MIDI controllers and musical instruments come in al sorts of shapes and sizes and can increasingly be controlled with a range of movements.
Few, however, compare to the majestic SpaceHarp, a console of nine illuminated circles arranged in a horizontal arc around its user. By adjusting the placement of of hands above the circles, musicians can produce different sounds The product’s developers seek to encourage newbies as well as cater to experienced musicians. The SpaceHarp costs $2,095 and should arrive at backers in November 2015. CEO and founder David Clark seeks $120,000 on Indiegogo by May 20.
The developer of the SpaceHarp stresses that its ease fo use isn’t due to simple tricks used in less expensive products such as Beamz, which is a basic Casio keyboard is to a Steinway grand. Still, the Space Harp’s sophistication comes at a price. It is one that puts it out of range for all but those determined to put on the most elaborate gestural displays to produce audio, but it sure is fun to watch someone doing it.
There’s nothing like a long, challenging bike ride on a crisp day surrounded by the hustle and bustle of city life or the lush landscapes of nature. Granted, this is only true so long as there’s no rain, sleet, snow or extremely cold temperatures. Put simply, inclement weather is a cyclist’s biggest enemy, often leading to missed opportunities for both pleasure and fitness.
WideRun’s marriage of both cycling and virtual reality eliminates the tedium of stationary biking, offering eager cyclists a chance to ride in diverse environments when they’re forced to stay indoors. Of course, the biggest challenge with all VR experiences is achieving a suitable level of immersion. WideRun’s system accomplishes this by employing a bike trainer engineered to apply pedal resistance and let cyclists turn their handlebars; these two variables are essential in convincing riders that they’re riding the Great Wall of China or through an abandoned, zombie-infested city.
While WideRun is compatible with any bike, it is currently only compatible with the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, and smart TVs (for those who don’t have access to a VR headset). No matter which route a cyclist chooses to take, WideRun must be connected to a smartphone or PC. In exchange, the software lets users check their performance, ride with community members, and challenge other riders as a means to keep things interesting.
The full system can be had for $446 with an expected ship date of April 2016. The campaign is looking for $44,475 in funding by May 2, 2015.
While WideRun claims its pedal resistance can successfully mirror the feeling of riding uphill, it may not do enough. Because the system lacks the means to transmit other types of feedback — like bumps in the road or uneven paths — the fullness of the experience might be compromised. Still, the product is very well thought out, sporting similarities to the VirtuixOmni.
Creating and implementing a strong password strategy is one of the challenges of using devices that is largely fading on the iPhone thanks to the its Touch ID sensor that allows logging in and passwords.
That level of convenience may be coming to Windows PCs and Macs thanks to a New Zealand team producing the iTouchHD, branded as the world’s smallest USB fingerprint scanner. the aluminum device boasts a sapphire lens so it should hold up to daily wear and tear even as a permanent fixture in a USB port. There’s no word on whether teh company will produce a USB-C version to accommodate the new MacBook. It’s seeking to raise $67,000 NZD (about $50,000 USD) by April 18. An iTouch HD is available for $130 NZD ($99 USD) and is due in October.
While a USB add-on may not have the degree of integration that the similar sensor has on the iPhone, it’s the kind of product that laptop owners could use every day. However, some computers like the iMac have their USB ports on the back where the product may be much less convenient. Plus, beefed-up support for biometrics in Windows 10 could prove a boon for devices like this little fingerprint reader.
Skiing is one of the few things that makes winter bearable. There’s nothing like hitting the slopes and having a great day out in the snow. However, schlepping skis all over the place, especially while wearing clunky ski boots, is less than ideal.
SKIDDI aims to make carrying those skis around a little more bearable. The pocket-sized product is basically a set of small wheels with a slot in between for skis. When the skis are inserted into SKIDDI, users can wheel them around with ease. SKIDDI comes in several different colors.
