The Noke padlock launched on Kickstarter last August, resonating with backers who liked the idea of a Bluetooth-connected padlock. Since then, other smart padlocks have hit the market, such as ones by Master Lock and Quicklock. The Noke padlock has recently started shipping to backers, and although it may not be the first available to consumers, it's possibly the smartest and most secure. We spent some time with the Noke to lock down its strengths and weaknesses.
Recently, showers like the Nebia and the Hamwell's e-Shower have launched to help us save water when showering. The WaterDrop foldable watering can, however, takes a much simpler approach. It is designed to collect the average 3.5 l (0.8 gal) of water we waste waiting for the shower to warm up.
Waterproofs and ponchos might keep you dry when you're out for a walk, but they don't really cut it when you're on a bike. Your arms and legs are left exposed and it can make for a cold, wet and miserable ride. The Boncho waterproof, however, acts like a pop-up tent to keep cyclists dry.
Advancements in connected security systems have provided people with affordable, user-friendly ways to keep an eye on things when no one is home. The latest product from Amderstam-based Amaryllo incorporates robotics and smart features for enhanced vigilance. The iCamPro Deluxe camera is designed to talk, hear, detect faces, and track intruders with 360-degree movement.
When most people think of a folding bicycle, they likely picture something with small wheels and a funny-looking frame. That's why several years ago, Finnish designer Ulf Laxström created the FUBi – it's a folding bike with full-size wheels and a more-or-less traditional-looking frame. Now, his son Zakarias has introduced the FUBifixie. It's even more normal in appearance, plus it offers some other advantages over the original.
Unwelcome color, nasty distortion and unnatural reproduction. Those are the kind of annoying qualities that loudspeaker housing made from cheap materials can add to the listening experience. This has led some audio designers to look for a high density and weighty solution to the cabinet vibration problem. Concrete. Though that does perhaps produce images in the mind of boring and ugly monoliths dropping through the living room floor to the basement below, Germany's Concrete Audio and Italy's Digital Habit(s) would beg to differ. Now Los Angeles-based Hult Design is hoping to join the concrete party with a crowdfunding effort aimed at bringing its Pavilion speakers to market.
Compact solar panels have been around for some time, but in a trade-off with portability many are too small to generate practical amounts of electricity over short periods. New designs, such as the Yolk Solar Paper, are capable of generating more electricity while maintaining a slim profile, but the HeLi-on further expands on the idea of portable power generation with a flexible solar cell that rolls out from a compact package to soak up more rays.
Jellyfish are so relaxing to watch that they're the bonsai tree or lava lamps of the pet world. Unfortunately, they're also so fragile that they can't be kept in conventional saltwater aquaria, so they need to be kept in special tanks. In 2011, Jellyfish Art introduced its first tank and now is rolling out an improved version on Kickstarter called the Jellyfish Cylinder Nano, which boasts a self-contained support system and LED lights.
Losing a wallet is always a massive headache, both for the financial loss and the hassle involved in cancelling cards. In order to prevent such incidents, a team of designers based in Rotterdam has created a smart wallet range enabled with wireless technology, which they claim makes the wallet and its contents 100 percent secure.
It was three years ago that we first heard about inventor Benjamin Krempel's PumpTire – it was a prototype bicycle tire that used wheel motion to keep itself inflated. While it was an interesting idea, it would require users to give up their existing tires, plus the peristaltic pumping mechanism would be compromised once the tread wore away. Well, he has now come up what sounds like a better alternative: the PumpTube.