Gadgets of the Future

Tech toys and gadgets are my favorite types of posts, and today I have some really good toys for you.

Stemless Wineglass Tray

A restaurant in Japan (of course, always Japan, Korea or China the tech giants of the world) came up with this solution for their servers to carry more wine glasses. This has nothing to do with technology, yet it shows how something so simple could be so useful. I wish I had thought of that.

Tray that carries multiple wine glasses at the same time

Stemless wineglass holder

This is not sold in the US yet, (if it is then shoot me a link).

Sunken Cellar

Speaking of wine… no self respecting wine drinker should be without this, it is just cool. Talk about space saving– your wine is accessed via a trap door!

Trap door in the kitchen opens to store wine

Trap door stores wine underground

 

The Spiral Cellar system was developed in 1978 by a Frenchman who saw that few modern houses had wine cellars, but that people still needed a place to store their wine. If a wine-lover has a serious collection it can quickly outgrow wine racks and refrigerator units. So he came up with the Spiral Cellar design, which uses the earth to insulate and create good storage conditions. It does this, however, in a fraction of the space of a regular cellar. It also can maintain a constant temperature with no power required.

A spiral cellar is dug into the floor by a professional team, and the cellar storage itself is created from concrete wrapped in a watertight lining. Passive ventilation keeps the temperature around 55°, an ideal temperature for wine storage. There are several sizes, holding from 1000-1600 bottles. Source http://www.thekitchn.com/

James Bond type garage

This is definitely something you can’t buy on Amazon. Ebay? Maybe.

Paved ground lifts up to reveal garage

Underground garage

This is definitely what I call a space saver. My other thought on this is that there is no room for error in parking. You have to line the car up just right.  I am guilty of parking crooked, in my defence I always park between the lines. With this I’d have to be more diligent. No thanks. What do you think?

Solar powered car charging station

I think I may have seen this somewhere in Albuquerque. That would work perfectly out here since we have 300 + days of sunshine.

Public solar car port for charging electric cars.

Solar Powered carport

Someone need to come up with a portable solar charging station for your devices. Put it outside to catch some rays, then bring it inside and plug everything in. Boom you’re good.

Hour glass traffic light

A spin on the boring old traffic lights? You can’t tell me this isn’t cool.

Traffic light shaped like an hour glass

Hour glass traffic light

No more light turning from green straight to red, yes it happens and I have the ticket to prove it.

Hope you enjoyed this edition of tech toys and other gadgets. Please leave your comments below, I look forward to it.

Cheers!

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Cool Gadgets You Should Know About

Dual service tea station

What the hell is this called?

 

Creative Packaging – Innovative or Just Plain WTH?

This week I’d like to share with you some creative packaging used in marketing products we use everyday, some have been launched and some are… well let’s just say still on the drawing board. Let me know what you think— Innovative or just plain what the hell?

The MILK carton

According to the creators, the dimensions are the same as a regular two-liter carton of milk.  ”It represents the content of the product in the simplest way, both through word and image.” Duh.

Innovative milk carton

Designed by Julien De Repentigny in collaboration with Gabriel Lefebvre

Source: http://www.visualadvice.com/Milk

The dimensions may be the same as a regular 2 liter carton, but in my opinion you will get less milk because the content flows into the letters and wouldn’t the letters hold less? What do you think Innovative or what the hell?

Salt & Pepper Cell Shaker by Antrepo Design Industry

Antrepo Design Industry is a company located in Turkey. This speaks for itself and is available in turquoise, white, black or red. Click to get the pair now.

D cell battery salt and pepper shaker

Photo by Fubiz.net

Wine in a can by Jens Andersson & Jonas Forsman

Wine in a can makes it simple to take your wine on the go.  Each can holds a wine glass worth of wine. I guess you’d have to carry more cans if you are a heavy wine drinker. I wonder if they make these in a 6-pack? Avoid the hassle of wineglasses, opener and fragile bottle. This is a small convenient packaging totally made from aluminum, from which you drink like a glass. The cans are recycled in the same way as conventional aluminum cans.
Read more

Wine in a can new product design

Wine in a can. Photo by Yanko design

The can is kind of snazzy I like it!

Hanger Tea by Soon Mo Kang

I love this. Definitely innovative!  This serves dual purpose as tea bag holder and a tea infuser.

Tea bag hanger and infuser

Photo by Yanko Design

So what do you think? Innovative or WTH and would your buy these if you had the chance— well except for the battery salt and pepper shaker which you can buy now.

