If you want to slap a hefty price tag on a watch, fine craftsmanship and precious jemstones don’t cut it anymore. You need a gimmick, like a sprinkling of moon dust, or the magical floating balls in Christophe Claret’s new X-Trem-1.
As you’ve probably already figured out, the secret, sadly, isn’t magic. Instead, the hollow metal balls appear to float inside a set of sapphire tubes—indicating the hours and minutes—thanks to a hidden magnetic carriage inside that’s driven by thin but strong silk threads.
The X-Trem-1 will be limited to just eight pieces when it’s available. And while pricing info hasn’t been unveiled yet, it’s safe to assume that with its unique design and extensive use of titanium, the watch isn’t going to come cheap. [TimeZone via Acquire]
This simple image has become a cliché in the UK in recent years, and is now much parodied and remixed everywhere you look. Now you can remix it yourself, thanks to an app for iOS.
First, some background. The phrase “Keep Calm and Carry On” was one of three invented for use by the UK authorities during the Second World War, intended to reassure frightened citizens during the darkest days of German bombardment. But the poster itself never saw the light of day, until a copy was unearthed in a bookshop back in 2000.
The bookshop was Barter Books, and the story didn’t end there. Hung on the wall, the poster appealed to customers who started asking for prints. So prints were made. And then it snowballed.
You can now see Keep Calm posters in every cafe, Keep Calm mugs in every store, and Keep Calm-inspired design almost everywhere.
The full story is explained in this video from Barter Books:
No wonder, then, that Barter Book has gone into the apps business, and created an official Keep Calm app, which lets you create motivational posters of your own.
It’s very simple to use. You start with the iconic Keep Calm look, and edit what’s there. Tap on a line of text to edit it, tap on the icon at the top to change it. Change the background color (or use a photo if you like) and very soon you’re as motivated as you’re ever going to get.
Editing your text means re-tapping and re-entering it, but that’s not much of an issue since it’s never going to be much text anyway. It is possible to make your own icons with the built-in icon editor, but I found it hard to get decent results from that.
Still, I enjoyed playing with the app and coming up with some slogans of my own. I think it would come in unexpectedly useful when travelling, to send back insta-postcards to loved ones with a photo and a summary of what’s happening.
(Via Cult of Mac.)
Matthew Emmi is a twelve year old boy that probably won’t get to enjoy some of the milestone events in life that you and I might take for granted. His autism has severely limited his ability to read, write and speak sentences. But even though his family and friends never know exactly what he’s thinking, they do know that he likes going to synagogue, and with the help of an iPad, Matthew’s parents and educators were able to give Matthew a full bar mitzvah.
A Bar Mitzvah is a Jewish coming-of-age ritual marking the point when a Jewish boy turns 13 and becomes a man. Because the bar mitzvah festivities involve a heavy amount of oration and reading, many people close to Matthew thought that he wouldn’t be able to enjoy a full celebration.
“Because of the issues in his life, he’s not going to have a wedding or a high school or college graduation,’’ his mother said. “We wanted him to have that opportunity to have a special moment and shine.’’
To help with his bar mitzvah, Matthew’s teachers came up with the idea to use an iPad as a soundboard filled with icons Matthew could touch throughout the ceremony to lead the service. Weeks before the ceremony, school staff recorded Matthew reciting the names of his parents and other relative who would be called up to the Toarah. They also recorded blessings and Torah readings that a boy being bar mitzvahed would normally recite. The recordings were matched to prayer icons and photographs on the iPad that Matthew could then touch throughout the ceremony giving him the voice he needed to complete the ceremony.
“It’s quite amazing,’’ said Rabbi Robert Goldstein, of Temple Emanuel, who has known Matthew for several years. “We’re blending the most cutting-edge technology with tradition; with reading the ancient text of Torah. It’s facilitating spirituality.’’
Who knows? Maybe Matthew’s mother’s skepticism about his wedding or high school graduation are too skeptical. Maybe by the time Matthew does these things, an iPad can help him there too!
