Awesome tech you can’t buy yet, for the week of December 29, 2013

Awesome tech 12_29_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.

MaxStone: Remote camera shutter and Bluetooth tracker

MaxStoneSmartphone-controlled remote shutters are a dime a dozen these days, but none are as versatile as MaxStone. In addition to functioning as a two-way remote shutter, MaxStone also works as a low-power Bluetooth tracker. The device will shoot an alert to your smartphone if your camera ever goes out of range, which helps prevent it from being left behind or stolen.

Aurora: Lucid-dream-inducing headband

AuroraLucid dream inducers are officially blowing up. They’re all over the crowdfunding scene these days. First there was Remee, then Luci, and now there are a handful of others, each with their own approach to helping you go lucid. In addition to EEG sensors, Aurora detects when you enter REM sleep by monitoring your body movements, and then plays custom lights and sounds to help you become aware that you’re dreaming.

Climbax: Rock-climbing metrics wristband

ClimbaxThe fitness trackers available on the market right now are really good at tracking stuff like steps taken, calories burned, and how fast your heartbeat gets; but not so great for sport-specific metrics like how many laps you swam or the number of reps you did. Climbax is an activity tracker designed specifically for rock climbers. It consists of two wrist-worn bands embedded with sensors designed to track your movements, stability, endurance, and more. Once you’ve got a grip on your performance data, you can use it to push yourself harder. 

LED dog collar: Light-up dog collar

Bluetooth LED Dog CollarGlowing dog collars definitely aren’t a new idea, but that doesn’t make them any less awesome. They’re a great way to keep track of your pets in the dark, and also keep them visible and safe if they ever go off-leash after nightfall. This collar, developed by Kurtis Reindl of Boulder, Colorado, is designed with reprogrammable LEDs that can be set to the colors and patterns of your choosing. 

Mr. Postman: Smart mailbox

Mr PostmanWouldn’t it be nice if your regular mailbox worked like your email inbox, so whenever you got some physical mail delivered, you’d get an alert on your smartphone to let you know there’s something there? That’s the idea behind Mr. Postman – a Wi-Fi enabled mailbox that  gives snail mail a much-needed 21st-century update. In addition to notifications, the device also features a remote-controlled smart lock that can be accessed with virtual “keys” you can send to friends and housemates.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

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!

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Fitbits are amazingly helpful tools for setting fitness goals and tracking progress. However, different activities require different metrics. We've gathered a list of the best Fitbits for running, swimming, biking, and other activities.

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The best weather apps for the iPhone

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New experiment casts doubt on claims to have identified dark matter

A South Korean experiment called COSINE-100 has attempted to replicate the claims of dark matter observed by the Italian DAMA/LIBRA experiment, but has failed to replicate the observations.
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White dwarf star unexpectedly emitting bright ‘supersoft’ X-rays

NASA's Chandra Observatory has discovered a white dwarf star which is emitting supersoft X-rays, calling into question the conventional wisdom about how X-rays are produced by dying stars.
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It’s no flying car, but the e-scooter had a huge impact on city streets in 2018

Within just a year, electric scooters have fundamentally changed how we navigate cities. From San Francisco to Paris, commuters have a new option that’s more fun than mass transit, easier than a bike, and definitely not a car.

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Emerging Tech

Full-fledged drone delivery service set to land in remote Canadian community

Some drone delivery operations seem rather crude in their execution, but Drone Delivery Canada is building a comprehensive platform that's aiming to take drone delivery to the next level.
Emerging Tech

Intel wants its fleet of drones to monitor America’s aging, unsafe bridges

Intel has signed a deal to use its Falcon 8+ drones to carry out bridge inspections. The hope is that these drones will be useful in spotting potential problems before they become serious.
Emerging Tech

Transplanted pig hearts show promise in baboon trials. Are humans next?

Researchers in Germany have successfully transplanted modified pig hearts into baboons. The results take us one step closer to ending organ transplant waiting lists for good. Here's why.
Emerging Tech

An A.I. cracks the internet’s squiggly letter bot test in 0.5 seconds

How do you prove that you’re a human when communicating on the internet? The answer used to be by solving a CAPTCHA puzzle. But maybe not for too much longer. Here is the reason why.
Emerging Tech

Makerbot is back with a new 3D printer that’s faster and more precise than ever

MakerBot's new Method 3D printer aims to bridge the gap between home 3D printers and more industrial 3D printing tech. Here are a few of the tantalizing things you can expect from it.

Print your heart’s desire: Enter our giveaway to win a free Monoprice 3D printer

We’re giving away a $400 Monoprice MP Voxel 3D Printer. It's easy to use, especially for beginners, with its simple menu system and touchscreen display. It comes fully assembled so you can spend more time printing instead of setting up.