The Bar10der. One of the Few Times Alcohol and Technology Should Mix

Bartender is a job that still carries some mystique to the common drinker, as the person behind the bar still exists as a figurehead to many patrons. There’s something striking about even a standard server of spirits, and something downright mythical about the one who can create that perfect drink, or control a crowded room like they’re dangling strings over the masses.

It’s not an easy life though, as a truly great bartender must have an eye on every little aspect of the bar, a head full of drink recipes and orders, and the quick hands that put it all together. So while everyone may not be cut out to be a bartender, thanks to a tool called the bar10der, everyone can make mixing drinks a little easier. It’s basically the drinker’s Swiss army knife (the Irish army knife perhaps?), and features 10 tools essential for any good bartender:

-          A jigger to measure ½ ounce and ounce pours

-          Stirrer

-          Corkscrew

-          Muddler for crushing

-          Reamer for squeezed juice mixtures

-          A bottle opener

-          Strainer

-          A zester for citrus

-          A channel knife for fruit twists

-          And of course a basic 4” blade

All of the tools are neatly packaged into a less than 9 inch long rubber handle, that comes in multiple colors, and though it is a bit pricey at $49.99, it is really just a fantastic all around device, especially if you’ll soon be hosting a new years eve party.

New Virtual Simulator Allows For Complete Sensory Experience

Considering that the average person can pull out a device smaller than their hand and access the collective general knowledge of the world, and that a group of above average people managed to shoot a remotely operated vehicle on a planet hundreds of millions of miles away, it takes a lot for a new technological idea to make you take notice.

But that is the case with Ikei Laboratory’s Virtual Body Technology, as it explores that age old fascinating concept of virtual reality in an exciting and new way, where the user is allowed to see, hear, smell, and feel what another person would be seeing, hearing, smelling and feeling in a completely different part of the world.

It’s not quite stepping into someone else’s shoes, especially as the avatar isn’t real and the experience is predetermined, but what’s impressive is the sheer set up of the device, which revolves around a motion capable chair facing a 3D monitor, surrounded by fans that simulate smells and sensations (like the wind), while the user wears a pair of high quality headphones and fits themselves into a foot rig that’s motion and vibration can simulate walking and running. It’s extremely comprehensive in recreating genuine physical experiences.

Honestly, this kind of thing has been around for a while, and is even used in high-tech movie theaters and theme parks as an attraction. This design is slightly different though in how many sensations and experiences it can recreate and, more importantly, how accurately it can recreate them. Even with all of our technological advancements, virtual reality is still an idea that eludes us in the classic sense of the term, but this device is a practical step forward in closing in on the idea.

Right now the main motivation behind the device is to allow elderly people who may be unable to do so traditionally the chance to explore new places in the most complete way possible. However, it is also capable of scenarios like recreating the sensation of running like world champion Usain Bolt. In other words, it has the potential to provide a uniquely entertaining experience for anyone who straps themselves in.

Well, unless they choose the Jay Cutler simulator.

Shown Here in his Natural State

Thanks to 3D Printing, There is Now a Vinyl Record for the Digital Age

As the success of companies like Instagram (well, recent terms of service controversy notwithstanding) is proving, even an increasingly hi-tech world will grow nostalgic for the simpler, sometimes uglier, tech of days gone by. One consistent example of this has been the love for the classic design of the vinyl record, which some still insist just sounds better, even as the much more diverse, convenient, and technically higher quality world of digital audio becomes the undisputed music listening method.

However, programmer and inventor Amanda Ghassaei, a user on the site Instructables, has found a new and exciting way for the two to coexist. By using the consistently awesome technology of 3D printing, she has been able to convert an audio file into a 3D printed record that can be played on any traditional record player. The process of creating one is very complex (requiring some serious programming skills and, of course, a 3D printer), and the sound quality is even less than that of a traditional record, but as you can see in the video below, it does truly work.

To anyone with the set up and know how, the instructions can be found via video and text over at Instructables. As someone that can only admire the work and thought put into this process though, I find myself wanting to see this idea grow into a consumer good (with maybe a little higher quality on the final product) as with the addition of some custom artwork, and the right personal set up, this is an awesome idea that provides the opportunity to turn the best of your all-encompassing digital music library into a stylish, and classic, physical record collection.

Choosing the right tablet when doing your holiday shopping

Ever since Steve Jobs introduced the iPad to much fanfare and the product took off and started a whole new product category, the market has been flooded with competing products as the country has basically gone tablet crazy. Even young kids basically expect some sort of tablet these days, making things very tough on parents trying to monitor what they do online. People of all ages enjoy these devices as they can be used for so many different purposes, and computer companies like HP that didn’t come up with a good competing product are getting crushed as PC and laptop sales have struggled.

With all of this in mind, here’s a great article from the NY Times that lays out many of the different options. For starters, you should simply avoid the ultra-cheap knockoff options. It’s tempting to go that way, but in many ways you’ll be wasting money.

After that you really need to consider who will be using the tablet. Kids are obsessed with games and texting. Many women and adults like to read books. Others like to surf the web for funny videos, interact with others in social media, play casino games at sites like partycasino.com, or just read the sports page. Some on your gift list may not use computers much, so you sometimes need to think about how they would love to use these devices once you point out uses for them.

E-readers have become more popular and frankly more articles, so the article linked about deals with those options as well. Consider traditional e-readers versus the new color options. Then you have the most basic choice between Apple and Android. Microsoft has also entered the debate though it remains to be seen if they can get beyond a sliver of the market.

There are tons of choices, so do your research online before you hit the stores.

Bladeless Ceiling Fan To Redefine Home Comfort

The Nest may be cornering the market on the future of central air conditioning, but even with such a great innovation, there will always be room for the classic ceiling fan set up. It’s not only the preference of many home owners, but still the necessity in some regions when it comes to cooling down a room. Yet unlike central air’s revolution with the Nest, the ceiling fan has not really had the privilege of new age influence creating a fresh design.

Until the bladeless fan from Exhale Fans that is. Supposedly inspired by the works of Nikola Tesla, the bladeless ceiling fan works much in the same manner as a tradition fan, as it redistributes the existing air in a room and converts it to a cooling flow. The difference is that it’s more discreet, more stylish (available in several colors in fact), extremely quiet, cheaper, and most importantly can provide cool (or warm depending on the need) air evenly throughout a room instead of in select spots like the usual ceiling fan. A great example of this can be found in the demonstration video that shows the fan’s capabilities of complete air flow coverage with the help of a smoke machine.

If you’d like to support the bladeless fan…you’re too late. It’s already achieved its funding goal on the site indiegogo, and will soon go into production and be available via the manufacturer’s website. Should you buy it when available then? Well, it’s not often that you see a device which can improve upon the classic design of a necessary object, and vastly improve the functionality of it as well, so unless you’re aiming for a classic Havana kingpin inspired design for your home, it’s hard not to recommend jumping on the biggest improvement to come to the ceiling fan since…well the ceiling fan.