Gear

AFO Fire Extinguisher Ball

Finding, prepping, and using a fire extinguisher to put out a fire takes a few steps. The AFO Fire Extinguisher Ball cuts this down to just one: throw. Or roll, if you prefer; either way, the AFO self-activates within a few seconds of meeting flames, detonating and dispersing non-toxic fire retardant chemicals to instantly extinguish fires as large as about 100 square feet. It’s appropriate for home and small business use for Class A, B, and C fires of normal combustibles (wood, paper, flammable liquids, and the like), boasts a built-in high pitched alarm that also automatically activates in fires, and can even be left in a fire-prone area on the included stand, self-detonating and handling the flames all by itself should they manifest.

Find it at Amazon – $80

GET IT: $80

Rides

Kitty Hawk Flying Car

It’s not an automobile in the conventional sense, though the Kitty Hawk Flying Car is still plenty impressive for an early prototype. The Larry Page-backed Silicon Valley company just produced and tested a functional prototype (see it in action on YouTube) that looks something like a cross between a giant drone, a floatplane (thanks to two large pontoons for floating), and a Sea-Doo. Eight electrically-driven propellers beneath a net-like shield let the Kitty Hawk take off and land vertically, attain 15 foot altitudes, and speed across bodies of water, and since it’s an ultralight recreational vehicle it doesn’t require any sort of special license. You won’t see any flying over cities for now, but a production version will be available to consumers by the end of this year.

Check it out at Kitty Hawk.

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Gear
Featured

Current Bag Co Charging Backpack

If it weren’t for the lightning bolt motifs on its zipper holds or, perhaps, its name, you’d never guess the Current Bag Co Charging Backpack had electrified ambitions. The backpack comes in the retro-styled Classic that’s made of blended nylon and accented with leather and steel zippers as well as a sleek, modern Move variant built with weathered polyester for more physically active wear. Both are durable, water-resistant, feature a quick-access front pocket for stashing stuff that you’ll want to keep in close reach, and boast a multitude of other pockets and compartments to obsessively organize everything from your sunglasses to your laptop. And of course both also include either a 5,000mAh (in the Move) or 10,000mAh (in the Classic) charging station that packs enough juice to charge your tablet or smartphone several times over.

Hit up Kickstarter to learn more – $70+

Presented by Current Bag Co.

GET IT: $70+

Misc

Le Labo Santal 26 Home Diffuser

Made of wood reclaimed from New York’s water tanks and fitted with a functional Edison bulb, Le Labo’s Santal 26 Home Diffuser is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the nose. The diffuser features a nebulizer in a glass vase to vaporize Le Labo’s Santal 26 fragrance oil into a fine mist that takes to the air and spreads around your home without the need for adding solvents nor diluting the oil. A knob embedded in the block of wood simultaneously adjusts intensity of both the light and the scent, giving you cleverly designed visual feedback of the chosen setting before the scent has a chance to permeate.

Learn more at Le Labo Fragrances – $590

GET IT: $590

Rides

BrakeFree Motorcycle Smart Brake Light

Considering two wheelers aren’t quite as forgiving as the four-wheeled cocoons most humans drive around in, motorcyclists can’t be too careful when it comes to visibility. The BrakeFree Motorcycle Smart Brake Light improves your rear visibility at all times while you’re riding, and especially while braking (and at risk for being rear-ended). Mount one to the back of your existing helmet with powerful neodymium magnets (and adhesive mounts) to get eye-level LEDs that glow constantly, day and night, and that turn on with a glove-friends button. When you slow down, whether by actually braking or via engine braking, an accelerometer and gyroscope inside makes the BrakeFree glow even brighter to warn drivers behind you, while sudden emergency braking triggers an attention-grabbing special light pattern instead. It’s also weather resistant, lasts for over eight continuous hours per charge, and shines even brighter than most motorcycle brake lights do.

Find it at Indiegogo – $110

GET IT: $110

Tech

FuelBox Charging Station

As the number of gadgets in your tech arsenal multiplies so does the number of charge cables used to keep them all topped up. The FuelBox Charging Station attempts to ease this pain a little, at least for your Micro USB and Lightning devices, in two ways. First, the main station plugs into a wall outlet and has as outputs two surge-protected prong outlets, a USB-A port, as well as both Lightning and Micro USB cables that conceal into its side. Also, a smaller BoostPack with those same two charge cables docks onto the top of the station magnetically and charges up its own built-in 5,200mAh battery so it’s ready to take with you whenever — and has a pop-out USB cable for recharging itself when you’re away from the dock.

Find it at BiteMyApple – $100

GET IT: $100

Gear

Pocket Hammer Slingshot

Remember the Pocket Shot, the tiny slingshot that packs a surprisingly serious punch? The Pocket Hammer is the latter but pushed all the way to its limits. It’s got a Pocket Shot at its core which can be unscrewed and used as such independently, but a steel frame, handle, and removable wrist brace stabilize your grip to fire off a variety of projectiles (including paintballs, marbles, airsoft pellets, and even arrows with the included whisker cap) at ludicrous speeds of 350 feet per second — about twice to thrice as fast as traditional slingshots can manage.

