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Author Archives: David Ponce

$1 Folding Microscope With 2,000X Magnification And 800nm Resolution

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Peering into the abysmally small doesn’t always require fancy equipment. Or at the very least, it doesn’t seem to require expensive equipment since the Foldscope pictured above costs less than a dollar to make and can magnify objects up to 2,000X. Made by a research team at PrakashLab at Stanford University, Foldscope is ultimately meant to be used in developing nations where being able to accurately diagnose specific diseases greatly improves survival, and where traditional microscopes may be out of range.

Foldscope is an origami-based print-and-fold optical microscope that can be assembled from a flat sheet of paper. Although it costs less than a dollar in parts, it can provide over 2,000X magnification with sub-micron resolution (800nm), weighs less than two nickels (8.8 g), is small enough to fit in a pocket (70 × 20 × 2 mm3), requires no external power, and can survive being dropped from a 3-story building or stepped on by a person.

The team is currently looking for 10,000 Beta testers. To sign up you have to send them a proposal of what you’d do with yours, through the link available below.

[ Product Page ] AND [ Signup Page ] VIA [ Reddit ]

Smartphone Connected LED Bulb Also Streams Audio

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LED lightbulbs that can be controlled with your smartphone are nothing new. But the AirBULB adds one extra feature that could make a big difference when comparing similar products: it streams audio from your connected smartphone through its integrated speakers. This means you can have audio throughout your home without having to pass any cables anywhere. Granted you’re only getting a 3W output, but that should be sufficient for some background music.

The LED bulb’s colour can be adjusted through the app, and it can be set to flash when you get a call or notifications. An $89 pledge will get you yours, with shipping expected around May if the campaign reaches its funding goals.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ WalYou ]

Stunning Desk Clock Is Inspired By Deep Space Nine

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You’re looking at Starfleet Machine, a wonderful looking desk clock made by L’Épée, Switzerland’s last remaining specialized high-end clock manufacturer. With a design outsourced to MB&F, this clock was created in order to celebrate the company’s 175th anniversary.

The prominently featured in-house movement carries a 40 day power reserve, as well as a series of five mainspring barrels. The clock showcases hours and minutes, double retrograde seconds and a power reserve indicator, but only in a way these two creative forces can execute.

“About two years ago I went to L’Epée with a gouache image,” explains MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser, who designed the Starfleet Machine with ECAL design graduate Xin Wang. “We basically cut out one of their movements that we found and created a design based on Deep Space Nine around it,” he says. The initial reaction from the craftsmen at L’Epée was of awe and they quickly jumped on the project.

Starfleet Machine will be limited to 175 units and will retail for 28,000 CHF, or roughly $31,725 USD.

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Hamster-Powered Monster Will Fascinate The Kids Young And Old Alike

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This is a Stranbeest powered by a hamster in a wheel. A straandbeest is a multi-legged contraption created by Dutch artist Theo Jansen. Normally on display on Holland’s beaches, it’s now transformed into a tabletop contraption that uses a hamster ball with the hamster inside as the locomotive power; the ball turns some gears, which in turn propel the mechanism forward. Its eerie gait is sure to fascinate your kids at the very least, and even you if you still have an impressionable spirit in your curmudgeonly old age.

For $35 you can get an assemble-at-home kit, although the hamster is not included.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ DudeIWantThat ]

Toilet Paper Embossed With 24 Carat Gold

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Back in October of last year we wrote about a toilet paper roll made entirely from 22 carat gold that sold for $1.3 million. Now we bring you news of the poor man’s version of gilded toilet paper: a $246 gold embossed roll. To be honest, this product seems far more real than the other one, since you’re still looking at actual toilet paper. Each design is custom made by German Fritz Loibl for his company, Tissue Design in Grafenau, Germany. Once embossed, the roll is shipped to you, wherever you are.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Geekologie ]

You Lazy Bum: iFetch Is An Automatic Ball Launcher For Dogs

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You get a dog, you’re supposed to do a few things. Give it exercise, for instance. If you’re too lazy to go jog with it, it’s still acceptable to go outside and just stand around playing fetch with him. But if even that’s too much effort, you’ll be delighted to find out about iFetch. It’s a simple to use automatic ball launcher that can be set to 10, 20, or 30 feet. You simply teach your pup to bring the included miniature tennis balls to the wide opening, and it’ll toss the ball for him to fetch with no interaction needed on your part. It’s $100 and comes with two balls, while a set of 5 more is $10.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ TheGreenHead ]

This RC Car Does 188mph, And No, Not To Scale

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The little vehicle you see in the picture has reached the record speed of 188.87mph. It’s called the R/C Bullet and that’s the actual speed it reached, not its scaled equivalent. We don’t have much by way of details though, aside from being able to tell you that it’s made by one Nic Case, who appears to have been in the business of making record-breaking RC cars for some time now. Back in 2008 he had the record for fastest RC car in the world with the Schumacher Mi3, which you can actually purchase, unlike the Bullet.

[ Source ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Hue Bulbs Finally Get A Switch

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In case you haven’t seen them, Philips makes a popular set of LED lightbulbs called Hue, that wirelessly connect to your network and allow you to control them via your smartphone. You can change their colour, intensity, etc. at the touch of a button from just about anywhere. Well, now they’re getting an actual physical switch called the Tap, and that’s a good thing. Think about it, smartphone connectivity is cool and gee-whiz and all that, but when you enter a room you want to turn the lights on immediately. You don’t want to futz around in your pockets, take your phone out, unlock the screen, find the app, and press a button. Tap is a puck-shaped device that sticks to any surface and charges through kinetic action; this means that every time you press a button you’re also charging the battery, effectively requiring no other external input of power. It’s due to come out after this summer, for $60.

[ Press Release ] VIA [ Geek.com ]

Your iPhone Case, Now With 100% More Folding Knife

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There’s nothing quite like the thrill of placing a phone call with a sharp blade perilously close to your ear. At least we’re assuming that Mike Warren’s thought process went something like that in the creation of the above iPhone case, lovingly called iStab. Mike’s a DIY kind of guy, and he 3D printed this thing by downloading some vanilla case designs from Thingiverse and working on them with “Meshmixer, a 3D design editor. He then used an Objet500 Connex to print the case.”

There’s no real use for it, and frankly we’re not sure why we’re writing about it, other than maybe because it’s a little absurd. And Van Gogh. So, no, you can’t buy it but if Mike was able to make it, so can you, no the least of which because the step-by-step instructions are below.

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[ Instructables Link ] VIA [ NeatoRama ]