Thursday, June 28, 2007

Mobile Protector

If you find yourself in the market for a super ugly cell phone holster, check out the StrapYa Mobile Protector. It costs $25 and looks like it was built out of junk some guy found in his garage. I mean cell phone holsters are nerdy enough, but this is pushing the limits of human comprehension. You'd look cooler if you just duct taped your cell phone to your waist.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mario Chalk Art

Nintendo’s Mario clearly inspired these creative chalk creations. Unfortunately, you won’t find Luigi this time around. View more pictures after the jump.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Super Paper Mario Hits Seattle

An artist decided to turn a normal pole into a work of art, using colored pieces of paper. This masterpiece can be found in the streets of Seattle. One more picture after the break.

Finger Folder USB Drive

Art Lebedev has unveiled their latest creation: a folder-shaped USB drive. Unfortunately, there’s no word yet on pricing and availability. We’ll keep you posted as more information becomes available.

Folderix flash drive was designed as a folder icon, which is to prove that there’s no end to one’s postmodernist aspirations

Chumby: One Year Later

Chumby is a small, wifi-enabled linux hardware device is designed to be hacked and changed by its owners. The device has a 350MHz ARM controller, 32MB SDRAM, 64 MB Nand Flash Rom, a 320×240 3.5 inch touch LCD screen, two speakers, audio output, a microphone, and two USB ports. Chumby also has a squeeze sensor. All of this is housed within a soft, sqeezable shell about the size of a coconut.

It was announced a year ago at Foo camp, and the company gave out about 500 of the first generation devices. Users register the device on the Chumby home page and connect the device to their network via wifi. Once registered, content widgets are added - so the Chumby may include a news widget, flickr widget, etc.

Now, a year later, the company has made upgrades to the hardware and sofware that makes up the device, and say they will make it available for sale in a couple of months. The biggest change is that Chumby now runs Flash Lite 3, which is the first mobile version of Flash to support streaming audio and video. Users can now run music or video over the Internet and play it on the Chumby. The Chumby will be sold for $179.95, fully delivered.

The company has 23 employees and is headquartered in San Diego. They raised just over $5 million from OATV, Avalon Ventures and Masthead Venture Partners in December 2006.

via. techcrunch

Friday, June 22, 2007

Modern Raised Dog Bowls

The shop sell raised dog bowl feeders with a unique water resistant, easy to clean surface. Stainless steel dog bowls are included with all our raised feeders.

via TrendyPet

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Voiis mini Pocket Messenger: for Bluetooth putzing around the home

Here ya go media streamin' fans, the Voiis mini Pocket Messenger Phone. The class 1 Bluetooth device allows you to interact with Skype and MSN Messenger calls as well as iTunes and Windows Media Player music within a 100-meter (max) radius of the included base station. It packs a built-in mic as you'd expect as well as what appears to be a standard mini-jack to connect your choice of headphones. The battery should last for 6-hours or 72-hours on standby. Available June 12th in Japan for an expected ¥15,900 or $130. Click-on for a few more pics.

Philips and Swarovski Launch Active Crystals Luxury Electronics in US

I always look at boring old USB drives and ask, "Why can't these be jewel-encrusted?" Ditto for my run-of-the-mill earbuds, which seem to lack some kind of large embedded crystal. Believe it or not, the Philips-Swarovski Active Crystals collection is due to arrive in the US this August, and we've got the exclusive first look at the lineup.

First up are the USB drives: Heart Beat is a two-piece heart-shaped locket drive, and the cool retractable padlock-shaped one is called Lock Out. (Philips says they're keeping things simple, and those names sure do, well, smack of simplicity.) They both hold 1GB of files, and will retail for $179.

The USB drives are bubbling with little Swarovski crystals, while the earphones are set with one big jewel for each ear. There will be four headphone styles in all:

An over-the-head set called Icon ($79) and a set of earbuds with neckstrap called Amazone ($149) plus two shown below, the Space sealing earbuds ($99) and the Mirage earhook ones ($129).

Whether the Philips-Swarovski combo has produced a silly novelty or the must-have gift item of the holiday season is still up in the air, but frankly, they are classier looking than I had previously imagined. And hey, is it any stranger than Porsche Design conceiving of a power drill?

