The Perfect Phone For Germaphobes
Your phone is disgusting. I’m sorry, but it’s true. It’s covered in germs and… well, and worse. It also stays dirty, because you never clean it, because doing so would ruin it. Tricky situation! Tricky and gross. It’s something that the Kyocera Digno Rafre looks to remedy. The Digno Rafre, available in Japan, has pretty basic specs for a smartphone; it starts at 16GB storage, has 2GB RAM, a 13MP rear and 2MP front-facing camera. It runs Android 5.1. None of that’s enough to turn heads. For neat freaks, though, or those nonplussed by the thought of carrying around millions of bacteria in their pocket every day, it has one crucial advantage: you can wash it with soap. That’s more impressive than it may sound. It’s hard enough to find a waterproof smartphone today, and until now impossible to find one that can survive the rigors of a rigorous good scrubbing. In fact, even the Digno Rafre has its limits; Kyocera encourages the use of foam-based soap, rather than potentially injurious bars. Kyocera reportedly managed the feat by finding a better way to seal the device. The Digno Rafre’s display also works when wet, meaning it may be the first handset targeted specifically at the bubble bath set. The phone’s only available in Japan (for $467), and Kyocera has indicated they don’t plan to sell it elsewhere. Until they change their minds—or someone else offers a washproof smartphone stateside—you can always opt for constantly wearing gloves, or obsessively washing your hands.
Your phone is disgusting. I’m sorry, but it’s true. It’s covered in germs and… well, and worse. It also stays dirty, because you never clean it, because doing so would ruin it.
Tricky situation! Tricky and gross. It’s something that the Kyocera Digno Rafre looks to remedy. The Digno Rafre, available in Japan, has pretty basic specs for a smartphone; it starts at 16GB storage, has 2GB RAM, a 13MP rear and 2MP front-facing camera. It runs Android 5.1. None of that’s enough to turn heads. For neat freaks, though, or those nonplussed by the thought of carrying around millions of bacteria in their pocket every day, it has one crucial advantage: you can wash it with soap.
That’s more impressive than it may sound. It’s hard enough to find a waterproof smartphone today, and until now impossible to find one that can survive the rigors of a rigorous good scrubbing. In fact, even the Digno Rafre has its limits; Kyocera encourages the use of foam-based soap, rather than potentially injurious bars.
Kyocera reportedly managed the feat by finding a better way to seal the device. The Digno Rafre’s display also works when wet, meaning it may be the first handset targeted specifically at the bubble bath set.
The phone’s only available in Japan (for $467), and Kyocera has indicated they don’t plan to sell it elsewhere. Until they change their minds—or someone else offers a washproof smartphone stateside—you can always opt for constantly wearing gloves, or obsessively washing your hands.
Starting today, you can preorder the consumer version of the Gear VR headset for $99. Sure, Samsung’s headset has been around for awhile, at least for developers and lucky beta testers who got their hands on the Innovator Edition. But this is the first time the Oculus Rift-powered headset has been sold to regular consumers. The devices will ship November 20.
This isn’t just some new packaging slapped on the earlier model: According to Oculus, the official Gear VR headset is 19 percent lighter and “features improved ergonomics,” like a new touchpad that should make it easier to use. The best news: Gear VR is going to work with more Samsung phones, and there are lots of new games to use it with. If you have a Galaxy S6 Edge, S6, Note 5, or S6 Edge+, you’re in the clear (though the last two will require a carrier software update). And perhaps the most exciting new title on the horizon is Land’s End, a visually stunning game set in an ancient civilization from the makers of Monument Valley.
The Gear is just one of a few compelling VR headsets, but it’s managed to situate itself nicely for user adoption by aggressively partnering with various media outlets to experiment with consumer VR experiences. Already we’ve watched NBA games and political debates. Oh yeah, and it’s just under 100 bucks.
We’ve all done the “pocket pat down” to check we have our phones and wallets before leaving the house. But even if you remember to bring your phone with you, it’ll be dead weight if you forget to charge it. Sure, you could always bring a spare charger in your bag, but if you like to go out with only the clothes on your back you know that pocket space is a limited resource.
Nomad‘s new Wallet for iPhone might be able to help all the bagless chumps out. As its name suggests, the Wallet is a battery pack for your iPhone—but it’s no bulky charger: It’s no thicker than a standard billfold wallet. It measures in at 95mm (height) x 125mm (width) x 25mm (max thickness), so feel free to stuff it with your disposable income and those fro-yo stamp cards. Nomad was able to keep these dimensions by placing the skinny, yet high powered, 2400 mAh battery along the spine of the Wallet. That’s enough juice to fully charge an iPhone 6s.
When the Wallet’s battery is depleted, it can be recharged by any microUSB charger. Flashing indicator lights will tell you how much energy is stored in the Wallet, and when you are ready to connect it to your iPhone, you can un-sheath its built in Lightning cable. Considering that it can hold all these electronics, your cash, and your cards without looking like a lunchbox, that’s some serious space optimization.
The Wallet for iPhone can be pre-ordered now for $80 ($20 off retail), and is expected to ship November 15.
