Turn Your Tub into a Touchscreen With Aquatop

Technology may be designed to be with you wherever you go, but the one area where your pretty much on your own is the bath.

Sure you can buy waterproof cases, but when you get right down to it, how comfortable are you really with holding your favorite expensive electrical toy mere inches above a pool of water? Even if you do survive an accidental drop, exactly how much submersion can that tablet or smartphone withstand before it’s lost?

That’s the question that keeps most of us from bringing our tech in the tub, and drove a team of developers in Tokyo to use a Kinect, a projector, some speakers, and a home computer to craft an invention that can turn the surface of your tub into a touch screen.

From the user’s perspective, once the device is turned on, they only need to dip their hands into the water to turn them into interface tools. With that in place, you are now able to run files, videos, pictures, and other applications, and interact with them in a manner very similar to how you would with a touchscreen.  There are even special gestures, like the ability to use your thumb and index finger to grasp an icon and drag it around or, even cooler, the ability to fully grasp an item and submerge it to delete it.

The really impressive part about this tech comes through the games however. I advise you skip to about 7:06 in that video above, to see what happens when you combine all of the elements of this tech to produce a game that may be simple (essentially an aerial shooter type), but uses what should be a hindering environment for such a thing as an advantage instead, as you are provided a gaming experience that could be had nowhere else but the bathtub.

Continuing a recent trend on this site, this is a device that isn’t likely to go beyond the prototype stage, but hopefully makes sporadic public appearances in some fashion, as it’s hard to not want to get your feet wet (so to speak) in this technology once you see it in action.

Sign your Steak With the Norpro Branding Iron

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While branding a cow certainly makes sense for the rancher, when you think about it, should his mark be the final word on your steak? After all, it was you who selected the perfect cut from the butcher, it was you who seasoned and marinated it to perfection, and it was you who wisely didn’t invite that one guy to your BBQ who asks for his steaks “burnt to a crisp” as to maintain the integrity of your work.

After all that effort, don’t you feel you should be able to leave a clear mark on your steak that leaves no doubt as to its creator?

If so then consider the Norpo BBQ Branding Iron. With it, you have the grammatical power of 55 included letters to brand your steak with the message of your choice right before it comes off of the grill. Whether it be something simple like putting the name of the respective recipient on each cut, or creating your own unique identifying statement, you can now finally put a signature on the artform that is that perfect cut of grilled beef.

Sure there are reports of the branding iron not being the most sturdy of utensils, and there is the nasty potential for looking kind of pretentious while using it, but sometimes the quality of a steak doesn’t speak for itself soon enough, and you need it to leave a quicker impression. For those times, you need this iron.

Thanks to This Device, You Can Cut Your Own Hair Without any of the Mockery

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Whether it be the suspicious prices, the forced conversations (or awkward silences depending on your barber), or the odd social phenomena that is staring at yourself in a mirror while a stranger runs their fingers through your hair, men have plenty of reasons to not like going to get a haircut.

Much like the dentist though, it’s just one of those unpleasant things that you have to suck up and get through every once in a while, especially since the act of cutting your own hair is usually only associated with comically bad hairstyles and behind the back laughter.

However, in case you’ve forgotten, we do live in an age where everything that once was suddenly no longer has to be and, thanks to a little gizmo called the single handed barber, that may now include the stigma surrounding self-haircuts.

The single handed barber is an electric hand held rotary cutter that promises to give you a clean and even cut, with no more effort than it would take to comb your hair. Thanks to separate attachments, you can get cuts at 1/8”, 1/4”,1/2”, or 3/8” lengths, and the rechargeable battery works for five minutes with a 16 hour charge (though a plug in option is available).

While you probably won’t be able to use this device to fashion that mohawk you’ve always wanted, as long as you don’t mind trusting your hair to something that looks like the little cousin of a Roomba, the single handed barber might just be the perfect $60 solution for those times when you need a trim, and really want to skip the barber.

New Wool Blend Shirt Could be the Last Shirt You Ever Need

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A question for you. Why would someone wear a shirt for a 100 days straight?

There are several answers of course. You really like that shirt, it’s a harbinger of good luck, you’re really broke, you’re…umm…trying to win some sort of bet, and of course many others.

Whatever your reason may be though, it is ultimately irrelevant as of course even the sturdiest of shirts need to be dried, ironed, and generally maintained in order to preserve their quality, meaning that the shirt of a 100 straight wears is in fact just a pipe dream.

There is one upstart designer, though, by the name of Wool&Prince that insists that isn’t true. What’s more is that they aren’t relying on some space age material or microchip to accomplish it either, but are rather using a simple wool blend to craft a shirt that can be worn for a 100 days straight, without generating a single wrinkle, or producing one bad odor. Also, unlike your typical wool sweater, the material is apparently very high quality and actually comfortable to wear.

