Awesome tech you can’t buy yet, for the week of December 1, 2013

Awesome tech 12_01_2013

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 there’s no shortage of weird, ambitious, and downright stupid projects out there – far too many for any reasonable person to keep up with. But here at DT we are not reasonable people. We spend an inordinate amount of time poring through crowdfunding sites and product blogs in search of the next Oculus Rift or Pebble Watch, so we’re here to bring you a quick roundup of the best projects that are currently up and running.

Athos – high-tech workout clothing

AthosForget wristbands and watches – wearable tech is about to get absolutely ridiculous in 2014. Athos  an upcoming line of smart workout gear – isn’t just a wristband; it’s a full body suit that’s equipped with tons of little sensors.  As you move and exert your muscles, electrical activity is generated and can be measured on your skin, and offer detailed insight into how hard you’re working. Traditionally, measuring this data requires small adhesive patches to be stuck onto your body, but Athos’s revolutionary fabric-embedded sensors require no adhesive whatsoever, making it much more comfortable to wear. The device is powered by a minuscule core that can measure a wide range of body metrics including muscle output, heart rate, and respiration rate. 

PowerUp 3.0 – smartphone controlled paper airplane

PowerUp 3.0Ever wished you could fly a paper airplane around with the same level control of you get with an RC plane? Good news – with PowerUp 3.0, you finally can. The device is essentially a compact, battery-powered propellor/rudder assembly that clips onto the nose of your paper plane. Then, using a tiny low-energy Bluetooth reciever, it pairs with your smartphone. To control the plane after you’ve tossed it, all you’ve got to do is tilt your phone in any direction you want it to fly. And due to the simple nature of the device, it’ll only put you back $30 bucks if you back the project early.

Plugaway – smart power outlet

PlugawayBelkin isn’t the only outfit in the smart plug game anymore. Last week we included a bit on a new smart power strip, and this week we’ve got another up-and comer gunning to fill your outlet: Plugaway. Specs wise, it’s essentially the same as Belkin’s new WeMo Insight switch, but with a few key differences. Not only does it plug into your outlet and serve as a smartphone-controlled middleman between the outlet and your devices; it also tracks your power consumption, and is compatible with a wide range of different home automation protocols. And the best part? Plugaway makes more than just American-style plugs – they’re planning on manufacturing a wide range of international plugs as well.

UpSki – mountaineering parachute for uphill skiing

UpSkiWe did it, guys! Through miracles of modern engineering, humanity has finally figured out a way to ski uphill! By harnessing the power of the wind to propel you up the side of a mountian, UpSki finally frees us from the tyranny of chairlifts. And it’s more than just your average parachute/harness setup. The design incorporates a quick release system that allows you to collapse the chute in an instant if you need to stop – which is a pretty important feature if you’re skiing through hazardous terrain. 

Gramovox – Bluetooth gramophone

GramovoxBluetooth speakers are a dime a dozen these days, so if you’re looking for something with a bit more style than the average boombox, check out Gramovox. It’s got the same wireless connectivity you’d get with a modern bluetooth speaker, but with all the 19th-Century swagger of a phonograph. To be fair, it probably won’t sound as good as something from Bose or Harmon Kardon, but the horn is designed in such a way that the sound waves propagate and pass through it to create a vintage, organically mid-range sound. It’d be perfect for that collection of early 1920’s swing music you’ve got in your iTunes library.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for November 2018

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Product Review

August and Yale’s first lock brings looks, smarts, and a split personality

The first fruit of Yale’s acquisition of August, this enhanced Assure Lock SL Touchscreen Deadbolt is a definite upgrade on last year’s model, adding style and versatility to home security. Read our full review to learn more.
Emerging Tech

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sale smashes online shopping records

The annual online shopping frenzy that is Singles' Day this year raked in $30.8 billion, up from $25 billion last time around. The Alibaba-organized event generates more in sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
Emerging Tech

Watch this lab-grown heart tissue beat just like the real thing

A team of researchers in Germany have used stem cells to create a lab-grown human heart tissue which actually beats, as well as responding to drugs in the same way as the real thing.
Emerging Tech

Michigan’s former transportation chief has some advice for wannabe smart cities

After 31 years as Michigan’s transportation director, Kirk Steudle has seen it all, particularly with smart city projects. He spoke with Digital Trends recently about what makes smart cities work, and offers advice along the way.
Emerging Tech

Shipping crate filled with 3D-printing robots may be the future of construction

Autodesk has created a robot-filled shipping container which may represent the future of construction work. The crate contains two robots able to 3D print custom components for building sites.
Emerging Tech

Sticking these tiny needles in your eye may help fight blindness

An eye patch covered in tiny needles sounds like a torture device. In fact, it's a potential new medical treatment for eye diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Bottle-flipping robots may be the most millennial thing we’ve ever seen

Until drones start vaping, you're unlikely to see anything more millennial than a recent contest in Japan in which robots competed to pull off some seriously impressive bottle-flipping feats.
Emerging Tech

New simulation shows how Elon Musk’s internet satellite network might work

Elon Musk has the dream of building a network for conveying internet traffic via thousands of satellites. A new simulation created by a computer scientist looks at how feasible the idea is.

Car parts maker ZF is using drones to deliver components to its factories

ZF recently became the first entity in Germany to receive approval to use drones to deliver spare parts, and the company now uses them to deliver parts from its central warehouses to its workshops.
Emerging Tech

Meet the 4K selfie drone that folds like a book, follows you like a paparrazzo

Having a drone that could follow you everywhere while taking high-quality images without crashing has been a flight of fantasy. With ZeroZero's Hover 2, not only can you have a fully autonomous 4K selfie drone, you can have it for $400.
Emerging Tech

These Alexa-stuffed retro phones don’t listen until you take them off the hook

Looking for an Amazon Echo with a cool vintage touch? Los Angeles-based Grain Design is taking old, non-working antique phones and transforming them into amazing Alexa smart speakers.