(Via Cult of Mac.)
iPhone 5 concept design: Crescent-shaped, glowing logo:
What would an iPhone 5 look like if Apple’s design department turned to the Magic Mouse for inspiration? That’s the question ciccaresedesign attempts to answer with this sleek, curved iPhone 5 concept rendering.
It’s got the glowing Apple logo, so it would naturally sell like hotcakes, but it also looks like there’d need to be too many concessions to ever make a design like this practical. Can you imagine it weeble-wobbling on any table, desk or flat surface you put it down on? (They show it screen-down, like a Magic Mouse, but that makes my heart skip a scratch-fearing beat.)
Still, Apple has done the Braun/Leica inspired design for 2 generations now, and that means the next should sport a makeover. The iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S were decidedly flat, barely extruded rounded rectangles. But Apple believes design is about how something works, not how it looks. How would an iPhone 5 need to work? Bigger battery for 4G LTE, slightly larger screen to provide more ample room for content?
The only way to predict the look for iPhone 5 is to figure out the goals of Jony Ive and Apple’s design team.
Check out the rest of the renderings via the link below.
Court Says Cops Can’t Make You Decrypt Your Secure Hard Drives:
Court Says Cops Can’t Make You Decrypt Your Secure Hard DrivesRemember the defendant in that fraud case who was prepared to claim she forgot the password to her laptop if ordered to decrypt it? Adding some more intrigue to the matter is the fact that the 11th Circuit Court says defendants won’t have to decrypt drives if the contents are unknown. Huh?
The Fifth Amendment, of course, prevents any citizen from having to incriminate themselves, and in the case of Ramona Fricosu and her computer, her appeal was shot down by the 10th Circuit court. But in the latest ruling, The Verge says that the court contends that handing over the drive is fine, but the decrypting aspect counts as testimony. And testimony falls under the umbrella of the Fifth. But Fricosu’s case might be a bit different since the court already had testimony about the computer’s contents, and thus had some idea what was on there. So the two rulings might not be as at odds as they seem.
Powertrekk lets you get mobile power from ordinary water:
I think that all of us have those mobile battery chargers for our cellular phone, in case we need that extra bit of juice. The problem is you have to remember to charge such devices, or you will be really screwed when you need them.
What if you had a battery that is powered on nothing but ordinary water? It is now named the Powertrekk, and it uses fuel-cell technology to convert hydrogen gas into electricity.
The secret is a thing inside the Powertrekk known as the Powertrekk Puck which holds the water and carries out the fuel based charge.
The Powertrekk is designed for USB powered devices, and you can use your USB charger on your mobile device for aiding in the charge.
I am sure that you are seeing the benefits of the PowerTrekk. I wonder if this company should use the slogan: “the last mobile charger that you will ever need to buy”.
The Powertrekk might be the answer to that age-old question for what you would have if you lived on a deserted island. Considering that I don’t need any sun or outlet, it has my vote. All I would need is a teaspoon of the water that surrounds the island. I’m not certain if I would have any cellular phone reception, but I would be entertained by a plethora of pre-loaded apps.
Of course, you will pay for this type of power, to the tune of $300. I still think that it is a good deal.
(Via Coolest Gadgets.)
Victorinox SSD stick goes up to 1TB: “
I know most people think Swiss Army knives when they think Victorinox, but they put out many memory sticks.
While at CES, I managed to see one of the newest Victorinox memory sticks, which has a whopping 1 TB of space. It also comes pre-loaded with a software suite with 256 AES combination hardware and software encryption for “un-hacked, iron clad security for all of your important files” There is also an integrated bi-stable LCD graphic display that allows users to record what is stored on the drive and displays the available .
It also has a dual connector that is a combination USB 2.0/3.0 and eSATA II. It also has two knife bodies, red and black. The red knife has all the usual Swiss Army knife accessories like the blade, scissors, nail file, nail cleaner, and a screwdriver. The black knife body is completely empty, but you can fit the 1TB drive in it. Just make certain that you switch them out when you take a plane ride.
