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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Cat Lounge Doubles As Cat Scratcher


Oh sure, this has been around a long while. But it’s new to us, and surely some of you. It’s called the PetFusion Cat Scratcher Lounge and if you’re the owner of happy cats and unhappy furniture, this might be for you. Made from sandwiched layers of cardboard, the thing lets your feline friend both nap (as this is a cat’s primary bread-winning activity) and sharpen his claws (which he does, regardless of pay). It has attracted over 1,300 5-star reviews on Amazon, so we’re hoping it’s a sign cats like it. It weighs 10 pounds, so it’s unlikely your kitty will move it around the house or otherwise mess up your Feng Shui.



[ Product Page ] VIA [ BookOfJoe ]

Mind Reading Camera Only Takes Pictures Of Things That Interest You


With Google Glass starting its slow rollout into the wild, the idea of being able to capture anything anywhere anytime is becoming increasingly accessible. Not to say that it isn’t already with the ubiquity of cellphone cameras, but there’s something to be said about “always-ready” gear; sometimes that moment is gone by the time you whip out your phone. Well, the Neurocam being developed by the Tokyo-based Neurowear team constantly scans your brain waves and assigns them activity levels from 1 to 100. Then, when the detected levels exceed 60, it takes a 5 second GIF of whatever is in its line of sight. No need to press a trigger, or fumble around with your phone’s controls as Big Foot makes his escape yet again. If or when this ends up working right, it’ll be amazing. For now however what you have is an unwieldy prototype which uses a cradled iPhone as the camera. There are plans to change that, obviously. Also, there are questions about whether their tech actually works:

The analytics algorithm is based on the sensitivity vales of “interest” and “like” developed by Professor Mitsukura of Keio University and was co-developed with the neurowear team especially for the neurocam. The hardware is a combination of Neurosky’s Mind Wave Mobile and a new customized brainwave sensor with the newest BMD chip.

The team is behind other mind-controlled products like the “Necomimi and Shippo – moving, wearable, mind-controlled cat ears and a tail, respectively”, so it’s not like they’re new to the field. There is no word on eventual commercialization or project readiness, but we’re confident this kind of technology will eventually make it into the hands of consumers, from these guys or someone else.


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Check Out the Happiest Costume on Earth!

Happiest Costume Ever

Disneyland might be the happiest place on earth, but this here is the happiest costume in the world. As you might’ve probably already guessed by now, the costume draws inspiration from the theme park itself. The costume is a handful but it was a challenge that Rob Cockerham of Cockeyed gleefully took on.

The costume is essentially a wearable miniature replica of the world-famous theme park. Spot Space Mountain, the Jungle Cruise, Fantasyland theater, Autopia, the Astro Orbiter, and the Innoventions building on the massive costume, among a host of other attractions. While Rob can definitely walk around while wearing it, I doubt he’ll be able to take a drink from the water fountain or fit through most doorways.

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Drive With Google Glass On Your Face, And Get A Ticket


Cecilia Abadie was stopped for speeding last Tuesday in California. When the officer approached her, he noticed she was wearing Google Glasses and decided to add a second offence to her ticket: driving while looking at a monitor. Driving laws vary by state, and the specific statue allegedly broken by Ms. Abadie is V C 27602 which is usually reserved for people who watch movies while driving. It does make exceptions for GPS devices, and screens that help the driver navigate the road. A monitor can also be allowed if there are safety features that disable the video feed while driving. The problem is the law is broad enough that she may end up having a hard time fighting it in court.

It is the first time the device is specifically targeted in such a ticket. Google Glass is new technology and there are still no clear laws specifically targeting its use, while the still low number of wearers mean that there hasn’t been much pressure to legislate it yet. Obviously for us, we think that using Glass is much safer than even looking at a GPS screen, though if it is possible to enable a video feature while traveling above a certain speed, Ms. Abadie may be in trouble.

What do you guys think? Potentially distracting tech while driving? Or money hungry police departments looking for every opportunity to make a dime?


Meet Cooper, the Little Ghostbuster with the Ecto-1 Push Car

Cooper Ghostbusters Costume

Remember Cooper, the adorable kid who shot to fame after word of how his amazing parents built him a DeLorean for Halloween spread like wildfire on the Internet? Well, he’s back again with another awesome costume and push car mod care of his parents, Jeremy and Cory Smith.

