Archive for April, 2014

The Roccat Syva In-Hear Headset is for gamers on the go

When we have to traverse public spaces, we sometimes choose to listen to music to put a buffer between ourselves and the outside world. While we shouldn’t block out all exterior sound all the time (crossing roads or near work sites), there are times where we want to be lost in the sound. The only way we can do that is with a nice headset.

The greatest challenge is having your music loud enough to that you can hear everything crisply, but not have to annoy everyone within ten feet. Using in-ear headphones is usually the best option, and the Syva In-Ear Headset looks as though it might be up to snuff. It has a 10mm speaker in each ear cup, is lightweight enough to be used over extended periods of time, and has an in-line mic so you can take calls. As always, there are multiple ear tips so you can get the correct fit.

The cable is of the two-colored ribbon variety, and due to its shape, is supposed to resist tangling. On the other side of the in-line mic is a call/play button. While there are a plethora of options out there for in-ear headsets, ROCCAT has a penchant for setting the bar pretty high, so these are likely well worth the ~$42 you would spend on them. While they’re currently available in Europe and Asia, they will likely make their way to the US slowly but surely.

Available for purchase on Amazon
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Inflatable Water Shooting Float keeps the kids happy

Kids absolutely love playing, as their imagination is able to run wild even with something as simple as a cardboard box that can be transformed to become a castle, spaceship, or racecar. After all, they learn a whole lot through play. While many kids have grown up on a steady diet of video games in this day and age, how about taking a different step this time around with the $59.95 Inflatable Water Shooting Float?

The Inflatable Water Shooting Float happens to be a floating carnival game which will be able to offer quite the challenge for a couple of competitors to displace half a dozen plastic balls with integrated squirt cannons. Each of these cannons have a flexible tube that extends below the bottom of the float into a pool, delivering a constant water supply along the way as the float’s elbow rests will help steady one’s aim. There is a couple of cylinders that are built into the float’s alien-themed backboard, one with six yellow balls, while the other has six green balls.

Each player’s deft aim will be able to squirt water into a cylinder with maximum frequency, as the water displaces the balls; and the first player between the two to eject all half dozen balls from a cylinder will be declared to be the winner. It takes mere minutes to inflate with an air pump.
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The Nyko Charge Base for PlayStation 4 – game til you drop



There’s nothing quite like having an entire weekend with nothing to do but play games. If you play on PC, there’s not much you need to keep juicing up, other than yourself with food and sleep. Consoles on the other hand, will have need for their controllers to be recharged if they aren’t wired. Seeing that the large majority prefers to be without cables to trip over, this is a common problem.

If you prefer to play on the PlayStation 4, then there is a Charge Base from Nyko that you’ll likely be interested in. To use this dock which can charge two Dualshock 4 controllers at once, you’ll need to put on the USB charge adapters, and put them on the base. As these adapters are fairly small, you’ll want to make sure you’ve grabbed them out of the box before throwing away the rest of the packaging. This is a very simple system, and will allow you to swap out seamlessly while gaming.

The base has LED lights that indicate when the charging is complete, going from red, to orange, and finally green. This will only cost around $30, and is very helpful to have around. Just make sure to set this in an ideal place so you don’t have to go out of your way to access it when you need to swap out (and of course, do remember to take care of yourself, as it actually is possible to drop from gaming too hard).

Available for purchase on ThinkGeek
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The Upsee – Helping Kids with Disabilities get in on the Action

There are numerous projects devoted to assisting wheelchair bound people to function better, to be able to do more, see more, and just generally participate in the special moments, or events, that are important to them. As an adult, I imagine the life of a child with a physical disability, and I would want to do everything I could to make sure they could be part of the action. One mother, who has a son with a disability, invented a device to help her child walk, and is now sharing her invention with the world.

Check out the Upsee, a specialized harness system that allows wheelchair bound kids the opportunity to stand upright, and walk. Debby Elnatan, a music therapist, invented the Upsee to help her son, who has cerebral palsy. The Upsee consists of a harness that attaches to an adult, and a special side-by-side shoe system, worn by both the parent and child, allowing them to take steps together.

