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Smart

In some products, connected features seem forced. One place that they really make sense is in fitness, where the ability to track data can actually make a noticeable difference in performance. A new entry into that space is called Sophia, and it brings smart features to the humble skipping rope. Read More

The Smart Fortwo might be one of the smaller cars on the road, but fill it to the brim with audio equipment and it can still be one of the loudest. Working with audio equipment firm JBL, Smart has kitted out a one-of-a-kind "Forgigs" concept. It has ear-splitting maximum outputs of 5,720 W and 150 dB.

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French luggage manufacturer Delsey has revealed a prototype connected smart bag. Known as Pluggage, the bag links to a companion app, and offers various features such as fingerprint unlocking, location tracking and a built-in smartphone charger. The company is currently asking potential customers to vote for their favorite features, a number of which will be included in the final product. Read More

There have been several attempts to improve upon the basic umbrella in recent years – the Rain Shield, which offers shelter from the wind; the Air umbrella, which uses a fan to stop the rain; and Nubrella, which is worn like a space helmet. Now, we have the smartphone-connected Kisha. Read More

If a new crowdfunding campaign is successful, yet another "smart bike" will soon be available to consumers. Called the BiCi, it was designed by a team from Shanghai-based AOAO Studio after a four-month period of focusing on "what the perfect bike should be." The end result certainly looks unique, if nothing else. Read More
A new Kickstarter campaign aims to make the deodorant stick more environmentally friendly by cutting back on plastic packaging. By replacing the disposable stick with a reusable dispenser, ClickStick's designers claim plastic waste is cut by as much as 90 percent. That's a sound idea, but one that risks undoing its good work by overcomplicating a simple product. Read More
While Wi-Fi-enabled lighting like the Phillips Hue is nothing new, it still requires making lighting changes via a smartphone app. Stack Lighting, on the other hand, embeds the necessary smarts directly in the bulb, enabling the device to read room conditions and adjust its lighting accordingly, with little to no effort by the user. Read More
Google's Inbox is the latest interface for Gmail, both on the web (only through a Chrome browser at the moment) and via mobile apps for iOS and Android. It's a major and almost entirely positive upgrade to the Gmail experience. But if we're honest, the best thing about using it for the past week is finally being freed of that bloated, boring and increasingly clunky Gmail interface that's needed an overhaul for a few years now. Read More
As the Internet of Things starts to take hold, we're seeing the emergence of gadgets equipped with all kinds of sensors to improve the world around us, from energy-saving climate control systems to smart locks for the front door. But have you ever thought about how sound might be measured and used to bring another level of automation? For the last two years, the Ear-IT project has been monitoring acoustics in the Spanish city of Santander, and says the results could improve the lives of its residents in ways ranging from improved traffic flow to energy savings in the home. Read More
Many cities around the world are experiencing a massive upswing in commuter cycling. But often the vehicles of choice for these motivated nine-to-fivers is either a mountain bike converted for the road, or a road bike converted for shorter trips. At least that's the way Washington-based engineer David Lupafya sees it, whose sleek Rogue C6 bicycle is aimed at walking the line between comfort and durability. Read More
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