Awesome tech you can’t buy yet, for the week of November 24, 2013

Awesome tech 11_24_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.

Roadie – Automatic guitar tuner

RoadieThere is nothing, I repeat, nothing in this world more horrendously unbearable than listening to somebody play an improperly tuned guitar. It’s 10 times worse than fingernails on a chalkboard, so please do everyone a favor and snag yourself a digital tuner. Any one will do, but if you want the Cadillac of tuners, get yourself a Roadie. Not only can it listen and automatically adjust the tension of your strings; it can also give you feedback on the health of your strings and recommend restringing as soon as the tone quality deteriorates. Ingenious.

Helium – Quick-charging boombox

HeliumNow that we’re past the speaker-dock era, boomboxes are making a comeback. We couldn’t be more stoked about it, and one of the latest and greatest entries into this category comes from Portland design firm Blueshift. Helium isn’t your average speaker box. For starters, it’s encased in sturdy Japanese bamboo. But the standout feature is definitely inside. It uses supercapacitors rather than batteries, so this badboy can pick up a full charge in just five minutes, and blast your tunes for up to six hours. And they sound pretty good too. Learn more here and stay tuned for a full review in the coming weeks.

Kubo – Electric cargo scooter

KuboThere’s a fundamental problem with urban travel. Cars are big, inefficient, pollution machines, but they’re great for carrying stuff. Scooters, on the other hand, are more efficient and less harmful to the environment, but aren’t so great for hauling cargo. Kubo aims to solve this problem. Rather than forcing you to stuff your groceries and gear in saddlebags, this 100-percent electric city scooter features a spacious cargo area to accommodate all your stuff. Despite being quite compact, this little beast can handle 300 pounds of cargo (including rider), has a top speed of 45 mph, and can travel 50 miles on a single charge.

Kano – Simplified computing kit

KanoUnderstanding how computers work – even at the most basic level – is essential to understanding the increasingly digital world we live in. So, to help teach people of all ages the fundamentals of computing, developer Alex Klein built Kano, a simplified computer kit powered by Raspberry Pi. Using the kit, you can learn how to code and build games, music, and even computer programs. It’s for anyone who wants to start creating with computers, not just consuming. The project has already blasted past it’s funding goal, and plans to start shipping Kano kits to backers as early as July of 2014.

Michron – Time-lapse photography module 

MichronEver wanted to shoot an awesome, day-long timelapse sequence, but didn’t know how to do it? In order to get the job done, you’ll need a device called an intervalometer. Michron is basically a super-simple, ultra-compact intervalometer that interfaces with your smartphone, and allows you to take pro-level timelapses with ease. Just plug it into your camera, and using the accompanying app, you can set the camera to take shots at an interval of your choosing. You can even control stuff like bulb ramping, interval ramping, and HDR bracketing, all of which which give you a huge degree of creative control over the shots you take.

Palette – Modular analog computer peripherals

PalettePalette is a customizable, easy-to-use hardware system that lets you control simple computer functions easily and quickly by turning a dial or moving a slider up and down. It’s like Lego computer peripherals – you can add or remove sliders and knobs to suit your needs. DJs, for example, could use it to control a digital soundboard; photographers and designers could use it to access frequently used functions with more refinement that moving a mouse across the screen or finger across the touchpad; and gamers could use it to execute certain moves. Check out our full post to learn more.

Emerging Tech

Want to work in the stars? Here are six future space jobs you could hold

Ever dreamed of leaving Earth to work in the stars? Here's a list of job titles that might sound like science fiction now, but almost certainly won’t a decade or two in the future.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX is on a hiring spree for its Starlink global internet project

After a string of delays, SpaceX's Starlink project was finally launched last month. Now an analysis of data from SpaceX's job listings shows the company is on a hiring tear, advertising for more and more positions for the project.
Emerging Tech

Ready to roll: Mars 2020 rover fitted with wheels ahead of mission next year

The Mars 2020 rover is getting ready for its trip to the red planet next year. The latest step in readying the rover is installing its wheels and suspension system, which engineers at NASA have been doing this month.
Emerging Tech

You can help search for aliens with an open access release of SETI data

The Breakthrough Initiatives, a program to search for extraterrestrial intelligence, recently analyzed its first three years of radio telescope data. And all of the data collected is being made publicly available in an open data archive.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Illuminated keyboards and a retro gaming console

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!
Emerging Tech

The U.K.’s biggest (and only) asteroid mining company has designs on our skies

Is the founder and CEO of the U.K.'s Asteroid Mining Corporation going to be among the first people to strike it rich in space, or is he just chasing an ambitious but doomed mirage?
Emerging Tech

Tiny galaxy has huge black hole at its center, gives clues to galactic evolution

A Hubble image shows a tiny galaxy which could hold the clue to unraveling a longstanding question about the evolution of galaxies. Despite its small size, it hosts a feature found in much larger galaxies -- a supermassive black hole.
Emerging Tech

Dark matter galaxy crashed into the Milky Way, causing the ripples in its disk

New research suggests hundreds of million of years ago, the Milky Way collided with Antlia 2, a nearby dwarf galaxy dominated by dark matter. The collision caused ripples in the disk of gas around the Milky Way which we still observe today.
Emerging Tech

Uranus’ rings shine brightly but hold a puzzle for astronomers

New images reveal the rings around Uranus, which are almost invisible to most telescopes. But there's a strange puzzle about them -- why they don't contain any small dust-sized particles.
Emerging Tech

U.S. Navy is working on making its fleet invisible to computerized surveillance

The U.S. Navy’s ever-innovative Office of Naval Research is working on a way to turn the United States military fleet invisible. Well, to cutting-edge image-recognition systems, at least.
News

Apple’s new Seattle campus may mean big things for Siri, artificial intelligence

Apple plans to hire 2,000 more employees for a new Seattle campus, the company announced Monday, with a significant number of those jobs focused on Siri and artificial intelligence.
Emerging Tech

How to watch SpaceX’s most difficult Falcon Heavy launch ever

SpaceX will launch a Falcon Heavy rocket Monday evening in its most challenging launch yet. The launch is scheduled for Monday June 24 at 8:30 p.m. PT, but is dependent on weather conditions. You can watch NASA's livestream with coverage…
Emerging Tech

SpaceX launches Falcon Heavy but loses core booster in crash landing

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy blazed spectacularly through the Florida sky early Tuesday local time as the world’s largest operational rocket embarked on its third and most challenging mission to date.
Emerging Tech

Self-assembling microrobots can be programmed to form a tiny steerable car

A new type of self-assembling mobile micromachine can be programmed to assemble into different formations -- ranging from a tiny car to a miniature rocket. Here's why that's so exciting.