Portal is a flexible smartphone that you strap to your arm

portal smartphone strap arm
The crowdfunding sites of Kickstarter and Indiegogo are places where the strangest ideas can be pitched to the public, but we’ve seen few devices as unusual as the Portal. This “wearable smartphone” is currently looking for $300,000 in funding on Indiegogo and features a flexible 6-inch TFT display that wraps around your lower arm.

That’s right — if you find the Apple Watch and the Moto 360 just too small to get anything useful done, then you can turn to this large strap-on screen instead. Its developers say the device will feature 2GB of RAM, 64GB of storage space and a customized version of Android. Cough up $349 or more and you can have a Portal of your own when they appear this time next year.

“A category once synonymous with innovation and technological advancement has been replaced with minor yearly ‘upgrades,’ uninspired design and a lack of uniqueness,” says the Portal manifesto. “The Portal is a smartphone designed for tech enthusiasts, active individuals and on-the-go professionals who are frustrated with bulky, cluttered, non-durable phones that constantly get in the way of their dynamic lifestyles.” If the project attracts enough funding, the plan is to start mass production next July.

Portal 2

It’s certainly different. The team behind Portal speaks about wanting to combine the advanced technology of a smartphone with the convenience of a wearable: A phone, smartwatch and fitness tracker in one. The prototype hardware is button-free, water-resistant and Kevlar-protected, and it comes with four cameras and a proprietary flexible 3200mAh battery. Wireless charging is another specification mentioned in the product listing.

“No longer will you need to carry and connect a smartwatch, fitness tracker and smartphone all at once,” promises the Indiegogo campaign site.  “Portal offers you the best of those devices at the times you choose.” Based on the mock-up images put together by the developers, it’s certainly going to turn more heads than the Apple Watch and anything running Android Wear.

Emerging Tech

The enormous ‘Flying Bum’ moves toward a commercial design

A prototype of the world's largest aircraft is being retired as the company behind it prepares to build a production model. The new Airlander 10, also known as the "Flying Bum," could be ready for commercial use by 2025.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

With sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Mobile

Unleash your inner artist with the best drawing apps for the iPad Pro

The best drawing apps for the iPad Pro turn Apple's robust tablet into a canvas worthy of a true artist. Here are 20 of our current favorites, whether you're looking to keep things simple or take your art to the next level.
Photography

Going somewhere? Capture more than your phone can with the best travel cams

Hitting the road or doing some globetrotting this year? Bring along the right camera to capture those once-in-a-lifetime vacation memories. Here's a list of some of our current favorites.
Gaming

Who needs a Switch? These 25 games prove there's fun to be found on 3DS

The 3DS is home to a large library, including some of the greatest games Nintendo has ever published. We've compiled this list of some of the best Nintendo 3DS games currently available.
Emerging Tech

Face-scanning A.I. can help doctors spot unusual genetic disorders

Facial recognition can unlock your phone. Could it also be used to identify whether a person has a rare genetic disorder, based on their facial features? New research suggests it can.
Emerging Tech

Yamaha’s new app lets you tune your motorcycle with a smartphone

It used to be that if you wanted to tune your motorcycle’s engine and tweak its performance, you needed specialized tools and even more specialized knowledge. Yamaha’s new Power Tuner app changes that.
Emerging Tech

Lasers and bovine breathalyzer help determine how much methane cows produce

Cow farts and belches don't sound like catastrophic threats, but they contribute to the massive amounts of methane in the atmosphere. Recently, scientists set out to establish the numbers.
Emerging Tech

Researchers discover a way to make 3D printing 100 times faster using light

Researchers at the University of Michigan have invented a new method of 3D printing which is up to 100 times faster than conventional 3D-printing processes. Here's how it works and why it could prove a game-changer for 3D printing.
Emerging Tech

Why wait? Here are some CES 2019 gadgets you can buy right now

Companies come to CES to wow us with their cutting edge technology, but only a few products are slated to hit the market right away. Here is our list of the best CES 2019 tech you can buy right now.
Emerging Tech

Drones: New rules could soon allow flights over people and at night

With commercial operators in mind, the U.S. government is looking to loosen restrictions on drone flights with a set of proposals that would allow the machines greater freedom to fly over populated areas and also at night.
Emerging Tech

Short film celebrates New Yorker’s amazing robot costumes

New York City resident Peter Kokis creates stunning robot costumes out of household trash. His designs are huge, heavy, and extremely intricate, and never fail to turn heads when he's out and about.
Emerging Tech

In a first for humankind, China is growing plants on the moon

Having recently landed a probe on the far side of the moon, China announced that it managed to grow the first plant on the moon, too. Here's why that matters for deep space travel.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.