Archive for September, 2010

NYC gets snazzy new taxi toppers

That triangle on the top of a taxi hasn’t changed much in recent years.  They’re handy for broadcasting whether or not the Taxi is on duty, but not for much more than that.  Instead of having a taxi with the ugly plastic box on top they could have this far more attractive metal box that is packed full of LED lights.  It’ll allow for companies to advertise on Taxi cabs, plus this little box makes your iPhone run a whole lot better while you’re in the cab.

The EMI emissions from the board are much lower than ever before, which means there’s less radio interference.  That is what makes it so your iPhone works better.  The strong aluminum frames will be able to handle serious weather conditions and the bright LED backing will make advertisements stand out.  These are not just a concept design either, they’re through Bluemap Design in collaboration with Show Media, Inc and Distec GmbH.  Cabs in NYC will already be fitted with this as soon as the end of this month.

Source: Yanko


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Star Wars cuddlies speak up

There is just something about the Star Wars space opera that has had its fair share of fans with each passing generation (so far). Having made its debut a good 30 years ago, we wonder just how much farther can this cash cow be milked? Well, for quite some time more, we suspect. Just check out these Star Wars cuddlies that won’t break the bank at £29.99 each, where you can choose from R2D2, Darth Vader, Chewbacca and Yoda designs. All of them will come with their own characteristic sound effects, where R2 will beep a whole lot, while Darth Vader seems unable to clear his throat (with all the money and power at his disposal, he can’t even find a good specialist), while Chewbacca yaps away like a distressed walking dog with old man Yoda rambling on and on. All it takes is a single squeeze for them to make a sound or phrase, how cool is that?


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Fast Track Race in a Case

Love living life in the fast lane? Then you will most probably find the Fast Track Race in a Case one handy piece of work. This £19.99 purchase literally allows you to set up a race within seconds, but of course you will need an adequate amount of batteries to get it going. With this, you can tear up the tarmac (well, plastic would be a much more appropriate and accurate description) to just about anywhere you like within seconds. To get it up and running, just flip open the portable case, slot together the compact figure-of-eight circuit, line up the sub-Eccleston-sized cars, grab your hand-throttle and you’re good to go. The remote itself is a no-brainer to use, all you need to do is give it a squeeze and your racer will pick up additional speed.


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Tube Speakers blend in within your purse

Lotion is a common item to find in a woman’s purse, so you might as well disguise gadgets as commonly found items.  At least that seems to be the Japanese gadget makers way of thinking.  After all, they love to model their gadgets after food, jewelry, compacts and many other items you’d find lying around.  I suppose if anyone were quickly rummaging through your purse for something to steal they’d at least leave this one alone.

These Colurful Tube Speakers come in yellow, pink, green, blue and black.  Each one will hook up to your audio devices and work as a portable speaker.  I sincerely doubt it’ll have top of the line sound, but it will be highly portable and inconspicuous.  Each one of these sells for 1,980 JPY or about $23.20 through Strapya World.

Source: Gizmodiva


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LARK Technologies wants to wake you up gently

There is nothing quite like laying in bed all day long, hoping that the dreaded alarm clock will not ring at all. Well, that is mostly because the majority of alarm clocks out there do nothing but create a really huge din when it goes off – not good for ears, and even worse for those who suffer from a weak heart. After all, no one wants to get jolted awake rudely from their beauty sleep, do they? LARK Technologies has come up on an answer that has been implemented before in terms of the idea, albeit they do it slightly different this time around. We’re talking about their flagship silent waking system known as LARK Up, where it is targeted to revolutionize the way consumers wake up each morning.

Just how does LARK Up work, you ask? Well, it is able to awakens consumers without the need for a jarring alarm, and in the process it does not disturb the sleep of a loved one as well. LARK Up is able to do so since it wakes one person silently and peacefully thanks to the iPhone and an innovative mobile accessory which is otherwise known as the LARK wristband. As you know, necessity being the mother of all inventions, has driven MIT student and LARK founder Julia Hu who suffers from her own challenges of waking up each morning, to work with a team of engineers and designers from Stanford and MIT and Harvard sleep expert, Dr. Jo Solet. The result of their hard work and vision? The LARK Up.

LARK Up will gently nudge you awake via its thin, comfortable wristband and an iPhone application. Make sure you set the LARK Up mobile alarm application on the iPhone beforehand at the desired time, and place it onto the custom bedside stand. This should be followed by wearing a lightweight LARK Up wristband that was specially designed for nighttime use with breathable and comfortable fabric and no hard edges, buttons, clasps or screens. Once the alarm goes off, it will automatically emit a gentle but incredibly effective patented vibration which should be able to wake up even the deepest sleepers. LARK Up will cost you $99 with a $10 deposit to reserve, so what are you waiting for? You don’t want to be late for that work interview next week, do you?

