He may have just started his teenage years, but Laurence Rock's future is looking pretty good after inventing an ingenious doorbell device called Smart Bell. He's already sold 20,000 units to telecoms giant Commtel Innovate, and is securing a second deal with an unidentified company that will land him £250,000. That's over $400,000!
At first, it seemed like a clever art installation housed on the web, but now we're not so sure... the Newstweek hack may indeed be legit.
Founded by Zach Kaplan, a "serial entrepreneur" with a B.S. in mechanical engineering, Inventables is a futuristic online hardware store based out of Chicago. The company sells innovative materials at much smaller quantities than typically available—largely to artists, inventors, developers, and researchers. If you've got a brilliant idea and cash to spare, careful, you just may go hog wild. My premature "Dear Santa" wishlist-in-progress:
E Ink technology is nothing short of amazing. It recently contributed to the world's first bend-sensitive flexible smartphone, and now it's capable of something even cooler, not to mention astonishingly simpler—flashing digital displays on cloth.
Our hacked Kinect series has demonstrated amply how the Kinect is changing the worlds of business, art, medicine and robotics. But where does it go from here? That will be determined by the thousands of dedicated DIYers out there doing work like you've seen here over the last week.
It's remarkable that a gaming device (from Microsoft, no less) designed for geeky gamers has incited broad innovation in medicine and robotics. But that Kinect has captured the imagination of hackers-with-MBAs-in-mind is downright amazing.
Were you horrified when Gwyneth Paltrow's head ended up in a box in Se7en? Do you share Harrison Ford's opinion that Han Solo should have died in Return of the Jedi? Think Kurt Russell could have handled aliens better in The Thing? Well, sorry—you're out of luck. There's nothing you can do to prevent William Wallace's beheading or Carrie's mayhem. But thanks to MyndPlay, controlling the plot to future films is totally possible.
Back in the '80s, I was just a kid with a LEGO hobby. I remember building castles and floating boats, spaceships and monster trucks, even a working LEGO train powered by battery, lights and all.
Got a knack for speeding? Like running red lights? Believe or not, the police have better things to be doing than pulling you over, like catching real criminals. That's why more and more cameras are popping up at known speeding zones and on street corners—so the cops can clean up the streets, compared to just ticketing them.
Understandably, the tragedy in Japan has substantially risen the level of worldwide radiation-related hysteria. So much so, as an alternative to stampeding health food stores for iodine tablets, crafty individuals and organizations are hacking together personal radiation detectors. Rather than relying on the government, the creation and modification of handheld Geiger counters provides a self-sufficient solution to today's questions regarding radiation. Profiled below, three admirable organiz...
As a kid, my favorite thing to do at the Natural History museum was a midday stop, when my family strolled past an antiquated looking vending machine in the museum's musty basement. The Mold-A-Rama machine was oddly shaped, George Jetson-esque, and spewed out made-to-order, brightly colored plastic dinosaurs. There was such joy in watching the liquid wax pour into the mold, and then eject a warm, custom toy—well worth the dollar or two demanded. A version of this tradition was recently elevat...
You're walking down the street, minding your own business. Then you see it—a large, bright fireball in the near distance. A tremendous heat wave speeds towards you at one thousand miles an hour, and before you can think, before you can even blink, the extremely heated wind pushes right through you. Your skin melts, your eyes liquefy—your face disappears into the wind. Before you know it, your pancreas collide with what’s left of the person next to you, your duodenum is dissolving faster than ...
One of the creepiest musical instruments ever is undoubtedly the theremin, a device originating from the early 20s that emits eerie sounds with a just a wave of the hand. If you've seen the original movie The Day the Earth Stood Still, you know what I mean—freakishly creepy. Playing the theremin can be off-putting for some, since it's a relatively pricy gizmo, but a new geek gadget called the EaTheremin aims to make all of us professional, dinnertime theremists.
Matt Reed, a web developer at Nashville interactive ad agency Redpepper, built a massive, real life Facebook Like "button" out of Legos, which lights up whenever someone clicks Like on his Facebook page. The programmer loves LEGOs, and draws an affinity between the legendary building blocks and engineering: "[Legos] are great for prototyping physical objects. I don’t manufacture things, but I do click blocks together. Plus, most things I deal with on a daily basis are pixelized. Legos are som...
Holy… Lord, help us all—this isn't CG, it's for real. Meet Geminoid DK, the latest spawn from Osaka University Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro's legion of ultra-realistic Androids.
If you dig case mods and Resident Evil, it's fair to say you'll find Ron L. Christainson’s nothing short of epic. Inspired by the renown video game and movie, Ron—an artist and PC tech from Seattle—has already spent a year constructing the mod from scratch, and still has a couple months of work ahead of him.
Too lazy to take your phone out of your pocket? If so, then here's a must-have: a customizable inPulse wristwatch that can check into Facebook Places. Created by inPulse designer Eric Migicovsky, the hacked watch uses Bluetooth to pull Facebook Places from a connected Android smartphone. The app sends real time latitude and longitude stats from the smartphone's GPS to Facebook, which then transmits nearby places to the watch, navigable by a one button interface.
Once there was Spin the Bottle. Then there was the embarrassing adult version of Spin the Bottle—on Wii. And then there was artist Hye Yeon Nam, who decided to skip all pretenses and go straight for the spit-swapping, no foreplay necessary. Hye Yeon Nam devised a method for controlling a bowling video game by French kissing. It works like this: "One person has a magnet on his/her tongue and the other person wears the headset. While they kiss, the person who has the magnet on his/her tongue, c...
