March 7th, 2014

Do you enjoy a nice glass of wine?  Well, if you have a smartphone and water, you’re just one step away from a miracle. 

Dubbed, “The Miracle Machine,” this device pairs itself with a complementary smartphone app complete with recipes and a timer to recreate one of history’s greatest occurrences. Simply follow the instructions and in three days, voila. Now it’s your turn to treat the masses.

The Miracle Machine won’t get you into heaven, but it will make life here on earth a bit better. 

(Source: TIME)

December 10th, 2013

The culmination of JBL’s three-city tour celebrating the launch of the Synchros S700 Headphone, will take place this weekend in New York City. DJ D-Nice and DJ Wonder will provide the soundtrack for a day party overlooking the city from the rooftop of the Dream Hotel. The #DareToListen experience kicked off in Los Angeles and went on to Miami. The New York finale is one you don’t want to miss.

October 18th, 2013

Nest Labs, the home hardware maker founded by the creator of the iPod, has unveile its second product, Nest Protect.  The $129 smart device hopes to do for the smoke and carbon monoxide detection market what Nest’s Learning Thermostat did for home temperature control.   

Marketed with the motto, “Safety shouldn’t be annoying,” Nest Protect has features that make it easier to silence during false alarms and includes spoken alerts and color-coded signals rather than the annoying beeping we’re all accustomed to.  The “Heads Up” function will alert homeowners to the presence of smoke or carbon monoxide before it reaches emergency levels and allow them to dismiss the alarm with a simple wave of a hand.  To indicate it has sufficient battery, the device glows green and can even act as a nightlight, glowing faintly when it detects motion in a dark hallway.  The alarm also connects with smart devices allowing users to monitor their homes remotely.  

The Nest Protect is currently undergoing testing, and is expected to go on sale in November.

(Source: Wired)

September 18th, 2013

It was only a matter of time before the wearable technology trend was applied to public transportation.  Two MIT students, Olivia Seow and Edward Tiong, have created Sesame Ring, a 3-D printed ring that also serves as a Boston MBTA CharlieCard through the compatible RFID chip.  Users can swipe the ring at a turnstile for easy entry to the train or refill it at a vending machine or online. 

The duo hopes to expand the idea into other cities and markets. They have exceeded their Kickstarter goal of $5,000 by raising over $19,000.  

(Source: fastcodesign.com)

September 10th, 2013

Is your cellphone’s camera quality not quite cutting it? Tired of carrying a bulky SLR? Sony might have a solution for you with their new QX10 and QX100 pocket lenses. The products are designed to connect to a smartphone wirelessly or through a dock. Sony has created a whole new system that replaces a phone’s camera with a new sensor and glass which allow for better photo quality while still maintaining instant shareability.  

The QX10 and QX100 lenses will retail at $250 and $499 respectively and are expected to hit shelves near the end of September. 

(Source: TechCrunch)

July 22nd, 2013

We know you’ve thought about capture scents before, because we certainly have. Designer, Amy Radcliffe, thought about it and acted on it, which is how she created “Scent-ography: a post-visual past time,” a project that aims to capture the exact aromas you want to last forever.

So, how does she do it? Radcliffe describes it as a simple process: “Just place the plastic dome over the object whose scent you want to extract, then attach an “odor trap” over the central mechanism. The unit is connected to the dome and trap via a set of tubes that suck the scents from the former to the latter.”

The final stage of the project is to replicate the scents in liquid form. She hopes to eventually send the liquids off to a lab where they’ll be capsuled. The final details are very important, as Radcliffe demands she doesn’t want the “fragrances to be confused with perfume because they’re not to be worn, but instead to be experienced.”

For more information on “Scent-ography” visit Amy Radcliffe’s website

(Source: fastcodesign.com)

June 24th, 2013

Startups just don’t come to fruition overnight. Most of the public is unaware of the grueling midnight conversations and tough decisions that take place. Thanks to the Wall Street Journal’s new project, Startup of the Year, we can now see a startup in every phase, including the ups and the downs. 

Launched today, the first week of the documentary series features, Sir Richard Branson, Lynn Tilton, will.i.am and Beth Comstock who share their tips for success, startup qualities, and more. Each of these mentors (and a slew of other thought leaders), will help 24 startups build their businesses by providing valuable insights and challenging them along the way.

