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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Control Your Computer With The Electricity In Your Arm

myo-armband-xl

The MYO Armband is yet another entrant in the gesture control field. Crowded by the likes of Microsoft’s Kinect, or the vastly more promising Leap Motion Controller, the MYO uses innovative new technology to interface with you. It’s kind of interesting and could actually give it an advantage over the other ones. Instead of using image recognition, the MYO has a sensor to detect the electrical impulses in the muscles of your forearm. This, alongside a motion detector, allows the armband to resolve your hand and arm movements with extreme precision, down to the individual fingers. It may even seem at times that your finger twitch is detected even before you’ve actually done so: this is because the muscles are activated slightly before your fingers actually start moving, and the MYO picks the signal up first.

So what can you do with it? That’s still in development. There’s going to be an API, and it will work with PCs and Macs, but the specific kinds of things you can do is up in the air. We’re thinking mouse replacement, but of course it’s much more than that. 3D model manipulation, gaming… If done right, the possibilities are, as they always say, endless. The best part is the price: $149, to be released late this year. And yes, you can pre-order now.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

Teddy Sitter Keeps One Eye On Your Kids, and Another On Your Sitter

Teddy Sitter

Even the most hands-on parents leave their kids with the sitter sometimes, and that’s where gadgets like the Teddy Sitter comes in. It looks like a regular brown teddy bear that you can find in most toy stores, except that it’s got a large and shiny beacon-like nose where I assume the camera and sensors are located. Because while the Teddy Sitter looks like a toy, it most definitely is much more than just that.

It’s meant to double as a babysitter for your kids, but I think it’s always safest to get a human to do that job. But for your peace of mind, the Teddy Sitter lets on-the-go or absentee parents monitor what’s happening at home in a truly novel way.

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Viewfinder Accessory Lets You Take Shots From Awkward Angles

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If you’re planning on putting your fancy dSLR on the floor to take a shot, you better have an LCD viewfinder that swivels out. Or a flexible neck. Heck, even if you do have a swivel screen, if it’s really bright it’s not always possible to see what’s on it. The above accessory attaches to your HDMI-equipped Canon camera and lets you see what it sees from a distance. There’s an eye-cup so you’ll see everything even in the brightest environments. It needs power of its own, which it gets from a power adapter or, Canon’s very own LP-E6 battery or equivalent.

It’s $265 (24,800 Japanese Yen).

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[ Product Page (Japanese translated) ] VIA [ DamnGeeky ]

Someone Somewhere Is Going To Think These Hoofed Boots Are A Good Idea

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The particular item you’re looking at is a set of Magical Unicorn Boots handmade by Etsy seller Oonacat. Maybe we added the “magical”, but at this point, we don’t think that really matters. Oonacat makes at least one other similar, heelless, hoofed boot. That one is called the Demon Hooves and is featured in the video we embedded after the break. Each one is “hand sculpted and cast urethane using professional grade materials only,” and you can provide your own set of boots if you’ve got one that you’re particularly attached to. Her asking price however includes the boot, and that’s one hefty asking price: $440.

We’re not sure how hard it is to walk in these. Matter of fact, this editor is not sure how it is to walk in any heels, but the lady in the video seems to be having an ok time.

Whether for Halloween or every day, at least now you know these things exist.

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Hedgehog Toothpick Holder Will Tell Your Guests What Kind Of Host You Are

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Just don’t ask us what that means exactly. Being the kind of host that serves hors-d’oeuvres in a bowl on which is perched the above toothpick holder would tell us all kinds of things, but since we’re I’m socially inept, I’m not sure what those things are. It could say you’ve got a quirky sense of humor, along with making a statement about how you like to pay attention to detail. Or it could mean that you’re just really into hedgehogs. Or that you like cute things. Because hey, that thing is nothing if not cute.

The price is kind of cute too, though. For what’s basically a little novelty item, you’re going to have to pay $25. It’s being sold at the MoMA store, so someone associated with that institution deemed the little fella cool enough to make the cut. Maybe that explains the premium.