While the 100 day wear spree may be a gimmick, it is one that proves the more interesting point that this is a durable shirt that can survive conditions both common and extraordinary and come out the other side in fresh from the dryer quality, with no more upkeep required than the occasional wash. While certain individuals like the business man on the go benefit most from this shirt then, it’s hard to imagine there isn’t a guy who wouldn’t like to have that one favorite shirt that just happens to be near invincible.

Of course the point is that you won’t have to imagine any longer. The makers of the shirt Wool&Prince have already earned $300,000+ of their asking $30,000 goal, meaning it’s just a matter of time until you can own a shirt that’s Clark Kent sensible on the outside, and Superman durable within.

Enhance Your Daily Rock Out With the Smack Attack

Have you ever beat your hands on the steering wheel in rhythm with the radio?

I’m guessing the answer is likely yes. Hell, so many people have done it that it’s quite possible Neal Peart drum solos are the cause of more driving distractions than cell phone use.

Of course as fun as the act is, ultimately it is all for naught as you can beat the imaginary skins to your heart’s content, and it’s still just a steering wheel you’re hitting. Eventually, even the most bombastic of automotive percussionist are ultimately contributing nothing to the music.

You can change all of that though by purchasing a device patented as “Re-Inventing the Wheel” (or RITW), but commonly referred to by the manufacturer as the smack attack.

The smack attack turns your steering wheel into a digital drum set, capable of kit accurate sounds by connecting to your iPhone via bluetooth. What makes this more than a high tech car wash waiting room novelty item though is a list of features that include a variety of available sounds and ranges, a drum karaoke option that removes the drums from certain songs (and lets you upload tracks to do the same) so that you can fill in the beat, and you’re even able to record your best performances for all to hear through regular contests on the manufacturer’s website.

Of course, abilities aside, the real joy here comes in being able to finally get some feedback from your drive time drumming, and really contribute to the commuter concerto that most partake in. While I’m still holding out for a device that will give me concert hall acoustics in the shower, the smack attack is a must have for all those 9-5 workers of the world who still harbor rock star dreams.

Start Turning Your Home into a James Bond Villian’s Lair with the Burglar Blaster

Anyone who has seen “Home Alone” (which is hopefully everyone) knows that when it comes to home security, the one undisputed assurance for safety is a series of well implemented traps leading to hilarious punishments for the armed thugs now in your life.

To begin constructing your own dominion of doom then, consider purchasing the Burglar Blaster.

Working off of an infrared sensor, when the Burglar Blaster is set, it detects movement and fires off four ounces of pepper spray guaranteed to cause some serious second thoughts to anyone in the remote vicinity(coverage is up to 2000 square feet). It also comes equipped with a timer that can be set up to 40 seconds, presumably so you can allow the burglar to momentarily relish in the acquisition of some perfect loot, before they’re met with a spray of burning aerosol to the face.

Reloadable, easy to install, and battery operated, the only alarm systems more ballsy would have to be some sort of elaborate swinging ax contraption, a trap door to a Rancor pit, your own bare fists, or perhaps the upgrade to the Blaster’s regular model (the Decintegrator) which holds up to 4 pepper spray cans and covers twice the space.

Sure it’s dangerous and impractical, but can you really put a price on your family’s (potentially humorous) safety?

Yes actually. The standard model runs $595.00, while the less discreet Decintegrator retails for $495.00.

Well worth it for your home to be affectionately known in the criminal underworld as the house of pain.

Some Kids Were Just Better With Legos Than Others

Let it be known that when the technological hall of fame is built (no doubt by our future robotic overlords), I’d like to nominate Legos as a first ballet entrant.

Sure they aren’t as flashy or “capable” as say your iPhone, but ever since 1949, they’ve been a tool for innovative minds to hone, and show off, their skills through, as well as a consistent source of amusement that has managed to evolve and adapt with the changing world.

While new and exciting Lego creations routinely make the internet rounds, there are a couple fresh ones I had to share today.

First is this amazing “Fallout 3” Pipboy 3000 recreation from Lego aficionado Simon Liu.

Equipped with built in status screen, and functioning knobs and lights, the Lego Pipboy’s design is impressive, and immediately recognizable, but the ace in the hole is the built in FM radio, tuned to the Wasteland’s favorite DJ Three Dog in the demonstration, that takes this invention from “oh cool” to “holy crap” on the Lego creation scale. Further bonus style points are awarded for the “retro meets future” design the device has, which sums up the entire “Fallout” style nicely.

No details on how to make one are currently available, but considering I used to have trouble make even a paltry Lego house, that may be moot.

Of course, in terms of items from the “never be able to build it in a million years” school of Legos, the next design is even greater.

