Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Drone lens, laser synth, and more

At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion different crowdfunding campaigns happening 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. We’ve cut through the fidget spinners and janky iPhone cases to round up the most unusual, ambitious, and exciting new crowdfunding projects out there this week. Keep in mind that any crowdfunding project — even those with the best intentions — can fail, so do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams. 

July 14

Moment Air — Anamorphic lens for drones

Drones are one of the coolest tools for photographers these days — whether casual or professional — but while they let you shoot easily from the skies above, those shots aren’t always the prettiest. The people at Moment have developed a new model of anamorphic lens that is light enough for drones, offering the promise of wide, cinematic angles, and bright lens flare. The lenses are designed to attach to a DJI Mavic 2 Pro or Zoom, which are two of our favorite drones on the market right now. Beyond the lens, the Moment Air system includes filters and a phone case specifically designed to fit in drone controllers.

Radiator — Laser synthesizer

Imagine calling your audiophile friend over to your house to check out your new speakers.

“Oh, these are cool, I guess,” they say.

“You guess?” You respond, mildly irritated. “But they got an Editor’s choice award from Digital Trends.”

“Yeah, I mean, soundwaves are fine, sure, but I’m really into listening to music with my eyes these days.”

Listening with your eyes? Could such a thing be possible? That’s what the makers of the Radiator laser synthesizer propose. The device is a synthesizer for creating laser light shows, with dozens of knobs for tweaking color and shape, modulating, even cloning lasers. You’ll have to hook the device up to a laser projector, but if you have one, the Radiator seems like a cool, new tool for musicians or visual artists who want to put on their own Pink Floyd show.

Lyra — Handheld Raspberry Pi game console

Emulation has been a boon for fans of old-school video games, whether they want to play them or just preserve them for future generations. There are plenty of great emulators on PC, and companies like Nintendo and Sony have re-released some of their old games on retro consoles like the Nintendo or PlayStation Classic, but if you want to play classic console games on the go, your options are limited. The makers of Lyra are promising all the joy of classic console gaming in a portable frame, one powered by a Raspberry Pi. The device requires some assembly, but once users have put it together, they’ll be able to play games either on the console itself or on a TV by connecting it via HDMI. A Raspberry Pi board is a computer, and so users will also be able to browse the internet, watch videos, and so on. The Lyra’s specs don’t look sufficient for modern PC games, but if you want to play some ActRaiser on your daily commute, it should be enough.

Aroma — Automatic pour-over coffee maker

Pour-over coffee is popular these days, with many claiming it results in a bolder flavor and more efficient brew, but it typically requires a specific gear setup. If you don’t want to carry a kettle with you to the office, the Aroma automatic pour-over device will prep your beverage for you, and it’s small enough to carry with you in a backpack or messenger bag. The contraption works via a rotating spout near the top; with the press of a button, it gets to work pouring water evenly on the coffee grounds, so you can kick back and relax. It even includes a reusable filter, so you can feed your caffeine needs without worrying as much about your environmental impact.

MoveIt Speed — Smart punching bag

After a long day at the office, a little exercise can be a great stress reliever. Sometimes a treadmill just isn’t enough to exorcise your frustrations, however. Boxing is a good way to work out and let off some steam, and the MoveItSpeed offers a number of cool features to take your workout to another level. It has sensors to detect your punching speed and provide feedback and features a number of workout routines and games to help you train.


Bentley EXP 100 GT concept sports futuristic tech in a Steampunk wrapper

Bentley celebrated its 100th birthday with the unveiling of a new concept car. The Bentley EXP 100 GT boasts an all-electric powertrain, sustainably sourced interior materials, and a sophisticated digital assistant.

Save up to 49% on professional-grade Vitamix blenders during Amazon Prime Day

Simplify life in the kitchen with a full-functioning blender that can whip up quite a list of concoctions that are not limited to dessert. Two Vitamix professional grade blenders are on sale just for Prime Day 2019.

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for July 2019

Looking to score Nintendo's latest console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals, including discounts on bundles that feature must-have games like Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

The Nintendo Switch Lite is real, and here's what we know so far

Nintendo is planning to launch a smaller version of its Switch system, with several features changed. Here is everything we know about the Nintendo Switch Lite so far, including release date and price.
Movies & TV

Save a few bucks with the best free feature-length movies on YouTube

Bank account emptier than you thought? Check out our curated list of the best full-length movies on YouTube to find flicks that are free, legally uploaded, and actually worth watching.

End of an icon: The last Volkswagen Beetle rolls off the production line

The Volkswagen Beetle is finally dead. The last one rolled off the production line July 10. While the original Beetle became a cultural icon, Volkswagen has failed to recapture that success with its newer models.

ABS brakes helped airlines make more money before they helped you stop

ABS -- a technology that prevents cars from skidding under heavy braking -- has been around since the 1950s, when it was first applied to airplanes. Chrysler and Bendix jointly get credit for developing four-wheel electronic ABS in 1971.

Uber driver becomes unwitting getaway driver for a gas station robber

A rookie Uber driver unwittingly played the part of getaway driver recently for a man who robbed a gas station. The first he knew about it was when cops surrounded his home and demanded he come out with his hands up.
Product Review

BMW gives the M4 CS additional performance cred, but it comes with lots of tradeoffs

Splitting the difference between the standard M4 and the hardcore track setup of the limited-production M4 GTS, the CS brings with it a sharper look to match its sharper performance, but there are some caveats involved.

Lexus will reinvent its design language as it electrifies its full line

Lexus plans to release an electrified version of every nameplate in its lineup by the year 2025. The term electrified is broad; it includes hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric, and hydrogen cars.
Smart Home

Amazon cuts prices of ChargePoint, JuiceBox, and Siemens home EV chargers

Amazon cut the prices on ChargePoint, JuiceBox, and Siemens Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) home chargers to help plug-in vehicle drivers recharge their car batteries much faster than plugging into a regular home electrical outlet.

The Rev-1 delivery robot is fast enough to hit the bike lane

Tootling into view is yet another wheel-based delivery robot, this one from U.S. startup Refraction A.I. The Rev-1 is designed for last-mile deliveries and is said to be faster and cheaper than many of its rivals.

Volkswagen and Ford confirm partnership on electric cars, autonomous driving

Volkswagen and Ford have confirmed a major tech-sharing deal. It will give Ford access to VW's MEB platform, which will underpin many of the German automaker's future electric cars. The Ford MEB electric car launches in 2023.

2020 Buick Enclave three-row crossover will give you a back massage

The 2020 Buick Enclave gets a number of small updates, including massaging front seats and a new infotainment system compatible with SiriusXM's 360L streaming service. The updated Buick Enclave goes on sale later this summer.
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