If you've spent any amount of time traveling abroad, you've likely run into a language barrier, making it hard to get the most out of your trip. With the Sigmo Voice Translation Device ($50) you can avoid those issues, without resorting to learning a new language. This device connects to your iOS or Android device over Bluetooth and, using existing services, translates your voice into one of 25 different languages. Just speak into the microphone and it will translate everything you say, playing it back over the speaker. It's small and light, so you can bring it anywhere, attach it to your clothes, or hang it around your neck.
If you'd rather spend your weekend in your workshop building than out in the yard doing chores (and who could blame you?), we've found your ideal project — the Seedbot ($Free). With a pro membership to Instructables ($40 for two years), you can download detailed PDF instructions to build your very own grass-seed-spreading robot. Then all you need to do is purchase the necessary materials and start making. While the tech is definitely still in the developmental stages, who doesn't like the idea of building a robot to do our yard work for us?
Add a bit of functional simplicity to your everyday carry with the Ringtool ($25). While it's designed with the bicycle commuter in mind, we have a hard time thinking of situations in which you wouldn't want a multitool small enough to add to your keychain. It features a bottle opener, hex heads ranging from 3-8mm, a flathead, phillips, and torxhead driver, and two spoke wrenches, all in a two-inch ring. It's made from hardened and tempered stainless steel, and weighs just one ounce — perfect for your minimalist carry.
With Handibot ($2,000), every DIY enthusiast now has access to a portable CNC (computer numerically controlled) mill. For those not familiar with CNC equipment, this industrial technology lets you programmatically, repeatably, and precisely cut, carve, or drill various materials. The Handibot lets you do all this at the job site or your home workshop, instead of a big shop, and removes the need for in-depth technological know-how using task-specific apps, controlled on your tablet or smart phone. All you need to do to cut that perfect notch, pocket, hole, or curve, is cue up an app and press the start button — pretty easy.
Give your favorite writer the gift of a tool they'll use for a lifetime, the Porsche Design P'3135 Titanium Pen ($1,050). Milled from a single piece of solid titanium, this pen is as indestructible as it is beautiful. This fountain pen features an 18-carat gold nib, and an internal well, making writing a pleasure. It's finished off with a scratch proof PVD coating, keeping it looking great regardless of use. Comes with an aluminum sleeve for safe keeping.
Handcrafted in America by experienced craftsman Tuli Fisher, these Fisher Blacksmithing Garden Tools ($52) are part hand tool, part work of art. Whether you're into working in the earth, or just admire a well-made tool, they're definitely worth a look. From the rivets, to the dark-stained wooden handles, to the imperfectly hand-forged metal, these tools are a treasure to behold and work with. The line includes hoes, trowels, rakes, and more — everything you need to get a small garden going.
Nothing quite says summer like a campfire in your backyard, but chopping wood, while satisfying, can be a laborious pain. The uniquely-designed Vipukirves Axes ($255) use leverage to separate sections of wood from the rest of the log, giving you perfectly-chopped pieces of firewood with less effort. The design also allows you to avoid getting the axe lodged in the log, so you can get the job done more quickly. A precision-cast blade and birch wood handle mean this tool is made to last, so you won't have to go back to a traditional axe and sledge any time soon.
We've seen a lot of open-source stuff out there — mostly software and hardware — but we've never seen an open-source eating utensil. As far as we know, the S.H.O.V.E.L. ($10) is the first of its kind. This spork is made from titanium, and includes your typical spoon and fork combo (call it a foon if you want), as well as a serrated edge for cutting and a bottle-cap opener, all wrapped in six feet of red paracord. Download the specs and CAD files from their website — hack it, change it, build your own. It's open-source, after all.
No one debates the usefulness of a great multitool, but bulk can often prohibit comfortable everyday carry. Enter ATOM: A Tool of Multipurpose ($10), the key-shaped multitool made for pocket carry. It has just about everything you look for in a small tool: hex wrenches, a pry bar, a bottle opener, screwdrivers, files, a ripping tool, rulers, and a protractor. Heat-treated stainless steel construction means it will hold up to whatever you put it through, TSA compliance allows you to bring it on a plane, and its design lets you add it to your keychain. What more could you want? (Also available in black.)
Tired of opening multiple drawers just to find a certain tool because you forgot which one it's in? The Craftsman Dry Erase Tool Chest ($350-$450) can make that a thing of the past. Built with the same robust I-Frame construction as the company's other chests, it features a white dry erase finish that lets you label the contents of each drawer, making it quick and painless to find the wrench, socket, or driver you're looking for. Other features include full-extension ball-bearing drawers, a keyed internal locking system, heavy-duty casters capable of supporting up to 600 lbs., and a total of 12,993 cubic inches of storage space when the top and bottom chests are used together. It's up for pre-order now, but since this is a limited edition, you might want to get in line sooner rather than later. [Scouted by Josh]
Trying to maximize the versatility of your pocket contents while maintaining a slim profile can be challenging. Stat EDC Multitools ($70-$110) are here to help. Available in four different models, each tool offers the ability to cut, measure, and pry, while keeping a low profile and offering a hole at one end for attaching to a keychain to clip. Made from knife-grade stainless steel and finished with a military-grade anticorrosive ceramic coating, they're ready for any job you throw at them.
Most multi-tools try to provide a range of tools that are handy for all sorts of people. The Victorinox Swiss Army Bike Tool ($50) bucks this trend by providing a set of tools for a very specific group — cyclists. The compact tool offers a tire lever, an L-wrench, eight bits for the most common types of screws, an impact-proof plastic holder for the bits, and a stainless steel bit adapter. It's not everything you might need, but it covers most of what you're likely to need, and that's more enough to justify packing the 3.5 oz. package along with you. [via]