World’s Smallest Playable Harmonica

Posted By Ben Goulding, 17 February, 2010 | permalink


(Youtube Link)

The guys over at Vat19.com make some of the coolest products. One of their latest inventions is the world’s smallest playable harmonica, which is 3.5cm long, called the Little Lady.

In addition to being the world’s smallest playable harmonica, the Little Lady also holds the distinction of being the first musical instrument played in space!

This miniature harmonica is fully playable, featuring a range of one whole octave. Boasting Hohner’s legendary craftsmanship, the Little Lady’s brass reeds and pearwood comb produce a full and lively sound.

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Hacked Wiimote Keeps Your Keyboard Alive

Posted By Ben Goulding, 15 February, 2010 | permalink

keyboard-keep-alive-circuit

We’ve all had to suffer the pain, anger and frustration caused by our computers going to sleep at the worst possible time, but how do we solve this problem whilst remaining energy efficient, as well as productively efficient, on and off the computer?

Well, Todd Harrison has used some pretty neat physics to combat tired computer syndrome. Here he explains all:


(Youtube Link)

keyboard-keep-alive-circuit_2-500x374

Via Hacked Gadgets

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No More Spoons With Self Stirring Mug

Posted By Ben Goulding, 15 February, 2010 | permalink

Are you one of those people who just don’t have the energy it takes to stir a cup of coffee? Can’t be bothered to find a spoon? Wish the coffee would stir itself? Well now it can, with the help of the ’self stirring’ mug.

self_stirring_mug

Inside this mug is a spinning plastic disk that frappes your drink into a whirling blended maelstrom of deliciousness, although at $18.99 each, you might want to stick with a spoon.

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Revolutionizing Bookbinding With Revolver Bound Books

Posted By Ben Goulding, 5 November, 2009 | permalink


(Youtube Link)

Revolver Bound Books and Journals revolutionizes the ancient art of bookbinding with this patent-pending binding technique that allows the journal to turn inside out and back again around a floating spine – actively demonstrating that there are indeed two sides to every story.

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Spectacles Automatically Translate Spoken Words and Phrases

Posted By Ben Goulding, 3 November, 2009 | permalink

Translation Glasses

Japanese manufacturer NEC, has unveiled a pair of glasses that can automatically translate spoken words and phrases and beam a translation on to the lens.

The Tele Scouter glasses feature a compact microphone and camera, which picks up the foreign-language conversation. This audio recording is then relayed to a small computer worn on the user’s waist, which transmits the information to a remote server. The server translates the words from speech to text, and transmits it back to the glasses, where the translated phrase is then appears on a tiny retinal display, providing the wearer with a transcript of the conversation in their own language.

The invention is still a a prototype, although NEC plans to start selling the system to businesses next year, although it comes with a heafty price tag – $8.2 million for a single system that could serve up to 30 people. Ouch!

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Autonomous Indoor Robotic Helicopters

Posted By Ben Goulding, 26 October, 2009 | permalink


(Youtube Link)

Advances in autonomous helicopters have been many over the years, but as far as we can tell, there’s essentially no limit to how awesome they can get. MIT’s recently developed an autonomous, robotic helicopter which is also able to navigate itself intelligently through a changing environment. The helicopter, which is equipped with a dual-camera array and a laser scanner, maps its terrain in real time, identifying changes along the way. An integrated autonomous exploration module allows the heli to interact with the changing, unknown environment it is mapping.

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The Ultimate ‘Should I Get That Gadget’ Decision Flowchart

Posted By Ben Goulding, 22 October, 2009 | permalink

Gagdet Flowchart

Not sure if you should get that new gadget or not? This flowchart will help you make your decision.

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Weird Gadget of the Day: The Solafeet Foot Tanner

Posted By Ben Goulding, 20 October, 2009 | permalink

solar foot tanner

Here is the Solafeet Foot Tanner, and this is (apparently) why you need to buy it:

If you always feel like people are gawking at your white feet and the unsightly tan lines around your ankles when you wear sandals or pumps, then you need the Solafeet foot tanner. Those tan lines can be gone in 5 to 10 days with just fifteen minutes a day. Then you can go from the golf course to the clubhouse in confidence.

What?! Are people really so insecure that they need to buy a $229.99 foot tanner to get rid of ‘white lines’ around their ankles? I may be naive, but this single appliance sums up everything that is wrong with the world … everything!

