Here are this week’s seven cool gadgets. Did you miss last week’s edition?
The Spotlight is a small, rechargeable flashlight that plugs right into your car’s 12V outlet, and stays there, ready when you need it. I got a chance to use these little flashlights first hand, and I love them. They come pre-charged, so they’re ready right out of the package. They’re small, lightweight, easy to carry in your pocket, and they pack a mighty light in their tiny package.
They come with accessories as well, like a two outlet splitter that lets you share the 12V plug with some other gadget, or to charge a second spotlight. There’s also a lanyard with a rubber cap that snaps right onto the end of the flashlight. There’s also a small adapter that clips onto the end of the flashlights, just in case your car’s 12V socket is a bit different than usual.
The Spotlight costs $19.95, and the 12V socket splitter, called the Super Socket, is $12.95.
Shure X2u XLR-to-USB Microphone Adapter
The X2u adapter from Shure, which will become available in Spring 2009, will let you use any XLR microphone with your computer, via USB. Until now, we had either USB-connected microphones — whose gamut ranged from the very cheap to those made by Blue — or regular XLR microphones, which needed to be connected through mixing boards.
Shure has made it possible to bypass the mixing board and connect the XLR microphone directly to a computer, allowing us to have much greater choice when it comes to the microphone we want to use for podcasts or other audio recordings. And who’s to stop you from using a professional microphone for audio or video chats via Skype or iChat? I’m sure the sound would be much better than if you used your computer’s built-in microphone.
What’s also cool is that they’ve come up with a couple of USB microphones that connect directly to a computer, the PG27 and PG42 models. These are both cardioid condenser microphones with large diaphragm capsules. The PG27 is geared for voice and instruments, and the PG42 is for voice recordings. The PG42 comes with an additional shock mount along with carrying case. The PG27 comes with a stand and zippered carrying pouch.
Owl 100% recycled backpack
This backpack is made from Cyclotex100, a material made 100% recycled matter. It will not only fit your books and other gear, but will also fit most laptops up to 17″ in size. You can order it blank for $47.80, or you can put a logo or some other design on it, which will bring the price up to $57.36 per item. The price is right for a backpack with such green credentials.
ThisWay Bicycle by Torkel Döhmers
This is one cool bicycle! It’s made of carbon and flax fiber composites and hydroformed aluminum, so it’s very light for its size: only 11-12 kg, or under 24 lbs. It has built-in LED lights for the front and rear, powered by a roof-top solar panel, and built-in rearview mirrors. All of the cables and the chain are hidden inside the frame, which means you won’t snag your clothes onto anything as you ride it. For simplicity, there’s a single brake lever that operates both front and rear disc brakes. The gears shift automatically into high and low settings, allowing you to tackle most roads.
It has a luggage connector in the back. The same connector can be used to plug in a battery pack for a planned hybrid version, which can assist you as you pedal uphill.
Colim Concept Car by Christian Susana
This car design made the rounds very quickly after it was first published, and I figured so many people knew about it already that it didn’t need to be covered here. However, I couldn’t resist it. It’s so beautiful and functional that I really do hope it becomes a reality in the very near future.
It’s a detachable motor home that can sleep a family of four. The cockpit, which also seats four, can be fully detached from the caravan and driven around town. The back can be configured to have a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and seating area, and can be re-configured on the fly through foldable and pull-out shelves and units to fit your daily needs.
I should stress that this is just a design. All we’ve seen so far are computer-generated images. Not even a prototype exists. But if a working prototype were to be built, I’m sure the demand would be great for such a wonderful design.
Samsung Show Projector-Phone
The Samsung Show (W7900) cellphone includes a built-in projector that displays bright, colorful 10-lumen video at up to 50 inches in diagonal. (Yes, you read that right.) The video resolution is 480 x 320 pixels. It also has a 320 x 240 pixel OLED display, a 5-megapixel camera, a digital TV tuner, and works on 3G HSDPA networks at up to 7.2 megabits bandwidth. There’s a demo video of the phone on the Pop-Sci website.
Unfortunately, it’s only going to be available in Korea for now, as is to be expected with all the cool new cellphones…
Mosaic Folding Chair
This neat chair doubles up as a room divider when folded. The mesh is made from mosaic tiles embedded in silicon, the frame is aluminum, and it’s designed to fold into a thin vertical surface.I love multi-purpose furniture. It means less clutter, particularly in smaller spaces.