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Xiaomi Mi Drone

Feature-wise, the Xiaomi Mi Drone doesn’t really stand out compared to its competitors. It’s got a 3-axis gimbal with a 4K (or cheaper 1080p) Sony camera at the end, GPS and GLONASS for stable hovering, a 27 minute flight time, and an all-white design that’s not dissimilar from the models churned out by China’s better known drone manufacturer, DJI. The Mi, though, is a mere fraction of the cost of comparably-specced drones, which usually run up over a grand per. An included controller uses your smartphone as a display, navigating the drone with a 720p live video stream from as far as 2 kilometres (1.24 miles). While it’ll likely only be available for order later this year, this drone looks promising for hobbyists looking for a more affordable option.

Learn more at Mi (Chinese site) – roughly $380 (1080p model) to $460 (4K model)

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Molekule Air Purifier

According to the EPA, indoor air can be as much as five times more polluted than the air outdoors. That’s why the Molekule Air Purifier takes a different approach to cleaning air. Instead of capturing allergenic particles, airborne chemicals, mold, viruses, and bacteria in its filters, Molekule breaks them down into harmless molecular components using a process called Photo Electrochemical Oxidation. It’ll quickly destroy pollutants as small as 0.1 nanometers, 1000 times smaller than what traditional HEPA filters can capture, all while operating whisper quietly. Controlling the device is easy thanks to a touchscreen display on top, though it’ll also connect to WiFi to notify you when it’s time to replace its filter. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also covered in machined aluminum and adorned with a natural leather handle, making the 18 pound device easy to move around within your home.

Learn more at Molekule – $500

Tags: Home, Tech
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Olympus Tough TG-Tracker Action Camera

Olympus’ contender in the crowded action camera market is finally here, and it’s ready to go out of the box, no (or few) accessories needed. The Olympus Tough TG-Tracker is waterproof to 100 feet, freezeproof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, shockproof, withstanding drops of 7 feet, dustproof, and crushproof, resisting loads of 220 lbf (pound-force) — and this, all without an enclosure to carry around. Uniquely, a slew of on-board sensors come standard which include an e-compass, GPS module, an accelerometer to measure g-force, a temperature sensor, and a barometric pressure sensor, allowing for the recording of this data alongside video (or even just on its own for longer battery life). Through a 204-degree f/2.0 wide-angle lens the Tg-Tracker shoots 4K video at up to 30 fps, slow motion video, and snaps 8 megapixel photos, always eliminating shakiness thanks to electronic 5-axis image stabilization. And if the above weren’t enough other features include a 1.5-inch tilt-out LCD, a bright LED headlight, and built-in WiFi for sharing images, video, and sensor data to your devices anywhere and without a cable.

Learn more at Olympus – $350

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Pebble 2 Smartwatch

There’s a reason the Pebble is amongst the best selling smartwatches. Numerous reasons, actually, including 100 feet of water resistance, iOS and Android compatibility, 7-day battery life thanks to an e-paper display, and a price that’s a hell of a lot more wallet-friendly than most. The Pebble 2 Smartwatch (far left) is all of those things and a few more. Notifications and calendars, the latter in the form of an intuitive timeline, are just a glance away, and the 2 is also a better fitness tracker than before with an integrated heart rate monitor, sleep tracking, Pebble Core (shown, middle) compatibility, and activity tracking with automatic activity classification, all wrapped up in Pebble’s Health app. One-Click Actions are also new, providing a set of customizable tasks on your watch that let you automatically order your favorite meal, hail an Uber, or send a preset text to a preset person with just a click. Also available in a Time 2 variant (far right) with the same features and a full metal enclosure.