This product joins scores of other products aimed at fixing a problem that isn’t really even a problem. While SKIDDI is fine for pavement, it doesn’t look like it would work too well on snow which completely defeats its purpose. Usually, the hardest part of carrying skis is when one transports them from the rental shop or car to the ski lift. Still, for interested backers, SKIDDI will cost $39 for delivery in October 2015. This product is looking for $10,000 in funding on Kickstarter by April 21.
The promise of virtual reality is, at the same time, plagued with a number of real problems which can hinder the entire experience. The biggest problem yet to be solved involves how users can experience unlimited movement within very real, limited spaces. Because omni-directional treadmills and other wonky solutions aren’t ripe for the mainstream, reducing movement to controllers remains a necessary sacrifice.
Stompz is a product which allows VR enthusiasts to use their own two legs and avoid bumping into walls in the process. The product comes in the form of two sensors, each containing a nine-axis motion tracker, that attach to sneakers. Walking in place will map the same experience over to the virtual world, while walking slightly faster will translate into a run, providing a low intensity workout at the same time. The inputs themselves are fully customizable, so users have control over how to walk backwards, jump, sprint, etc. Stompz isn’t limited to the feet, though, as the motion trackers are versatile enough to be used with fitness equipment or as alternative controllers alá the Wii Nunchuks. Interested backers looking for a new way to use their headsets can shell out $125 for the Stompz kit, expected in December 2015. The campaign is looking for $100,000 in funding by April 10.
This product targets an extremely niche market of gamers looking to experiment with alternative forms of input when it comes to VR, something that is both very necessary but still a ways away from being successful. Products like Stompz and 3DRudder are the closest approximations to mainstream solutions currently available — and neither does a great job. Until a truly all-in-one solution comes along, these products will serve as testing beds until a product comes along and does it just right.
For those who travel often, using and charging mobile devices on the go can sometimes be a hassle. This problem is sometimes compounded by the frustration that results from what have increasingly become prolonged check-in procedures.
GateMate is a portable table that aims to make the entire travel experience much more convenient. GateMate is essentially an attachable table one can connect to their suitcase handle. Once clipped on, the table is perfect for storing items like keys and cups of coffee. It can even be used as a platform for a laptop if you want to get some work done. Even better, the GateMate has the ability to charge electronic devices. Notably, the product is small enough such that it can be stashed away in a suitcase’s front compartment.
Other travel accessories that frequent fliers might want to consider include Smart Unit, Lugabug, and RuitBag. This campaign seeks to raise $50,000 CAD (~$39,300 USD) by April 15, 2015. Backers get one product for $45 CAD (~$35 USD) with an expected delivery of August 2015.
Whenever someone has a successful idea, most products or services that follow will likely look identical. That is, until something new comes along and shakes things up. Take smartphones for example: today, every single smartphone is a small slab of well-manufactured aluminum with a bright and luminous screen. A similar thing seems to be happening with products like Pixxso and DISPLIO, external E-Ink screens that provide small bits of information from connected devices.
The choice to use E-Ink is certainly efficient, but that’s not what Cuberox does. The six-sided and completely waterproof cube doubles down on power, stuffing an entire Linux-powered computer into a small but elegant solution. With each of its sides sporting a bright, 16×16 LED-enabled screen, Cuberox does everything other external screens do but with much more style. Cuberox is controlled soley by gestures. Unfortunately, touch capabilities don’t appear to be on the product roadmap at the moment. Still, the device’s limitations open it up to a much more visceral manner of control through shakes, slaps, and swings, along with voice control support if a user isn’t nearby. A low power CPU along with Qi wireless charging capabilities ensures that the Cuberox is always charged and ready to go.
Cuberia, Cuberox’s app store, lets users find apps for all sorts of needs. Weather, gaming, calendar notifications, and tweets just scrape the surface of what the device can do. Meanwhile, available APIs let anyone create whatever they’d like for the product. Its makers are seeking to raise $150,000 by March 29. Each Cuberox is priced at $249, with an expected ship date of December 2015.