Learn more at The Pocket Shot – $100

GET IT: $100

Sports & Outdoors

River Mobile Power Station

Think of the River Mobile Power Station as a portable battery pack  whose steroids are on steroids. While it’s not exactly small nor light at 11 pounds, the 500 Watt River packs along a ludicrous 116,000mAh of charge, which is enough to charge your laptop five or ten times, your phone at least thirty times over, and enough to power either a full sized projector or refrigerator for 10 hours. A myriad of output ports let you plug in just about anything and include four USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, two AC outputs to plug in standard plugs, two DC outputs, and a 12V car port. And it can output to all eleven at once to charge or power all your gear simultaneously. It’ll also hold a charge for over a year, making it perfect for use as an emergency battery, and can be topped up using optional solar panels, so it’s still possible to keep refuelling it away from AC wall chargers.

Find it at Indiegogo – $460

GET IT: $460

Misc

Mastercard Fingerprint Reading Credit Card

As you’re punching away yet another PIN number as you buy a coffee or pay for lunch, know that the future is brighter — and we’re not talking about Apple Pay. The Mastercard Fingerprint Reading Credit Card is no bigger or thicker than a traditional credit card but is certainly both safer and faster than existing chip cards to confirm your identity, with a fingerprint reader integrated right on the card. This does add a layer of complexity to registration since a financial institution needs to validate your prints, encrypt, and store them on the card itself. But afterwards paying for stuff is as simple as dipping the card into a terminal and placing your thumb on the embedded sensor, with no need to hide your PIN nor worry about skimming. For now trials are limited to South Africa, with additional trials in Europe and Asia Pacific in the coming months, though a full rollout is possible as early as late this year.

Learn more at Mastercard.

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Gadgets

TTi-150 Titanium Dice

Clean, minimal, and made of our favorite metal, there’s lots to like about TTi-150 Titanium Dice. Each is precisely carved of GR5 titanium by a CNC mill to a smoothed cube that, importantly, won’t scratch up your table, and finalized to either a sand blasted grey or stone washed silver finish. Because of the choice of material they’re far lighter than they look at 11.5 grams (0.4 ounces) each and are non-magnetic (so if you’re in need of a trick die look elsewhere). Also available in a Damascus version (see second image) forged of nearly 100 layers of steel.

Learn more at Kickstarter – roughly $26

GET IT: ~$26

Books

A Job To Love

Enjoying, or at least appreciating, your work in one way or another is often important for living a fulfilled life, especially considering the sheer number of hours dedicated to it on a weekly basis. Still, many are left unsatisfied, and without a tempting alternative to pursue. The School Of Life’s A Job To Love wants to help you figure it out. While a relatively short read at 189 pages, the book aims to teach you to understand yourself well enough to head in a particular direction (or accept that your current job is actually not so bad). It examines the reasons for our obsession with finding the perfect job, the obstacles that get in our way — including those created in our minds — and comes packed with guidance to identify the bits and pieces of working that you love. All with a dollop of realism in accepting that a single job may never quite be enough.

Grab a copy at Amazon in either Kindle ($7) or hardcover ($17) versions. [via]

GET IT: $7+

Bike

Bridgestone Air Free Bicycle Tire

Airless tires for cars are a long time coming. But riders of another vehicle are sure to happily wave goodbye to flats: the bicycle. Bridgestone’s Air Free Bicycle Tire employs a thermoplastic resin to form the tire’s spokes that flex and bend to smooth out your ride, doing the job of air in traditional pneumatic tires without the risk of leaking out or going flat in the event of a puncture so that you can ditch the pump, spare tube, and tire levers. They also promise to be more efficient for riding as well, perhaps attaining higher speeds with less energy input, but we’ll retain judgement on that until they actually hit the market sometime in 2019.

Learn more at Bridgestone – $TBA

GET IT: $TBA

Tech

Upright Go Posture Trainer

Positive thinking is unlikely to do much for fixing your horrendous posture, most notably that screen slouch you’ve been unable to shed for probably decades. A bit of consistent and controlled nagging, on the other hand, just might. The Upright Go Posture Trainer ($69) tracks and aids you in correcting it by sticking to your upper back using reusable double-sided soft stickers, each good for about two or three weeks of regular use, and not only tracks your upper back/neck posture but also vibrates to let you know how you’re doing in real time. The idea is that over a few weeks, and with many nudges to correct your posture, your back muscles will get stronger and hold you straight without much conscious effort. It also of course also continues working while standing, resists sweat and water, lasts for about two days worth of use on a charge, and switches from training mode to tracking only mode — which won’t vibrate, but still keeps tabs on your posture in the app — with just a tap. It’s worth mentioning that we’re been toying with the Go’s predecessor, the Upright Pro, so more on that shortly.

Find it at Kickstarter – $69

GET IT: $69