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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Wacom Inkling Digital Sketch Pen

Wacom Inkling Digital Sketch Pen (Images courtesy Wacom)
By Andrew Liszewski

Wacom, makers of the finest PC drawing tablets you can buy, have decided that even their smallest solution, the Bamboo, isn’t small enough for digital artists on the go. So they’ve created the Inkling. A digital pen that captures your sketches, drawings and presumably even notes, allowing them to be later imported into Photoshop or Illustrator as raster or vector graphics.

The fact that it gives you access to your drawings as vector versions is pretty exciting, even letting you separate your artwork into multiple layers while you’re creating it. And while the ability to use it with any kind of paper or notebook is certainly convenient, we’ve found that approach has unique problems of its own. (Read about my issues with the EPOS at the bottom of this review.) But perhaps Wacom has overcome the issues associated with these kinds of sensor + pen capture devices, and maybe the Inkling will be well worth $199.99 when it’s available this October.

[ Wacom Inkling ] VIA [ Ubergizmo ]

Minimal Mutewatch

Mutewatch (Images courtesy Mutewatch)
By Andrew Liszewski

If the thought of strapping a watch to your wrist that looks like it could be used to land a 747 doesn’t appeal to you, here’s an option from the other end of the spectrum. The Mutewatch is about as simple a design as you’re ever going to find, looking more like a charitable rubber wristband than a time piece. In fact it doesn’t even display the time until you ask it to, by simply tapping on the flat askew rectangle which serves as its display. The time will then illuminate, glowing through the watch’s rubber finish.

But that’s not all. The display also recognizes touch gestures like swiping, letting you scroll through the clock, alarm and timer modes. And setting an alarm is as easy as tapping the top of a number to increase it, or the bottom to decrease it. Cancelling or removing an alarm is even easier, requiring just a pinch gesture. Instead of an annoying beep, the Mutewatch also vibrates when an alarm goes off, and a built-in motion sensor can tell if you’re sleeping (not moving) increasing the intensity of the vibrations to wake you up. Of course a minimalistic design rarely comes with a minimalistic price, and the Mutewatch is no different, requiring $259 of your hard earned dollars.

[ Mutewatch ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

Wooden Tie Probably Not Appropriate Attire If You Work Next To A Campfire

Wood Ties (Images courtesy The Green Head)
By Andrew Liszewski

Well here’s an interesting take on eco-friendly clothing. Instead of being made of fabrics from sustainable sources, or engineered materials that will stand the test of time. Wood Thumb makes their unique ties from upcycled, reclaimed wood. And it’s not like they’ve created a process that turns the wood into a pulp and eventually some wood fiber-based cloth. Nope, the ties are simply made from tie-shaped segments of wood held together with thick cords. At $34 for the large and/or small version they’re considerably cheaper than a silk alternative too. Just be aware, your hipster-fu needs to be through the roof to pull this look off.

[ Wood Thumb Wood Ties ] VIA [ The Green Head ]

iZON Remote Room Monitor

iZON Remote Room Monitor (Images courtesy Stem Innovation)
By Andrew Liszewski

The idea that everybody recording everybody else makes for a safer, more accountable, world is taken one step further with remote video camera monitoring solutions like Stem Innovation’s new iZON (eyes on – get it?) security monitor. Using a clever rounded magnetic base that can be set on a flat surface or mounted to a wall, the iZON camera connects to your home or office’s wireless network providing you with a constant video feed of wherever you have the lens pointed.

You’ll need to download the accompanying Stem:Connect iOS app to monitor the feed from your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, but you can also set it up to capture footage directly to a private YouTube account for perusing later. And besides just providing a window to your home or office while you’re away, the iZON’s software also allows it to serve as a remote tattletale, keeping track of suspicious sounds or movements and alerting you when something has been detected via push notifications. Available “soon” for $129.95.

[ iZON Remote Room Monitor ]

Philips Sonicare AirFloss Uses Just A Teaspoon Of Water To Clean Your Entire Mouth

Philips Sonicare AirFloss (Image courtesy Philips)
By Andrew Liszewski

In addition to the Sonicare DiamondClean toothbrush they announced a while ago, Philips also revealed a new alternative to the traditional waterpik flossing (or interdental) system called the AirFloss. Deep down we all know we should be flossing our teeth every day to clean places our brushes can’t reach, but dental floss isn’t always the easiest tool for the job. And everyone knows that ease of use makes a big difference.