Enjoyed this article? Check out related articles you might have missed.

Tech Talk – Print Your Own Clothes

Clothes printer 2

What if you never had to do laundry ever again? Or chose an apartment without taking into consideration the size of its closets?  What if you never have to wear the same outfit twice? What if you could imagine an item of clothing push a button and it appears? Think this is far out? Not if industrial designer Joshua Harris has his way.

Travel Tips and Technology

Dry cleaning hanger

The Smart Hanger is a portable garment care device that doubles up as a dry-cleaner. Volatilized air air-washes off unpleasant smells and kills clothing germs and molds without causing any damage to clothes. Ideal for suits, dresses, uniforms or outdoor jackets that are difficult to wash at home. Smart Hanger offers an instant cleaning option.

Trampoline Roads, Coming to a Country Near You

Photograph by Caters News Agency

Photograph by Caters News Agency

The trampoline road is made of black rubber and runs through the Nikola-Lenivets forest in South-West Russia (I’m packing my bags right now). Personally I think it’s a great idea, here’s why: • An alternative mode of transportation. • Better for the environment. • Exercise. • Ohmygoddness FUN!

COOL GADGETS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT

One of the many reasons I love what I do is finding new cool gadgets and bringing them to you.  If you have tried any or know anyone who have tried these cool gadgets drop me a line I’d love to share some feed back.

Aegis Passlock 16 GB USB by Apricorn 

Password protected USB

Aegis Secure USB by Apricorn

The 16 GB Aegis Secure Key, USB 2.0 flash drive with pin number access, wear resistant keys and 256-bit AES Hardware Encryption is PIN activated, does not require any software or drivers. PC, MAC, Linux compatible and works with any USB/USB on-the-go devices.

On Apricorn’s website you can find 4, 8, 16 or 32 GB drives at different price ranges. Amazon had better prices, click here to check it out in the Plain Talk Shop powered by Amazon.

Table Grill by Eva Solo

Portable table grill

Table Grill by Eva Solo

This portable outdoor grill is made of fireproof porcelain and stainless steel. Take it anywhere grilling is allowed. It weighs 11 lbs. and measures 12″ x 10 1/4″. It sits on a wood trivet, great for parks, beaches, camping or any place you fancy.

The Table Grill retails on Amazon for $295 US. Check it out in the Plain Talk Shop.

Flip On/off Alarm clock by Lexon

Simple alarm clock turn over to stop alarm

Flip ON Flip Off alarm clock by Lexcon

The best inventions are the simplest. Check out this flipping alarm clock designed by Lexon. ON side up when you want to it to alarm, flip it over when you don’t (or is it the other way around :-) ) It’s that simple.

This cool gadget is available is an array of colors, green, purple, blue, red, neon you name it. It is powered by 2 AAA batteries and made of ABS rubber, its dimensions are 4.13″ x 2.56″ x 1.14″.

It retails for $44.95 US. Click here to compare.

Glow in the Dark iPhone Skin

Glow in the dark iPhone skin

Glow wrap by Slickwrap

I’m not on the iPhone or Apple bandwagon but that doesn’t mean I can’t take a peek at the super cool gadgets out there.

Made from a  photo-luminescent plastic-like material, according to the manufacturer it is “very durable and will not stretch”.  They also claim that the wrap “improves the phone’s reception”. Please somebody try this and let me know. So I guess you could have a crappy phone carrier and still get “improved reception?

Here’s another claim by the manufacturer: “This material also recharges in minutes and will glow brighter and longer than the original iGlowPhone”.

This cool gadget retails for $24.95 US. 

Feel free to contact the manufacturer here.

Breakfast Sandwich Maker by Hamilton Beach

All in one toaster, egg maker by Hamilton Beach

Breakfast sandwich maker by Hamilton Beach

Now you have no excuse to miss breakfast. Check out this handy kitchen helper. Muffins, bagels, biscuit, then add your eggs, bacon, breakfast patty, maybe some cheese, then wait for it…. breakfast sandwich to go!

The best part is that all the parts are removable and dishwasher safe. My kind of thing.

This retails for $24.00 US. There are other more popular versions that you can make coffee while toasting bread and frying, I liked this one because it’s not very common, and it saves space with its compact design. Click here to buy. You know you want one.

Can you name this?

Tea pourer?

What the hell is this?

I’m going to need your help on this one. Someone sent me this and I’ve searched the internet high and low to find out what it is, who manufactures it and where can I get one. Know what I came up with? Nothing. If you know anything about this cool gadget please please drop me a line!