Love the gaming style of arcades but the physicality of, you know, actually moving? This hack turns indoor rock climbing into a real life video game of sorts—and the creator of the code is working with various rock climbing gyms to bring it to their facilities. Maybe it will hit your local rock wall soon.
I’ve watched the teaser video for the RoBoHoN a few times now, and I still don’t know what to make of it. Sharp, who made it, calls it “a phone in human shape, a phone that you feel like talking to.” The name itself is a wonky portmanteau of robot and phone. It can be held up next to your ear just like any other phone. Unlike any other phone, though, it is also a talking robot helper projector music toy assistant man. Sure!
In the three-minute video, the RoBoHoN plays all sorts of roles. It waves happily at you when your alarm goes off, sits on your car dash, remembers to buy you more toothpaste in a squeaky anime voice, and then bends over at the waist to point its built-in projector at a table to show you photos from your boyfriend while he tells you how much he loves you while you cry, apparently? You can dress RoBoHoN up in a bunch of different accessories, including Swarovski crystals. He’s mostly designed to be talked to, but he has a touchscreen on his back in case you need to touch him.
On one hand, this is definitely the worst phone ever. You wear it by a lanyard around your neck, the screen is small and bad, and I mean, come on, the thing is huge and unwieldy and you look like you’re holding a toy to your face.
But the robot? The robot seems pretty great. RoBoHoN uses facial recognition to tell individual people to smile for the camera. He (I think it’s a he? I’ve been saying “he” but it’s entirely possible that RoBoHoN exists outside of gender) will help you remember to do stuff; he’ll help your kid learn to walk; he’ll play music and literally lead the dance party. He can sit, walk, hail cabs, and do a thousand other crazy things.
The concept video looks like an out-there student film, or a live-action cut of something Pixar might be working on. But Sharp swears RoBoHoN is a real thing, set for launch next year. In the inevitable army of the robot takeover, this is the one that eats your smartphone. And dammit if it’s not just the cutest little everything machine.
HP’s 34-inch Envy Curved All-in-One HP. HP
Mind the glare.HP
The view from the side.HP
The view from the front.HP
The curved 34-inch display viewed at an angle.HP
An overhead shot of the HP Envy 34 All-in-One.HP
There’s absolutely no reason that your every day computer shouldn’t look like an F-22 cockpit simulation. That seems to be the logic behind HP’s new 34-inch Curved All-in-One, an impossibly long display that can comfortably accommodate more tabs than is healthy.
The shape’s not new to HP; the company already sells a 34-inch display that looks basically identical. The resolution isn’t as eye-popping as, say, a 5K iMac, but a 5K iMac doesn’t curve, or cover nearly three feet of ground, diagonally.
Now, though, HP has stuffed a computer inside that display, in a glorious act of why not? Inside, you’ll find substantial enough guts: The $1,799 base model comes with the latest Core i5 processor and 8GB of memory, and you can upgrade to as much as 2TB of storage, 16GB RAM, and a discrete Nvidia GTX 960A graphics card. All of which is to say it’ll do pretty much whatever you might need it to.
Most importantly, though, it is gigantic; a multi-monitor set-up that requires just one glorious monitor. It’s even, one might venture, innovative, at a time that the PC industry desperately needs innovation. It’ll be available Nov. 8, and while it’s obviously intended for those with specific needs and muscular budget, the rest of us can at least appreciate a heaping desktop helping of eye candy when we see it.
Keurig Kold, a countertop soda-making machine that Keurig hopes will expand its appeal beyond coffee. Keurig, best known for its pod-based, countertop coffee dispensers, is branching out. The new Keurig Kold provides a chilled counterpoint to the company’s previous models, serving up sodas from name-brand pod providers like Coca-Cola and Snapple.
If that sounds a bit like SodaStream, that’s because it is, although there are a few key differences. The most important of which, for those who’ve grown weary of carbon dioxide refills, is that Kold uses “Karbonator beads” embedded in its pods to generate CO2. That means no canisters, and no confusion over just how many bubbles to add.
That also means the Kold should be equally adept at non-carbonated beverages, including teas, sports drinks, and flavored water; in addition to its partners, Keurig will be offering its own brands in those categories. Regardless of fizz, as you’d expect from the name, the drinks also come out, well, cold, thanks to what Keurig describes as an “aerospace-inspired thermal transfer system.”
While it’s hitting shelves today—or more specifically, hitting Keurig’s retail website; it will roll out to stores in select cities later this month—Kold made its debut at an analyst conference this past March, and has been in development the past five years. The long rollout signifies just how important Kold is to Keurig; the company’s currently trading at about a third of its 52-week high due to quickly fading sales of its K-Cup-based coffee products, a decline that led the company to announce a 5 percent workforce reduction in August. Kold represents its best chance at a pick-me-up. Then again, Kold’s most obvious competition, SodaStream, has been in an extended sales free fall, calling into question whether there’s currently a significant market for home carbonation machines in the first place.
