Awesome tech you can’t buy yet: Coffee alarm clocks, portable showers, and more

At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion crowdfunding campaigns 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. In this column, we cut through all the worthless wearables and Oculus Rift ripoffs to round up the week’s most unusual, ambitious, and exciting projects. But don’t grab your wallet just yet. Keep in mind that any crowdfunded project can fail — even the most well-intentioned. Do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.

Barisieur — Coffee-brewing alarm clock

No matter how much sleep you get, waking up is almost always a chore. Letting go of that glorious dream you were having, hauling yourself away from the warmth and comfort of your bed, and shuffling to the kitchen to guzzle down some caffeine is a much more arduous process than it should be. But what if you didn’t have to shuffle at all? What if you could enjoy a hot cup of coffee just moments after waking up? Well, thanks to this brilliant contraption from UK-based designer Josh Renouf, you might soon be able to do just that.

His latest creation, the Barisieur, is an ingenious hybrid of an alarm clock and a coffee brewer — a contraption that finally enables you to get your daily dose of liquid crack without ever leaving your sheets. The device works just like you’d expect: you pre-load it with some water and grounds, put your cup in place, and set the alarm. When wakeup time rolls around, instead of sounding a horrible, skull-piercing klaxon, it wakes you up with the gentle sound of bubbling water, accompanied by the wonderful aroma of freshly-prepared coffee.

Read more here.

Carbon SUV — Beefy, badass electric bike

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: humanity is living in the golden age of rideable technology right now. In the past few years, electric motors have become smaller and more powerful, and batteries have begun to last longer — two trends that have coalesced and kicked off a renaissance in personal mobility devices. There’s almost too many rideables to keep track of anymore. Between all the electric skateboards, gyroscopically stabilized unicycles, and motorized skates; staying on top of all the new rideable gizmos that get announced each month is damn near impossible.

The latest addition to this ever-growing category of transportation devices is the Carbon SUV — a big, burly, fat-tire electric mountain bike that looks like it fell out of a UFO. It only tops out at just over 21 miles per hour, but the creators say its lightweight design and high torque allow you to boost over inclines and obstacles with ease.

Read more here.

Orbii — Robotic home security orb

In the past few years, security cameras have become cheaper and more functional than ever before. Nowadays, there are a handful of cameras that come standard with integrated motion detection, temperature sensors, light sensors, and a host of other features. But no matter how advanced these cameras get, they all come with the same drawback: they’re stationary. In order to see multiple parts of your house, you need to buy and install multiple cameras — and even then, if something’s happening outside of their field of view, there’s no way to see it.

You need Orbii — a rolling robotic security camera that you can control remotely from anywhere with an internet connection. It’s basically BB-8, but without the levitating head and cute little bleep bloop noises. Once you’ve got it connected to to your home Wi-Fi network, you can drive the bot around your house via the accompanying smartphone app. Not sure if you turned the oven off, or if your cat has enough food in its bowl? Just drive Orbii over and take a look.

Read more here.

RinseKit — Portable, pressurized shower

Ever found yourself in a situation where you really needed a good rinse, but were miles and miles away from any kind of hose, faucet, or shower? Ever wished there was a way to bring a shower along with you wherever you go? If you answered yes to both questions, then RinseKit might be just the device you’ve been looking for.

In a nutshell, it’s basically just a portable pressurized hose — but here’s the kicker: it doesn’t require any pumping or battery power to operate. Its designed in such a way that when you fill it up, the pressure from your faucet or hose is strong enough to compress the air inside the RinseKit’s inner chamber. This pressure is apparently high enough to provide up to provide five minutes of shower time — and up to 30 minutes if you keep it on the low pressure “mist” setting. There’s even an optional heating element add-on for users who prefer to shower in warm water.

Read more here.

Nuria — Adaptive headphones

Whenever you buy a new set of headphones, you probably take a few days to break them in and tweak the fit to get the best listening experience. Usually, this is done by simply fiddling with headband or swapping out the earbud tips to make sure you’ve got a snug fit. But even after all that tweaking, the sound quality of the headphones themselves is pretty much one-size-fits all, and isn’t tailored to the acoustics of your individual ear canals.

Nuria aims to change that. The company’s eponymous new headphones are designed to calculate the perfect sound profile for you based on the unique shape of your inner ear — no equalizer required. The phones actually scan your inner ear canals and tailor the sound to optimize the way the waves reverberate and ensure they reach your eardrums without being colorized or degraded in any way.

Read more here.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

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

Keep your holiday gift list high tech and under budget with these gadgets

Modern technology doesn't always come cheap, but there plenty of premium devices that don't carry a premium price. Whether you're looking for a streaming device or a means of capturing photos from above, our list of the best tech under $50…
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in October, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Black Panther’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.

From 'E.T." to 'Lord of the Rings,' these are the best movie soundtracks ever

Whether you're a lover of beautifully composed original scores or a fan of perfectly compiled popular music, these are the best movie soundtracks of all time — from Star Wars to Garden State.
Emerging Tech

This gadget lets you sleep on airplanes without snuggling a stranger

Odd gadget, or a hug for your face? The Napup Fly+ is a travel pillow, sleep mask, and personal speaker system all rolled into one, attached to the back of the headrest to hold your head up.
Emerging Tech

From flying for fun to pro filmmaking, these are the best drones you can buy

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.
Emerging Tech

Healthy mice born from two genetic mothers using stem cells, gene editing

Healthy mice have been born from two genetics mothers and later went on to bear healthy offspring of their own, according to a recent paper published by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Emerging Tech

Japanese scientists are chewing over an ‘electric gum’ that never loses flavor

Researchers at Japan's Meiji University may have found the secret to unlimited chewing gum -- and it just involves zapping your tongue with electricity. Here's what makes it all work.
Smart Home

Vector, the engaging Alexa-like robot, is ready to roam around your home

Anyone who has ever watched Short Circuit or WALL-E has surely dreamed about having a robot buddy come live with them. Finally, that dream is now a reality. It's name is Vector, and it's available now.
Emerging Tech

Ekster 3.0 lets you ask, ‘Alexa, where did I leave my wallet?’

Ekster's newest smart wallet is its best yet. It's slimmer than ever, boasts a neat card-dispensing mechanism, and will even let you know where it is, thanks to smart speaker integration.
Emerging Tech

Johns Hopkins’ lab-grown human retina could lead to big insights

Scientists from Johns Hopkins University have successfully grown human retina tissue from scratch in a lab. The work could help with the development of new therapeutics related to eye diseases.

Skydio’s self-flying drone now has an Apple Watch app for flight prep

Skydio's clever R1 autonomous drone now has its own Apple Watch app, making flight preparations simpler than ever. The $2,000 flying machine is now also selling at its first retail outlet — Apple Stores in North America.
Emerging Tech

Light-swallowing room promises Call of Duty fans the blackest of ops

What's it like to be in a room fully painted with the world's darkest material, Vantablack? The makers of one of the year's top video games teamed up with Vantablack scientists to find out.
Emerging Tech

Are e-cigarettes safe? Here’s what the most recent science says

Ecigarettes are widely regarded and advertised as a healthier alternative to cigarettes for people who are trying to kick the smoking habit. How safe are these cigarette alternatives? We went deep into the recent scientific literature to…