So if you are looking for a huge flashdrive with a lot of space, I believe that this one from Victorinox is one of the largest. You should be able to pick up one of these in August for a price of about $2,500-3,000.
(Via Coolest Gadgets.)
Customizable Chocolates Come in More Flavors Than Willy Wonka’s Lickable Wallpaper
These customizable confections are the brainchild of ECAL grad Student, Elsa Lambinet, in coordination with Swiss chocolatier Blondel. The sweets combine arrays of chocolate shells, inserts like nugat or caramel, and toppings like cherries, hazel nuts, or whatever else you fancy.Why is it so impossible to make a tasty chocolate confection? I swear, every other one I eat is either coconut creme, lemon asshole, or some other flavor that has no business in my mouth. These new modular chocolates however will taste exactly how I want them to—delicious.
"Participants get to mix and match ingredients for hours and hours as they gorge themselves on custom confectionery goodness," Lambinet said in her thesis. There’s no word on whether these ingenious luxury chocolates will make it to market unfortunately.
Treehouse Labs BiKN:
This particular device is known as the bikn, but it is pronounced like the word “beacon”.
The creators of this device decided that they wanted to provide the iPhone more protection than a case. The case itself comes in many colors, and you can also pick a tag base or highlight color.
The BiKN comes with tags that can be clipped to a user’s belt or other appendage. Each of these tags unlock and a micro-USB port will be revealed for charging. The purpose of these tags is so you can find things with your iPhone.
The tags have three modes of “Find”, “Leash”, or “Page”. “Find” is a visual meter and audio signal for discovering a misplaced item. “Leash” enables the user to control how far a tagged item can be separated from the smart case before an alarm sounds on the phone and tag. As for the “Page”, it is able to sound an alert on one or multiple tags.
According to the information that I received at CES, the BiKN is coming in January. I don’t have a price out now, but I’m sure that will be available soon. I beleive that the application is available now, and it is completely free.
(Via Coolest Gadgets.)
AOC flicker-free 3D monitor:
AOC has unveiled its latest 23″ flicker-free 3D monitor that will play nice with desktop computers as well as gaming consoles, it really depends on which is your “gaming poison” of choice, while sporting the latest FPR 3D technology without breaking the $300 mark. AOC’s e2352Phz comes in the form of a slim high-definition 23″ monitor, and as mentioned earlier, the FPR 3D technology utilized is able to display bright, crisp and vivid 3D images, all the while making sure that eye fatigue and dizziness are a thing of the past as this is no conventional 3D display.
The e2352Phz is a snap to set up, thanks to its plug-and-play connectivity to virtually any computer, and with a HDMI 1.4a input, it is more than ready to take on the latest consumer electronic devices such as 3D Blu-ray players and gaming consoles like the PS3 and Xbox 360 to deliver 3D video and sound without missing a beat.
Retailing for $299 a pop, the flicker-free FPR 3D technology used in the monitor means you can enjoy 3D images and video for longer periods on end without having to wipe away tears from your eyes not because of the touching scene where Jack gives up his life for the woman he loves with the sinking Titanic in the background, but due to eye fatigue. Each purchase of the AOC e2352Phz will also be accompanied by two pairs of lightweight and comfortable passive polarized glasses, and even better news is these pairs can also be used with any other FPR 3D television or display. Being crosstalk-free also translates to more crisp and clear 3D images instead of those that are blurred.
Conventional 3D systems tend to use up more hardware and burn a bigger hole in your pocket, but the AOC 3D monitor is surprisingly affordable, sporting other hardware specifications such as the capability of displaying more than 16.7 million colors, a 5ms response time and features an ultra-high dynamic contrast of 20,000,000:1, a built-in speaker, a built-in VESA stand for desktop placement or convenient wall mounting, ENERGY STAR-compliance, and discreetly concealed control buttons.
(Via Coolest Gadgets.)