The Readi is a combination Bluetooth speaker and ‘crisis communication device’

Emergency radio broadcasts are a staple when it comes to being prepared for most types of crises, whether a major storm or a blackout. The only problem is that many of us are no longer using AM/FM radios for much else. Three students are looking to create a more modern solution to that problem with the Readi, a combination Bluetooth speaker and lamp that also doubles as what the team calls a “crisis communication dashboard.”

“We often only realize in the midst of an emergency that we lack the necessary equipment to communicate with help and to receive alerts,” the Readi team writes on its website. “This type of equipment is so important to our survival, and yet it is rare to find a household that might invest in them in times of non-crisis.”

At first glance, the Readi looks like a fairly standard speaker/lamp combination, albeit a stylish one. A lamp sits on top, while a display on the front displays the time and current temperature. The speaker can play music from your mobile device via Bluetooth, or with the flip of a switch, it will automatically tune in to National Weather Service radio.

Flip it over, and the Readi is something else entirely. On the bottom of the speaker, controls for the built-in AM radio can be found, allowing users to listen in on crucial emergency bulletins, regardless of whether cell towers are down. The Readi also features a walkie-talkie, allowing for easy communication with emergency personnel.

The team behind the Readi is uniquely aware of the types of circumstances it may be useful in. Designers Kohzy Koh and David Al-Ibrahim were in New York while Hurricane Sandy swept through in 2012, and Elushika Weerakoon saw the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “There was no communication. The cell towers weren’t working well,” Weerakoon told Fast Company. “None of us is ever ready for something like that.”

The Readi isn’t yet available for sale, but the team — whose members are still in school — is moving forward on the design with more research and user tests. For more information, see the Readi website.

Movies & TV

Why ruin a good thing? These are some of the worst movie sequels ever made

A sequel that doesn't compare to the original film isn't worth making, right? Unfortunately, this is Hollywood we're talking about. We've picked out 12 films which will go down as some of the worst follow-ups ever made.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Home Theater

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2018, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR, and much more.
Smart Home

Facebook Portal and Portal+ video-calling devices gain new content and features

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Movies & TV

Do you have questions about Hulu? We’ve got answers

Not sure which Hulu subscription is right for you? We're here to help. This is your complete guide to Hulu and Hulu with Live TV, including content offerings for each service, pricing, internet requirements, and more.
Emerging Tech

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

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!
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Godzilla,’ Brightburn,’ ‘Triple Frontier,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's the first trailers for Brightburn and Triple Frontier, among other previews.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Roma, ‘Sabrina’ special

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Alfonso Cuaron's new film Roma, Jim Henson's classic fantasy The Dark Crystal, and more.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Home Theater

Fluance’s four beautiful new turntables arrive with easy-to-stomach prices

Acclaimed audio brand Fluance launched four new turntables as part of its new Reference series, aiming to offer elegant looks and pristine sound to those who are just getting into the world of high-end analog audio.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (January 2019)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in December 2018 and January 2019, from new original series to classic…
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.