That machine takes the previously simple task of creating and launching a paper plane, and turns it into an automated mass production device that is the envy of any second grader. Constructed by Lego Mindstorms user hknssn13 with almost 7000 Lego bricks, and a few NXT model “smart” Legos for the automated parts, the almost 5 foot long creation builds and launches the perfect paper airplane every time.

No word yet on whether a rubber band launcher of the same design is in the works but, considering the offensive potential of that device, that information may be classified.

Bartendro: The Drink Making Robot that (Probably) Loves to Party

Bartenders are truly some of the greatest people a man can know.

They listen to your problems, always know at least one good joke, will help you scope the girls (and provide useful information on the regulars), and most importantly, disperse sweet lady alcohol in a variety of creative and enticing concoctions.

The one downside? They are usually relegated to just the bar.

Party Robotics is looking to change that by bringing the drink dispensing skills of a bartender to your home through robotics. Their idea is called the Bartendro (because that’s exactly what a robot bartender should be called), and it lets you put a series of tubes into the liquor or mixer bottles of your choice, and then use your tablet or smartphone to send a Wi-Fi drink order to the machine based on the available liquids.

The “how” of the device is complex, but the why should be immediately evident. Coming in designs of 3, 7, or 15 (!) dispensers (a somewhat superfluous single shot model is also available), Bartendro is designed to make the perfectly mixed cocktail at any time, everytime. It’s ideally useful for social gatherings, though honestly once you’ve invested in a cocktail making robot, every day is a party.

Invest early on the device through Kickstarter, and for a full unit it will run you $699 for the 3 tube model, $1,299 for the 7 tube, while $2,499 gets you the 15 tube behemoth in all of its glory.

Bartendro may not be designed to tell jokes and listen to your troubles (yet…) but even at the heavy asking prices, is an incredible representation of the glorious and golden age of alcoholic technological possibilities we live in.

Still, It’d Be Nice If It At Least Knew Your Name

Insanity + Creativity + Ability – Reasoning = Tazer Sword

Trying to decide on a self-defense weapon and can’t make up your mind between a taser and a sword?

Well apparently, and surprisingly, you aren’t the only one as a YouTuber named Jonathanj9969 has created a device that exists as a harmonious union between the gadgets, and has dubbed his creation, simply, the tazer sword

Appropriately for a device that, metaphorically, taser stabs subtlety in the face, there isn’t much more to explain or elaborate on. It’s a friggin taser, built into a friggin sword. When in use? Lighting sword. An honest to God lighting sword.

Oh, and before you question the safety of this device, it protects the user via electrical tape on the handle (naturally), so the only person in danger is the entire rest of the world that doesn’t have one while you do. Bonus child like logic points goes to the electrical plug built into the base of the handle for charging.

If you’re wondering what it looks like in action, or how effective it is, allow the inventor to exhibit more of the judgment skills that no doubt guided him while creating this device, by conceding for one to be used on him, and even getting in a taser sword fight with his buddy.

WARNING!!!!!: The Following Video Contains Bad Language, Extreme Stupidity, and Oddly Fitting Lightsaber Type Sound Effects

You know, I’m disappointed in only two things about this item. First that it will never, ever be available in a retail or military capacity, and that no one bothered to raise the sword above their heads and scream “I HAVE THE POWER!!!!” in either of those videos.

Are Interactive Restaurant Tables the Wave of the Future?

I’m constantly torn between my love of technology, and of the more classic ideas. I couldn’t live without my Galaxy SIII, but refuse to use an e-reader over print books, for instance. I’m particularly adamant about limiting technology when it comes to the kitchen, restaurants, and food in general, where I just think that containing the number of technological advances produces a better atmosphere.

But even I’m finding it hard to not love the e-table designs currently employed in a few restaurants across the world. The most interesting of which belongs to an Asian-Fusion restaurant in the SoHo district of London called Inamo. It looks like a touch screen table, but actually works off of an interactive projection concept that would allow for diners to, among other things, view menus, access a live camera in the kitchen (a somewhat pervy extension of the open kitchen philosophy), play games, change the digital tablecloth, and even project an image of the food onto their plates.

A similar idea from designer Clint Rule places a greater emphasis on social features that would aim to turn the café environment to a much more integrated place with options like voting on music, or sharing what you are reading with others around you and elsewhere.

Neither of these are entirely unique, as this idea has been a popular science fiction mainstay for decades and restaurants here and there for years have employed similar designs. But I believe that one of, or more realistically a combination of, these two ideas represent a real trend that could be seen soon in many more restaurants. Worldwide, eating out is becoming more of a cultural phenomenon than it has ever been as chefs become rockstars, and dishes become worthy of pilgrimage. In that growing environment a certain amount of technological expansion is almost inevitable just as it has been everywhere else. As long as the food remains the draw though, and waiters and waitresses keep their jobs, I see no harm in exploring the benefits and uses of this idea, if for no other reason than it looks pretty damn cool.