Skip to main content

Awesome tech you can’t buy yet: Home steam cleaning, futuristic pianos, e-skin

Best new Kickstarter and Indiegogo Projects
Image used with permission by copyright holder
At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion crowdfunding campaigns on the web. Take a visual stroll through the best new Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects, 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.

Tersa — home steam-cleaning system

There are few things more mundanely embarrassing than a wrinkled shirt. Imagine getting up in front of the executives at work to deliver a presentation, only to notice them snickering. You look down and realize your shirt has the texture of a human brain. The shame! Normally, you should iron your clothes, but this can be time-consuming, and there’s always the chance you might burn your threads. The creators of the Tersa aim to eliminate the stress of ironing with a fully-automated steam-cleaning system.

A slender box that you can mount on your wall, the Tersa steam cleans and presses your clothes, and the creators claim the process takes no more than ten minutes. Not only will the device clean your clothes, but it will even leave them smelling good. Simply hang your item in the machine, close the door, plug in one of the proprietary fragrance pods, and press the button.

Read more here

E-skin — skin you play in

Don’t freak out! E-skin is not actually a replacement for your epidermis. It is a shirt with sensors that track movement. While wearing it, you can send inputs to machines using the movements of your body. One clear application for this is gaming, particularly VR. No longer must you be bound to old-fashioned controllers (or even the more recent, wand-like VR controllers). With the e-skin, your body moves your character.

Even if you’re not into video games — or cannot afford a VR-worthy computer — the e-skin has useful applications. The shirt can be programmed for all sorts of purposes, including fitness tracking and wellness, and it can even alert you if your posture is bad. It is also easy on the eyes, resembling a training shirt from the future.

Read more here

All Controller

Are you the sort of person who owns multiple gaming consoles, and/or a PC gaming rig? Chances are you’ve got quite a few controllers lying around. Wouldn’t it be nice if, instead of constantly changing devices depending on the game, you had one controller that works with everything? That’s the premise the creators of the All Controller are running with. The result is a gamepad that can be used with any system or game, emulating various control methods, even mouse and keyboard.

Not only is the All Controller designed to work with any setup, but you can even adjust the button configurations and sensitivities to a precise degree, managing joystick dead zones and programming macros. The devices comes in both wired and wireless configurations, with up to 40 hours of battery life.

Read more here

Nope — sound blocker

Do you ever feel like somebody’s watching you? It’s more problematic than you may think, as hackers can use malware to hijack your webcam. These miscreants can even tap the microphones on your computers, tablets, and phones to listen in on your conversations. It’s enough to make anyone feel like they’re living in a spy movie, in a bad way.

You can never be too cautious in the digital world. While you can tape over your webcam, blocking your microphone can be more difficult. The Nope sound blocker plugs into your devices, disabling the on-board mic. The minuscule device is easy to adjust, and can be plugged into a keychain so you don’t lose it. The Nope webcam cover is a tiny, sliding mechanism that attaches to devices, allowing you to quickly cover or uncover your webcam.

Read more here

mPiano — midi controller/piano of the future

Are you tired of that analog piano sound? Want something that will let you stretch your boundaries, but don’t think a Casio is up to the task? Enter the mPiano, a svelte electronic instrument that looks like a piano but has modern machinery under the hood.

Despite the name, the mPiano is actually a MIDI controller. You can plug it into an iPad or computer for some intense sound editing. Sensors located under each key allow users to slide their fingers along the keys to modulate sound, so if your guests ask you to play, you can skip the classics and bust out some Emerson, Lake & Palmer. If you simply want to hammer on the keys like Liszt, you can do that too.

The mPiano’s sleek, minimalist design make it a much more convenient addition to a home than an old-fashioned grand piano.

Read more here

Editors' Recommendations

Will Nicol
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Will Nicol is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends. He covers a variety of subjects, particularly emerging technologies, movies…
Digital Trends’ Tech For Change CES 2023 Awards
Digital Trends CES 2023 Tech For Change Award Winners Feature

CES is more than just a neon-drenched show-and-tell session for the world’s biggest tech manufacturers. More and more, it’s also a place where companies showcase innovations that could truly make the world a better place — and at CES 2023, this type of tech was on full display. We saw everything from accessibility-minded PS5 controllers to pedal-powered smart desks. But of all the amazing innovations on display this year, these three impressed us the most:

Samsung's Relumino Mode
Across the globe, roughly 300 million people suffer from moderate to severe vision loss, and generally speaking, most TVs don’t take that into account. So in an effort to make television more accessible and enjoyable for those millions of people suffering from impaired vision, Samsung is adding a new picture mode to many of its new TVs.
[CES 2023] Relumino Mode: Innovation for every need | Samsung
Relumino Mode, as it’s called, works by adding a bunch of different visual filters to the picture simultaneously. Outlines of people and objects on screen are highlighted, the contrast and brightness of the overall picture are cranked up, and extra sharpness is applied to everything. The resulting video would likely look strange to people with normal vision, but for folks with low vision, it should look clearer and closer to "normal" than it otherwise would.
Excitingly, since Relumino Mode is ultimately just a clever software trick, this technology could theoretically be pushed out via a software update and installed on millions of existing Samsung TVs -- not just new and recently purchased ones.

Read more
AI turned Breaking Bad into an anime — and it’s terrifying
Split image of Breaking Bad anime characters.

These days, it seems like there's nothing AI programs can't do. Thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence, deepfakes have done digital "face-offs" with Hollywood celebrities in films and TV shows, VFX artists can de-age actors almost instantly, and ChatGPT has learned how to write big-budget screenplays in the blink of an eye. Pretty soon, AI will probably decide who wins at the Oscars.

Within the past year, AI has also been used to generate beautiful works of art in seconds, creating a viral new trend and causing a boon for fan artists everywhere. TikTok user @cyborgism recently broke the internet by posting a clip featuring many AI-generated pictures of Breaking Bad. The theme here is that the characters are depicted as anime characters straight out of the 1980s, and the result is concerning to say the least. Depending on your viewpoint, Breaking Bad AI (my unofficial name for it) shows how technology can either threaten the integrity of original works of art or nurture artistic expression.
What if AI created Breaking Bad as a 1980s anime?
Playing over Metro Boomin's rap remix of the famous "I am the one who knocks" monologue, the video features images of the cast that range from shockingly realistic to full-on exaggerated. The clip currently has over 65,000 likes on TikTok alone, and many other users have shared their thoughts on the art. One user wrote, "Regardless of the repercussions on the entertainment industry, I can't wait for AI to be advanced enough to animate the whole show like this."

Read more
4 simple pieces of tech that helped me run my first marathon
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar displaying pace information.

The fitness world is littered with opportunities to buy tech aimed at enhancing your physical performance. No matter your sport of choice or personal goals, there's a deep rabbit hole you can go down. It'll cost plenty of money, but the gains can be marginal -- and can honestly just be a distraction from what you should actually be focused on. Running is certainly susceptible to this.

A few months ago, I ran my first-ever marathon. It was an incredible accomplishment I had no idea I'd ever be able to reach, and it's now going to be the first of many I run in my lifetime. And despite my deep-rooted history in tech, and the endless opportunities for being baited into gearing myself up with every last product to help me get through the marathon, I went with a rather simple approach.

Read more