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Tag Archives: smartphones

Deal Of The Day: 16% Off On PhoneSoap

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Sometimes it’s best not to think about some of life’s realities, like what goes in a hot dog or how dirty our phones really are. The sad truth is they’re very, very dirty. Some accounts claim there are 5 times more bacteria on our phones than on our toilet seats! So that’s why products like the Phonesoap Charger, pictured above, are popular among those of us who don’t trust our immune system to do its job. Place your USB device in there to charge, while it gets blasted with UV-C light, which is apparently just the kind of ultraviolet light that kills bacteria most effectively. It’s the same kind of UV light used in hospitals, and if it’s good enough for them, it should do for you. Granted, once clean, there’s no telling how quickly it’ll get dirty again… But let’s worry about one thing at a time.

The Phonesoap normally costs $65, but you can have it for $54 through this deal.

[ 16% Off On PhoneSoap ]

Thumb Extender Stylus To Help You Use Giant Phones With One Hand

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It’s an undeniable trend: smartphone screen sizes are getting bigger. And while bigger is better, those of us with shorter thumbs may beg to differ, as one-handed use of these larger devices becomes almost impossible. Thanko, Japanese retailers of many oddball gadgets, are selling these thumb-extending styli that look stupid, but do allow you to reach the upper corners of your screen that were previously too far. We’re not sure why it needs to be shaped like a thumb, but as long as it gets the job done we suppose some people might not mind the indignity. Good luck getting your hands on one, however. Even though it’s cheap at 1,480 yen (or roughly $15), we don’t believe Thanko will ship directly stateside. Those of you who are more motivated might want to look into a service like White Rabbit Express.

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[ Product Page ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

Deal Of The Day: 20% Off On TrackR Tracking Sticker

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The TrackR sticker is a coin-sized Bluetooth-enabled device that sticks to any item you wish to keep track of. Just stick it on, and when you can’t find it anymore, launch the app on your smartphone and locate it in an instant. It’ll tell you the distance to your object, and at the press of a button, you can toggle an audible alarm on the sticker. It’s actually a two-way relationship, so if you’ve lost your phone but have the TrackR device in hand, you can press it to have your phone ring, even if it’s set to silent. Of course the tech requires you to be within Bluetooth range, but not necessarily your own; if another TrackR user passes within range and you’ve declared your item lost in your own app, you’ll get a notification of its whereabouts. You can pair up to 10 such stickers and track just about any item of value. Normally, you’d pay $25 for one sticker, but you can get it for $20 today.

[ 20% Off On TrackR Tracking Sticker ]

What Your Android Device Needs Is More Buttons

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You’ll be hard-pressed to find a physical button on most Android devices, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a legion of tactile-obsessed customers longing for one. Well, with the Dimple, you can add four of them! You simply stick it anywhere on your phone, and assign each of the buttons to a different function. It connects to your phone via NFC, and doesn’t require a battery at all. Usage scenarios could include: speed-dialing a loved one with one press of a button, launching your non-life-wasting Candy Crushing endeavour in less than 2 seconds, capturing a photo before it’s too late, etc. It’s quite useful, even if it may make your phone look just a little bit weird. And you can own one (as long as their crowdfunding goes well) for a small $27 pledge.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

FretPen Is A Pen… And A One-String Guitar At The Same Time

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What on earth can you possibly do with one string and 3 frets? Not much of course, unless there’s a bit of digital magic thrown in. The FretPen is a fully functional writing instrument, but it’s also a smartphone-connected one-string guitar. You clearly won’t be able to recreate Slash’s solos from November Rain, but a tiny D-pad on the pen does allow you to switch strings on the fly, giving you the ability to play scale-like runs and some forms of rudimentary melodies. If you watch the video below you’ll get a sense of the device’s capabilities. There’s a Kickstarter campaign launching on the 22nd, so if this piques your interest, feel free to give them your email address to be notified when they’re ready to accept your pledges.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ ChipChick ]

Smartphone Batteries That Charge In 30 Seconds May Be Just Around The Corner

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StoreDot is an Israeli startup that’s been working on making our batteries better. They’re created a prototype that can go from 20% to 100% in about 30 seconds, and then discharge at the same rate as a regular battery. This is accomplished by using organic “nanodots”, or 2 nanometer wide “bio-organic peptide molecules” that fundamentally alter the way the batteries work. The company has even received $6 million in funding from an undisclosed Asian smartphone manufacturer to further work on the technology, because as exciting as this is, it isn’t ready for prime-time. For one, the current prototype is huge. Secondly, capacity is still an issue, since even at this size the battery doesn’t even equal that of a Galaxy S4. But these are hurdles that could potentially be overcome, and StoreDot is hoping to have something commercially viable by 2016.

Stay tuned.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Geek.com ]

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 ]

Miracle Machine Turns Water Into Wine

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Jesus may have performed this trick some time ago, but he didn’t do it with technological panache. The Miracle Machine pictured above however claims to turn water into wine using sophisticated electronics… only not really. See, it does make wine and it does use water as a starting ingredient, but then you have to add “grape concentrate, yeast, and a finishing powder that imbues the liquid with barrel-aged flavour.” Ok, that’s not quite as impressive as Jesus’ magical trick of yore, but it is arguably less painstaking than making wine the traditional way. The Miracle Machine uses an array of “electrical sensors, transducers, heaters and pumps”, and churns out what’s being called a “$20 bottle of wine” from $2 worth of ingredients in about 3 days. Using a smartphone app, your job is simply to select the type of wine you want, add the ingredients and wait. You’ll get a notification when your wine is ready to drink.

There’s going to be a Kickstarter soon, with the expected retail price at around $500, though the early adopter figure should be much lower. You can register on their website to be notified when the campaign goes live.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Mashable ]

Boost Your Reading Speed To Broadband Levels With Spritz

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Spritz is a new smartphone application in development that could dramatically increase your reading speed in as little as a few minutes. Instead of teaching you to silence your inner voice (which is a skill needed for effective traditional speed reading and is a common bottleneck), it presents the words to you in a completely novel format: flashing them one after the other at a preset speed. In this fashion, you don’t have to scroll your eyes from side to side; you just look at the same spot and the words come to you. Eventually, your inner voice ends up disappearing, and you simply understand the words without vocalizing them. It’s counter intuitive but extremely effective, boosting reading speeds up to 500 words per minute very quickly. Some people are even able to blaze at up to 1,000 wpm, allowing them to read an 80,000 word novel in less than 2 hours.

You can try it yourself at the link below. It’s really fun. And it’s a little different from other applications (like Spreeder) in its implementation. For instance Spritz “places each word at the “Optimal Recognition Point (ORP),” which is the placement in front of our eyes that’s best for reading comprehension of each individual word (multisyllabic words are read differently monosyllabic ones).” And it flashes a blank screen at the end of each sentence, preserving the essential rhythm of ideas.

It’s a great little program, but it’s not ready for primetime. The plan is to launch on Android first, although the company is working on iOS, web, and Microsoft phone SDKs. We’re not clear on the timeline, but keep an eye out: this one’s pretty awesome.

[ Try Spritz ] VIA [ DVice ]