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Author Archives: Andrew Liszewski

Art Lebedev’s Svintus Power Strip Pig Concept

Svintus Power Strip Pig Concept (Image courtesy Art Lebedev)
By Andrew Liszewski

If you like your gadget main dishes served cute with a heaping side of commentary, Art Lebedev’s latest concept design will certainly whet your appetite. Called the Svintus, it’s a novel take on the boring power strip that takes its inspiration from the farm’s most delicious animal. The design seems a bit localized though. While the spiral cord that plugs into the wall certainly looks like a pig’s tail, the repeated snouts, or snoutlets, that cover its body only work as a visual gag in a country that uses that specific plug format. Here in North America, most of the novelty would be lost.

Svintus Power Strip Pig Concept (Image courtesy Art Lebedev)

On the functional side of things the Svintus does provide a whopping seventeen outlets for charging the vast majority of your devices. And they even look like they’re adequately spaced to accommodate a good number of oversized wall warts. On a deeper level, though, I can’t help but feel the use of the pig is commentary on our ever increasing power needs… But I’m just not ready to feel guilty about it this early in the morning.

[ Art Lebedev – Power strip Svintus (concept) ] VIA [ Fancy ]

DJ Station For Kids – One Turntable And A Roll Up Mat

The Children's DJ Station (Image courtesy Hammacher Schlemmer)
By Andrew Liszewski

And you thought the fine art of DJ’ing was only something that could be mastered by under-manicured cats. Following up on the surprisingly popular Cat Scratch Turntable is a version designed for the other creature that’s prone to destroying your home. Kids. Instead of being made from just cardboard, though, this one’s got actual electronic-y bits inside that lets your hooligans live out their DJ fantasies without tearing up your prized vinyl collection.

The roll out mat’s got a central faux turntable that makes scratching-like sound effects, so you can forget any notion you had of importing your own samples. It is just a toy after all. The touch sensitive mat also features drum pads that trigger tom-tom, snare and cymbal sound effects, “nearly two octaves of piano keys” across the bottom with different musical styles, and rhythm buttons that provide the background beats needed to really drive parents crazy. Kids can even connect an MP3 player for music to accompany their creations, while a headset mic lets them really get the crowd pumped at your next family gathering. $49.95 available from Hammacher Schlemmer.

[ The Children’s DJ Station ]

Flud’s BPM Watches Disappoint

Flud BPM Watches (Images courtesy Flud)
By Andrew Liszewski

In a weird way I feel like this post is putting me in a ‘don’t shoot the messenger’ position. Because Flud’s new BPM watches are simply not as awesome as they look. You might think they’ve created a miniature retro drum machine you can strap to your wrist and use to create fresh bleep bloop beats wherever you are. But I’m sad to say that’s not the case.

What you’re looking at here is your run-of-the-mill ’80s era calculator watch that’s designed to only look like a miniature drum machine. The 4×4 grid of drumpad buttons do work, but only for entering numbers and mathematical functions. Everything else is just moulded rubber. Presumably created to get this writer’s hopes up, then cruelly dashed! Their limited functionality also doesn’t justify their $80 price tag as far as I’m concerned. And I find little solace in the fact they’re available in 5 different color schemes.

[ Flud BPM Watches ] VIA [ Fancy ]

Rack Up Some Faux Gaming Cred With These Retro NES Carts That Never Existed

NEStalgia Carts (Image courtesy 72 Pins)
By Andrew Liszewski

The next time you get in a conversation where you’re trying to one-up your friends about your cred as a gamer, just drop the old “well I’ve been playing Dead Space since it was on the NES” line and declare your checkmate. Who cares if the game never actually had an 8-bit predecessor? If they call you out on your claim, a mere $20 investment from 72 Pins will provide you with some hard-to-deny proof. Their collection of ‘Nestalgia’ carts include 8-bit versions of modern titles like BioShock, Killzone and even Halo. I mean can you imagine how repetitive Halo would feel were the game limited to an 8-bit environment? I bet the library would feel like you were playing the same level again and again and again…

Anyways, the carts of course don’t actually work. They’re just upcycled old NES games that have had the labels replaced with rather convincing alternatives. So if you’re trying to bluff a friend who still has a working NES at home, your ruse will instantly be foiled. But the fact that you dropped $20, on what is essentially a clever Photoshop job, could provide some gaming cred on its own merit.

[ 72 Pins – NEStalgia Carts ] VIA [ Joystiq ]

Game Boy Dress Isn’t Limited To Just Hallowe’en Parties

Game Boy Dress (Images courtesy Etsy)
By Andrew Liszewski

While no where near as racy as the Game Boy print swimsuit we brought you a couple of months ago, this Game Boy dress will still provide loads of opportunity for double entendres and innuendo at any Hallowe’en party. “Press my buttons”, “insert a cartridge”, “where’s that Tetris piece I need?”, “up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right”, etc. For better or for worse they’re all at your disposal. But if you were hoping to score one of these for the 31st, you’ll need to get your $78 order in with Etsy seller SewOeno before October 10th to ensure it’s completed and arrives on time.

