I have a question. Can you understand what dogs are saying?
You can’t huh? That’s absolutely crazy you say? I see, I see.
Well until very recently I would have agreed entirely. However, that was until a project called “No More Woof” exceeded its funding goal on indiegogo and got me thinking that perhaps we have all been too quick to jump to such a seemingly obvious conclusion.
“No More Woof” is an EEG reader and speaker system that your dog wears around their neck and on their head. From there it is able to read their neuro signals and brain waves in order to form and relay a basic idea of just what is going through their mind. Now while that does mean you won’t be having a conversation with your dog regarding the modern societal relevance of “Catcher in the Rye,” the device will be able to tell you if your pooch is tired, hungry, curious, and some other basic thoughts.
Believe it or not the technology fueling this idea is actually very much legitimate. However it has never been put together in such a fashion, for such a purpose, and on the consumer level. You’re perfectly justified then for maintaining a skeptical outlook regarding the prospects of this device’s functionality. However, there is enough in place to hint that this device may just be feasible, though on an admittedly simple level.
With 48 days left during its funding period, “No More Woof” is already $5,000 over its asking goal. If you want to get in on it early, the basic model is still available for an $85 contribution.
If I were to tell you that a creative and reasonably priced item with a unique, yet practical, solution to a common modern day need was coming out, you wouldn’t be blamed for looking for the obligatory Kickstarter link, and start wondering how much the minimum contribution is.
That’s because while that site is heavily flawed (for instance, some developers exceed their requested amount by almost a $100,000 and still blow all the money, not release the product, and fail to have any reasonable plans for a refund in sight), it’s a consistently entertaining source of devices that make you go “Hmmm, interesting” possibly while smoking a pipe.
But this particular device actually comes not from Kickstarter, but from our friends at Google.
Called the Chromecast, it’s capable of broadcasting content from popular devices (be it iOS, Android, or computer) straight to your TV. Admittedly that’s a feature only impressive if you’ve never heard of HDMI, DVI, or VGA cables, but the Chromecast gains a leg up in that it’s not a cable at all, but rather an HDMI plug-in that can transmit the feed wirelessly from your selected device. All you have to do is find a compatible program, select a cast button, and you can view the feed from that program on your TV.
Of those programs, only the presence of Netflix seems to be superfluous, considering that anyone with an HDMI port on their TV likely has Netflix compatibility for it in one way or another. The other compatible programs like Youtube, Google Play, and Google Chrome are much more encouraging, with that last one really driving home the point that the Chromecast is aiming to turn almost any TV into something more resembling a “smart” TV for the mere cost of $35.
Even though I think the adding of the word smart before a device and calling it a day is a trend that needs to die a thousand deaths, the Chromecast is far and away the most exciting device of its kind I’ve ever seen, and with more program support (fingers crossed for Steam) can become an essential home device, though its base loadout justifies its meager $35 asking price already.
Plus, unlike Kickstarter campaigns, this one is actually supported by a legitimate company (rather than “some guys”) and is not only likely to properly function as advertised, but will also probably include a definitive release date, which are things that are becoming significantly more foreign in the world of intriguing and affordable devices than I tend to like.
The third barrel is located atop the standard double barrel loadout, while all three are controlled by a single trigger. 36 inches long, and weighing eight pounds, this 12 gauge beauty is sure to paralyze any intruder in fear (undead or otherwise), therefore making the firing superficial.
Surprisingly, however, this is actually not a completely absurd idea, as Chiapa is known for making reliable weapons, and features like individual barrel choke, and a modifiable stock (which lets you turn the grip into a smaller, more pistol style design) actually make this seemingly ridiculous weapon not quite the running gag it will inevitably turn out to be.
Personally though, I’m thinking that if manufacturers are going to be adding barrels to guns like blades to razors, I’m going to hold out for the inevitable four barrel model, ala “Phantasm 2.”
The Above Video is Well Worth 15 Seconds of Your Time
Phone stands are an odd invention in that when you are away from the home, and need them the most, they are usually too big of a burden to carry around and effectively use, but when your are at home and don’t need to carry it, there aren’t near as many uses for one.
It’s a common conundrum that often prevents people from owning one of the more useful cell phone accessories out there.
If the makers of the keyprop are to be believed though, the answer to this problem has been in our pockets all along.
The keyprop is nothing more than a plastic key that goes on your keyring like any other. When you’re ready to prop your phone, simply plug the round end into the audio jack, and clip your phone in place. From there you have a weighted stand that can prop your phone at a variety of angles based on how you place your other keys under it. The keyprop been tested and verified as compatible with the iPhone 4/4S, iPhone 5, Galaxy S3, Nexus, and more, and even works with cases.
While it’s a little annoying that you’re unable to use the audio jack with the keyprop, if you’re taking timed photos, trying to browse the internet easier, or just looking for that perfect angle to avoid the glare of the sun, it may just be the most practical phone stand out there.
If you agree, and can get past the Fisher Price looks, then be sure to back the keyprop on Kickstarter.
When I saw “Taxi Driver” for the first time, I was too young to fully comprehend, and appreciate, the incredible characters, biting social commentary, or tightly structured plot. What I did take away from Scorsese’s second best movie (first is “Goodfellas”, naturally) is the sheer coolness of those spring loaded, sleeve hidden gun launchers that main character Travis Bickle wielded.
Of course, like all great over the top movie inventions, someone will eventually find a way to incorporate them into our everyday lives. Those hidden gun launchers are no exception, but even still I found the manner in which inventor Showta Mori worked that technology into the real world to be…a bit odd, as he demonstrates in this gut bustlingly hilarious video.
Not only is that device that can shoot your phone, via forearm pressure, into your hands from your sleeve stupendously moronic, entirely superfluous, and even irresponsibly hazardous, it’s also completely awesome and on sale via the inventor’s Etsy shop, where it retails for about $80 and is compatible with the iPhone 4, 4S, and 5.
Before you completely dismiss the validity of this device, be sure to consider that in an increasingly pop culture obsessed world that is already way too in love with their smartphones, and value any device that will allow them to use them with minimal physical effort, this device could, against all odds, actually make a sale or two.
Of course, if you do buy one, you are required to occasionally pop your phone into your hands and answer it by saying, “Are you talking to me?”