That’s all folks! Until next time.

Cheers!

Spotlight on New Mexico – The McDonald Ranch House

In 1945, the first atomic bomb core was assembled at the McDonald ranch house in Socorro New Mexico. This is part II of my post on the Trinity Site.

The George McDonald ranch house sits within an 85′ x 85′ stone wall. The house was built  in 1913 by Franz Schmidt, a German immigrant.

On July 12, 1945 two hemispheres of plutonium were carried to the George McDonald ranch house two miles from ground zero. At the McDonald ranch house the master bedroom had been turned into a clean room for the assembly of the bomb core.

The windows were covered with plastic, tape was used to fasten the edges and seal doors and cracks in the wall to prevent dust and sand from getting on the instruments and tools.

Though the explosion was only 2 miles away, only the windows were blown out, the rest of the structure remained intact.  Years later the roof was damaged from rain water dripping through holes in the roof.

The barn, corrals and holding pens were damaged in the explosion.

In 1982 the U.S. Army stabilized the house to prevent further damage. The U.S. Army and the Department of Energy provided funds for the National Park Service to completely restore the McDonald ranch house. The work was completed in 1984 and the house looked like it did on July 12, 1945 (before the bomb testing).

This was one of the most interesting and educational events I had been on with the Meetup group. To be in the place where history was made and reading about all the events leading up to the actual event was beyond fascinating. I have learned so much. I hope you get a chance to visit this historical landmark. It is only opened twice per year –  the first Saturday in April and October. For more information please visit: http://www.wsmr.army.mil/PAO/Trinity/Pages/default.aspx

Now for some interesting facts and quotes.

Brig. Gen. Thomas Farrell said this about the explosion. “The effects could be called unprecedented, magnificent, beautiful, stupendous, and terrifying. No man-made phenomenon of such tremendous power had ever occurred before. The lighting effects beggared description. The whole country was lighted by a searing light with the intensity many times that of the midday sun.”

At the McDonald ranch house when Brig. Gen. Thomas Farrell was asked to sign a receipt for the plutonium, he later said this. “I took this heavy ball in my hand and felt it growing warm. I got a certain sense of its hidden power. It wasn’t a cold piece of metal, but it was really a piece of metal that seemed to be working inside. Then, maybe for the first time, I began to believe some of the fantastic tales the scientists had told about this nuclear power.”

Dr. Phillip Morrison said (regarding the explosion), “Suddenly, not only was there a bright light but where we were, 10 miles away,  there was the heat of the sun on our faces… Then, only minutes later, the real sun rose and again you felt the same heat to the face from the sunrise. So we saw two sunrises.”

At ground zero, the elements emitting gamma rays, alpha and beta particles are Europium, Cesium, Cobalt, Strontium and Plutonium.

A one-hour visit to the inner fenced area will result in a whole body exposure of one-half to one millirem of radiation.

Trinitite is the green glassy substance found on ground zero. It contains several radioactive elements and is an alpha and beta particle emitter.

For additional reading material check these out:

The Day the Sun Rose Twice by Ferenc Szasz

Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Vorm

City of Fire: Los Alamos and the Atomic Age. 1943-1945 by James Kunetka

Day of Trinity by Lansing Lamont.

Source: WSMR

Tech Talk – Print Your Own Clothes

What if you never had to do laundry ever again? Or chose an apartment without taking into consideration the size of its closets? What if you never have to wear the same outfit twice? What if you could imagine an item of clothing push a button and it appears? Think this is far out? Not if industrial designer Joshua Harris has his way.  Read more here.

Fun Times At The Griffith [Pics]

The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles California is not only a great place to learn about science (a new interest I am developing), I’ve also found unexpected solace in taking pictures. Maybe it was the idea of being in the mountains or the interesting shapes created by the architecture. This is what I’ve come up with.

Griffith ObservatoryGrif aboveGrif corridorGriff scopeGriff cornerGriff wallGriff steps

Tech Toys and Other Gadgets

Tornado Body Drier by Tornado Body Drier LLC

This installs on any cornered or non cornered wall in your bathroom. Instead of towel drying, your body is engulfed in a warm vortex of air which dries you all over. According to the manufacturer the air is evenly distributed from head to toe. My question is where does it plug in? Does it work with batteries? There is no such info on the website.

