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Awesome tech you can’t buy yet: Smart workbenches, cosmic fidget toys, and more

At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion crowdfunding campaigns on the web. Take a stroll through Kickstarter or Indiegogo and you’ll find no shortage of weird, useless, and downright stupid projects out there — alongside some real gems. In this column, we cut through all the worthless wearables and Oculus Rift ripoffs to round up the week’s most unusual, ambitious, and exciting projects. But don’t grab your wallet just yet. Keep in mind that any crowdfunded project can fail — even the most well-intentioned. Do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.

Nexus Workbench — compact, high-tech worktable

Are you a maker, tinkerer or some other word that ends in “-er,” who requires a garage workstation to do your thing?  Do you occasionally look at existing workbenches and find yourself wishing they would borrow a bit more of their design language from the 1982 film Tron?  If you answered yes to both of these questions, you will probably fall head over heels in love with the Nexus workbench, a new Kickstarter project which launched on Tuesday.

“The Nexus workbench is a game-changer for the home garage, solving these problems with unique storing capabilities and a plethora of features,” Zeb Fish, founder and CEO of Garage Mastermind, told Digital Trends in an interview. “Using linear actuators, the Nexus effortlessly transforms from its generous 3-foot by 8-foot workspace position into its storage position, sitting less than six inches from the wall. This means when you’re not working on a project, you can tuck the Nexus out of the way with just the flip of a switch.”

The foldaway element is not the only exciting aspect of the Nexus. As well as space issues, most garages also lack adequate lighting and electrical outlets — which is where the workbench’s bright LED lights on its flex arms come into play. There are also eight integrated electrical outlets and the same number of USB charging ports, so you can charge batteries, power devices, and run your assorted power tools without having to stop to switch cords.

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