So the AirFloss is roughly the size of your standard electric toothbrush, a much improved design over the waterpik which usually requires a fairly hefty reservoir of water sitting on your bathroom counter. And instead of requiring gallons of water to clean your mouth, the AirFloss uses just a single teaspoon of water for two one-minute cleaning sessions. Meaning the unit, including its reservoir, can be completely self contained. By blasting the spaces between your teeth with a mix of air and water droplets traveling at speeds of up to 45mph, the AirFloss is not only easier to use than string floss, but apparently far more effective. At ~$90 it’s unfortunately quite a bit more expensive than a spool of floss, but what good is going the cheaper route if you never actually end up using it?

[ Philips Sonicare AirFloss ]

Nikon’s New Coolpix S1200pj Projector Equipped P&S Also Works With Your iPhone

Nikon Coolpix S1200pj Projector Phone (Image courtesy Nikon)
By Andrew Liszewski

During my brief, but enjoyable, vacation last week, Nikon unloaded a bunch of new digital cameras on the market, including the Coolpix S1200pj which caught my pico projector loving eye. The S1200pj is actually Nikon’s third projector-equipped compact P&S camera, but improves on the previous models with a 40% increase in brightness (an impressive 20 lumens) and three times the contrast. Facilitating a projected image up to 60 inches in size, in ideal conditions of course. It’s also competently capable as a P&S with a 14.1MP sensor, 5X optical zoom with lens-shift stabilization, ISO settings up to 6400 and a 3-inch HVGA display on the back.

But sharing movies and videos of your mundane daily activities with friends and family is going to wear on them at some point, so Nikon has also made the S1200pj iOS friendly. Using an included cable you can connect your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad to the camera, letting you project content from any of those devices. And making the S1200pj a far more valuable companion for those who travel a lot. Available sometime in September for $429.95 in black and hot pink metal finishes.

[ Nikon Coolpix S1200pj ]

SignalGuru Smartphone App Helps You Avoid Red Lights And Drive More Efficiently

SignalGuru (Image courtesy Gizmag)
By Andrew Liszewski

Researchers at MIT and Princeton have developed a new smartphone app called SignalGuru that lets drivers know the optimal speed they should be driving (within reason) to avoid having to stop and wait at red lights. Which in turn means better fuel efficiency. The app relies on the cameras of dashboard mounted smartphones and their ability to connect and talk to each other over a wireless network, keeping tabs on the color of the lights ahead of a driver on a given road.

The system has been tested in Cambridge, Massachusetts where traffic lights run on a fixed schedule, and the success rate of its predictions helped drivers reduce fuel consumption by an average of 20%. But when tested in a city like Singapore where traffic light timing dynamically adjusts based on the traffic flow, the system wasn’t as effective. However, the results should improve once the app becomes a commercial product, and more and more drivers start using it and contributing information about the status of traffic lights around a given city.

[ SignalGuru: Leveraging Mobile Phones for Collaborative Traf?c Signal Schedule Advisory (PDF) ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Star Wars Inspired Limited Edition iPad 2 ClamCase

Star Wars Inspired Limited Edition iPad 2 ClamCase (Image courtesy ClamCase)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’m sure there’s some kind of fiscal deterrent to creating an officially licensed Star Wars product (Lucasfilm probably gets a cut) but thankfully the films are so iconic you can tip toe around a license if you’re careful. Like what ClamCase has done with their limited edition THE TROOPER case which happens to be the first design in their INSPIRED SERIES.

If you’re unfamiliar with the product, the ClamCase is an over-the-top iPad case that basically turns your tablet into a makeshift laptop. Your iPad 2 sits in the top half of the case serving as the display, while the bottom half features a full QWERTY keyboard (with 14 extra function keys) connected via Bluetooth. This particular version also has “…a black hinge, keyboard, base and ergonomic rubber feet, providing an intergalactic contrast with the imperial white protective case.” It certainly helps make the iPad more useful for productivity than just media consumption, but for $149 you’re probably better off just getting a compact laptop.

[ ClamCase THE TROOPER ] VIA [ PadGadget ]

Kandenchi Battery Mouse

Kandenchi Battery Mouse (Image courtesy Elecom)
By Andrew Liszewski

Elecom continues their partnership with Japanese design studio nendo, this time bringing the world a compact wireless mouse that looks like it was made from a discarded D-cell battery. The unique design certainly makes it compact and easy to travel with, but at first glance the ergonomics look like they’d take a little while to get used to. (Given most of us are used to mousing with our hands laid flat.) The Kandenchi has 3 buttons in total, with the bottom one on the side doubling as a scroll wheel. And an included tiny wireless USB receiver can be stashed inside the mouse when not in use. “Shipping Soon” with a TBD price point.

[ Kandenchi Battery Mouse ] VIA [ The Red Ferret Journal ]