At the end of the series, WSJ staff with the help of the mentors will choose which business wins the coveted title of WSJ’s Startup of the Year.

Next week, the 24 startups and their founders will be introduced. Follow the journey on Twitter and on the WSJ Startup blog.

June 17th, 2013

Ever stuck at a street corner with no idea where to eat, drink or what to do? There are countless apps on your iPhone that will tell you where to go but the more apps there are, the more of an effort it takes. With the world’s smartest street sign, Points, you will be pointed to just about any restaurant, bar, or event around town.

With rotating digital panels and ranging sets of data, the gadget shows popular restaurants, upcoming subway train times, or scores of sports games happening in the city.

Although Points was not created for a specific location or application, this new technology would be extremely helpful in a big city, amusement park, or music festival.

(Source: adweek.com)

June 13th, 2013

Tired of that one friend who never pays you back because they “don’t have cash”? Say goodbye to cash payments and a happy hello to Venmo, an iPhone/Android payment app. This app uses bank-grade security systems and data encryption to ensure safe transactions. Just sign in, choose a friend (via phone, email or Facebook), type the amount, and pay!

Not only does it facilitate payments, Venmo also includes a social element. A home screen news feed allows users to browse through your friends’ payment activities, and leave comments on posts their friends have shared.

It’s easy, convenient, and actually kind of fun.

May 24th, 2013

Mercedes-Benz asked users from all over the world to submit their personal Instagram photos to create a digital installation named #Untamed. The most inspiring photos were selected and transported to an urban loft space to revive the scenarios in the images.

(Source: highsnobiety.com)

May 23rd, 2013

Virtual supermarkets are popping up in subway stations in South Korea, where commuters can virtually shop for items while waiting for the train to come. Customers simply scan an item’s QR code using the free "Homeplus" app and can have it delivered to their doorstep before they even get home. Ranked as the 2nd most hard-working country in the world to Japan, South Korea is rewarding its workers with this timesaving gem.

(Source: travel.spotcoolstuff.com)

May 22nd, 2013

Touch and unlock! Kwikset has made it possible for your smartphone to act as your key. Use your iPhone 4s or 5 to lock, unlock, and even send eKeys to your family and friends. Say goodbye to fumbling for keys and memorizing long passcodes!

May 15th, 2013

Sony Xperia ZR is the newest Android smartphone that can be immersed under 5-feet-deep fresh water. Complete with a waterproof 13-megapixel camera, this smartphone lets you venture off dry land and take HD pictures and videos of your underwater adventures.

March 29th, 2013

Navigating New York City’s subway system is about to get a whole lot easier. Later this year, 90 47-inch touchscreen maps will be installed at various stations throughout the five boroughs. The best route to your destination will appear on the screen by simply touching the subway station on the map. 

The “On The Go” kiosks, a partnership between the New York City MTA and Control Group, will also provide a countdown to train arrival, relevant service updates, delays and outages. The kiosks are also outfitted with video cameras, mics and Wi-Fi, enabling two-way communication during emergencies, a feature that would have proven useful during Hurricane Sandy.  

The Wi-Fi will also enable cell phone users to access the Internet and stream content. Tourist attractions and points of interest will be featured according to the weather (i.e. The Wollman Ice Skating Rink in Central Park for the winter) or popularity (i.e. Times Square). With kiosks planned for installation at New York’s 400+ subway stations, tourists (and jaded New Yorkers) will soon be able to rejoice.

(Source: fastcodesign.com)

March 28th, 2013

Did you always want a pet, but didn’t want any of the responsibility? Bandai introduces the new kid on the block, a virtual pet that comes to life through your iPhone. In many ways, TechPet rekindles memories of the 1990’s childhood Tamagotchi toy, which allowed users to also feed, play, groom, and train their pets.

The distinguishing factor, however, is that your TechPet can come to life. Your virtual pet no longer solely lives in an egg-shaped keychain. Virtual pet owners can download the free TechPet app, which enables users to take care of the pet on their phone, but once you plug your iPhone into the main unit (sold separately), your puppy is activated. It interacts by barking, moving, singing, dancing, and conveying facial expressions that you can customize using digital moustaches or hair bows. Though it might not be as cuddly and cute as a real puppy, TechPet offers fun and minimal responsibility for a lifetime of companionship.

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