Tornado Body Drier

Tornado Body Drier

Pocket Projector for iPhone® 4 and 4S. Sold at Brookstone

Project your iPhone movies or pictures onto any surface. This gadget’s battery can also be used as a back-up battery for your iPhone when fully charged.

Take the party on the road

Take the show on the road

Okay enough with the tech stuff. Below are 2 simple designs that I’ll file in my “Why didn’t I think of that file?”

The self-stirring pot aka Kuru-Kuru Nabe (aka the ‘Pot Round and Round’). Invented by a Japanese dentist Hideki Watanabe, while playing around with dental plaster at his office. The pot relies on thermodynamics to create a whirlpool motion as liquids heat up. It not only saves you from having to stir, but it allows for a more efficient and even heating process, and has the added benefit of compacting foam so the pot is less likely to boil over. (huh?) Don’t expect to find it at Target, he is still trying to raise funding for mass production.

Kuru-Kuru Nabe (aka the 'Pot Round and Round')

Kuru-Kuru Nabe (aka the ‘Pot Round and Round’)

The Smore Maker

This pretty much explains itself. I’ve seen some that are like a waffle maker without the waffle grid and only makes 4 at a time, on those I would make the inside grid changeable with a waffle grid. That way it’s a two-in-one appliance thingy (THAT I would pay for.) The one below is cool and makes more Smores at a time. Sold everywhere small appliances are sold.

Smore Maker

Smore Maker

Bonus: Hair trap for your drain?

Let’s take a moment to examine this a minute. I’m not really sure how it works or why it is better than what we are used to. It’s supposed to trap hair before it gets in the drain. Anybody care to take a stab at this one?

Hair Trapper?

Hair Trapper?

As usual I look forward to hearing from you! Have a great week.

Travel Tips and Technology

This year I plan on doing as many international trips as I can. I leave for my trip to the Caribbean next week so travel have been on my mind. Here are a couple of travel tips I’ve picked up that I thought I’d share.

Air hostess

Photo by Wallhunt.com

Hair. Ladies, if you have medium-length or long hair, always wear it up in-flight, so it doesn’t get that tousled spot where your head hits the seat. If your hair is a bob-length or shorter, make sure to spruce it up before deplaning.

Skin.  Exfoliate and apply a hydrating masque the night before your flight, apply more moisturizer than usual the day-of, and re-hydrate with mountains of moisturizer after the flight. Above all, drink lots of water; flight attendants consume over a liter in-flight. Hydrate and re-hydrate is key.

Source: Fodors Travel Blog, Trish Friesen

Ear popping tips

Budget Travel reader (and pilot) Mike Filippell says to avoid ear pain during flights, bring along an apple. When you feel the plane begin to descend (about 25 minutes before arrival), start snacking. The chewing and swallowing will keep ears in good shape. I plan on trying this with nuts since I will be traveling at night and my stomach is sensitive to fruits at night. I’ll keep you posted.

Technology to make travel more convenient.

VUUM – Smart Hanger by Beom-Seok Lee, Dong-Il Kim, Wan-Il So & Ki-Won Song

Dry cleaning hanger

The Smart Hanger is a portable garment care device that doubles up as a dry-cleaner. Volatilized air air-washes off unpleasant smells and kills clothing germs and molds without causing any damage to clothes. Ideal for suits, dresses, uniforms or outdoor jackets that are difficult to wash at home. Smart Hanger offers an instant cleaning option.

Napcabs

napcabsMaking your stay at the airport more pleasant and comfortable is the idea behind Napcabs.

Napcabs sleeping cabins are tailored to the needs of passengers. Located in departure and transit areas, passengers can rent some privacy, and make themselves feel at home between flights.

When you rent a Napcab you get a full bed and work space, 19″ multimedia touch screen TV with a choice of a variety of videos and music, flight information and alarm clock, internet access, air condition, a blind on the front door window and coat hook. Not to mention individual adjustable light settings.

Depending on the time of day you can rent a Napcab for about $13/hr. with a $40 minimum according to Deanna Cioppa via Fodors. Don’t expect to find Napcab in the US so far they are only available in Munich Airport, Terminal 2, Level 4, Gate G06
– Munich Airport, Terminal 2, Level 5, Gate H32. I think this should catch on in the US it’s a great idea! Thoughts?

Cool Kitchen Gadgets You Never Knew You Needed

This one is for all my foodie readers, especially my mother who is the mayor of kitchen gadgetville.

