Awesome tech you can’t buy yet, for the week of June 8, 2014

awesome tech 060814

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.

Jyrobike — Invisible Training Wheels

JyrobikeTraining wheels didn’t necessarily need a high-tech update, but they just got one anyway. As you may or may not have guessed from the name, Jyrobike makes use of gyroscopes inside of its wheels to help keep the bicycle itself upright — even when there’s nobody on it. When acted upon by outside forces, the spinning wheel inside the jyrobike’s front wheel resists that force and will keep the bike from tipping over. Therefore, if a child starts to tip or wobble on it, Jyrobike corrects the steering and stabilizes both the bike and the rider. As a result, children can learn to ride without training wheels. According to the team that developed the bike, even kids who’ve never ridden a bike before in their lives can oftentimes learn how to ride in a single afternoon.

Sabertron — Foam swords that keep score

SabertronFoam swords are a brilliant invention — they basically allow you to do battle with anybody you choose to without having to worry about killing them in the process. The only problem is that, since they don’t leave cuts, bruises, or gaping torso wounds in the person you’re fighting, there’s no easy way to determine the winner of a foam sword fight. But thanks to the miracle of modern technolgy, there’s now a safe way to keep score. Sabertron swords — which look a lot like beefy lightsabers — are equipped with an array of accelerometers and special software that can tell the difference between a sword clash and a body hit. And they keep score too — land a hit on the body, and the built-in health meter on your sword will drop one bar. Get hit three times, and you’re dead. Why the hell wasn’t this invented until now?!

Edyn — Smart garden sensor

EdynTo be sure, Edyn certianly isn’t the first smart garden sensor to hit the market. These kinds of devices have existed for years now, but even so, this one is arguably one of the most advanced iterations we’ve ever seen. Much like its predecessors, Edyn is capable of measuring variables like light, humidity, temperature, soil nutrition, and moisture. It can also cross-reference this information with plant, soil science, and weather databases to recommend specific plants that will thrive in your particular garden. These features are pretty much par for the course for products in this category, but Edyn also boasts a number of features that you wont find anywhere else — namely, solar panels that provide the power it needs and allow it to take constant readings, Wi-Fi connectivity that allows it to sync with your smartphone and react to local weather forecasts, and also a connected water valve that allows it to water your plants at the exact moment they need it. 

iFind — Battery-free Bluetooth item finder

iFindBluetooth item finder tags are a dime a dozen these days. Between Indiegogo and Kickstarter, we’ve seen about a zillion of them come and go over the past couple years, and at this point we hardly even notice them anymore. iFind, however, managed to catch our eye with a truly groundbreaking feature: battery-free operation. It can communicate with your Android or iOS smartphone via Bluetooth just like other item finder tags, but unlike the rest of the pack, you never have to worry about iFind running out of power. Using patent-pending technology, the tags recycle ambient electromagnetic energy and store it in a special power bank — effectively freeing you from the need to charge or replace batteries of any kind. And as if that wasn’t cool enough already, the tags also come with a unique “rope” feature that gives you alerts if you leave something (your keys, wallet, etc.) behind.  

VisioBike — Electronic smart bike

VisioBikeElectronic bicycles are another tech category that’s seen a fairly sizable boom in the past year or so, but VisioBike takes the idea of a smart cycle to a whole new level. The $5,303 bike is made of ultralight carbon fiber and has a dock for your phone. Special software gives you a speedometer, transmission control, and a variety of other treats as you scoot around town. Much like the Copenhagen Wheel, the bike can store energy while you coast and use it to help you power up hills or speed along flats. It also has a camera in the seat for rear-facing views of traffic behind you in real time and for recording if someone rear-ends you. In the event that your bike comes to a sudden stop (like, really sudden), a built-in emergency alarm will use your phone to contact the authorities. When seconds count, that could be a lifesaver. It’s definitely a bit on the spendy side, but considering all the useful high-tech features it’s got under the hood, $5,000 isn’t really that bad.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Halfbikes, VR for all your senses, and more

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's fun to gawk!
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for April 2019

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.
Deals

Dreaming of a Peloton? These exercise bikes are just as good (and cheaper, too)

Modern technology certainly helps us stay fit and healthy. Whether it's fitness watches, or interactive treadmills, there are plenty of options out there. But perhaps the most popular name right now in fitness tech is Peloton.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.
Emerging Tech

Watch the fearsome DroneHunter X3 pluck rogue UAVs out of the sky

How do you stop enemy drones in their tracks? DroneHunter X3 is a new autonomous anti-drone technology which outruns and then captures rogue drones in midair. Check it out in action.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX’s main Falcon Heavy booster is lost at sea after falling off drone ship

SpaceX has lost the center core of its Falcon Heavy rocket after a successful mission last week that ended with it landing on a drone ship. SpaceX said rough seas resulted in the rocket toppling over and falling into the ocean.
Emerging Tech

How MIT hacked horticulture to cultivate a hyper-flavorful basil plant

At MIT, Caleb Harper used his personal food computers to alter the climate in which he grew basil. Exposing it light for 24 hours a day changed the flavor profile of the plant, making it spicier and stronger.
Emerging Tech

Sweden is building a road that recharges electric buses that drive over it

The Swedish transport administration is exploring special roads which will charge vehicles’ batteries as they drive over them. It will test the idea with a short sample stretch of road.
Emerging Tech

Scientists manage to 3D print an actual heart using human cells

Scientists at Tel Aviv University have achieved a world-first by 3D printing a small-scale heart, complete with blood vessels, ventricles, and chambers. Here's why that's so exciting.
Emerging Tech

Drown out noisy neighbors and rest easy with these white noise machines

Some people are more sensitive to sound during sleep than others. Luckily, there are a number of white noise machines on the market to mask the noise. Here are our five of our current favorites.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and others that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

Watch a pack of SpotMini robot dogs perform a terrifying feat of strength

Boston Dynamics' SpotMini robotic dog is now going around in packs, and the results are somewhat concerning. Check out the video to see what kind of shenanigans 10 of them got up to recently ...
Emerging Tech

Notre Dame fire: How drones and a robot called Colossus helped limit the damage

The fire that devastated the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday shocked many around the world. In a bid to prevent even worse damage to the structure, Paris firefighters opted to deploy drones and a robot called Colossus.
Emerging Tech

New gunfire-detection system alerts police of shooters in seconds, not minutes

The Safe Zone Gunfire Detector is a fast gunfire-detection system that could help avert potential tragedies in public places like schools, malls, or anywhere a mass shooting might occur.