May 12, 2014

Stuff We Liked in April

Dennis O'Donnell

It’s time for another monthly roundup of the cool stuff we came across while traversing the web this month. From zippered ear buds (it makes more sense than you think) to bamboo keyboards, we hunted down some of the coolest, most innovative products that we’d love to get our hands on.

This month, we’ve got a theme: Innovation in the routing parts of your day – a “Spring cleaning” of cluttered spaces and a fresh start to the year (hopefully with far less snow to come).

Let’s get to it!

Garmin Head-Up Display

It pays to know where you’re going, and with the Garmin Head-Up Display, you always will.
Garmin Heads Up
Say goodbye to clunky interfaces and mashing tiny buttons while in a moving vehicle—the Garmin Head-Up Display projects your directions directly onto your windshield, where you can view them without looking away from the road. .

The Head-Up works seamlessly with Bluetooth-enabled smartphones, so you can transfer the directions on your phone directly into your line of sight, making for a much safer commute.

WowWee Cinemin Portable LED Projector

You’ve got to love an awesome piece of tech that doesn’t take itself too seriously. We got a kick out of the fact that one of the potential applications Cinemin lists for their portable projector is “graffiti” – handy for any rogue artwork creation you may be taking part in.

All jokes aside, the immediate applications of a portable, high-quality projector that hooks up to your iPhone or iPad are pretty vast. No need to crowd around a tiny phone to watch that video, or to book ahead so you’re sure you’ve got the meeting room with the big screen. Just plug it in and toss up the image where everyone can see it!
We also appreciated the imaginative promotion of the product as a ceiling projector – for those romantic nights spent stargazing indoors (or, you know, watching a movie without having to sit up).

Zipbuds: Never-Tangle Zipper Earbuds

There’s some sort of evil magic in the pocket of every jeans. A magic so sinister, it can tie your earbuds into more knots than a boy scout could ever learn.

Zipbuds conquers this problem in a brand new way – one that we think is pretty ingenious: A zipper! Done with your headphones? Zip ‘em together, and they’ll never tangle up. Tuck them away until you need them next, then, just unzip and listen.

It’s brilliant in its simplicity.

Showcasing their innovation as a dream come true to snowboarders and outdoor sports enthusiasts, a pair of Zipbuds are surprisingly affordable and pay for themselves in time saved untangling and wrangling earbuds in your bag all the time.

The Pilot Slider USB-Rechargeable Lighter

Never be caught without a light again. This electric-powered lighter is completely weatherproof and recharges via USB. In conjunction with the USB port on innovative camping accessories like the BioLite and Goal Zero’s USB-equipped solar panel series, you can now go farther and carry less with you.
Electronic Lighter
No more butane, matches, gas lighters, or magnifying glasses—just fire when and where you need it. Keave rubbing sticks to someone else – one click, and you’ll have a fire roaring.

Gigs2Go Biodegradable USB Thumb Drives

Remember when a thumb drive cost like, $100? Those days are gone – and now, the tear-off USB drive is here!

In a similar fashion to a flyer posted on a corkboard in a café, these four pack USB bundles are built to be completely shockproof, waterproof, and disposable – all at no environmental cost.

Available in 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB versions, these USB packs are perfect for file sharing between teams and coworkers – or just friends looking for a eco-savvy way to share information.

Dreamfarm Tapi Fountain Rubber Tap

The simplicity of design in Dreamfarm’s rubber faucet attachment is inspiring. Yup – an inspiring tap – we went there.

But you’ve got to see the thing to understand why – it’s basically like having a drinking fountain at all times. Never dirty a water glass in your home again!

The Tapi fits snugly on virtually any tap, skillfully diverting the downward flow of your faucet up into a convenient arc with just a small amount of finger pressure.

At $5.95 each, there’s really no reason not to go ahead and make your life a little easier.

And hey, it even comes in ten different colors!

LightInTheBox Waterfall LED Faucet

While some may not be interested in such a DIY-heavy product (some assembly is DEFINITELY required), the innovative integration of LED temperature-dependant sensors into something as everyday as a faucet made this product stand out. If the
Tapi we just talked about is the Volvo equivalent of a modifying your sink, this thing is like a kitchen Corvette.

The faucet turns blue for ‘cold’ and red for ‘hot’ water, but it could easily turn orange or even pink with the right modifications (to match the wallpaper, of course).

The distributor, LightInTheBox, may not offer much in terms of promises with regards to compatibility between American and Chinese specifications, but a knowledgeable home plumber should be able to tackle this project no problem.

Impecca 100% Bamboo Keyboard and Mouse (Wireless)

Keyboards aren’t usually beautiful things; they’re designed to do one job and do it really, really well, collecting dust, dirt and memories (good and bad) in the process.

The hand-carved, supremely affordable Impecca Bamboo Keyboard breaks the mould: Now, you can type on something visually appealing and as practical as it is renewable.

And this baby feels like a dream. Bamboo is a comparatively soft material in contrast to plastic, and feels very smooth.

The wireless mouse completes the package in an attractive and very complimentary way, showcasing an novel and unique interpretation of an everyday tool.

Did we miss an awesome product this month? Tell us about it in the comments!

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