First up this handy little herb saver by Prepara. The Prepara Herb Saver prolongs the life of your herbs for up to 3 weeks by keeping them hydrated. It is cleverly designed to fit comfortably on your fridge door. There are several other brands and designs on Amazon.com. To me this one is aesthetically pleasing, plus it seems easier to replace the water and has more features than the cheaper competitors.

Prepara Herb savor

Prepara Herb savor

The Ethylene Gas Absorber.  The last time I paid attention to anything ethylene related was in chemistry class. Ethylene gas is like kryptonite for your produce, it causes them to go bad FAST. Prolong their dignity with this cool invention. This is not really new it has been used by growers for years to keep their fruits fresh from farm to market. The companies EGG and Bluapple have just found a way to make it consumer pretty. Both retail for about $10-$13 for the starter kit which consists of about 6 refills. One refill last about 3 months.

Applegg

Speaking of eggs, how about eggs and toast prepared AT THE SAME TIME! Instead of waiting for your eggs to poach or your toast to toast, why not have them both ready at the same time! This multi-tasker is available at Target or anywhere small appliances are sold (apparently). While it is not very attractive and seem to pick up a lot of space it gets the job done I guess. (Let me know if you have one).

toaster-plus

Index Chopping Board. This is great for so many reasons. You have a different color chopping board for meat, one for veggies and so on. Such a great gift idea. Looks good and picks up less space. They also come in cool shapes and sizes.

Cutting board by Joseph Joseph

Cutting board by Joseph Joseph

Digital Spoon Scale. Another great gift idea. Get rid of those pesky measuring spoons, instead of having 5 spoons on a ring, replace with one that gives you precise measurements. I don’t suggest submerging in water or placing in the dishwasher, this little handy works with 2 AAA batteries.

Measuring spoon

This is my personal favorite. This bag closer is FREE and innovative, a great gift and makes use of recycled water bottles.

Another use for empty water bottles.

Another use for empty water bottles.

Hope you enjoyed reading and got some good gift ideas and ways to save money. If you’ve used any of the above or have any other handies to share drop me a line. Cheers!

Kindle App Reviews: YP, KOAT, Diner Dash, Word Search

I’ve added a new category on this blog called App Reviews. I thought I’d start off with a few of my favorite apps for the Kindle Fire.

App YPYP Local Search and Gas Prices by YP. I simply LOVE this app! It delivers. You get not only restaurant and gas searches you get hotels, activities and maps with directions! I spent over an hour playing with this app. So far it is very up to date and it runs well. This is simply one of my favorite apps and would recommend it to busy people, who don’t want to spend time looking around the web for the cheapest gas prices, hotel info or restaurants. You can also review businesses right in the app, view partial restaurant menus (for finnicky eaters like me). I can’t begin to tell how much I love this app. Great download! So far there are no annoying pop-ups and the ads that are on there is noticeable but not intrusive. (I hope it stays that way).

App KoatKOAT Albuquerque News and Weather by HTVMA Solutions, Inc. I have been waiting for this app on the Kindle Fire since I worked at KOAT years ago. My mom has it for the ipad and has rave reviews about it. It runs very well. I love the instant alerts and the easy to use interface. It is very contained meaning that you get not just local news but national news. I think it is very well made and very easy to navigate. Most of all it runs well. I would recommend this app even if you live outside of New Mexico.

App Diner

Diner Dash by PlayFirstInc. This game works very well on the Kindle Fire. It is the same fun as the desktop game. I usually never pay for an app, but I did for this one. It is so worth it! The beauty of this app compared to the desktop version is that you can touch the screen with more than one finger at a time to give Flo her commands and she responds. Sometimes with the desktop version she doesn’t always respond quickly and you have to click on the command again. I totally love it. If you want a challenging game to raise your blood pressure this is it. The customers make you crazy but it’s fun! I would definitely recommend this game for anyone looking for a challenge and a little extra stress. It’s very addictive. Be aware that if you play for a long time (hours) your Kindle may freeze and you have to hard reboot.

App WordWordSearch Unlimited by JiuzhangTech Ltd. This is a very simple game and I love that about it. It works really well on the Kindle Fire, no big graphics or sound effects just good old fashion find words in a maze. It is the digital version of crosswords without the detective work or sometimes misleading clues. I really enjoy it, it keeps your eyes and mind focus. The fact that it is timed keeps your heart racing to beat your own time, like a race against yourself. I love the simple themes, you can choose whichever is most pleasing and easiest for your eyes. I would recommend this game, I play it regularly and use as a complement to Words With Friends.

That’s all for now folks! Drop me a line if you’ve used any of these apps.