Philips and Swarovski partner to deliver a range of innovative fashion accessories

NEW YORK - Fusing lifestyle, technology and fashion, Philips is showcasing a new partnership with the world famous crystal and jewelry company Swarovski at the 2007 Holidays in June event. The alliance combines Philips leadership in developing innovative consumer lifestyle electronics products with Swarovski's expertise in creating fashion crystal jewelry and handbag collections to produce meaningful fashionable accessories for women.

Leveraging both companies' strengths, Philips and Swarovski have jointly designed and developed a range of unique products that will take technology to a fashionable new level for women. The Philips and Swarovski alliance will develop exciting market opportunities for each company by integrating high fashion and technology.

The initial innovations created by Philips and Swarovski are the Active Crystals range of products. These will be launched this summer and include sound accessories and storage devices.

"Philips' alliance with Swarovski combines two distinct and strong brands in order to create a unique proposition for consumers," said Rudy Provoost, Chief Executive Officer, Philips Consumer Electronics. "The outcome of the alliance is a range of products that go back to the essence of what many women are looking for: the fusion of functionality and fashion through a unique combination of technology and elegance. We are combining luxurious design with the practical, everyday benefits of consumer electronics to complement Philips' brand promise—Sense and Simplicity—and Swarovski's brand promise of Poetry & Precision."

Merging Simplicity with Poetry & Precision
The new range is the first result of the Philips and Swarovski alliance focusing on providing performance and class, offering technology with style and demonstrating a feeling of movement and activity combined with fashionable innovation. Targeted towards style-conscious women, the products combine the technologies of both companies to create unique, high-end products with a luxurious look and feel.

"The Philips and Swarovski alliance brings together the greatness of two companies with common values of quality, design and technological innovation," said Daniel Cohen, Member of Swarovski's Executive Board. "Both brands have distinct identities, rich histories and a passion to re-invent and enhance their value propositions, pursuing both brand repositioning and commercial goals. The result of this partnership will be a series of products that will provide women and consumers with meaningful and fashionable products that will enhance their lives."

Swarovski is a well-known brand in the fashion and jewelry industry. It brings credibility, style and design to the alliance, creating a unique product proposition with Philips. Unlike other products using the Swarovski crystal stones, the Active Crystals combine unique elements of functionality and fashion: truly jewels with a soul.

The full Philips and Swarovski Active Crystals range will be commercially available in department stores, consumer electronics retail and Swarovski stores in August 2007.

Non-robotic "X-Finger" replaces lost digits

An inventor with no medical background looks to have already made quite a name for himself with his X-Finger prosthetic device, which gives folks that have lost fingers a full range of motion without relying on robotics. To control the device, the wearer simply pushes against a lever with the remaining portion of their finger, which sets the knuckles into motion, apparently providing enough force to hold a coffee cup or clutch a golf club. While inventor Dan Didrick's already churning out 100 fingers every 45 days, according to The Naples Daily News, he's apparently far from meeting the demand, for which he says he needs about $11 million in funding. Presumably, that'd also help reduce the cost of the mechanical digits, which currently run a cool $10,000 per finger.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Home Theater Pool Table is Perfect for People Sick of Having Money

Investing a lot of money in a sweet home theater setup can be well worth it if you're a TV or movie buff with a generous bank account. But hey, why spend all that money to get a huge TV and nice speakers for your living room when you can spend the same amount on some mediocre gear crammed in a pool table?

Clearly, the best way to watch DVDs is on a tiny LCD screen on the side of a pool table. I mean, sure, you'll need to sit on the ground to watch it, and you'll risk getting hit in the head with pool cues as annoyed players try to work around you, but it's so classy! And in addition to the latest and greatest DVD technology, this table also has a completely up-to-date PS2 built into it, so you can play the greatest games of the last generation. Other accoutrements such as a bar, lights, and flat speakers make this thing totally worth $12,000. Yes, totally worth it, you moron.

[via Gizmodo]

Microsoft Bringing Windows to Your Kitchen Counter

It's invaded your living room, your bedroom and even your coffee table, and now Windows has its eyes set on your kitchen with a new PC-like device.

The Microsoft Tablet team is working on a new Kitchen Client that'll include features like a family calendar, recipe center and a digital bulletin board. It sounds like it'll mix all of the features we saw in those Ricavision prototypes a while back. No word on when we can expect to see such a device, but the thought of having my toaster stream video doesn't sound like a bad idea at all.

