No One Panic, but the Wheel May Have Just Been Reinvented


I’ve covered a lot of Kickstarter projects on this site, as the crowd funding behemoth proves to be an infinite source for the latest, and most interesting, projects currently out there.

But of all those Kickstarter projects, few have ever been so bold as a seemingly simple invention called the Shark Wheel, which claims to have reinvented the wheel.

It’s origin story is much humbler than its aspirations, as the story goes that one day creator David Patrick was playing around trying to get six pieces of interlocking cable to fit into a cube (which is apparently how eccentric geniuses entertain themselves), when he realized that upon dropping his created design, the shape he’d formed not only rolled, but rolled smoothly over a long stretch of ground.

As a lifelong skateboarder, David immediately realized the potential of this design, and modified it to create the Shark Wheel, a somewhat warped interpretation of the standard wheel that is designed to specifically reduce the amount of direct contact with the ground. Among other things, the benefits of that approach includes faster speed, better grip and control, and the ability to provide both of those features in wet or uneven terrain. In other words, by shifting the model of the traditional wheel slightly, it manages to provide the most desirable aspects of the regular skateboard wheel in a way that the old design cannot.

Now, the term skateboard wheel is being thrown around here, because that is the sole intention of this design’s function at the moment, as the Shark’s kickstarter campaign will net you 4 longboard wheels for a $50 donation.

While the inventor insists this design is not currently intended for use on an automobile or any other wheel dependent vehicle, it is nonetheless impressive that someone out there has managed to accomplish what was previously only referenced in terms of a joke and has actually improved the wheel, even if it is only in one specific capacity. It does go to show though that there is an infinite world of creative possibilities still to be explored, and, on its own, looks to be an impressive piece of design that any skateboarder should be intrigued by.


The Keyprop: An Unconventional Phone Stand You Might Actually Use


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.


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


Could the Mycestro Conduct a New Age For the Wireless Mouse?

I’ve never had a problem with the traditional wireless mouse. It’s comfortable, accurate, reliable, installs without hassle, and are generally cheap. There’s never really been a reason to question or dream of an alternative, until they perfect motion systems that is.

It appears there is an alternative in the meantime though, and it is more intriguing than I would have thought.

Called the Mycestro, it’s billed as a 3D mouse and is currently rocketing past the asking goals on Kickstarter. It’s a bluetooth enabled finger clip-on and serves as a lightweight micro sized mouse substitute, that functions off of a touch sensitive panel built into the side. Sliding your finger up and down the panel allows for the traditional scroll movements, while pressure sensitive areas serve as the right, left, and middle click. There’s an eight hour plus battery life, USB charging port, and impressive functionality range of 30 feet.

The benefits of the Mycestro mostly seem to stem from its incredibly small size which ensures its functionality in even the most cramped and awkward of set ups, and also it’s minimal movement for maximum results design style. As also demonstrated by the video, it is particularly ideal for a PC to TV set up, or even instances like manipulating your computer from a distance, while say in the kitchen or on the phone.

I’m less convinced though about its practicality at more complex movement required games like first person shooters and, though this is addressed directly, I still believe it would at least be initially awkward while typing. Attempting to ghost the motions this device would require while typing this gives me the impression that it would be a suitable mouse alternative, but I’m not sure exactly how beneficial it is for everyday use.

Still though if it’s functionally sound, the potential freedom it offers could be well worth the initial adjustment period. For a $79.00 minimum backing you can reserve one for when they ship later this year, and see for yourself if this Mycestro’s work is an earth shattering movement, or unfinished symphony.