Awesome tech you can’t buy yet: Collapsible monitors, measuring spoons, 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.

Spud — Collapsible high definition monitor

Ever wished you could just pack up your desktop monitor and take it with you wherever you go? Tired of your mobile workstation being confined to a tiny laptop or tablet screen? Check out SPUD — the Spontaneous Pop Up Display. It’s basically the world’s first collapsible high-resolution monitor. When collapsed, it’s roughly the size of a fat Harry Potter book (like, Goblet of Fire, not Chamber of Secrets) — but when expanded, it’s a full 24-inch diagonal screen with a 1280×720 resolution. Pretty crazy, right?

This nifty transformation is made possible with the help of a super clever design. Spud’s screen is made of a special fabric, which is held in place via set of umbrella-like collapsible arms. Once the screen is erect, a short-throw DLP projector beams the picture onto it. “When expanded, SPUD uses custom optics combined with the latest DLP technology to produce the sharp, bright image that you need,” the Kickstarter campaign says. “Either with an HDMI cable or wireless adapter, SPUD can be connected to a smartphone, tablet, or laptop — no matter where you are.”

Read more here

Stealth — Gamified core strength trainer

Hate going to the gym and cycling through a bunch of boring, repetetive exercises just to get fit? We’ve got good news for you. There’s a new gizmo called Stealth that might just be able to help. Touted as “the world’s first interactive core trainer,” Stealth is a home gym device that promises to sculpt you some killer abs by letting you play games on your smartphone.

Here’s how it works. The device itself is basically a specially designed balance board, which you place your smartphone into. Then, just fire up the accompanying Stealth gaming app and — using the phone’s in-built accelerometer and your own core as a makeshift joystick — complete various game challenges by tilting your body. To make your workout even more engaging, you can also sync the app up to a friend’s phone and play a range of competetive two-player games.

Read more here

Chip — Countertop smart oven just for cookies

Normally we aren’t big fans of single-purpose products here at DT — but when a product’s single purpose is baking perfect cookies on demand, we can’t really say no. Chip, as it’s called, is just that — a sensor-studded countertop cooking device designed for the sole purpose of making awesome cookies. Thanks to a range of built-in sensors, Chip is able to monitor the status of your cookies while they bake, so when they come out of the oven, they’re flawless.

“Different flavors go through different chemical reactions as they bake,” Chip’s creators explain on Kickstarter, “so we’ve programmed [CHiP] to sense the cookie temperature throughout the baking process, ensuring each cookie is perfectly baked.” And that’s not all — as you’d expect from any product bearing the “smart” label, Chip is also equpped with WiFi and works with an accompanying smartphone app. This allows you to get alerts when your cookies are done, or even delay the baking time so that they’re fresh and ready right when you want them.

Read more here

Polygons — Flat, 4-in-1 measuring spoon

Do you need new measuring spoons? Probably not, but you’ll probably want some after you see Polygons in action. It’s basically an all-in-one measuring spoon that, thanks to a ridiculously clever design, is totally flat when not in use, but folds up origami style to become a spoon when you need it. Check out the video — it makes your busted old set of teaspoons on a keyring look downright primitive.

While its completely flat in its native state, Polygons features several pre-marked areas across its surface that allow the user to easily fold it into any tablespoon or teaspoon size they may need. Simply picking up Polygons along any of its labeled score lines will quickly transform it into the desired measuring spoon. Plus, because of its naturally flat design, cleaning this cleverly designed tool requires nothing more than some hot water and a soapy sponge.

Read more here

Standard Products — 3D printable furniture brackets

Back when 3D printing was just kicking off, there was much talk of a future where people could download new furniture designs, print them, and furnish their living rooms with new pieces whenever they pleased. Yet, despite the fact that 3D printing your own custom-designed furniture is totally possible now, it hasn’t really caught on. This is mostly due to the fact that 3D printers aren’t a common household appliance yet, but even if they were, making a full-sized piece of furniture typically requires you to print a boatload of small pieces and snap them together to create something bigger, which isn’t very convenient.

But who says you have to print the entire piece of furniture? Standard Products is a series cleverly-designed connectors that allow you to join pieces of wood together with simple 3D-printed fasteners to create a full suite of different home furnishings. This way, instead of burning through a bunch of PLA filament to make a zillion different sections that snap together, you just print the connectors, and then get the remaining materials from your local hardware store. Pretty brilliant, right?

Read more here


Print your heart’s desire: Enter our giveaway to win a free Monoprice 3D printer

We’re giving away a $400 Monoprice MP Voxel 3D Printer. It's easy to use, especially for beginners, with its simple menu system and touchscreen display. It comes fully assembled so you can spend more time printing instead of setting up.
Emerging Tech

Makerbot is back with a new 3D printer that’s faster and more precise than ever

MakerBot's new Method 3D printer aims to bridge the gap between home 3D printers and more industrial 3D printing tech. Here are a few of the tantalizing things you can expect from it.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

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!

Onak 2.0 is an origami-inspired folding canoe for waterborne adventures

The Onak 2.0 is an origami-inspired folding kayak that measures 15 feet in length when fully assembled, yet can breakdown and be stored in a small, easily transported box making it a great option for apartment dwellers.
Emerging Tech

White dwarf star unexpectedly emitting bright ‘supersoft’ X-rays

NASA's Chandra Observatory has discovered a white dwarf star which is emitting supersoft X-rays, calling into question the conventional wisdom about how X-rays are produced by dying stars.

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Emerging Tech

It’s no flying car, but the e-scooter had a huge impact on city streets in 2018

Within just a year, electric scooters have fundamentally changed how we navigate cities. From San Francisco to Paris, commuters have a new option that’s more fun than mass transit, easier than a bike, and definitely not a car.
Emerging Tech

Full-fledged drone delivery service set to land in remote Canadian community

Some drone delivery operations seem rather crude in their execution, but Drone Delivery Canada is building a comprehensive platform that's aiming to take drone delivery to the next level.
Emerging Tech

Intel wants its fleet of drones to monitor America’s aging, unsafe bridges

Intel has signed a deal to use its Falcon 8+ drones to carry out bridge inspections. The hope is that these drones will be useful in spotting potential problems before they become serious.
Emerging Tech

Transplanted pig hearts show promise in baboon trials. Are humans next?

Researchers in Germany have successfully transplanted modified pig hearts into baboons. The results take us one step closer to ending organ transplant waiting lists for good. Here's why.
Emerging Tech

An A.I. cracks the internet’s squiggly letter bot test in 0.5 seconds

How do you prove that you’re a human when communicating on the internet? The answer used to be by solving a CAPTCHA puzzle. But maybe not for too much longer. Here is the reason why.
Emerging Tech

Warm ski beanie instantly hardens into a head-protecting helmet upon impact

Wool hats are way more comfortable than hard helmets. You know what they're not? Safer. That could soon change, thanks to an innovative new ski beanie which instantly hardens upon impact.

Take to the skies with these 5 drones on sale for under $50

On the hunt for some cool tech for under $50? We've rounded up 5 drones under $50 that you can still get before Christmas. These models are great for kids, adults, and anyone just getting started with drones.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.