No iPhone SDK Means No Killer iPhone Apps

According to Apple, "no software developer kit is required for the iPhone." However, the truth is that the lack of an SDK means that there won't be a killer application for the iPhone. It also means the iPhone's potential as an amazing computing and communication platform will never be realized. And because of this I don't think the iPhone will be as revolutionary as it could be. That's a real heart breaker.

Steve Jobs initially sold the iPhone as the Next Big Thing from Apple, just like the Macintosh was. The Macintosh really broke the mold. While not as groundbreaking, the iPhone is an intelligent and clean implementation of existing things. Really intelligent, really clean, like the Mac. Unlike the original Mac, however, developers won't have full access to its core features. Without them there won't be the equivalent of PageMaker, Photoshop, Word or Premiere in the iPhone, powerful applications taking full advantage of the unique capabilities of the hardware, the operating system and its frameworks.

Those applications spawned two revolutions: desktop publishing (including photo editing) and desktop video. It was the Mac and its third-party apps that brought radical changes that have deeply affected us, not the Mac alone.

On the iPhone, however, developers will be limited to developing Web applications based on AJAX, a set of Internet standards that make software like GMail, Google Maps or FaceBook possible. The iPhone is the real thing, a complete UNIX-to-go with stunning graphic classes, and developers will be limited to do stuff like this.

Mind you, AJAX is great for what it does on the Web today, but is limited. All we know is this, from the press release:

Developers can create Web 2.0 applications which look and behave just like the applications built into iPhone, and which can seamlessly access iPhone's services, including making a phone call, sending an email and displaying a location in Google Maps.

This is nothing new, however. We knew this from the very beginning because iPhone's Safari was already doing it. It's called auto-detection of phone numbers and addresses: you click on a phone or address in your web page and it gets passed by Safari to the operating system, which calls the number or shows the address in the Google Maps app. In other words, they are trying to sell us the same thing we already had when the iPhone was introduced and the same thing we already have in Mac OS X's Safari.

So unless they show something boomtastic in the sessions, this will not change. To see how powerful AJAX applications on the iPhone could be, a million questions will have to be answered this week. Questions like:

- Would I be able to access the iPhone databases from Safari and query them from my AJAX application? Looking at Jobs' stress on security, it doesn't look like this will be possible.

- Would I be able store data locally beyond cookies? Probably the same answer.

- How will these application perform over limited EDGE connections? Will I have to do a painful download for the whole app, instead of just the data?

- How will the connection limit the interactive possibilities?

- How is the access to iPhone's hardware? Would I be able to access iPhone's hardware to connect to an infrared scanner via Bluetooth and create an amazing sales or logistics application? How about Multitouch?

If AJAX is that good and the developers don't need an SDK, why has Apple built a dedicated Mail application or Google Maps software into the iPhone? Why not just reformat the CSS on the Web and open a special view to .mac mail, Gmail or Google Maps made just for iPhone Safari users ?

Maybe because to do the cool stuff that iPhone's Maps do, you need to access all the cool Mac OS X classes that iPhones have.Now, I'm sure that there will be great AJAX applications created for the iPhone, specially at the corporate level, like in the Keynote Demo. But what is important here is that we won't have sexy apps. This is what Apple needs to make the iPhone not just great, but huge. A true revolutionary product. Otherwise, we will keep asking where are we going to find the killer apps that made the Mac what is today; where is the next Delicious Library-equivalent for the iPhone; where are the games. Just think about those, as Apple stresses its relationship with EA and id software. There's a great potential for games in the iPhone, which with multi-touch could be a Nintendo DS 2.0 in the making. As Nintendo fans will tell you, a Flash game (which provides with even better flexibility than AJAX) is not a substitute for a real Wii game. And the next big games never come from the established big developers who may, at the end, be the only ones with access to the secret iPhone SDK at use in Apple.