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[ Product page ] VIA [ HolyCool ]

Repap Paper Made From Stones

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Felling trees for the sake of turning them into paper is not only an increasingly unnecessary practice in a digital age, but it’s also one that’s always been sort of a dick move for the planet. So our interest was piqued when we read about Repap. It’s a kind of paper that’s made from stones. Yeah. Stones.

Repap is made up of 80% calcium carbonate (CaCO) and a small percentage, 20%, from non-toxic resins (high intensity polyethylene). The calcium carbonate present in Repap comes from the limestone recovered from caves and used in the construction industry. The Calcium carbonate is reduced to a fine powder and the polyethylene acts as a binder, creating Repap, a resistant and durable, as well as a waterproof paper. A paper that is also soft, smooth, bright white, resistant like a film but without the use of substances derived from petroleum.

To be perfectly honest, that sounds like a great product and if you want to get your hands on some yourself, you can. The link below takes you to a website that sells notebooks called Ogami, that are made from the stuff. Prices start as low as $13.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Werd ]

Beautiful Glitzy Sculptures Made By Moth-like Insects

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French artist Hubert Duprat is an exploitative type. Fortunately, he likes to exploit insects, and even more fortunately, he’s not really exploiting them at all. What he is doing however, is conning the Caddisfly to make some sculptures for him. This moth-like insect creates a protective silk case for its pupation state, from which it emerges with wings, like a butterfly. But it likes to decorate this case with things it finds in its environment. These are usually small rocks, sand, pieces of twigs, etc. Hubert used this behaviour and placed Caddisfly larvae in tanks that contained nothing but jewels: gold flakes, pearls, and precious stones. So obviously, the little Caddisfly had no choice but to do its thing with the materials at hand, and built Mr. Duprat some art, which he then displayed, presumably for profit.

There’s a bunch of talk about the artistry behind the work, and probably the meaning of it all. But we’re not going to lie, we don’t really care, we just saw this and thought: neat! So there you have it.

Hit the jump for links and a video of Hubert talking about this, and some insects working hard.

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LOLGAS: Wolkswagen To Release 314mpg XL1 Hybrid

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With all the talk about the superior performance of the Tesla Model S, it’s easy to forget that most electric cars aren’t quite as swift. But what the Wolkswagen XL1 lacks in speed and acceleration, it makes up in fuel efficiency. The plug-in hybrid was tested at 340mpg, but the officials in charge of the test imposed a rounding error, from 0.83L/100km to 0.9L/100km (not sure why), bringing the official mileage to 314mpg. That’s still decent enough to travel 300 miles on $1.5 of electricity and $4.5 of diesel, at European energy prices. That works out to $6 for 300 miles with the XL1, versus $13.68 with the Model S.

Of course, there are some drawbacks. The diesel engine develops 48bhp, the e-motor 27bhp, which means that acceleration is crap, taking 12.7 seconds to get to 60mph. And if you keep going past that, you’ll top out at 100mph. And to make things really bad, you can’t really take advantage of the super mileage, because the gas tank is only 10L. Of course, you can still travel long distances by refuelling along the way, and you’ll still get 141mpg that way, the only inconvenience being that you have to stop every 300 miles. But we’re not sure where we sit on this one. Wolkswagen isn’t planning on mass production anyway, so obviously nor does VW. There’s no official price, and the talk is that 50 will be made, with maybe more if there’s demand. So it’s a wait and see.

[ Top Gear ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

Google Ass: Strap It to Your Butt–Because That’s How Conan Likes It

Conan O’Brien is back with more of his hilarious antics, and this time, he’s got Google Glass in his sights. In case you haven’t heard of it yet (although it’s highly probably that you already have, considering how much media attention it’s gotten lately), Google Glass is a revolutionary piece of eyewear that integrates camera, maps, translator, messenger, and Siri-like functionalities into a compact and wearable accessory. Just think of it as the glasses you’ve always wanted to have, but, well, never did.

Because he’s bitter that he wasn’t chosen to be an Explorer (that’s Google-speak for beta tester), he’s come up with a parody product called Google Ass that you’re supposed to strap to your butt. Nah, I’m just kidding… Conan came up with this fake product because it’s funny, and after watching his short clip featuring his faux revolutionary ass-wear, you’ll be nodding in agreement.

VIA [ Cnet ]