Whereas they just went with an idea for last year’s DeLorean, they put in a lot more thought on this year’s costume as they held a brainstorming session before working on it, which saw Cooper’s trusty push car transformed into the Ecto-1. It’s hard to believe they managed to pull everything off by using materials like cardboard boxes, take-out salsa cups, and soda bottles for the car.

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Pierpaolo Lazzarini’s Water Jet Looks Like Something From the Future

Jet Capsule

It’s not a boat and it’s not a jetski, but it looks like a cross between the two, albeit a really futuristic one. This is the jet capsule designed by Pierpaolo Lazzarini in collaboration with Luca Solla from S3. The egg-shaped boat is built with a fiberglass hull with stainless steel handrails, with a plush interior and comfortable-looking seats that can accommodate up to eight people.

The craft measures just 7.5 meters and has a powerful 325-hp Yanmar diesel engine with a Hamilton waterjet to reach speeds of up to 25 knots. The boat’s designer explains that the idea for the craft was based on “having a boat small enough to be easily maneuvered, yet spacious enough to take a handful of friends out for drinks, over to a port for an evening’s entertainment.”

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Roadless Wheel System is For All Terrains

It’s tough if you live in places where the roads are far from ideal. In areas where road conditions would make it difficult for vehicles with typical wheels to cross, the Roadless wheel system is a godsend. It’s essentially a shape-shifting wheel that can change in size and shape to fit a bevy of vehicles and to adjust to various road conditions.

Roadless was designed by Ackeem Ngwenya, who is a student in Innovation Design Engineering at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. He was supposed to graduate last June but ran out of tuition money, so he took to Indiegogo with his graduation project with the goal of raising money to complete his studies and get the opportunity to develop Road further.

So how does it work? Roadless uses the principle behind the scissor-jack mechanism, where the wheel expands or contracts “to give more contact area or better ground clearance” as the telescoping hub is cranked up and down. Ackeem drew inspiration for his project after witnessing the difficulties that people faced in his hometown, Malawi, due to the lack of vehicles that could traverse the poor road conditions in the area.

The Indiegogo campaign for Roadless has closed with £5,135 in funds raised. That’s about twenty thousand pounds short of Ackeem’s goal, but he’s hoping to team up with others who can help him raise the balance. Check out the project page for Roadless here.

VIA [ InHabitat ]

Know How Hot Your Bathwater Is Without Even Touching It

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 11.10.34 AM

When you’re filling that tub up for a nice hot bath, you’ll often find yourself fiddling with the spout to get the temperature just right. It’s always a sequence of stick your hand in boiling water, turn the faucet down to something colder, ok now it’s too cold, let’s make it hot again, is it hot enough, damn it I burned myself. It’s not the apocalypse in terms of problems people can have, but this inconvenience can be solved with the above tub spout cover that displays the water’s temperature digitally. Adjust it without ever so much as touching the water, at least until it’s ready.


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FiberFix Is Like Duct Tape, Only Stronger, Possibly Better


That’s a blasphemy, isn’t it? To suggest that there may be a better candidate for all-around everything-fixer-upper-for-the-home than duct tape is like suggesting McGuyver wasn’t that handy a guy after all. And yet science and technology march on, and we find out about FiberFix. It’s a special kind of tape that hardens into a steel-like material, which is 100 times stronger than duct tape. Once your objects are fixed with FiberFix, they won’t break in the same spot again. The tape comes in special airtight pouches because the special resin that powers this product’s magical powers is activated with water. And while there is usually enough moisture in the air for FiberFix to work properly without any additional step, you can help it along by briefly soaking the material in water beforehand. After 5 to 10 minutes the resin hardens and you can start using your broken item, although it can take up to 24 hours to fully cure and reach maximum strength. Special care needs to be taken not to get any of the stuff on your hands or scissors, because you’ll have a hard time getting it off afterwards.

So, ok, FiberFix is not quite like duct tape because once you’ve applied it, you can’t remove it. And you need to be kind of careful when you use it. But if it needs to stay fixed, this looks like a good choice. Prices start at $6 for a 1 inch wide by 40 inches long strip.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]