So no SDK == no access to iPhone's cool frameworks == no revolutionary apps, no real new concepts coming from third-parties, no eye-candy available for anyone but Apple and no possibility for some really crazy games that will fully exploit the graphic and multi-touch power of the iPhone.

iPhone to Support Third-Party Web 2.0 Applications Innovative New Way to Create Applications for iPhone

SAN FRANCISCO, June 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- WWDC 2007 -- Apple(R)
today announced that its revolutionary iPhone(TM) will run applications
created with Web 2.0 Internet standards when it begins shipping on June 29.
Developers can create Web 2.0 applications which look and behave just like the
applications built into iPhone, and which can seamlessly access iPhone's
services, including making a phone call, sending an email and displaying a
location in Google Maps. Third-party applications created using Web 2.0
standards can extend iPhone's capabilities without compromising its
reliability or security.
"Developers and users alike are going to be very surprised and pleased at
how great these applications look and work on iPhone," said Steve Jobs,
Apple's CEO. "Our innovative approach, using Web 2.0-based standards, lets
developers create amazing new applications while keeping the iPhone secure and
Web 2.0-based applications are being embraced by leading developers
because they are far more interactive and responsive than traditional web
applications, and can be easily distributed over the Internet and painlessly
updated by simply changing the code on the developers' own servers. The modern
web standards also provide secure data access and transactions, like those
used with or online banking.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple
II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh.
Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-
winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional
applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its
iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and will enter
the mobile phone market this year with its revolutionary iPhone.

UK sculptor designs rotating wall for Liverpool

While we're sure more than a few citizens of Liverpool could think of much more productive ways to spend £450,000 ($887,490), there's nothing sweeter than turning a wall completely inside out for sculptor Richard Wilson. This uber-expensive piece of art was constructed at the former Yates's Wine Lodge building, and a massive oval shaped section of the building's exterior now rotates around and gives onlookers a glimpse of the interior without ever stepping foot inside. Dubbed Turning The Place Over, the installation will officially launch on June 20th and will run until the end of next year, and while we can't deny that this here project was more about making jaws drop than actually improving the city center, it's certainly something to look at. Check the video after the jump.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The World’s Thinnest Chair

Touted as the “world’s thinnest chair”, the ISIS folds up into a 3cm-thick when not in use. Unfortunately, there’s no word yet on pricing and availability.

The chair is made from a series of flat geometric panels that are linked together and contained within its own frame. Each panel is constructed from several high strength laminations which are designed to ensure that the chair flexes and supports the user, providing an unexpected level of comfort

Strange Car-Shaped Tent

For those who love both the city and camping — plus don’t mind sleeping on the bare ground, this car-shaped tent is just for you.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Koncept's Z-BAR LED lamp: 40,000 hours of industrial grace

More LED goodness for ya, this time in the form of a desk lamp, not a backlit LCD. The Z-Bar won I.D. Magazine's "best of category" award which is pretty sweet considering the category wasn't just lamps, it was furniture. The Z-Bar's 66, long-livin' LEDs pump 100 lumens in pretty much any direction you want thanks to that 47-inch, finger-thin neck loaded with hinges and rotational joints. Sure, 100 lumens doesn't seem like much when compared to an incandescent's 500–800 lumens. The Z-Bar's trick is to focus the light in a 50-degree viewing angle instead of the 360-degrees of waste emitted by standard light bulbs. The lamp can stand alone on its weighted base or clamped to a table edge -- your choice after forking over $130.

Dell 1907FP gets flamboyant steampunk makeover

The antique-minded modder over at Steampunk Workshop had it right: what good is a brass-clad mouse and keyboard with a 21st century monitor destroying the mojo? Fret not, as a Dell 1907FP was torn apart, blasted with gold Krylon, and decorated to the hilt with flashy pieces that your great (great) grandmother would surely love. Best of all, this here creator went above the call of duty by dressing up the monitor with gilded triggers to depress the monitor adjustment buttons underneath the panel. Trust us, you need to see this one to appreciate the passion behind it, so feel free to visit the read link for a plethora of photographs and even a few vids.

NewerTech's dual-bay MacBook battery charger / conditioner

NewerTech's dual-bay MacBook (and MacBook Pro, too) battery charger / conditioner is most certainly tailored for the authentic road warrior, as it allows users to "conveniently charge two batteries one after the other, or charge one battery while conditioning a second one." The device reportedly extends the maximum life and effectiveness of your batteries by doing the conditioning for you, but we're a bit bummed to see that it only charges the second Li-ion "when the first battery is done charging." Notably, NewerTech also seems to offer the device for owners of PowerBooks of days past, but the latest rendition will run you $149.95 for the convenience. Another shot after the break.