Check it out in five colors at Kickstarter – $100

Tags: Tech, Watches
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Pebble Core

The brand’s first non-smartwatch product frees you from having to exercise with a big, fragile slab of glass in your pocket. Pebble Core is not unlike an iPod Shuffle except that it’s packed with far more functionality. Slip in a Micro-SIM card and it can stream straight from Spotify or send an emergency SMS with your location if you’re in a pinch. A built-in GPS unit tracks your location to provide pace, distance, location, and compatibility with exercise apps such as Runkeeper, Strava, and many others. It’s also Bluetooth enabled (though it sports an 3.5mm aux port for your wired headphones too), boasts 4GB of storage to download your playlist if you’d rather not stream or put in a SIM card, and offers about 9 hours of battery life on a charge. And it connects seamlessly with your Pebble watch to make controlling your music or checking your running stats as easy as looking at your wrist.

Find it at Kickstarter – $70

Tags: Audio, Tech
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Wayv Handheld Microwave Oven

Microwave ovens are big, heavy boxes. But not the Wayv Handheld Microwave Oven. It’s about the same size as a large thermos and boasts a control pad and an LCD screen up top and a miniaturized 200-watt microwave oven within. A rechargeable battery provides enough power for about thirty minutes of heating, and a four minute session should be enough to get your grub nice and hot. Instead of traditional vacuum tubes, the Wayv features laterally diffused metal oxide semiconductors to evenly heat the entirety of its contents without the need for a rotating platter. This also means it’s lightweight and safe. We’re just wondering if it’ll pop popcorn.

Learn more at Wayv – $TBA

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Google Ara Modular Phone

Project Ara has been fairly quiet for awhile now, but fortunately the announcement of Google’s Ara Modular Phone Developer kit shows us that the principal drive behind the project — modularity — is still front and center. Shipping in fall 2016, this developer-focused Ara is built around a frame that contains most of the phone’s brains including the CPU, GPU, antennas, sensors, a battery, and a 5.3-inch display. Six slots fit Ara modules solidly, connecting to the frame via Greybus, a bit of software explicitly designed for the inevitable hot-swapping of modules, and hardware that allows data-transfer rates of 11.9 Gbps. This makes adding an extra battery module or upgrading parts like your camera a cinch, and allows for plenty of creativity from hardware developers making unique modules. Moreover, the actual consumer-ready phone isn’t far behind: it should be shipping next year.

Learn more at Google ATAP – $TBA

Tags: Phones, Tech
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Framed Tech

If you’ve ever grabbed a screwdriver and taken the repair of something electronic into your own hands, you’ve likely known the pleasure of laying all parts out in an ultra-organized fashion to facilitate finding the littlest bits and pieces — and ensure putting the thing back together is feasible. Framed Tech is like that, only ten fold more organized and with all parts affixed to a PVC board. The series includes deconstructions of PS3 controllers, several generations of iPhone, a few Atari game cartridges, and even an Atari 2600 itself, each within a lightbox frame perfect for hanging on the wall of your man cave.

Learn more at Framed Tech – $450+

Tags: Decor, Home, Tech
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Spooly Cables

Unless they’re but a couple of inches long, cables tangle. But not Spooly. These flat cables are cleverly designed to spool around their USB plug and secure themselves while doing it thanks to a magnet on the former and powdered barium ferrite included in sections along the cable, magnetizing as they overlap. The USB plug is thankfully reversible and the other end bears either a Lightning, USB-C 3.1, or Micro USB connector. Each includes a case and comes in one of several lengths ranging from 10 inches to over four feet. There’s even a Spooly Evolution model that’s got USB-C connectors on either end for your modern notebook or Chromebook.

Learn more at Kickstarter – roughly $17

Tags: Tech
feature post image for Trainerbot Ping Pong Robot

Trainerbot Ping Pong Robot

Practice makes perfect. And the Trainerbot Ping Pong Robot is an opponent that lobs perfectly placed shots with exact spin and trajectory, making it easy to get lots of practice even if you’re without a regular partner. It’s small enough to carry around to a ping pong table if you don’t have your own and can be programmed from within the associated app, firing off the exact same shot or various sequences with precision. Difficulty can also be adjusted from beginner to advanced, the latter becoming lightning fast and unpredictably random to work on your speed and reflexes. And while you’ll need a ton of ping pong balls since it holds thirty in its reservoir, Trainerbot comes with that much (or more) to get you started.

Find it at Kickstarter – $330+

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