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Pencil by Fifty Three: Create

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Inspired by the traditional carpenter pencil, Pencil was designed for the precise digital artist. Designed for use with Paper, Fifty Three’s creative art iPad app, the Pencil is much more than a stylus for digital displays. Continue reading

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Blackmagic Production Camera 4K: From Super 8 to 4K

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The Super 8 camera was responsible for a generation of original and inexpensive independent film making. Now, many films are recorded with digital cameras, and while the technology had a rarefied price range for a long time, the cost of high-resolution cameras is shrinking as the technology is getting even better. Now, the frontier is 4K, or a resolution ratio of 3840×2160 pixels, and the Production Camera 4K from Blackmagic is a real beauty. Continue reading

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Sonos Play:1: Any song in any room

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With so much of our media stored in the cloud, it would make sense for the devices that play the media to be untethered, too. The Play:1 is part of Sonos’ series of speakers that play your music via wireless connections. Using Sonos’ own Hi-Fi wireless audio streaming system, not Bluetooth or Apple’s Airplay, the Play:1 can playback the same or different songs at a range of 30 feet and with no interruption from phone calls or Twitter notifications. Continue reading

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No Place Like Home, GPS shoes

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I am very serious; there exists a pair of shoes that were custom made with a functional GPS inside. These shoes are not some strange model of futuristic materials. To anyone glancing at them, the shoes look like familiar, leather Oxfords with laces and everything. Continue reading

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom: A Camera? No. A Phone? Not quite.

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As with everything, cameras are getting smarter. I think film cameras still exist, but I imagine the remaining models in some forgotten warehouse or in photography aficionados memorabilia corner. And even the straightforward digital cameras that just took pictures with minimal modification are getting left behind fast. With the namesake of its popular smartphone series, the Galaxy S4 Zoom from Samsung is a mix-used marvel that defies categorization as much as the first smartphones did. Continue reading

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Beoplay A8: Bug-Eyed Sound

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The bug-eyed look of the Beoplay A8 speaker from Bang and Olufsen is fantastically funny but still very serious and functional. I understand that you might get absorbed by the bizarre appearance of the two disc-shaped speakers at the edge of the A8, but beyond the exterior design, there are great electronics at work. Continue reading

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The MediaFlair: Returning to the Family Road Trip

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Before the recent boom in mobile electronics, whenever my family went on a road trip, we’d either bring a portable CD player in the car to listen to audiobooks, or we’d watch DVDs on my father’s laptop. This required a certain consistent family diplomacy, considering the fact that we all had to agree on what book we’d listen to or what movie we’d watch. There were no smartphones with Netflix and Audible apps at this point; if I didn’t like a movie and everyone else did, I had to watch it. But, for all the grumpiness that was the result of having your choice of movie voted out, there was always a certain family bonding on those trips that was important. Continue reading

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Ara: The Custom Smartphone

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Smartphones may have reached a stasis for the moment. Both the Apple app store and Google Play seem like well-curated markets for applications. Screen dimensions and resolutions, battery life, and new touchscreen technology all seem to be at there most upgradeable. So if there’s anything really new to add to the smartphone world, it would have to be something to do with the one feature about smartphones that keeps changing: the physical appearance. Continue reading

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Kevo by Kwikset: Using the Force to Unlock Your Front Door, Almost…

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It may be a first world problem, but I have to unlock three doors, one with two different locks, using four keys to get into my apartment. So I would love my building to be outfitted with the Kevo, a Bluetooth-enabled deadbolt that unlocks just by touching your finger to it with your iPhone in your pocket keeping track of the particular key password for that door. Kevo is only second to a world equipped with Star Trek-type sliding doors that open or stay locked based on your level of clearance. At this stage in technological advancement, Kevo is an impressive retrofit of your home lock as it is now. Continue reading

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Ranchero Radio: someone still loves you

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Described as “new-stalgic,” the Ranchero Radio by Crosley is a perfect homage to the style of radio that was full of Mid-Century ornamentation. While it’s arguable if analog, tunable radios are even necessary, or stand-alone radios for that matter, with the Ranchero, the point really isn’t purpose but style. Maybe it is the fogginess and idealism of nostalgia, but the Western style in which Ranchero is designed was something like perfect. The Ranchero designers didn’t get mired in style alone, though. Continue reading