Herman Miller's tiny C2 creates office micro-climates

Battling over control of the office thermostat / air conditioning tends to be a passive aggressive flashpoint in any place of work, so even though this will undoubtedly set off some environmental alarms, the C2 climate control definitely fills a niche. Replacing the role of a regular personal fan, the C2 from Herman Miller allows users to adjust the surrounding temperature up to a 40 degree increase, and an 8 degree decrease, taking 72 degrees F (22 degrees C) as the starting temperature. The aforementioned environmental issues does raise the question of how far this technology should go, especially since office unity can't be that great if an issue as trivial as temperature can't be agreed upon. Still, we're not one to complain about having things easier in our work environments: not that we'd know anything about working in an office.

(Video) The Headless Batsman

The Headless Batsman is basically “a 265-pound quasi-human-shaped robot made from a jumble of salvaged auto parts, steel piping and pneumatic hoses for the sole purpose of belting every fastball thrown its way.” Video demonstration after the jump.

Tiny springs inside the robot’s wrists allow it to follow through; the momentum generated by its hip and shoulder rotation transfers through the bat to the ball.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Briefcase Toilet

You think this is wierd now, but you won’t be laughing next time you have to go!

The gotta go briefcase is waterproof with high quality Mahogany leather, a strong lightweight aluminum internal structure, and stainless steel bowl with generously equipped sealing lid. “Quietly and discreetly go about your personal “business” anywhere you please with a fold out leather privacy panel which tucks away neatly to the side when you have completed your multi-tasking. A toilet paper dispenser easily swings out and can be conveniently stored in an inconspicuous storage compartment under the padding [for added discretion] when not in use. Maximum weight capacity is 80 Kilos (approx.175 lbs.). Exceeding the recommended weight will void all warranties and may result in rupture of waste tank, possible bacterial contamination of briefcase contents, and massive stench.”

Macbook after 600 degrees fire

At first glance, this may look like something you’d find in a dumpster, but in reality, it’s just a MacBook that gota 600-degree fire makeover. Hit the jump for another picture.

We have seen toasted Macbooks before but we have never seen anything like this. After a devastating fire at their Boulder home, Gwen and Paul returned to find their formerly sleek and shining white Macbook scorched beyond recognition.

However the cause of the fire was not their Macbook.
Via - Flickr

New Computer Interface Devices

Above is a video of what could be the next generation of computer interface. It is obviously very raw but if it were mounted in a mouse shaped device and made wirless it could be a winner. Actually it would be very similar to the Wiimote since the Wiimote uses accelerometers to read controller movement and Bluethooth to transmit that data to the controller.

Popular Science gave an invention award to the ring mouse. It uses ultrasonic pulses to detect the position of the ring and moves the cursor accordingly. Which technology, if any, do you think will come out on top?

See more details of the ring mouse below.

“Although the system looks a bit rough, it works flawlessly. A small speaker on the ring pumps out ultrasonic pulses, picked up by five microphones arrayed on a piece of plywood. A central processor calculates the ring’s position in space based on when each microphone receives each blast of sound and then correlates this to the cursor onscreen. The ring and sensors communicate 100 times a second, so the translation of hand movement to cursor is instantaneous.”

Friday, June 08, 2007

Recycled art of bags

bags are real. In the sense that if it’s an L.P. bag, it’s made of a real used vinyl. Recycled aestheticism, that’s what they do.

MomaBoma use school notes, magazines and newspapers for their bags. They are great!

MomaBoma (Italian)

So that your hall wall looks better

This is Orchid, it is a set of clothes-hooks, the petals bent so that articles can be hung from them. Highly decorative and cheerful.
Get it from blank>Charlotte Lancelot

This is IVY, it lets you design a scultuptural shape for your clothes you like the most. Every kit comes with 16 Y shapes, connectors, screws and anchors.

Get it here.

Personal favourite - this interesting coatrack from SmallFactories.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

iSuppli sizes up the Apple TV

Apple is known for the high profit margins on its consumer electronics, but according iSuppli Apple is only making $62 (or about 20%) on each Apple TV. As you'd guess the most expensive component is a slimmed down version of Intel's Pentium M processor at about $40, and the cheapest is the $0.75 RealTek audio chip. The new 160GB version's margin is much nicer at more than 30%, but only because Apple charges a $100 premium for an option that only costs an extra $36 to make. Hobby indeed. Of course the obvious reason is that Apple plans to make up the cash selling content, and maybe even more importantly: to get into your living room. While this seems like a great plan and all, we can't help but get stuck on the fact there still isn't any HD content from Apple for a device that supposedly requires a HDTV.