Awesome tech you can’t buy yet: Smartwatch gesture controls, portable kegerators

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 no shortage of weird, useless, and downright stupid projects out there – alongside some real gems. We’ve cut through the Pebble clones and janky iPhone cases to round up the most unusual, ambitious, and exciting projects out there this week. Keep in mind that any crowdfunded project — even the best intentioned — can fail, so do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.

Deus Ex Aria — Smartwatch gesture controls

With smartwatches going mainstream this year with the arrival of the Apple Watch, it was only a matter of time before someone streamlined the experience even more with another popular technology: gesture controls. Enter the Deus Ex Aria SmartStrap, a connectable add-on device compatible with Pebble Time and Android Wear smartwatches. It reads gestures made with the hand your watch is on to control it with no contact necessary. Tap with your index finger to the thumb, for instance, and the Aria interprets it as an “enter” command.  A ring-finger tap goes back, and flicking up, down, left and right all scroll the respective directions. To make the Aria even more attractive, the developers equipped the device with several advanced features, including connectivity with Android-powered devices and GoPro cameras. Pebble Watch users can even control a connected Android or iPhone smartphone with all of the same gesture controls.

Bartesian — Cocktail machine

The Bartesian cocktail machine is essentially a Keurig for those who prefer their drinks a bit stiffer after 5 p.m. No more fumbling around with simple syrup or groaning because you’ve added too much grenadine, Bartesian takes the guess work out of making expertly crafted cocktails. By simply inserting one of Bartesian’s pre-made capsules — as well as a spirit like vodka, tequila, or rum — users have the ability to quickly make perfectly blended drinks. The makers of the device plan to launch with six different cocktail varieties, three of which are classic mixes (Margarita, Sex on the Beach, and Cosmopolitan), while the three others serve as Bartesian’s own signature concoctions (Bartesian Breeze, Uptown Rocks, and Zest Martini). Each specific flavor is comprised of real, liquid ingredients, meaning you won’t find any traces of artificial powder or corn syrup in the finished product.

Read more here.

Vufine – Handsfree wearable display

Wearable tech suffers no lack of hype, but the gadgets’ stunted growth in the wild largely comes down to their exorbitant prices. Understanding this limitation, tech enthusiast Goro Kosaka took to developing the cost-effective, easy-to-operate Vufine heads up display. By simply attaching the device to a magnetic docking station on a pair of sunglasses, users instantly have the ability to interact with an array of HDMI-capable devices like smartphones, GoPros, digital cameras, etc. Vufine’s Kickstarter page even offers up suggested uses like watching Netflix while out and about, using it as a rearview camera, or viewing GPS directions hands-free. Unlike Google Glass — which runs on an Android-based system — the Vufine doesn’t use any form of operating system, meaning users won’t have to fumble around with an unfamiliar interface. The Vufine’s greatest feature is the fact Kosaka plans to sell this wearable for just $149 dollars when it launches in November, a far cry from Google Glass’ $1,500 asking price.

doppel — Wearable tech to make you more alert, calm

London-based company Team Turquoise wants you to calm down. Or perk up, whatever. Doppel is a wearable intended to change the pace of your life by tapping your wrist. Set it to tap faster for an energy boost, or slower to calm down; it continues to operate at this level until told otherwise. During setup, users simply record their resting heartrate into doppel’s companion smartphone application, then speed it up or slow it down on the watch itself. Company co-founder Jack Hooper says the device is perfect for helping people power through long meetings, or to help wind down after a particularly stressful day of work. Either way, it seems an interesting idea in the world of wearables, and one which certainly doesn’t lack any unique flavor.

Read more here.

