Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

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 fidget spinners and janky iPhone cases to round up the most unusual, ambitious, and exciting new crowdfunding projects out there this week. Keep in mind that any crowdfunding project — even those with the best intentions — can fail, so do your homework before cutting a check for the “gadget of your dreams.”

December 16

Whiski poles 2.0 — flask ski poles

There are certain things in this world that just pair together well. Milk and cookies. Peanut butter and jelly. Skiing and booze. It’s like they were made for each other. Unfortunately, if you want to enjoy some hooch on the hill, you’re forced to lug a bunch of beers around in your snow pants, or tuck a tiny flask in your pocket and hope it’s enough to get you a buzz. Neither option is particularly ideal. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a better way to transport your liquid courage around while you shred the slopes?

Good news: there finally is. In fact, there already was. They’re called Whiski poles, and they’re exactly what they sound like: ski poles that you can fill up with liquor. Apparently version 1.0 came out a couple years ago, and now the creators are already back on Kickstater with version 2.0. This time around, the poles are designed to work with optional inserts, which allow you to stash other items in your ski poles. You know, normal stuff like pens and rolled up cash — definitely not doobies and blunts and ziploc baggies full of magic mushrooms. That would be reckless.

Paladin — affordable SLA printer

SLA 3D printers used to be expensive and out-of-reach for the average consumer, but that’s now beginning to change. Thanks in large part to crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, these kinds of printers have become drastically more affordable and available in the past year or so. Nowadays there are a handful that you can get for less than $500 — and there’s a boatload more currently in development.

The latest to hit the crowdfunding scene is Paladin — a highly affordable SLA/DLP printer that, despite costing just a hair over $400 on Kickstarter, comes with a range of high-end features that you typically only see on machines that cost upward of $1,500. Most notably, it has an automatic resin pump that keeps the vat full at all times, a touchscreen interface, and automatic bed leveling. What more could you want?

Pigzbe — cryptocurrency piggy bank for kids

Here’s a quick excerpt from our full article, which ran earlier in the week: “So you’ve taught your 6-year-old child to read, write, and play nice with others. What’s next? Give them a base understanding of cryptocurrency, of course! After all, what self-respecting modern kid trusts their parents to hand over regular installments of allowance without systematically recording it on the blockchain for posterity?

Okay, so we’re not quite at the point just yet where Bitcoin joins Little League and Dinosaur Train as things that young people go crazy over, but that’s not stopping the folks behind an intriguing new Kickstarter campaign. Called Pigzbe, it’s a smart wallet for youngsters that’s intended to teach your offspring about money and saving for a world that’s rapidly becoming free from the kind of physical money that we grew up with.

Pigzbe trades a currency called Wollo, and essentially acts like an easy entry point into the world of cryptocurrency. An associated app lets parents set up standing orders, transfer funds linked to chores, and more. The app also visualizes savings in a lively, fun way, which should hopefully make the process of saving cash seem less abstract.”

Carry on closet — suitcase with integrated shelving

Suitcases are great for transporting clothing, but storing it and keeping it organized after you’ve reached your destination? Not so much. That’s why it usually looks like a bomb went off in your hotel room after you’ve gone through an outfit or two. Obviously, this is less than ideal — but let’s be honest here: it’s also not worth the effort to unpack everything and nearly tuck it into the drawers in your room, or to put stuff on hangers. We live in the age of smart suitcases, yet somehow we still don’t have suitcases with integrated organization systems.

Or at least we didn’t. Now that the new-and-improved Carry on Closet is here, there’s finally a better way to keep your crap organized when you’re traveling. The suitcase (which comes in two different sizes that both qualify as carry ons) is outfitted with a collapsible shelving system that can be expanded when you’re at the hotel, thereby giving you access to all your clothes without having to dig for anything. When it’s time to leave, you can just collapse the shevles like an accordion and stuff them back into the suitcase in a matter of seconds — no re-folding, no sitting on your luggage so you can get the zipper closed.

Cleansebot — UV sanitizer robot

For years, the go-to method for killing germs has been either burning them to death, or, for surfaces like countertops, poisoning them with harsh chemicals. Both methods are highly effective, but poisoning does come with a major drawback: oftentimes the chemicals we use are just as harmful as the germs we’re trying to destroy.

Cleansebot is here to fix that problem. It’s like a Roomba for your countertops, but instead of simply sucking up debris, the little bot roves around and blasts low-wavelength UV-C light onto any surface it passes over. In doing so, it effectively scrambles the DNA of any germs on your countertops, rendering them incapable of breeding/multiplying. Skeptical? Don’t be. This definitely isn’t the first device to use this sanitization technique. Ultraviolet light is used as a disinfectant in hospitals, laboratories, swimming pools, and drinking water treatment facilities around the world, because it offers safe, industrial-grade disinfection without the complications and side-effects of chemical treatments.

Product Review

This was 3D printed? With the Anycubic Photon, you can't tell

Never mind the fact that the Anycubic Photon 3D printer only costs 500 bucks. In terms of sheer print quality, this printer is on the same level as machines that cost six times as much.
Emerging Tech

The best 3D printers of 2018

On the hunt for a new 3D printer? We've got your back. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran, this list of the best 3D printers has what you're looking for.
Music

Jam out in style with the 25 best playlists on Spotify

Music is the world's most potent drug, and the best playlists on Spotify will make you catch feelings. We've scoured the service for its top collections, and brought them together in one place -- for you.
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

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
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…
Emerging Tech

Rise of the Machines: Here’s how much robots and A.I. progressed in 2018

2018 has generated no shortage of news, and the worlds of A.I. and robotics are no exception. Here are our picks for the most exciting, game changing examples of both we saw this year.
Emerging Tech

Thrill-seekers will be able to pilot themselves in a giant drone as soon as 2019

Want to hitch a ride on a giant drone? The startup Lift Aircraft is gearing up to let paying customers fly its 18-rotor giant drones over assorted scenic landscapes across the U.S.
Emerging Tech

CRISPR gene therapy regulates hunger, staves off severe obesity in mice

Researchers from UC San Francisco have demonstrated how CRISPR gene editing can be used to prevent severe obesity in mice, without making a single edit to the mouse's genome. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Parker Solar Probe captures first image from within the atmosphere of the sun

NASA has shared the first image from inside the atmosphere of the sun taken by the Parker Solar Probe. The probe made the closest ever approach to a star, gathering data which scientists have been interpreting and released this week.
Emerging Tech

Say cheese: InSight lander posts a selfie from the surface of Mars

NASA's InSight mission to Mars has commemorated its arrival by posting a selfie. The selfie is a composite of 11 different images which were taken by one of its instruments, the Instrument Deployment Camera.
Emerging Tech

Researchers create a flying wireless platform using bumblebees

Researchers at the University of Washington have come up with a novel way to create a wireless platform: using bumblebees. As mechanical drones' batteries run out too fast, the team made use of a biology-based solution using living insects.
1 of 4