Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Alan Brandon

Metaklett steel hook-and-loop fastener

A new material called Metaklett is like hook-and-loop (“Velcro”) made out of steel and much scarier. One side of the material bristles with sharp spikes and the other side has jagged steel brushes. Looking something like the mouth of a prehistoric shark, a square meter of Metaklett can support up to 35 metric tons and withstand heat of up to 800 degrees Celsius. Developed at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, researchers borrowed from the traditional hook-and-loop concept to design a fastener for extreme loads and environments such as automotive, building, or military applications.  Read More

The Panasonic DMC-FZ38

The Lumix DMC-FZ38 is an incremental update to Panasonic’s line of compact super-zoom cameras. Based on the FZ28, the new FZ38 boasts 12.1 megapixels, an 18x wide zoom, and 720p HD video with stereo audio and the AVCHD Lite recording format. And, remarkably, it can also recognize your family and friends.  Read More

The Olympus µ TOUGH-6010

Whether you’re a snow-sports adrenaline junkie, inveterate beach goer, or just like gear that can take a few bumps, Olympus µ TOUGH-6010 may be the camera for you. Shockproof, waterproof, and even freezepoof to -10°C (14°F), the µ TOUGH-6010 combines compact style with a rugged chassis and an arsenal of shooting features including dual-image stabilization, advanced face detection, and i-Auto scene selection mode.  Read More

The Brunton Flip-N-Drip coffee maker

The Flip-N-Drip is a lightweight, compact coffee maker from camping equipment manufacturer Brunton that makes it dead simple to brew a hot cup of joe while you’re out in the backcountry. Simply boil water in the carafe, attach the filter and mug, and flip the whole thing over. In about 10 minutes you’ll be sipping your favorite java blend.  Read More

Yoostar brings green-screen technology to your home to put you in movie scenes next to you...

Put yourself in the spotlight - and into your favorite movie scenes - with Yoostar. Consisting of a 'studio-grade' webcam, a portable green screen, a remote control, and PC software, Yoostar lets you act out roles from your favorite films while recording your performance and digitally adding it to the original. You can insert yourself into scenes alongside Marilyn Monroe or the Blues Brothers and save your movie as a YouTube-ready clip. Yoostar comes with 12 movie scenes and two bonus scenes, with additional clips available for download from Yoostar’s website.  Read More

Sony's Alpha A550 and A500 DSLRs feature two live view focus modes, in-camera HDR, and low...

Sony has announced two new cameras in its Alpha range of consumer-oriented DSLRs. The DSLR-A550 and the DSLR-A500 feature two live-view focus modes, in-camera high dynamic range (HDR) capability, and low-light performance with sensitivity of up to 12800 ISO. The new Alphas also feature tilting 3in (7.6cm) LCDs as well as a new in-camera SteadyShot feature.  Read More

The iRobot Warrior 700 provides a versatile accessory platform

The new iRobot Warrior 700 robot looks like the (much) bigger brother of the company’s PackBot. In fact the Warrior is a much larger, more powerful platform designed to deliver, well, PackBots (among other missions). The Warrior 700 can carry a PackBot at the end of an articulated arm, and insert the it through a window for reconnaissance, explosive ordnance disposal, rescue, or other missions.  Read More

The eniCycle is a self-balancing electric unicycle

The eniCycle is the latest entry in the increasingly crowded self-stabilizing electric unicycle market. Developed by Slovenian inventor Aleksander Polutnik, the eniCycle has Segway-like balancing capabilities but only a single wheel. With its three-hour battery and lean-to-go controls, this diminutive one-wheeler prototype brings Jetsons-type technology one step closer to reality.  Read More

The Joby Gorillatorch features flexible legs and magnetic feet

Joby, creator of the bendy Gorillapod camera tripod, has announced a hands-free flashlight called the Gorillatorch. Consisting of an LED lamp unit mounted on a Joby flexible tripod, the Gorillatorch’s design lets you twist and bend the legs around to position the light just where you need it.  Read More

Camera cube level mounts on your camera's hot shoe

In photography, sometimes you want to shoot from the hip and capture the moment as it happens. Other times you want everything in perfect alignment, with straight verticals and flat horizons. This camera cube level can help you keep your shots, well, level.  Read More

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