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Monthly Archives: May 2012

LG’s 55 Inch OLED TV? It’s Real And It’s Spectacular

By David Ponce

We were talking to an LG representative last winter at CES and he was going over how awesome the 55EM600 is. How thin. And then we saw it and couldn’t quite believe our eyes: the thing was razor thin and the colours just popped. But it wasn’t ready for prime time. Rumour had it that at such a thinness and expanse of viewing area, structural integrity might have been a concern. Well now news is that the tv is almost ready to ship and it now has a large base that relocates all the connections to the back, while the back cover of the screen is now made of carbon fiber. This has allowed it to shed even more width, leaving the screen at a barely-there 4mm thin (0.16 inches).

The technology is new however, and when this happens, the prices rocket sky high. Word is that when it ships later this year, you could be looking at €8,000 ($10,063) in bank account draining damage.

[ Engadget ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

A New Coating Could Change The Ketchup Bottle Forever

By David Ponce

Getting Ketchup out of a bottle that isn’t the plastic squeezable type is an exercise in patience. Countless ads for the product have pointed this out, and have almost romanticized the process to the point where it’s almost become part of its charm. But hey, there are those of us who just like to eat without having to hit the bottom of anything made of glass. So MIT PhD candidate Dave Smith and his crew have developed a super non-stick coating they call LiquiGlide which makes anything coated with it, well, super non-stick. Ketchup, as you can see in the video below, simply slides right off the bottle’s inside and on to a plate. It’s easy enough to apply to bottles, as you just have to spray them once while they’re being made. If adopted by manufacturers, the chemical could save billions in wasted food by ensuring everything comes out of the bottle and doesn’t just get thrown out. Each chemical component that makes up LiquiGlide is individually already approved by the FDA, so it shouldn’t take too long for the product itself to receive the seal of approval. What happens at that point remains to be see, but do hit the jump to see another video of this in action.

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The W1PPS Device Takes Care Of Cable Clutter For The MacBook Pro

By David Ponce

Part of Apple’s design ethic is cleanliness. Its products’ lines are simple and elegant and there’s not much clutter for the eye to be sore over. Which is why it’s disappointing when you start plugging things into the side of the MacBook Pro and you end up with a situation like the picture below. It simply ruins the look of the machine. But the W1PPS device you see above aims to clean things up a bit. It plugs right into the left side of your machine and covers all its ports. Then there’s a single cable that runs down to a floor hub where the ports are now relocated. You can connect whatever you need out of sight, under the table, leaving at least one side of your machine looking clean and elegant, just how it does before you start tethering it. Also, the floor hub provides 4 additional USB ports, so there’s that too.

It’s $98 on pre-order on Kickstarter and is meant for the 15 inch version of the laptop. However, the campaign seriously needs to start gathering some steam if they hope to reach their $115,000 goal.

[ KickStarter Project ] VIA [ UberReview ]

Credit-Card Sized Stylus Is Easy To Carry

By David Ponce

We often talk about styluses for touch based devices here, mostly the iPhone and its ilk; turns out there are situations where they’re desired, despite Steve Jobs’ reported hate of them. Now, most of these solutions always involve some kind of compromise when it comes to bulk and portability. Just think of the Ozaki iCoat Finger Case, or the MicroStylus, which tucked into your headphone jack. Nice try, but we really prefer the Cipher, pictured above. It’s a credit-card sized and shaped piece of plastic with a capacitive area. This turns it into a stylus which you can use with any touch-sensitive device. Just keep it in your wallet with all your cards.

We’re not sure when or if it’ll ever come out of the Quirky labs, but if it does, its projected price is $4.

[ Product Page ]

Star Micronics SM-T300 Printer Is Made Just For Your Smartphone

By David Ponce

There are times when you need something printed on a good ole piece of dead tree. It happens. And the Star Micronics SM-T300 is a small and rugged little printer that can get it done for you. It connects to your device (including the iPad, iPhone or Android device) via WiFi or Bluetooth and its battery lasts up to 11 hours between charges. Its ruggedness adheres to the IP54 international standard, meaning it’s dustproof and waterproof, and can be dropped without worry from as much as 1.5 meters high. From the looks of it the printing is the thermographic kind, which is a little like the receipts you get while shopping. Not exactly high quality stuff there, but when you need something on paper, it’ll work in a jiffy.