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New Fan Technology By Dyson Is Awesome

Posted By Ben Goulding, 15 October, 2009 | permalink

The Dyson Air Multiplier fan works very differently to conventional fans. It uses new technology to draw in air and amplify it 15 times. With no blades or grille, it’s safe, easy to clean and doesn’t cause unpleasant buffeting.

Dyson explain the technology as ‘air being accelerated through an annular aperture and over a 16° airfoil-shaped ramp, generating an uninterrupted stream of smooth air. Huh? This video fully explains how the technology works so we can all understand it.


(Youtube Link)

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A Futuristic Rubik’s Cube

Posted By Ben Goulding, 25 September, 2009 | permalink

glass-rubiks-cube

What you see before you eyes is what a Rubik’s Cube would look like if it was made from glass. Just be careful not to drop it. Although, having said that, having a cube made out of glass could be a pretty clever marketing strategy. From my own experience, people often struggle with Rubik’s Cubes, they then get frustrated and throw the cube onto the floor, there is then a 50% chance that they will proceed to stamp on the cube and beat it senseless. Unlike the traditional plastic cube, the glass one would obviously smash and hence need replacing… You get my drift.

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And The Winner Of The Worst Gadget Of All Time Is…

Posted By Ben Goulding, 25 September, 2009 | permalink

shower radio

Whilst there are many pathetic gadgets out there that have been brought to market by crazy inventors wanting to make a quick buck, one stands out as being the worst of the worst – the shower radio.

That’s right, the shower radio has been voted as the worst household gadget of all time due to it’s tuning issues, not to mention the fact that it was impossible to hear over the sound of the tumbling water – hence making it completely pointless.

Battery-powered candles came second and the electric nail file was third. The classic 1980s SodasStream drink-maker was fourth and the Teasmaid was fifth.

The Sheilas’ Wheels Home Insurance study of 3,000 women also revealed the television as the greatest household gadget ever made.

Here’s a run down of the full results for the best and worst gadgets in history:

TOP 20 WORST HOUSEHOLD GADGETS: 1. Shower radio 2. Electric candles 3. Electric nail file 4. Soda Stream 5. Teasmaid 6. Pancake maker 7. Fondue set 8. Electric fluff remover 9. Facial tanner 10. Egg slicer 11. Deep fat fryer 12. Hair crimpers 13. Electric popcorn maker 14. Waffle iron 15. Electric carving knife 16. Digital photo frame 17. Back scratcher 18. Electric can opener 19. Electric facial massager 20. Mini disc player

TOP 20 GREATEST HOUSEHOLD GADGETS: 1. Television 2. Microwave 3. Vacuum cleaner 4. Hair dryer 5. Kettle 6. DVD player 7. Hair straighteners 8. Mobile phone 9. Telephone 10. Laptop 11. Television remote control 12. Digital camera 13. Alarm clock 14. Electric toothbrush 15. Computer 16. Bathroom scales 17. Toaster 18. Electric shower pump 19. Iron 20. Mp3 player ENDS

Some of you may not agree with these results, so from your own experience, what is the worst gadget you have ever owned, and why? Are there any gizmos in the above lists that you think shouldn’t be there? Let us know.

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A Gadget To Detect Autism In Children

Posted By Ben Goulding, 16 September, 2009 | permalink

lena-gadget

LENA provides accurate and critical information about children’s language environment and speech patterns to help detect autism.

What is LENA? LENA is the only technology that automatically collects and analyzes information about a child’s natural language environment and development. The LENA feedback reports help parents improve a child’s cumulative language experience and accelerate that child’s language and cognitive development, and preparedness for school.
Who is LENA for? Parents and caregivers of children ages 0 to 4.

Why is it important? Several hundred research studies over the last 50 years document the importance of talking to and interacting with your baby, especially during the first three years. Groundbreaking research by two renowned university researchers, Drs. Betty Hart, Ph.D., and Todd Risley, Ph.D., revealed that the quantity of talk a child experienced between birth and age 3 directly correlated with the child’s IQ and vocabulary size. The LENA Foundation was founded based on the key elements of this study and our own normative study shows that saying 17,000 words per day, which is equal to the 85th percentile, will greatly enhance your child’s potential.

