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Category Archives: Design

Maker Faire 2009: USB DataSquid


By Evan Ackerman

Unlike the ambiguously betentacled USB sea creatures we’ve seen before, this is most definitely a USB squid, and not a cuttlefish. Nifer Fahrion makes each DataSquid by hand out of wool, and endows them with USB data storage which is accessible by removing the two long tentacles. 8 gigs worth of squid is $95.

[ NifNaks ]

Hands-On With The Nintendo DSi

Nintendo DSi (Image property of OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

Nintendo sent over a DSi review unit for me to give a once over, and I’ve finally gotten around to processing and posting my photos comparing the new model to the older DS Lite. Overall it’s a solid update to the hardware, and while not revolutionary, I think it improves the DS where it counts. And the addition and potential of the DSi Shop is probably the biggest reason DS fans might want to make the upgrade. So if you’re still undecided, hit the jump for more of my photos and thoughts on the DSi.Continue Reading

UVSunSense Wristbands

UVSunSense Wristband (Image courtesy Beauty or Bust)By Andrew Liszewski

Wristbands designed to monitor your exposure to harmful UVA and UVB rays are nothing new, but I particularly like the UVSunSense bands because they’ll also let you know when it’s time to re-apply your sunscreen. You see, when you first apply sunscreen, you actually apply it to the UVSunSense band as well. Once you step outside the band will turn purple in the sunlight letting you know it’s been activated, and when the purple color fades, you’ll know it’s time to re-apply.

There’s also an “APPLY SUNSCREEN TO THIS SIDE” note on the band, and when those words are no longer visible, it’s actually recommended that you get out of the sun completely. Now unfortunately the bands are one time use only, but a 7-pack from Amazon is just $5.87.

[ UVSunSense Wristbands ] VIA [ Cool Hunting ]

Art Lebedev Makes Sounds Into Tape


By Evan Ackerman

There is of course no way to improve on tape after 3M came out with this nuclear grade stuff. But that’s not going to stop Art Lebedev from trying… This roll of authentic 3M packing tape comes with an equally authentic sound wave emblazoned upon it. What’s the sound wave a sound wave of? I have no idea, but I’m guessing it’s something like, “this tape costs three times as much because it’s got a sound wave on it.” And it does cost more, but not that much more… $5.77 for a 60 meter roll.

[ Art Lebedev ] VIA [ New Launches ]

OhGizmo! Review – Call of Duty: World At War


By Luke Anderson

I’ll be the first to admit that the whole “World War II” game concept has been overdone. I’ve lost count of the sheer number of titles with that exact theme that have been released in the last few years. That’s not to say that they’re all bad games, it just makes you wonder when a game franchise lasts longer than the war it’s based on. But I digress. I’ve been playing the latest installment of Call of Duty for a little while, and it’s about time that I shared my thoughts.

The first thing you’re going to notice when you get into the game is that the graphics are incredible. There are some times when it’s kind of cool to just stop and take in the lush foliage of the jungle, of course that’s usually disturbed by the bullets flying by. The level of detail is certainly not lost when it comes to the more gory parts of the game. It’s not terribly uncommon to see someone lose a bloody limb or two, which I’m sure holds true to what actually happened to some during the war.

Continue Reading

[CES 2009] Shapeways Brings 3D Design And Printing To Consumers


By Evan Ackerman

3D printers are not quite home appliances yet, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a use for them. Sometimes, objects you want simply don’t exist. Shapeways does the expensive part for you, taking your design and printing it out in 3D and mailing it to your door. They print in durable plastic which can be solid or flexible, or even transparent, and the printing resolution of 1/10 of a millimeter allows you to print things like functional gears and other moving or interlocking parts. Shapeways prices designs by the volume of material used… The candle holder in the picture above, for example, costs $80.

Of course, with the expensive part (the printing) taken care of, we’re still left with the difficult part: making a 3D design. Shapeways accepts all kinds of file formats if you already know what you’re doing with that, but if you don’t, they have an online 3D design creator that makes it easy (as long as you stick to the templates, anyway). And once you get good at it, Shapeways will even sell your designs on their online store.

After the jump, I’ve posted a couple YouTube videos showing how the design and printing processes actually work.Continue Reading

[CES 2009] iRiver Wave Home Does VoIP, Is Bent


By Evan Ackerman

iRiver’s Wave Home is, I guess, primarily a VoIP console. But it’s got a touchscreen, it’s got internet, it’s got an OS that supports a variety of widgets… Really, it’s more of a specialized laptop than a VoIP phone. The touchscreen is 7″ and 800 x 480, and there’s a 1.3 mpx tiltable camera for video conferencing, stereo speakers, 1 gig of SD expandable flash memory, and a wireless remote/handset that lives in a slot in the back.


I played with the Wave Home for a while, and the user interface is pretty slick. In addition to VoIP and videoconferencing, you’ve got SMS/MMS, contacts, a diary, access to widgets, a web browser, location aware information like traffic and weather, internet radio, and of course all of your multimedia.

There isn’t any specific pricing or release dates, but it’ll probably be available in late summer at a target price of less than $400, possibly as a subsidized accessory when you subscribe to a plan.

Invisibility Cloak Is Closer To Becoming A Reality, Humanity Now Years Ahead Of The Romulans

By Jonathan Kimak

Now when I say closer, I mean that scientists have actually made something appear invisible, it just happens to be nano sized(one billionth of a metre). It’s still a step in the right direction, the direction of absolutely awesome invisibility suits and laser guns and women in tight, form fitting clothes. Well, 2 out of 3 at least.

Researchers at the University of California in Berkeley have created a material that bends visible light around nano-sized 3-dimensional objects, rendering them invisible. The material is artificially made and has properties smaller than the wavelength of light which allows for the unique effect.

An interesting point is how one professor chose to explain cloaking bigger objects like people.

In order to have the ‘Harry Potter’ effect, you just need to find the right materials for the visible wavelengths,” says Prof Hess, “and it’s absolutely thrilling to see we’re on the right track.

[ BBC News ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Robotic Lifeguard Saves Your Life Using Silicon Instead Of Silicone

By Jonathan Kimak

The Seascout is a prototype rescue craft designed and created by Andre Harley. He created the prototype using the Lego mindstorms robotics NXT kit. The Seascout will use GPS to track anyone who has fallen into the water. It will scoop the person up and take them to safety. It will also have radios so that the person in the water can communicate with someone on the shore(or boat). It is also intended to be able to work in situations and weather that a human lifeguard would not be able to handle.

So now we have robots that can serve beer and robots that can save you when you get drunk and fall into the ocean. Forget about terminators taking over the world. We’re being taken over by helpful and cute Wall-Es.

[ Andre Harley ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]