It certainly appears that the Upsee does improve family participation and the quality of life for special needs kids, and research suggests it even has the potential to help with physical and emotional development as well. Parents that have used the Upsee with their kids couldn’t believe the delight and smiles of their kids while they walked through the park, or got to talk to their friends face -to-face for the first time.

The Upsee Kit comes in 4 sizes, and in four different colors. The kit consists of three parts: an adult hip-belt, a child harness and shared sandals. It is available now, at fireflyfriends.com for under 500 bucks. It is available worldwide, and the shipping is free.
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FLORAbrella brings color to a gloomy day

It does not matter if it is going to rain 40 days and 40 nights once more, and while you might perish with the rest of the world in the next global flood, at least you can go out cheerfully – thanks to the wonders of the FLORAbrella. With the FLORAbrella, you will end up as a rainbow in the midst of a storm, so to speak, thanks to its NeoPixel LED strips and color sensor which enables you to match your clothing, or display rainbow and rain patterns if you so desire.

This is a project that will require some hands-on experience though, since you will need to create the circuit in the first place before mounting it in the dome of the umbrella, followed by finishing it nicely through the creation of clear vinyl hammocks for the battery, FLORA and color sensor. It will require an intermediate-level of knowledge alongside its fair share of precise soldering on the LED strips, but the end result is definitely well worth the effort, I must say!
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HyperX Cloud gaming headset offers long term comfort while gaming

When it comes to gaming peripherals, you know for sure that gamers can be a particular choosy lot. They might be in love with everything under the features list, but when the design does not appeal one bit to them, then it is back to the drawing board. I suppose this is why there is a healthy growth in this particularly niche market of gaming peripherals, as different hardware manufacturers take up the mantle of figuring out just what do gamers want and need, before proceeding with rolling out the product. The HyperX Cloud gaming headset is the latest gaming peripheral from the traditional memory vendor, where it will boast of extremely comfortable ear cushions and larger audio drivers that delivers ultimate comfort and superior sound to gamers throughout the entire duration of the game, which can stretch to more than a dozen hours in a single day – and I am speaking from experience here.

In order to make life a whole lot more comfortable for gamers, the HyperX Cloud gaming headset will make use of memory foam ear cushions as well as a soft, leather-padded headband with custom stitching for enhanced comfort and style. The presence of an over-the-ear, closed-cup design would be able to help block out ambient noise for a more immersive game experience. There will also be interchangeable velour ear cushions so that gamers can hear their surroundings (including the pizza delivery boy knocking on the door, I suppose) while also delivering dialogue and every explosion and gunfire in clear, high-fidelity audio courtesy of the large 53mm drivers.

Apart from that, the HyperX Cloud will also feature a detachable microphone and is made out of aluminum for additional durability. Do expect the HyperX Cloud to play nice with the PC and PS4, in addition to other smartphones and tablets that are in the market.

Press Release
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The Virtuix Omni – Get in the Game

Experiencing virtual reality is a true gamers dream. Being able to move about in your game’s environment without having to push buttons on a keyboard or controller would be awesome. Imagine, running through the game, while you are actually running… the possible applications are amazing; exercise, training, virtual workplaces… all of this becomes possible if someone could just come up with a gadget that would offer up the real deal.

Well, check out the Virtuix Omni, taking any virtual reality experience you’ve ever had, directly to the next 10 levels. This treadmill-esque gadget allows you to walk through your game, on your own 2 feet! Using specialized shoes, designed to slot into a slick, grooved “walking” surface, you can actually manipulate your avatar by using natural movements. Wearing a head mounted display, and with your motion trackers strapped on, you are in for total immersion into your favorite game. From Minecraft to Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Grand Theft Auto, you will have excitement and exhilaration that simply cannot be found sitting down.