Hank the Beer Tank — Portable kegerator

Who hasn’t been traveling and thought to themselves, “I wish I had a portable keg of beer with me right now” at least once or twice? Luckily, a company called Hank the Beer Tank developed a fully portable kegerator capable of allowing people to pour ice cold draft beer just by plugging it into any 12 volt outlet. Hank the Beer Tank – the product boasts the same name as its company – uses a power draw of just 5 amps, meaning this handy device has the ability to run for a handful of hours before even coming close to draining a car battery. The setup even houses air circulation blowers and a precision thermostat which help any at-home brewer achieve desired temperatures during a brew cycle’s fermentation process. Its compact body style allows users to fit a 1/6 barrel keg (5 gallons) inside, and its sturdy construction appears capable of withstanding a beating – because if the event you take this to requires a keg, how low key could it actually be?

Read more here.


The Galaxy Watch will make you a better person

The newly unveiled Galaxy Watch pushes the edge of the wearable envelope: This smartwatch aims to improve not just your fitness but your overall wellness, explains Alanna Cotton, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Samsung.

Tag Heuer shoots, scores with new Premier League Wear OS watch face

Tag Heuer has released an exclusive Wear OS watch face for its smartwatches, celebrating its continued association with England's Premier League, ready to deliver all the game updates to your wrist.

Samsung rebrands Gear app as ‘Galaxy Wearables,’ it now supports Android 9.0 Pie

Following reports that Samsung Gear owners were experiencing connectivity issues after downloading Android 9.0 Pie, the company released an update to the app. The Samsung Gear app is also now officially known as Galaxy Wearable.
Product Review

The Marc Jacobs Riley Touchscreen Smartwatch has an understated look, but makes an impression

The Marc Jacobs Riley is Marc Jacobs’ first fully-touchscreen smartwatch for men and women. It runs Wear OS, has a large 1.19-inch display, and a sleek design. At almost $300, we take a closer look to see if it’s worth it.
Emerging Tech

Be a master of your own ever-changing ‘galaxy’ with this kinetic wall art

Art Machine is a stunning work of kinetic art that looks like a continuously swirling galaxy or turbulent weather formation viewed through a ship's porthole. Check it out in all its glory.
Emerging Tech

Omega Centauri hosts 10 million stars and probably not an ounce of life

Omega Centauri is about 16,000 light years away, making it visible to the naked eye. And it contains some 10 million stars, making it the largest globular cluster in the Milky Way. But it probably doesn't have an ounce of life.
Emerging Tech

The world’s first practical quantum computer has cash and a timeline

The dream of building a practical quantum computer could be closer than ever, thanks to a $15 million grant from the National Science Foundation to seven universities around the United States.
Emerging Tech

Forget flying cars: This shoe-tying robot is proof that the future is here

Engineering students from the University of California, Davis, recently built a robot whose sole personality in life is to tie shoelaces. It cost them under $600 to do it as well!
Emerging Tech

Bizarre stork robot uses a drone to compensate for its weak, twig-like legs

Developed by engineers from Japan’s University of Tokyo, Aerial Biped is a robot whose top half is comprised of a flying quadrotor UAV that's rooted to the ground by thin stork-like legs.
Emerging Tech

A treasure trove of 3D scientific specimens is now free to see online

Thanks to the California Academy of Sciences, you can access more than 700 scientific specimens and artifacts from the world-class collection via the online 3D and virtual reality platform Sketchfab.
Emerging Tech

Lyd is a battery-powered, ‘no-spill’ bottle that is activated by your lips

Lyd is a battery-powered bottle that’s something like a sippy cup for adults. Its no-spill solution is a specialized lid that uses an algorithm to detect when your lips are on the bottle.
Emerging Tech

Cotton and corn! Reebok’s newest sneaker is ‘made from things that grow’

Keen to move away from using oil-based materials to make its footwear, Reebok has turned to cotton and corn for its latest sneaker. No dyes have been used to color the shoes, either, and the packaging is 100 percent recyclable.

Apple AR glasses will launch in 2020, says respected industry analyst

Apple AR glasses may be closer to reality than we thought. Here is everything we know so far about the augmented reality system, including the rumored specifications of Apple's Project Mirrorshades.
Emerging Tech

A new way to ‘freeze’ water could help transform organ preservation

Scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a way of keeping water as a liquid at temperatures far below freezing. Here's why that could help transform organ preservation.