This $200 razor has a sapphire blade that’s 10x sharper than a scalpel, and it lasts for years

Zafirro is known for producing the world’s most expensive razor, a $100,000 shaver with an iridium handle and sapphire blades. Since its debut in 2011, the cost of producing sapphire has plummeted, and now Zafirro is crowdfunding its original Z2 razor at a much more reasonable price tag.

Zafirro is funding the next production run of its Z2 razor on Kickstarter with packages starting at $149 for a single Zafirro razor, which is $150 off the razor’s estimated $299 retail price. This $149 tier already has been claimed, but there are other limited-slot tiers available with prices ranging from $179 to $229. If you want to be among the first people to get a Zafirro when it becomes available next year, you can pledge $279 and receive your razor in October 2016 instead of the predicted December delivery date.

Why would you pay $200 for a Zafirro when you can purchase a basic razor for less than $20? Unlike your drug store Gillette razors, Zafirro uses sapphire on its cutting blade. With 80 atoms at its tip, the sapphire blade is sharper and harder, making it 100 times more durable than competing steel blade razors. Zafirro predicts a single sapphire blade can last between 6 to 12 months, with an even longer blade life possible in the future. After a year, owners can purchase a replacement blade that could retail for $49 or less, depending on the volume of Zafirro razors sold and the price fluctuations of sapphire over the coming year.

Though the Zafirro, even at these prices, doesn’t offer much of a cost saving over a traditional razor, it does offer an environmentally friendly solution for green consumers looking to reduce the amount of waste they deposit in landfills. The EPA estimates that consumers throw away 2 billion razor blades each year, making the razor a significant source of bathroom waste. With its year-long blade, the Zafirro has the potential to reduce razor blade waste by a significant amount.

The only unknown about the Zafirro is its final design — while the company wants to keep the classic style of the original Z2 model, it may not be able to do so, as high volume production may necessitate some design changes in the handle. Zafirro promises that if is does have to tweak the look of the razor, it will “make sure it’s a great design.”

Updated on 7-18-2106 by Kelly Hodgkins: Zafirro this week relaunched the Kickstarter campaign for its Z2 Razor after canceling funding for the razor at the beginning of 2016 due to insufficient funding The company confirmed in January that it fell short of the $1 million it needed from Kickstarter and equity investors to begin production of the high-tech razor. This new campaign has a much more realistic goal with the entire $1 million for the project coming from Kickstarter funds.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

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!
Smart Home

Amazon Prime members number more than 100 million in the U.S., survey says

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated there were 101 million U.S. Amazon Prime members as of December 31, 2018. Last April, CEO Jeff Bezos wrote there were more than 100 global million Prime members.
Emerging Tech

Hexbot is a modular robot arm that does everything from drawing to playing chess

Who wouldn’t want their own personal robot arm to do everything from laser engraving to competing against you in a game of chess? That's what Hexbot, a new modular robot, promises to deliver.
Product Review

Gate’s Smart Lock is locked and loaded but ultimately lacks important basics

In a world of video cameras and doorbells comes the Gate Smart Lock, a lock with a video camera embedded. It’s a great idea, but lacks some crucial functionality to make it a top-notch product.
Emerging Tech

CERN plans to build a massive particle collider that dwarfs the LHC

CERN already has the world's biggest particle accelerator. Now it wants a bigger one. Meet the 9 billion euro Future Circular Collider that will allow physicists to extend their study of the universe and matter at the smallest level.
Emerging Tech

Forget fireworks. Japan will soon have artificial meteor showers on tap

Tokyo-based startup Astro Live Experiences is preparing to launch its first artificial meteor shower over Japan, serving as a showcase of its prowess in the space entertainment sector.
Cars

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.
Emerging Tech

Glowing space billboards could show ads in the night sky

Look up at the night sky in 2020 and you might see an ad for McDonald's floating among the stars. A Russian startup is working on a project that uses a constellation of small satellites in low-Earth orbit to create glowing ads.
Emerging Tech

New brainwave reader tells teachers if students are concentrating

Massachusetts-based startup BrainCo has developed brainwave-reading headbands which can reportedly help reveal if students are concentrating in class. Here's how they're being used.
Emerging Tech

Fears about kids’ screen use may have been overblown, Oxford researchers find

Many people take it as gospel that digital technologies are harmful to young people’s mental health. But is this true? A recent study from the University of Oxford takes a closer look.
Emerging Tech

Meet Wiliot, a battery-less Bluetooth chip that pulls power from thin air

A tiny chip from a semiconductor company called Wiliot could harvest energy out of thin air, the company claims. No battery needed. The paper-thin device pulls power from ambient radio frequencies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cell signals.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world will take your breath away

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

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.
Emerging Tech

Scientists successfully grow human blood vessels in a Petri dish

Researchers have managed to grow human blood vessels in a Petri dish for the first time, and even to successfully implant them into live mice. The results could be a game-changer for diabetes.