This is the first time this degree of virtual reality performance can be found in an affordable, and storable option. Easy to put away, in a closet, or under your bed, and for a pre-order price of less than 500 bucks, the Omni is going to allow you to walk, run or jump… into the future. Price includes the Virtuix Omni natural motion interface, that includes platform, special shoes, support harness, and the associated tracking hardware and software. For availability dates, ordering info, or just to catch the not-to-be-missed videos of the Omni in action, please visit virtuix.com. I told you, awesome!
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The Till Watch will tell you the approximate time



We scrutinize our use of every second in a day, checking the time constantly and trying to think of ways to be more efficient. However, when people ask the common question of “what time is it”, we often give a roundabout answer. While we do care about the time down to the actual minute, it doesn’t hurt to be casual.

The Till Watch will tell you the time as you would give it to anyone else. Instead of having every distinct number, you’ll get “25 after”,”half past”, “exactly”, and more. The hour will be clearly defined, but you can say goodbye to individual numbers. This does change up the cyclical fashion we are used to reading time in, as it will come across in a more linear structure, but it is a nice take on an old favorite. The look is very sleek and modern, with two variations of stainless steel and black.

The minutes arm will still trek clockwise as time goes on, but the only definitive time answers are in printed word with the occasional number. This 40mm watch appears to have a silicone-type materials for the band, which likely lends some ability to withstand water. If this is more your style of timepiece, be prepared to pay the $125 price tag that comes with it. Although it is a rather excessive price, that seems to be commonplace for things that lean towards designer.

Available for purchase on Fancy
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Samsung announces Samsung Level premium audio product range


The folks over at Samsung are certainly very serious about the different kinds of products that they put out in the market, and more often than not, would ensure that whatever you use would pass through a strict quality control test. Well, their latest range of premium audio products would come under the Samsung Level label, which will comprise of a quartet of types, Level Over, Level On, Level In, and Level Box.

From the middle of next month onwards (which is not too far away actually), the Samsung Level series will be made available for purchase in majority of the worldwide markets as well as via the Samsung Online Store in selective countries. Why must Samsung pursue the Level series? Well, these products will be made up of four types of expertly crafted audio products that target mobile users, and as mentioned earlier, the Level Over, Level On, Level In, and Level Box will let one receive calls even when listening to their favorite tunes, all the while ensuring that your ears will be treated to the best sound clarity possible throughout the call, being in harmony with Samsung’s industry-leading mobile technology.

Level Over would be Samsung’s flagship over-ear headphone that boasts of superior HD organic sound, a comfortable ergonomic design, touch controls, and wireless Bluetooth pairing. There will be a 50 mm Dynamic Driver that has been made with high performance Neodymium thrown into the mix, allowing users to enjoy deeper, more natural sound. Not only that, a free edge structure made from Bio Cellulose would prevent resonance between the vibration plate and the frame, hence avoiding unnecessary booming and providing the original sound.

As for Level On, it merges a compact style with a superior comfort and sound system to deliver an immersive and on-the-go premium sound experience, being specially designed to offer a full range of natural and clear sound, flexibly dampening the air flow with a 40 mm dual layered diaphragm.

Level Box functions as a premium and compact Bluetooth speaker that will boast of a solid metal design that comes complete with a full metal grille. It has a generous 56mm stereo speaker and a passive radiator, making it optimized to deliver high quality sound which is not only powerful, but crisp and balanced to boot.

Press Release
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The Xbox One Headset Adapter will let you use your favorite gaming headset


There are two aspects which can greatly affect your experience when playing on console, and that would be sight and sound. Not being able to hear what’s going on around you in game can put you at a disadvantage, and not having a big enough screen can make it hard to see what’s going on. You can normally save up and fix your TV screen size issue, but what if you already have the perfect headset, and can’t use it due to compatibility issues?

If you prefer to play games on the Xbox One, then this Headset Adapter might come in handy. This will take just about any headset that plugs into a 3.5mm jack. You can get chat audio by connecting the 2.5mm chat cable to the adapter, and your hands don’t even need to leave the controller to adjust your volume settings. The controls have up/down, mute, and a game/chat mixer.

Seeing that this only costs $25, I’d certainly say it’s worth the investment if this is your main mode of gaming. If nothing else, it can at least be ruled out that not being able to hear what’s going on around you as a factor that may affect one’s ability to play. It may add a bit more weight to the controller which could feel a bit weird, but as always, any change takes a little time to adapt to.

Available for purchase on ThinkGeek
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