Press Release


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Pledge To Help A Man Create This Steampunk Halloween Decoration

Halloween is a fun time of the year, you get to see what over the top decorations people will come up with.  If you always wished that you could be a part of such creations, then you now have a chance.  One man creates these huge Halloween displays and asks for pledges to do his projects.  Well this year he’s making a giant steampunk display, but that’s only if he raises the $2200 that he requires.

They only have 15 days to go to meet their goal.  They do have 60 backers, and not far to go though.  The vehicle is meant to look as if it has drilled through the ground and right out into the creator’s driveway.  If this is even slightly as good as his past creations, then it would definitely be worth the money.  You can check out his previous works by going here.

Source: Gizmodiva


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Levytator takes escalators to a whole new level

I’m sure you have noticed that using an escalator can traditionally take you up or down, and in a straight line.

The Levytator (pronounced like levitate-or) is designed to take escalators to all sorts of dimensions. As you can see in this picture, these escalators are very curved.

There is a video of this technology after the jump so you can see it demonstrated. You can see that an escalator can be put along a structure, and how one of these can go up, down, around curves, and even make flat moving sidewalks.

The video doesn’t give me any indication how this works. As far as I know, an escalator is nothing more than a tank tread that can somehow move into a stair-step form. The Levytator can somehow keep its shape throughout.

However, once they get this technology perfected, just think about how cool it would be to have museums with moving walkways and stairs so tourists can simply stand and relax while the movement is being done for them.

Hey, I got a weird idea. Is there any way that the Levytator could somehow branch off? So if you are on a Levytator going around a certain exhibit, you might come to a fork in the road?

Oh, it will be amazing to see what is next for escalators.

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Alarm clock literally starts the ball rolling

We have reported on many cool alarm clocks here, and many of them involve making the user do some activity in order for them to get up in the morning.

For example, the Flying Alarm Clock, which has a propeller device on it that you are going to have to catch and place back on the clock itself, should you want any Snooze time.

This one is merely a concept, at least for now. I don’t believe it has a name just yet, but for the sake of comparison, let us call it the rolling alarm clock. After all, the concept is similar to the Flying Alarm Clock, but instead of a propeller flying toy, it starts a ball rolling.

This ball, which I assume has a light weight, is flung into the user’s face in the morning, and then rolls all over the place. If you want the alarm to stop going off, then you’re going to have to find that elusive rolling ball and put it in its place.

Okay, this is the time to ask why we need alarm clocks like this. Are we really so wanting sleep so bad that we need things like this to get us up? I guess so.

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Raytheon Sarcos XOS 2 exoskeleton

I thought I would celebrate the release of Iron Man 2 on DVD and Blu-ray today by reporting on a real-life iron man exoskeleton.

This is the XOS 2 from Raytheon Sarcos, and it is a lot more bulky than the armor from Mr. Tony Stark. It actually reminds me of the power loader suit that Ripley wore in Aliens.

The suit is able to boost the user’s strength. You can see here that the wearer is punching through several layers of wood like a karate master. It is also designed to make a 170 pound weight feel like ten pounds.

Sadly, the power source stems from a very thick cable from the back. So it is going to be a while before there will be one of these on every soldier. I’m guessing that would be a very expensive endeavor, too.

Still, if you were to put them on every soldier, you would definitely increase their endurance as well as strength. Imagine doing a ten mile hike that only feels like one mile.

Yes, the future is looking pretty bright for the future of exoskeletons. I guess all those science-fiction books and shows with armor like this served as inspiration for times such as this.

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LED Escape Light shows you exactly where to go, emphasis on exactly

Emergency lights are quite necessary in case of a fire or power outage, but it isn’t always clear which way you should run.

This is a concept known as the LED Escape light, and it allows the victim of an emergency to actually see where to run. It has a “portable LED electric torch which will feature an integrated projector to project a map so that you can find your way out accurately”.

I have an idea of how to improve on this. What if there is a way to project images of the green silhouettes that you see in this picture. Maybe they can be moving across the walls with some working projector lights.

Of course, someone has to be the guy who charges the batteries on these guys. I guess emergency lights have to have some sort of program on them to make certain that they are charged.

I have worked at two companies where power outages have occurred, and there was always emergency lighting. I always wondered how the emergency lights could light up if there was a power outage. Why aren’t all the lights powered like the emergency lights so there would be no power outages?

I suppose we’ll be seeing this, should it ever get developed.

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