[ Etsy – Game Boy Dress ] VIA [ bookofjoe ]

Rotor Digital Camera Concept Is All About The Dials

Rotor Digital Camera Concept (Image courtesy Charlie Nghiem)
By Andrew Liszewski

Part of the appeal of Fujifilm’s FinePix X100—for me at least— is that settings like shutter speed have been made accessible via a dedicated physical dial. And I like dials. Particularly compared to having to change a setting by navigating a convoluted menu system in a cluttered UI. And that’s why I really like Charlie Nghiem’s Rotor digital camera concept.

Instead of a collection of buttons seemingly randomly located all over the camera’s housing, the various functions are controlled using a stack of dials on the back of the camera. It’s certainly an ambitious design, but with a bit of practice and a dash of muscle memory, I can see myself being able to easily change the settings on the camera without ever having to look at the dials. The cylindrical stack also has the added bonus of providing a physical bulge on the side of the camera, making it easier to grip and hold with one hand.

[ designboom – charlie nghiem: rotor digital camera ]

T20 Bamboo Electric Scooter

T20 Bamboo Electric Scooter (Images courtesy designboom & Antoine Fritsch)
By Andrew Liszewski

And here you thought scooters were only for little tykes, or hipsters who don’t realize how ridiculous they look! French designer Antoine Fritsch has managed to create a scooter that not only looks socially acceptable for riders of all ages, but also one that serves as a viable alternative to a car. That’s because the T20 manages to stash an electric motor and battery inside the frame where the rider stands.

For ease of use acceleration is handled the same way you propel a manual scooter, by kicking off with your feet. At which point the electric propulsion system takes over, providing a respectable top speed of about 22mph, with a range of about 25 miles. The frame is made from bamboo, making it lightweight and of course stylish. And I’m a big fan of the cork covered pseudo-seat that lets the rider lean back in lieu of sitting. Sadly you’re looking at a concept prototype here, since their website doesn’t seem to mention any plans of putting it into production. Not even in France. Le sigh…

[ T20 Bamboo Electric Scooter ] VIA [ designboom ]

Mike Doyle’s Got A Thing For Dilapidated LEGO Homes

Victorian LEGO House (Image courtesy Mike Doyle)
By Andrew Liszewski

Mike Doyle is a master LEGO builder. But instead of spaceships, sports cars or life-size reproductions of celebrities, he uses his bricks to construct detailed models of dilapidated victorian-era homes. In a study of life’s fragility, our focus on the material world, and how man’s creations are no match for the unrelenting approach of nature. His latest creation, Victorian on Mud, is built from 110 to 130,000 LEGO bricks and represents about 600 hours of labor. And is easily one of the most detailed LEGO creations I’ve ever seen.

Victorian LEGO House (Image courtesy Mike Doyle)

Besides the fact that Mike uses mostly monochromatic pieces to create a very spooky black and white photo effect. It’s the architectural accents, like ornate railings, window treatments and even damaged wood siding that particularly blow my mind. I mean check out the hundreds of little robot arms used to create the dead foliage on one of Mike’s previous run-down creations. It’s certainly a far cry from the multi-colored eyesores I built as a kid, that I’m sure brought property values way down in my LEGO cities.

[ Mike Doyle – Making of Victoria on Mud ] VIA [ MAKE ]

Chevy Reveals Their Flying Car (Passengers Not Included)

RC Chevy Sonic (Images courtesy SlashGear)
By Andrew Liszewski

So it turns out the Chevy Volt isn’t the most technically advanced vehicle to come out of GM’s Tech Center recently. At auto shows and other exhibits around the world, the company has actually been showing off a handful of flying cars. Including this Chevy Sonic that SlashGear stumbled across at the Texas State Fair. While it gently soars around a room with ease, the full-sized vehicle unfortunately can’t accomodate a single passenger. Because instead of steel and aluminum, it’s made from lightweight foam filled with 5 or 6 cubic meters of helium. Making it neutrally buoyant. And in lieu of a gas powered engine under the hood—or a hood altogether—a lightweight battery powers a set of electric motors with carbon fiber propellers, allowing the vehicle to be steered through the air via a wireless remote.

In addition to the flying Chevy Sonic that made an appearance in Texas, earlier in the year, at the Seoul Motor Show, GM also showed off a flying version of the Camaro. And to be perfectly honest, the video I’ve embedded below is still about 1,000 times more entertaining than that other movie released this Summer that also starred a yellow Camaro.

[ SlashGear – Chevy shows off flying car at Texas State Fair ]