Skip to main content

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

Editors' Recommendations

Drew Prindle
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Drew Prindle is an award-winning writer, editor, and storyteller who currently serves as Senior Features Editor for Digital…
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.

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