If you're shoe-obsessed, you're used to sticker-shock on red-soled Louboutins and high-heeled Manolo's, but the $245+ sticker price for the ugly, awkward, and un-hippest (hip-slimming) shoes on the market might make you pause before making the investment. MBT shoe-design is based on Masai Barefoot Technology, which simulates the "rolling" experience of walking in sand.
The shoes themselves are an eyesore, they're the foot equivalent of "granny panties." But, then again so are Ugg boots and Crocs, and if our 21st century culture has taught us anything, it's that beauty can come in the form of a beast. MBTs are a unique experience. Touted by Bliss Spa and others as inch-reducing footwear they're nearly an urban shoe myth shared among curious and disbelieving women.
Displaying photographic art doesn’t have to mean sticking it in a frame and hanging it on the wall. Two friends of mine in Singapore, photographer Ernest Goh and designer Daniel Pillai, have blended photographic art and functional furniture in the BEAM Nightlight - a soft illuminating lamp that contains a piece of medium format transparency film.
Switch on the lamp and it lights up, well, an image of light itself. Every piece of film has an image of lights that have been shot at night: street lights, shop signs, traffic lights and others. No two pieces of film are the same, so no two BEAM Nightlights are identical either.
Looks like the convergence bug bit someone in the USB hub community. It's too soon to tell, as the first shipments aren't expected until mid-July, but so far being optimistic about a full recovery seems pretty futile.
Obviously not content with creating a simple hub that adds another 4 USB 2.0 ports to a computer, the infected individual responsible for the Letter Opener USB Hub Clock ($15) went ahead and stuck an alarm clock on it. But the madness doesn't stop there. Oh no. Proof of the poor soul's weakened condition is that electronic letter opener jammed right there below the clock.
It's worse than I thought. Merging old technology with (relatively) new technology? It's like putting storage space for rolls of film on a memory card reader!
Sega is at it again, making cute robot animals for us to play with instead of working. Part iDog and iFish, Mio is a breed apart, with sensors everywhere — under the chin, behind its ears, in the small of its back — and loves to be scratched, letting you know by wagging it's tail and flashing icons across its pink eyes. (A heart for when it's happy, a bone for when it's hungry, etc.)
These "LCD eyes" display his mood; apparently having Mio bite the owner was scratched from the drawing board.
Available Oct 6th from Sega Toys, no word on pricing.
Via Akihabara News.
I love tech toys, quite clearly (I haven't let go of the iPhone since last Friday), but very rarely are they simple. Even with my resistance to instructions, I usually have to dig out the manual once or twice, and even then, many functions remain mysteries forever. Not so with the the U-mate dot creator, a tiny gadget with a 16 x 16 ultra mini screen, which does just one thing- lets you jot little pixel drawings. A push of the "animate button" will give your drawing life (well, you know, make it look like a foot is moving, or something along those lines). I had something sort of like this many years ago, only it was huge, and I spent many hours drawing unindentifiable, moving images and it was so much fun. Yes, you can get simple programs like this for your PDA or cell phone, but then it's a diversion for the the real things you're supposed to be doing on the phone- the whole point of the U-mate is to have fun. No manual necessary.
U-mate dot creator is available only in Japan, but can be ordered worldwide, for $35, from Audiocubes.
Unlike City Search or the Yahoo! or Google versions, Yelp has now turned into a social network, with Yelpers arranging to get together to try new restaurants (36% of all reviews are about restaurants), advising newcomers to a city on places to see, clubs to join, upcomming community work...."Hey, we're working on the food kitchen on 46th this weekend...anyone wanna come help out?"
Stephanie Ichinose, Director of Communications, marvels, "We've become much more than a local resource -- we've tapped into a community's voice!"
Adds Russ Williamson, the Marketing Director for NYC, with a laugh, "But we are NOT a dating site!" though they are not blind to the fact that locals with similiar interests are getting together.
City dwellers are getting to know each other through their reviews. As Russ points out, "There are personalities behind each review -- you hear the tone and start identifying with people behind the reviews. Then you trust their judgement."
Which brings up the question of spamming and companies trying to do their own grass-roots marketing. Even with thousands of reviews a day, Stephanie and Russ agree that their "controls" in place are working, and since the community "takes ownership of the site," they are very good at sniffing out false posts.
No surprise to us here at Popgadget, but women were the early adapotors of Yelp. The founders found women to be "more adventuresome, social and active." Now the demographic is more 50/50 .
Pepsi has launched its newest diet cola variation: Diet Pepsi MAX. Sure to give you a boost, this DP adds extra caffeine and Ginseng to give you more bang for your buck... literally! Long known for it’s higher-than-most-colas caffeine content, Mountain Dew may have some competition (well, not really since Pepsi owns Mountain Dew... oh, never mind... you get the point).
What may be more interesting, though, is Pepsi’s ad campaign surrounding the new product. It’s website, www.WakeUpPeople.com, features a 'Yawn-a-Thon’ that tracks yawns, shares photos of yawns, provides yawn prevention tips, etc. Pepsi also commissioned a yawn study in conjunction with the launch of the new beverage that’s full of interesting facts, such as:
- 84 percent of Americans experience a daily 'afternoon slump.'
- More than half of respondents admit to yawning up to five times a day.
So. You've got your iPhone and you've got your favorite movies on DVD. Now what? How do you bring the two together?
Innovative Solutions has got . . . well, an innovative solution for you. It's a piece of software called DVD to iPhone and it takes all manners of video content (DVDs, home movies, whatever you downloaded from the Internet, etc.), works some sort of "cyberspeed technology" voodoo magic on it, and gets it all nice and pretty for optimized viewing on the iPhone.
The best part? It takes just two clicks. Well, four clicks really because you have to head over to dvdtoiphone.com first and download the free trial, but let's not split hairs.
The full version of DVD to iPhone is available at an introductory rate of $30 and, ironically, is not Mac-compatible.
Via Gadgets on the Go.
I am a big fan of cardboard boxes; maybe because I'm often moving from one place to another and there is always a time span where I'm forced to live out of boxes. I have gotten so used to keeping belongings stored in cardboard boxes that some of them still haven’t found another placing in the apartment after two years … and at this point I doubt they will ever be taken out since I am about to move again.
Unfortunately, MeBox boxes aren't very suitable for moving purposes, but once everything safely reaches its destination , they would come in very handy. Besides, they look great!
The grid of perforated discs at the end of each box allows for creative labeling and lots of fun during the process; press the discs out to create your pattern, text, image, etc. Inner colored lining will reveal the given “label.”
MeBox has been designed by London based Graphic Thought Facilities; all boxes are flat packed, easy to assemble and come in different silk-screened colors.
For a list of UK and US distributors check their site under MeBox Stockists.
Are cupcakes out of fashion yet? I don't think so, but I love cupcakes so much, I wouldn't know if they'd fallen out of favor in the world of food trends or not. I'm one of those silly people you've seen standing in line at New York's Magnola Bakery just to get a dozen Easter egg colored cupcakes to take home for the weekend (if anyone knows of a good cupcake bakery in D.C., let me know because I've been looking and looking, and I haven't found one).
Cupcakes are so wonderfully retro and American and pedestrian. And in that spirit comes the Jelio Birthday Table, a table made of Polyurethane with a glass top, and shaped like a cupcake wrapper in honor of our moms who made us cupcakes when we were little (though my mom didn't make cupcakes, there was no such thing as baking where she came from). The irony here is that the cupcake table, which comes in a variety of colors just like real cupcake wrappers, costs $900.