The device faces other challenges, as well. A coffee pod’s prime appeal is ease of use; it’s obviously faster and less fussy than parsing out grinds for a traditional drip coffee maker. Making that same case for Kold could be tricky, since it’s competing against the simple act of popping the tab on a can, or twisting the top of a bottle. And whatever convenience it does offer doesn’t come cheap; Kold comes with an MSRP of $370, with pods costing between $4.50 and $5.00 for a pack of four. Each pod produces a single 8-ounce drink, making your countertop cola more expensive than the grocery store equivalent even before the sunk cost of the machine itself.
Push-button drink production has a demonstrable appeal; whether that translates from hot to cold depends on one’s counter space, pod appeal, and single-serve obsession.
The tablet industry is still going strong, but if we can take away anything from the Microsoft Surface and iPad Pro releases, it’s that some people really want keyboards to go with their tablets. Built-in touch screen keyboards simply aren’t enough for writing anything longer than a text, and they take up valuable screen space. The thin screen-protector-like keyboards that Microsoft and Apple make are great for portability, but they don’t offer the tactile feel that desktop keyboards do. If you want a keyboard that feels awesome (and isn’t that portable) what better place to look for inspiration than a good old-fashion typewriter?
The folks at Qwerkytoys have created the Qwerkywriter, a tablet keyboard that mimics the look and feel of a typewriter. Even though the Qwerkywriter looks old fashioned, there’s plenty of modern tech baked inside. The keyboard pairs with devices via Bluetooth, so even though it has a dock that fits all sorts of tablets, it can be paired with smartphones or even desktop computers. Additionally, that macro return bar isn’t just for show: By default, it doubles as an enter key, but can also be programmed to render up to five characters.
The Qwerkywriter started as a Kickstarter campaign, but since it already met its goal of $90,000, you can pre-order it now for $329. The pre-orders won’t ship out until October or November, but in the meantime you can listen to the satisfying clicks of the Qwerky’s keys in action.
The maximum load of a PhunkeeDuck—or any other brand of these suddenly popular stand-up scooter boards—is around 300 pounds. The maximum thing you should try to do on one of them is not to fall over.
Somehow, personal trainer Bradley Martyn stepped onto one, stuck 315 pounds behind his neck (six 45-pound weights plus a 45-pound bar), and blasted some squats.
Four reps, bro. On a spaceboard, bro.
This is dangerous, and you should not ever try it. In fact, you can hear the stand-up scooter crack during the initial squat, and again during the fourth rep. Somehow, the contraption held together during the entire feat of strength and balance, and that wasn’t the only danger to Martyn’s safety. Fall backward, and risk a concussion from the back of your head smacking a solid steel bar. Fall forward, and risk your face being pinned to the floor by 315 pounds.
So never attempt this superhuman show of agility, even if you look like He-Man. Still, feel free to watch it repeatedly on the Internet to your heart’s desire.
The G633 is the more affordable option at $150 Logitech
Programable buttons allow true customization Logitech
The G933 works wirelessly or wired Logitech
Logitech G is launching two new gaming headphones: the G633 and G933 Artemis Spectrum. They are the result of Logitech’s sound engineering team’s attempt to create a gaming headset that delivers audio comparable to top-shelf headphones. With patent pending Pro-G audio drivers and 7.1 Dolby surround sound, these headphones aim to immerse you into the game.
The two headphones look similar, with the G933 as the beefier big brother. The G933 includes a few more features than the G633, such as the ability to operate wirelessly and an additional audio input for sound mixing. But you’ll have to pay a little bit more to get these extras, as the G933 costs $200 versus the G633’s $150 price tag.
Regardless, the two both offer some cool customizable features. By downloading the Logitech Gaming Software, you are able to assign game macro functions to the headset’s three programmable G-keys. Additionally, you can use the software to adjust equalizer settings and set up sound profiles that best fit your acoustic preferences. On the other hand, some customizable features are just for fun, like the ability to change the RGB lighting to any color of your choosing.
Look out for the Logitech G633 and G933 Artemis Spectrum in October 2015.
While your smartphone is an easy conduit for all-emoji conversation, things get a little tough when you find yourself at a regular old laptop. Sure, keyboard shortcuts can get you there, but PC-made discussion is still dominated by… you know, words. Until now! Emoji Key is a set of stickers you can throw on top of your lettered keyboard. Then you just have to install the emoji keyboard on your laptop (the site includes instructions), and boom: You are typing in nothing but emoji. And yes, this would probably get confusing eventually.
In Samsung’s never-ending quest to take on the iPhone, it’s giving customers the chance to test drive one of its Galaxy phones (the S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, or Note 5) for 30 days for the low, low price of $1. If you’re an iPhone user who’s curious about the competition, now is the time to question your allegiance. You’ll get a month’s worth of data, and since it’s not like you have to hand your iPhone over to Samsung, you’ve essentially got two phones for a month. For a data hog, that’s not a bad deal.
Really, this should have become a standard a long time ago. According to Reuters, this surfer shelled out $390 to attach a device to his board that emits “an electronic force field that overpowers [sharks’] sensing organs.” Sounds like the best $390 he ever spent. There are couple of retailers installing these devices, including SurfSafe and SharkShield—check out this video from the former showing you how its done.
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