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Kobo Aura One eReader

Pouring a hot bath and relaxing while reading is, to us, incredibly inviting. Too bad both paper books and eReaders aren’t really waterproof and require a ton of care. That’s changing with the Kobo Aura One. The slim device is rated waterproof to the IPX8 standard and can therefore go about six feet underwater for up to an hour for reading underwater (but more likely just for withstanding occasional splashes). A massive 7.8-inch Carta E Ink screen is about the size of a good novel as well as just as sharp with a pixel density of 300 dpi, and comes equipped with ComfortLight Pro front lighting, which also gradually reduces blue light exposure as dusk approaches to avoid impacting your sleep. Other features include 8GB of on-board memory for storing thousands of eBooks, one month of battery life, and customizable font weights and sharpness to create a reading experience tailored to you.

Up for preorder on August 30th. Find it at Kobo – $230

Tags: Books, Tech
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Touch Of Wood MacBook Cover

Your silver MacBook could be anybody’s. Add to it a touch of organic uniqueness with one of Touch Of Wood’s MacBook Covers. They come in several varieties of wood including walnut, zebrawood (shown), teak, and maple, each made thin and backed with a 3M Pressure Sensitive Adhesive that’s strong enough to keep a solid hold as long as you need it to, at which time it won’t leave residue. They’re also precisely laser cut to fit both modern 13-inch and 15-inch Apple laptops and are hand-sanded, with slits in their edges to ensure the skins properly hug the curved surface of your computer.

Learn more at Touch of Wood – $65+

Tags: Tech
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Eon Skateboard Powertrain

Chances are you’ve already seen electric skateboards zooming by on the streets and felt envy. But what if you’ve already got a fully complete board you love? Unlimited Engineering’s Eon is a skateboard to e-skateboard conversion kit that’s an alternative for splurging for a full board-and-motor set. Slap an Eon powertrain onto your longboard or skateboard without even changing the trucks and then plug in the battery pack. A lightweight motor integrated in the hub of one of the rear wheels takes care of the rest, outputting enough power to get the rider up to 22 miles per hour and even go up hills with a 9% grade effortlessly using a handheld remote control. It’s modular, making Eon compatible with a wide variety of deck shapes and truck types, also accommodating the use of up to two battery packs for extended range: each will net you about 7.5 miles for a total 15 if you go for double. Predetermined kits include the lightweight one-motor, one-battery Solo, the one-motor, two-battery Cruiser, and the two-motor, two-battery R that boasts both the aforementioned extended range and more potent hill climbing capabilities (20% grade).

Hit up Kickstarter for details – roughly $410+

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Walabot DIY

Ever wish your stud finder could do a little more than beep incessantly? Walabot DIY is the answer. This device magnetically connects to your Android smartphone and uses a Vayyar Imaging sensor to look through up to four inches of concrete or drywall, displaying a representation of what it sees on your device’s display by way of an app. Between various sensing modes and calibration it can be adjusted to your needs, seeing pipes and wires — and their orientation — or even movement (i.e. rodents and other unwanted critters) behind walls.

Learn more at Walabot – $200

Tags: Tech, Tools
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Logitech Pop Home Switch

Controlling your smart home devices takes something more high tech than wired-in wall switches, and something quicker and more practical than a smartphone app. Each of Logitech’s Pop Home Switch can be programmed with three custom commands to control the lights, the music, and other wireless smart home devices. It works with popular systems like Philips’ Hue, LIFX, and Sonos, and relies on a WiFi bridge that plugs straight into a wall outlet. The switches themselves run on batteries (that are replaceable and last five years) so they can be stuck or kept anywhere, and programming the commands — which are triggered using a simple click, double click, and press-and-hold and include things like setting smart locks or starting a movie (along with adjusting lighting and etc.)  — is done using the Pop app, as is adding additional switches over the included two.

