iPhones already control our lives, so why not our toys? Dexim has developed a Monster Truck that is controlled wirelessly from - wait for it - your iPhone, iPad or iTouch.Remotes are so yesteryear.
Just download the app from itunes and your Monster Truck is ready to roll over some Matchbox cars. The AppSpeed iOS-controlled vehicle has two methods of control; the traditional touch sensor controls the truck from your Apple devices' touch screen for the gravity sensor which allows the user to simply gyrate their Apple device to direct the Monster Truck. (That’s where the Apple’s unique gyroscope comes in handy.)
Never fear, both modes of function give 360 degrees of movement control and speed up to 50 feet indoors or outdoors. The AppSpeed also comes equipped with three pre-set modes that allow the user to automatically zigzag, spin or dance the Monster Truck to music as well as a quick-charge battery pack and USB cable for seamless, on-the-go charging.
The AppSpeed Monster Truck will retail for $69.99; the iTunes app is free.
Next, I expect all our entire kitchen appliances to be controlled by our iPhones or iPad, and then watch the vacuum cleaner take on the Monster Truck!
Augmented reality technology has been used as part of many apps and promotions over the past few years.
A few weeks back, I reported that Mattel was holding open votes to decide Barbie's 126th career. Among the choices were News Anchor, Architect, and Computer Engineer. I'm happy to announce that the people have spoken and we now have Computer Engineer Barbie.
According to Mattel's site, the doll's designers worked side by side with the Society of Women Engineers and the National Academy of Engineering to design realistic clothing and accessories. Barbie will be decked out in a tee with a binary code pattern and some black knit skinny pants. She'll also be equipped with all the latest tech including a smartphone, Bluetooth headset, and even a travel bag for her laptop. Speaking of the laptop, Barbie's will of course, be a pink affair which will match her prerequisite glasses.
Though it stumps me as to why we like to surround ourselves with computer peripherals that resemble animals, I would like to make a little argument in favor of the Turtle USB hub simply because of the fact that it looks rather sincere (and lovable) as it lies on the desk, faithfully connected to the PC. And I am perhaps also subconsciously inspired by the fact that all turtles represent the idea of endurance, living out hundreds of years as symbols of calm and poise.
Well, to cut out the poetry, the Turtle USB hub is a cleverly designed 4-port USB hub with the USB ports hidden within the limbs of the e-reptile. The shell is functional as well, and can be lifted up to store away the tiny items on your desk such as paper clips, post-it notes, and so on. A handy contraption that also looks good on your desk. Head on to USBFever.com to get your turtle at $13.99.
I don't expect employees of LEGO would be too generous in distributing their out-of-the-ordinary business cards. Nor do I expect lucky recipients to toss them in carelessly with their other unglamorous brethen, to be yellowed and forgotten.
Because LEGO business cards are printed on minifigs - little toy figures that even look like the individuals who carry them! The front of a minifig spells out the employee's name while additional details are printed on to the back. Is that creative or what?
It would be difficult enough for me to keep a straight face handing out one of these to an unsuspecting business contact, but carrying a hundred-pack to a conference would also be bad for my back.
Via Shiny Shiny.
I still love Muji and feel fortunate that I work around the block from their Soho store. On the Muji website, I just discovered their "Fun in the Bag Math" which is great set of wooden tiles that demonstrate fractions, in a visual and tactile way. The tiles show the relative size of fractions. Muji's elegant design sensibility balances the math geek part of my brain with the design geek part of my brain.
I'm a firm believer in the importance of building mental math models as well as the need for lots of practice, but that doesn't mean aesthetics have to be sacrificed. I wonder if people wouldn't be as afraid of math if we grew up with more toys like this example which presents math as play.
I never tire of humidifiers in the shapes of animals and characters - why not bring a little whimsy to an otherwise mundane product? Runa Net will soon launch the Stitch Humidifier (in the shape of the Disney character). This one connects to your PC through USB or AC adapter, and keeps the environment around your desk/cubicle moist. (Just why are offices so dry anyway?)
Via Trends in Japan.
Talk about a perfect gift for the tadpole in your life. ifrogz Boxed Tadpole set includes a protective iPod case for kids, so parents can convert their own video iPod into a portable children’s entertainment device.Though the company doesn't recommend dunking it in a swimming pool, judging by the testimonials, toddlers have done some pretty extensive product testing!
The colorful child-sized headphones are designed specifically to work with the ifrogz Tadpole case. Now compatible with the 120 GB iPod Classic too.
On sale for $14.99 until they run out at ifrogz.
The classic Russian stacking dolls have been around for ages, and kids never tire of them, generation after generation. If you're nostalgic for these dolls, the new Mathmos Babushka Light might strike your fancy. It's Babushka with a modern twist, Russian dolls meet lava lamp. The light, which sells for $75, is made form mouth blown glass and mirror coated plastic, and the LEDs change from red to blue. See it in action here.
Just what is it about that shape that calls to me?
Of all the crafts I've ever tried and spectacularly failed at, carving Halloween pumpkins has to be in the top ten disasters. Add that to the fact that I love technology, and you can imagine how thrilled I was to see this decorating idea highlighted on the Crafty Crafty blog (which I read to discover more things I should never, ever try).
I'm showing it to you a couple of weeks early in case you're inspired and need the time to source a Mac Classic (I have no idea what happened to mine, but I loved it so much.)
The instructions are here.