Just in case you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, Daft Punk's latest album — Random Access Memories — dropped this week. Judging by what we've seen, it's going to be played a lot this summer, so you might as well dress the part. This unofficial Daft Punk Helmet ($500) is your bespoke ticket to Daft Punk fandom. Based on the French electronica duo's now-iconic headgear, it's made from urethane plastic, then carefully chromed, with a tinted Lexan visor and an included LED message scroller that Velcros in for easy removal. Included is a black balaclava to cover your neck and a pair of chromed glove plates; you'll have to build your own crazy glowing pyramid.
Video-recording glasses aren't new. But video-recording glasses that you wouldn't be embarrassed to wear? Now that is novel. Pivothead Video-Recording Sunglasses ($300) employ an 8 megapixel Sony CMOS sensor and 8GB of built-in storage to let you capture video up to 1080/30p or 720/60p, still photos in bursts of up to 16 shots in a row, and works with an optional Wi-Fi dongle to communicate directly with your iPhone or iPad. With four different styles and multiple colors to choose from, you're sure to find a pair that suits your style.
It might look like a prop from a sci-fi film, but in fact, the MB&F Musicmachine ($TBA) is simply one of the world's most desirable music boxes. Built in collaboration with music box maker Reuge, MB&F used its watch-making know how to construct the spaceship-like machine, which plays three tunes from each of its two cylinders — the Star Wars theme, Imperial March, and Star Trek theme on one side, and "Another Brick in the Wall", "Smoke on the Water", and "Imagine" on the other. Limited to just 66 pieces — 33 in white and 33 in black — it's sure to be a source of conversation for a long, long time.
With all the power our smartphones possesses, there's little reason they can't become the brains behind a full-blown robot. SmartBot (€135; roughly $175) is the first step towards that goal, connecting with your phone via the headphone jack and NFC, and letting apps control its built-in wheels, internal speaker and buzzer, and front lights. There's also an expansion port for adding new features and mounting holes for accessories, although how many of those are available will likely depend directly on if the little gadget catches on.
It might not boast a camera or any on-board weaponry, but if you've been itching to hack around on your very own drone, the Crazyflie Nano Quadcopter ($175) should fit the bill. This open source kit features a tiny Quadcopter with an on-board 32-bit processor, accelerometer and gyroscope to keep it afloat, a compass and altimeter for, well, whatever it is you'd like to use it for, a lithium-polymer battery that recharges via micro-USB and provides up to 7 minutes of flight time, and a 2.4 GHz radio that communicates with the USB transmitter, which you plug into a PC to provide control. What you do with it — and even what you could do with it — is entirely up to you. [via]
It doesn't much matter what the job is — if it can be done via robot, it can probably be done with the Grizzly Robotic Utility Vehicle ($TBA). This rugged machine features an articulated front axle and 26" ATV tires for conquering uneven terrain, a modular interface for connecting a wide range of implements, a flat surface area of over one square meter and a payload capacity of 600 kg or well over half a ton. It also boasts a secure storage area for sensitive objects, vehicle-wide Ethernet and USB, and support for the Robot Operating System so you can program it to do pretty much anything you want. [via]
You know you should sit with proper posture, but how do you know if you're actually doing so? By strapping on a Lumoback ($150), that's how. This wireless Bluetooth sensor is worn on your lower back, and gives you vibration feedback when you're slouching. In addition, it also connects to your iPhone or iPad, so you can track your activities throughout the day and get a more well-rounded picture of of how you — and your back — are doing.
Optimize your living or working quarters by installing some CubeSensors ($250-$350). These small cordless boxes continuously measure temperature humidity, noise, light, air quality, and barometric pressure and send all that data to the cloud so you can access it anywhere. Thanks to an intelligent app, they can send you alerts letting you know when it's time to turn on the lights, aerate, humidify, crank the A/C, and more. Available in a starter pack with a base station and either two or four included sensors.
Ever wish your mobile device could give you a more accurate reading of the current temperature than it gets from the weather app du jour? So did the folks behind Thermodo ($25). This itty-bitty sensor plugs into your headphone jack, working with a dedicated app to give you an accurate reading of the surrounding temperature, with not even an Internet connection required. When it's not in use, you can plug it into the included keychain holder, giving you one more thing to add to your janitor-like chain of trinkets.
Keep your cords under control with a pack of Cord Tacos ($25/5-pack). Named for their shape, these small pieces of 100% leather snap around folded cords to keep them bundled in your bag, pocket, drawer, car, or anywhere else you have them stored. A metallic button ensures solid closure, and your choice of black or tan tacos — or an assortment of both — ensures that they'll match your existing stuff.
Forget camera-based gesture controls — if you want complete control wherever you are, you need something like the Myo Gesture Control Armband ($150). This innovative new input device communicates with your Mac, PC, phone or tablet over Bluetooth 4.0, and uses proprietary muscle sensors as well as a 6-axis motion sensor to track your movement. The muscle sensors are advanced enough that it can detect changes in gestures down to the individual finger, and because your muscles pick up the signal to move before they actually do, you may see it respond to your movements before you even move. May be combined with a smartphone, Google Glass, and a jetpack to build a "Superhero Starter Pack". [Scouted by Gershon]
Ever lost your way while walking in a straight line down a sidewalk? Wanted to take that photo of your daughter's first steps, but just too tired to pull out your phone? Ever feel lonely and just wish you had someone, something, to talk to? Those are just some of the things you can fix with Google Glass ($1,500). Controlled by nothing but your voice, this head-mounted computer has a camera and a screen, and is the closest you can come to a
POV camera video game HUD in real life. What you do with it is totally up to you.