Pick one up at Amazon – $100+

Tags: Tech
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Google Duo

Facetime works well. The problem is you can’t use it to call any of your friends on Android. Google Duo aims to be more inclusive by bringing simple, high-quality cross-platform video calling to all devices using either Android or iOS. Set up the app — which includes verifying your cell number — and then start calling people straight from your contacts list, no distinct and dedicated account necessary (though of course they’ll need the app as well). Duo handles the rest by automatically adjusting video quality to suit current network speeds and completely encrypting all calls. Receiving a call is even more inviting with Knock Knock enabled, a Duo feature that gives you live video into what the caller is doing  even before answering.

Learn more at Google – $Free

Tags: Tech
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Tern Elektron Electric Bicycle

Aiming to design the perfect non-automobile commuter, Tern just may have done it with the Elektron Electric Bicycle. Since it folds down in ten seconds you won’t need to worry about having it stolen from a bike rack: bring it to the office and slide it under your desk instead. It’s also the most compact electric bike to be powered by Borsch’s Active drivetrain, which adds motor assist as you pedal by use of a 400Wh battery to attain a range of between 31 to 62 miles on a charge (depending on how much you help out), handily tackling even longer commutes. The bike is highly adjustable to fit a variety of people (from 4’7″ to a bit over 6’4″) and packed with features including Deore hydraulic disc brakes, integrated 150 lumen Valo lights, fenders for toughing the rain, and an included cargo rack.

Available on Kickstarter later this year. Until then, learn more at Tern – $3,500

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Grovemade Speaker System

It’s hard to imagine Grovemade’s Speaker System sounding as good as they look, but that’s not for lack of trying. Its form is a collaboration between the wood-obsessed brand and industrial designer Joey Roth, with a design that puts a 2-inch full range driver behind a grille and boosts its low frequencies by way of a back-loaded horn. The wood shell is precision machined using domestically sourced hardwoods like walnut or maple and bonded together with a high performance epoxy adhesive before being hand sanded, coated with natural oil, and buffed to seal it. They’re held on vegetable tanned leather-covered stainless steel stands and plug into a center unit equipped with a dial to control volume. The speakers are also devoid of any visible fasteners, producing a stunningly clean aesthetic that’s gorgeous from all angles.

Learn more about the Walnut and Maple models at Grovemade – $500 (maple) to $600 (walnut)

Tags: Tech
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Touch 1K Flashlight

It’s not called the Touch 1K for nothing. This flashlight sports a touchscreen display alongside all its technological prowess that earns it its moniker, helping slide through its brightness settings and cycle through modes while also displaying remaining battery life. Crank it up to full blast and the light outputs over 1,000 lumens. It’ll burn through its 3,400 mAh battery in about two hours on this setting but lasts much longer on anything lower, useful considering it’s got a USB port to recharge your smartphone or other small devices. Else it’s made of military grade aluminum, boasts a waterproof cover that seals over the port, and comes with a lantern attachment accessory for diffusely lighting up larger areas like campsites and tents.

Find it at Indiegogo – $85

Tags: Gear, Tech
feature post image for Yamaha YAS-106 Sound Bar

Yamaha YAS-106 Sound Bar

Cranking up the volume on your new television rapidly exposes the weakness in its speakers. Sound bars can fix this without the need for a bulky audio setup, and the Yamaha YAS-106 Sound Bar is on the affordable side of the price spectrum. The slim device can both rest on furniture or mount on a wall and boasts two subwoofers, two woofers, and two tweeters, spaced far apart for full stereo sound and virtual surround sound. Plug it to your set with an optical cable or, better yet, with HDMI, with one input and one output to support 4K video signal pass-through, working with modern and future players/streamers including 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc players. You can also add on another external subwoofer if you’d like and control the speaker using either the included remote or a Bluetooth-linked device — though if it’s connected with HDMI adjusting volume should be handled by a normal television remote.

Grab one at Amazon – $200

Tags: Audio, Tech
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