Who developed it? A team of world-class scientists, including experts in linguistics, speech recognition technology, computer engineering, speech analysis, statistics, speech language pathology, language research and developmental pediatrics. Recognizing that achievement gaps already exist at kindergarten entry, LENA was developed to give parents useful information to help ensure they are providing the richest language environment possible to their children during the critical years between birth and age 4, before they enter school.

How does it work? Parents follow a simple three-step process, 2-3 times a month:

1. In the morning, slip the LENA Digital Language Processor (DLP) into the pocket of specially designed LENA clothing.
2. At the end of the day, plug the DLP into your PC. The audio data will transfer and software analysis begins.
3. View your reports to analyze your conversations, identify patterns of talk throughout the day and receive percentile rank information.

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Bowlingual Translates Dog Barks Into Words

Posted By Ben Goulding, 20 July, 2009 | permalink

Bowlingual. Image: AFP

Bowlingual. Image: AFP

The Bowlingual, a gadget that analyzes a dog’s bark to detect its emotion, is being relaunched.

Japanese toy maker, Takara Tomy produced the Bowlingual. The device is able to analyse the acoustics of a dog’s bark and translate it into words. It focuses on six emotions including sadness joy and frustration and is able to convey these emotions to a human.

The Bowlingual Voice was first put on sale in 2002, however today’s model is much more technologically advanced. It consists of a microphone which is attached to the dog and a hand-held unit device. When the dog barks, the technology is able to translate the sound into words displayed on the hand-held device which attempts to tell the user what the dog is trying to say.

A good idea, but is it really needed? Dogs aren’t the most complicated of creatures. Surely an owner could take an educated guess at why the dog is barking. It doesn’t have too many thoughts or demands does it? Having said that, with 300,000 orders of the first Bowlingual, maybe it’s a must-have gadget.

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Einstein Robot Teaches Itself To Smile

Posted By Ben Goulding, 11 July, 2009 | permalink

Einstein Robot. Image: Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego

Researchers at the University of California have created a robot that can teach itself facial expressions. When we were infants we taught ourselves to smile and frown and be aware of our facial expressions. Well, this very clever gadget works in the same way.

The Einstein robot had previously required individually programmed facial movements, however with the use of facial recognition software, through a trial-and-error technique it can now teach itself to change it’s face until it achieves a real expression or emotion.

Today, Einstein is able to express emotions like joy, sadness, anger and surprise. Check out the video!

Eureka!

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Hello Kitty Shocks The World

Posted By bobdoff, 10 July, 2009 | permalink

Hello Kitty Taser. Image: Hello Kitty Hell

Struggling to think what present to get your 7 year old daughter or want to find a special Christmas gift for your angelic pre-school niece? How about a nice plush cuddly Disney toy? Or may be pair of ballet shoes? Better still, why not purchase something from the Hello Kitty range? You can’t go wrong with that. Can you? Well, check out the latest technological gadget from the cartoon cat with a girlie image?

It looks a little like a hairdryer but you wouldn’t want be staring down the wrong end of this beauty. This creation is a custom version of the Taser C2, packed with 50,000 volts of sense-depriving electricity and a range of 15 feet. Now what idiot came up with this idea? Who in their right mind is going to buy a pink taser? Normal people will not buy these for their friends and family and hardened criminals and street gangs will surely be put off by the pink casing.

Is this a case of inappropriate branding? What next? The Rugrats revolver? Disney knuckle-dusters? Barney thumb screws?

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Rubik’s Cube Inventor Releases New Puzzle

Posted By Ben Goulding, 6 July, 2009 | permalink

Professor Erno Rubik, who sold over 350 million Rubik’s Cubes since 1980 is set to launch a new puzzle onto the market next week.

Rubik 360The game is called the “Rubik’s 360.” The 360 is a clear plastic ball holding six small balls of different colors. Players must get the colored balls from an inner sphere into matching slots on the outer sphere by shaking them through a middle sphere that has only two holes.

The Rubik’s 360 is set to repeat the success of the maddening Cube, which became an overnight sensation almost three decades ago and remains the world’s fastest-selling toy.

“I feel that the 360 is one of the most innovative and exciting puzzles we’ve developed since the Cube — adopting elements of my original design, challenging the solver to use skill, dexterity and logic,” Rubik said in a statement.

Priced at $14.99, the 360 is set to be a big success, following in the footsteps of the cube. If you get your hands on one of these spheres let us know what you thought of it? Is it any match for the legendary cube?

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