Game Boy Camera attached to an original GBA, added a GBA TV converter and a portable media player with 40GB of storage and came up with this amazing Game Boy camcorder.

It can run for about 50 minutes on a 9-volt battery and captures videos at a resolution of 320×240. And as you can see in the video below, as they make their way through the Game Boy Camera’s menus, the setup just basically records everything on screen. But that doesn’t make it any less awesome. And when you mix the video with a chiptune soundtrack you’ve got the makings of a DIY Gondry music video.

[ 8bitcollective – kraettz – GameBoy Camcorder ] VIA [ GameSetWatch ]