Do you know what an “Oh wow, that’s really cool!” buy is?
It’s something you buy that’s not necessarily of strong particular use, nor do you have a strong personal desire or need for it, but instead you purchase it just so when someone sees it, you get to hear them say “Oh wow, that’s really cool!” This mostly extends to home or office decoration, but many cars, clothes and other goods have been purchased with the sole intention of producing that effect.
The Qlocktwo from German designers Biegert and Funk (which is just a fantastic 70’s soul band name) definitely accomplishes that, as evidenced by the fact that it was my exact reaction upon seeing it.
In case it wasn’t clear from the picture, the Qlocktwo is a wall clock (with a wristwatch model available) that foregoes the old fashioned number system (which in turn replaced that weird reading shadows thing that apparently was once the rage), and instead tells you the time in a series of phrases like “Half past Two” or “Quarter to Six,” making its communication closer to the same methods we often use to relay that information amongst each other.
Made of wood, available in several languages, and featuring a bright display visible in most any light conditions, the clock updates its message every five minutes, and comes in a variety of models including the mentioned wristwatch Qlocktwo W, an alarm clock compatible Qlocktwo Touch, and a Qlocktwo Large which is an as advertised larger version of the regular model.
It’s a fairly reasonable way to tell the time (because really, who needs to know if its 3:33 exactly?), but this is truly meant as an eye-catching piece you’ll have around the house to show off to anyone who may come through, or in an office when trying to impress guests or just improve the décor for your employees.
Running north of $600 depending on the model and vendor, the Qlocktwo might be expensive eye candy, but it’s some damn fine eye candy and one of the coolest clocks available.
As biking becomes more and more popular due to its financial, health, and environmental benefits, particularly among bearded twenty-somethings in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, we’re starting to see biking culture become a bigger and bigger thing.
For the most part, this has been a tame culture. Some biking outings, a few repair shops here and there, and of course some minor…err…accessorizing. Again though, nothing unusual.
Of course, it was only a matter of time until someone said screw it, and really just crafted something wild for the most eccentric of bicyclists. It turns out that time is now, that someone is MonkeyLetric, and the something wild is a series of LED lights that go on the spokes, and can create an almost limitless amount of images, such as these.
Working off of a 4 piece LED unit that attaches to a bike’s spokes, the Monkey Light Pro is an incredible piece of technology not just because of its ability to create a moving image based on nothing but the bike’s momentum, but because of the creative potential of the images themselves.
Besides a few stock images that come with the device, considering that just about every file type is supported for uploading, and variables such as speed and looping abilities can be implemented, there really appears to be no end to the images that can be created, leading to some amazingly creative examples so far stemming solely from the invention’s creators.
Speeding towards its $180,000 goal on Kickstarter, and requiring a $695 baking to receive one, it’s looking more and more likely that we will be seeing these on the streets sometimes in the future. While it’s hard to tell if this will eventually be annoying, or even hazardous, for right now the creativity of the device makes it one of the more entertaining Kickstarter projects, and the best bicycle wheel enhancer since the baseball card.
While a pretty standard desk on the sides, that LED framed infinity mirror in the middle gives an incredible impression of an infinite void that your monitor, or you, could slip into at any moment (or worse, something the girl from “The Ring” could crawl out of).
The effect, as with most infinity mirrors, is perfect, and the actual design of the desk is that great mix of surprisingly practical and exceptionally nerdy that separates it from the pack.
So while the user leaves no instructions as to its design, and we’re unlikely to ever see a retail model, the desk envy I’m experiencing right now makes me want to take up some design lessons, save up a few hundred bucks, and (to quote John Lennon) “lay down all thought, and surrender to the void.”
How comfortable are you letting technology into your life?
A company called Neurowear is hoping many of you answered “very,” as they get set to roll out a unique pair of headphones designed to read your brainwaves and pick the music that matches your mood.
Using what is called electroencephalography sensors, the “Mico” headphones detect your subconscious and works with its native app to select the track based on your evolving mood and feelings. The headphones even indicate your general outlook through a visual setup built into the sides.
The goal of the Mico is to create what the developers are calling “Music Serendipity,” where you never have to consciously decide on, or physically choose, your music, but can rather sit back and enjoy the perfect playlist, as chosen by your brain.
Debuting to the public at SXSW this year, details on the release timeframe and pricing are scarce. Further questions abound regarding the variety of the music selections, or how your personal music can be integrated, among other functionality queries.
While apps like Moodagent have been performing this same function for years, the idea of it being incorporated into a piece of hardware is somewhat more original. If the user is able to work off a diverse playlist, the pricing and sound quality of the set is right, and the program accomplishes the majority of its promises, then this headset might just be more than an intriguing idea.
In the land of sci-fi cops and criminals battles, the technological advancements to the fight usually comes in natural forms (better weapons, better vehicles, incredible computer systems) to the obscure (detecting crime before it happens, anti-graffiti walls, and of course, the above shown half-man, half-machine law enforcement officers).
Oddly one of the most important, and practical, devices that never seem to get much of an update in the fictitious future of film are the handcuffs. Maybe that’s because most of us just view them as simple restraints, that don’t actually need an upgrade past the purpose of keeping a convict’s hands to themselves.
There is a company called Scottsdale Inventions, though, that has a patent in the works that aims to change that perception. With their new design, handcuffs would provide active, non-violent solutions to truly restraining prisoners. The biggest feature in this is their shock capabilities, which can remotely send taser like voltage to a prisoner through the cuffs. This could be accomplished in a variety of ways, including a remote signal, to setting parameters similar to the shock collar on a dog. Items that are also off limits like weapons or door handles could be tagged so that going near them would send a shock as well.
Should the shocks prove to be ineffective, the cuffs have one more trick available, that could allow an injection of presumably pacifying drugs to be administered in extreme situations. This would either be in the form of a liquid or gas injection system.
Even in the early prototype model, there is already a very strong emphasis on safety and prevention. Early examples of this include visual and audio warnings that alert the detainee if a shock or shot is coming. The cuffs will also keep a record of the time, quantity, and severity of shocks and injections, as well as function as a tracking device.
While flying cars and android officers might be the more exciting and flashy images of future law enforcement, it’s devices like these handcuffs that will ultimately provide the real futuristic contributions to the war on crime.
As someone who likes a good road trip (I think anyone who lives in the midwest likes a good road trip), I’m always looking for anything to make my trip smoother, more comfortable, more enjoyable. For me, car chargers are a must, and the newest release from Santok looks to replace every adapter I’ve owned.
As you can see, Santok’s little beauty features a splitter for two cigarette lighters and two usb ports, giving you the power to charge four devices at once. Gone are the days of neglecting your GPS because you need your cell phone, or letting your iPod die because you need your GPS. The company website has yet to list any pricing, but for me, this one’s worth a little wait.