There’s no word on price or availability.

[ DigInfo ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

3-In-1 BBQ Tool Seems Handy

By David Ponce

There are those who believe we’re hardwired to think that something that’s good at only one thing is better than something else that does several duties. That’s why the TV/DVD combos are rarely popular. But looking at the above 3-in-1 BBQ tool, we’re thinking that this idea maybe doesn’t apply to everything. It’s a spatula, a fork and a set of tongs: “flip, grab and stab.” Made out of stainless steel with sturdy wooden handles, at £29 ($46) it seems like the perfect companion for the summer that’s now right ahead of us in the northern hemisphere.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ 7Gadgets ]

The Leap Lets You Control Your Computer Minority Report Style

By David Ponce

The motion sensing abilities of Microsoft’s Kinect are… adequate for a few things like playing games while being drunk. But it’s laggy and imprecise and it gets tedious having to compensate for this while playing. The Leap is a USB device the size of a deck of cards that creates an 8 cubic feet space in front of your computer and is able to track your hands with 200 times more precision than anything else out there. “Leap can distinguish your individual fingers and track your movements down to a 1/100th of a millimetre.” In this space, your hands become the new mouse, moving things around with a degree of precision that only video can convey (so we embedded one below). It’s intuitive and quite simply fascinating. We mean it, if this thing takes off, mice could be a thing of the past.

Of course this kind of tech must be really expensive, right? Well, no. At all. The Leap is $70. So for the price of a regular mouse you can instead control your stuff like they do in movies. Yeah, from the future. It’s here. Well… almost here. The limited number of pre-orders will be delivered in December of this year or January of next. There’s a bit of waiting involved, but for something like this it’s totally worth it.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ BookOfJoe ]

gTar Is Yet Another Entrant To The Educational Instrument Game

By David Ponce

There’s a growing trend where companies marry new technology to old instruments in order to help us learn how to play them. There’s a few examples: Ion Audio’s plastic LED fretboard guitar, which has a limited number of frets and is not a real instrument. There’s Tabber, which adds LEDs to a real guitar. There’s Rocksmith, which uses a real guitar but requires you to be tethered to a TV and a console. And now there’s gTar. It’s sort of a compromise between a fake plastic instrument and a full fledged guitar. It’s made of wood and has strings, but there are no pickups. The sound is instead generated by the iPhone you have to insert. The companion application has tunes you can play along, in three difficulty settings. The fretboard is covered in LEDs which light up at the right time, so you just put your fingers in the right place and strum. Since there are no pickups and the sound is generated by an app, they’re able to have this feature called SmartPlay which mutes out whatever wrong notes you play. This makes you feel like you’re better than you really are and could help keep you motivated.

The product is not complete yet. It’s going through a round of financing on Kickstarter and you could have pre-ordered yours for $350 if you’d gotten in early enough. Now it’s $399 for 85 more units, and $450 afterwards. Yeah, that’s a lot of money but don’t forget you’re not getting a toy controller here, but the closest thing to a real guitar without the need to carry a TV and console with you everywhere.

[ Project page ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

Beer Glass Reveals QR Code When Filled With Guinness Only

By David Ponce

We’ve seen our fair share of creative marketing campaigns. There was the photoblocker beer cooler that encouraged cheating. There was also the iPhone “Xray” application that could undress models in magazines. And now there’s this here glass of beer that serves as a marketing prop for Guinness beer. If you fill it up with water or pale beer, it’s impossible to scan the code. But fill it with the Irish murky brew and its blackness gives the right background to make the code visible. Upon scanning with your smartphone

“it tweets about your pint, updates your facebook status, checks you in via 4 square, downloads coupons and promotions, invites your friends to join, and even launches exclusive Guiness content.”

We’re not so sure we’d be that excited about the “exclusive Guinness content”, but hey, it’s smart marketing and look at that, it got us talking about the brand. There’s no word on where and when the glasses will become available.

Hit the jump for one more picture and links.

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