Take $1.35 of thrift store bric-à-brac, toss in a few spare parts from your electronics drawer and mix it all up with an earnest desire to alienate your loved ones forevermore and what do you get? A booby-trapped Magic 8-Ball, that's what! Hacker arfink explains, "My idea was to make a Magic 8-Ball which would blind an unsuspecting victim with the camera flash. I had an old Honeywell thermostat at home which had a mercury tilt switch inside, and after cutting open the 8 ball and removing the ...
Know how some people have a natural way of lighting up a room? Well, hacker i-am-jen has an artificial one—LED sneakers! Powered by a pair of 6-volt batteries and two teeny-tiny RBBB Arduino microcontrollers, the shoes offer a high-tech, DIY spin on the mass-market L.A. Lights of yesteryear: Interested in kickstarting your own LED shoe project? You'll find Jen's step-by-step here.
Instructable user samsmith17's solution for riding in the dark is a lot snazzier than your typical bicycle light:
If the whale tail cookies and edible undies weren't naughty enough, you've still got about 24 hours left before Valentine's Day to whip up one of F.A.T. artist Randy Sarafan's step-by-step clap-off bras. Inspired by the electronic singing panties and remote-controlled bras of the secret underworld of Syrian lingerie, Sarafan made a mission to "fast-forward lingerie technology in the West".
Daito Manabe is awesome. Last we heard of him, he was setting up Japanese school girls with glow-in-the-dark grills. Before that, he was playing himself like a human drum kit. And before that, he was just plain old electroshocking himself. In his most recent appearance, he takes his electro-pulsed facial twitches to the stage, with fellow artist Ei Wada, before an audience at Berlin’s Transmediale Festival.
In the far away land of Japan, gold is out, glow-in-the-dark is in. LED "grills" were recently conceived of by two Japanese designers/hackers for a winter advertising event at clothing store Laforet Harajuku. The LED teeth attachments quickly became a hot item. Foreseeably, one of the two designers demonstrating the teeth in the video above is the familiar Daito Manabe (our favorite "self-electrocuting" mad hacker). Manabe's partner, Motoi Ishibashi, came up with the idea when "he saw a video...
Purdue mechanical engineering undergrad Ross Wehner built a gadget Homer Simpson would envy- a working, arduino-powered beer catapult fridge.
Do 3D glasses give you a headache? This might hurt more. As in, I think I'm going to hurl just watching. Below, Francois Vogel demonstrates his rapid eye blinking method for 3D viewing. ...as if the electrodes on his temples could stimulate his eyelids to open and close in alternating synchronization with the refresh rate of the monitor! View more vomit-inducing 3D viewing, sans the glasses.
When choosing a security system for the office, Billy Chasen decided to ditch the traditional lock & key barricade for something a little more 21st century. He hacked together a device that uses a web server, servo motor and some parts from Home Depot to enable locking & unlocking via text message. Chasen maintains a list which gives access to green lit office workers, who enter by simply texting "lock" or "unlock"... and voilà, open sesame.
What do you get when you take a run-of-the-mill kitchen knife and add a simple synthesizer circuit? Behold, the Syntheslicer! Creator Jonathan M. Guberman writes:
All hail artist, programmer and human electrocution music-machine, Daito Manabe. He's back, and better than ever: Read more about his process.
Turkey's been consumed, you've awakened from the food coma, and you've escaped the madness of Black Friday. Isn't it about time you tackle a new project? We've got some great new projects for you to help illuminate the darkness of winter.
Far away in Finland, where the ice is plentiful and the temperature is bitter cold, the Finnish Nokia team have created the world's first touchscreen display made entirely of ice. Constructed with massive slabs of river ice, the display was first shaped into neat square slabs with a chainsaw, and then smoothed into a watchable surface with a powerful heat gun.
Who says nothing productive ever came out of doodling? Certainly not the hacker responsible for this fun (and at least somewhat functional) paper-and-pencil touchpad, which takes advantage of the natural conductivity of graphite: There isn’t much to explain here. It just uses pencil graphite on paper as a kind of two dimensional potentiometer. Four voltage dividers between 5v, 2M ohm resistors, the paper, and my grounded finger feeds signals from each corner into an Arduino. The Arduino does ...
That Kinect you bought for your Xbox 360? More than just a game controller, it's a bonafide hologram generator! In the clip below, UC Davis researcher Dr. Oliver Kreylos demos the process. The fun stuff begins at the :44 mark. Kreylos explains, "By combining the color and the depth image captured by the Microsoft Kinect, one can project the color image back out into space and create a 'holographic' representation of the persons or objects that were captured."
Jonathan Guberman of Site 3 coLaboratory hackerspace in Toronto has created an Arduino-controlled mechanical typewriter that can type on its own, detect what is being typed on it, and run text-based interactive fiction games such as the classic (and to most, all but forgotten) Zork. Guberman says:
Would it have been possible to build a rudimentary telegraph network in the stone age? Not too long ago, Jamie O'Sheathe of the Office for the Development of Substitute Materials set out to discover just that, venturing into the wilderness to determine whether a working telegraph might be built without the use of modern tools. Inspiring? Certainly. Green? Don't be fooled:
9GAG's infographic teaches us all sorts of conveniences and short cuts to daily life, urawaza style. Some aren't complete revelations (the first hanger trick below), but others are pretty cool (if they work!). A few I wouldn't mind trying:
What do you get when a musician (who also happens to be a pyromaniac) has too much time on his hands? A WonderHowTo hero and mastermind behind the hack of the ages.
Ever been warned that sitting too close to the TV might damage your eyesight? It won't. That probably won't stop this electronic View-Master from giving your poor mother a heart attack, however.
The DrinkShield is not quite as dirty as the picture above may convey. Circuitry nerd Craig Smith (who also happens to love drinking) has developed a breathalyzer that can be turned into a potentially naughty party game.
We've seen wearable electronics before, but we've yet to see a dress that dually operates as a cell phone. The idea is interesting, though not especially pragmatic (yet).