Cameras are attached to everything and just about everybody is snap-happy. This results in a deluge of digital photos, the most of which you’ll likely never print and nor revisit. And that’s exactly what the Aura Smart Picture Frame addresses. You won’t ever need to physically load it with photos: Aura instead pulls them from a photo album that you’ve synced with its app, updating automatically and curating photos by filtering out duplicates and the like to show your best work (it needs to be said that nudity detection blocks potentially embarrassing photos from ever being displayed). It’s otherwise got an ultra-high density 2048×1536 display, auto-dimming, and no buttons to speak of — skipping to the next photo takes just a wave of your hand.
Find it at Amazon – $400
Fabian Oefner’s three Disintegrating Car Prints made quite a splash for its originality back in 2013. He’s back with five more cars, exploded as with the first series, with Disintegrating Part II. And no, they’re not computer-generated: each image was instead created over a painstaking two month period by photographing individual components, piece by piece, at specific angles to imaginatively represent what the car’s insides would look like caught on camera should beautifully explode out. Automobiles in the second series include, in order in our slider, a 1982 Porsche 956, a 1936 Auto Union Type C, a Ford GT40 from 1969, a Bugatti 57 SC, and a 1957 Maserati 250F, available in limited edition prints at 55″ by 27.5″ or 90.5″ by 45.25″ starting at the price listed below. Or you can download the high res images here, which make great desktop backgrounds.
It’s not as static as a print, nor is it as overly bright and glossy as a modern television screen. Instead, the Electric Objects EO1 is perfectly suited to displaying art — and lots of it. The EO1 boasts a unique matte display with a viewing angle of about 179°, showing off images and GIFs (either your own, or found via Electric Objects’ Art Club) set using a matching iOS or Android app at a 1080×1920 resolution. It’s got no speakers, audio output, or even buttons really, other than a single on switch, meaning a viewer can’t switch the art displayed any quicker than one could switch a framed painting — or at least not without the controlling smartphone. And since it only uses 35 watts of power while running (or about as much as a standard lightbulb) and boasts programmable sleep schedules to save energy when it wouldn’t be seen, for instance at night, operating one is cheap as well.
Learn more at Electric Objects – $300 (or $270, with 10% off using code gearhungry)
Got a good book list ready for the rest of the summer? If not, this one’s more likely to last you through to the fall, and maybe a couple more years after that. You’ll want to leave Pop Chart Lab’s 100 Essential Novels Scratch-Off Chart in a glass-less frame, though, for full access to its scratchable gold foil partially covering the covers of the hundred classics included in the print. The books span 1605 to today and each hides a narrative-specific design element to be revealed when scratched. So get to it, those books aren’t going to read themselves.
Grab one at Pop Chart Lab – $35
Hanging a piece on a wall is fine and good, but what if you don’t have room for one near your desk or in your cubicle? Beer Cap Maps Desktop Map doesn’t hang but instead stands on a 3/4-inch acrylic and wood base, balancing and holding the map by Texas. It’s still got room for 48 of your favorite beers displayed by way of their caps. Or pull it out and hang it if you want. Though it’s currently only available as a full USA map.
Hit up Beer Cap Maps to learn more – $29
You can lose yourself in a good painting. Though it’s more likely you’ll get totally lost doing one of Stellavie’s Maze Prints. Inspired by maze enthusiasts and their work over the past century or so, these prints feature a hand-drawn maze that’s aesthetically pleasing from far and that’s also a real challenge should you or a guest give it a go; it can be solved two ways, and is easier going in than getting out. It comes in one of two sizes — regular or colossal — and is printed with one of several custom-mixed inks on your choice of paper stock in seven colors, each hand-signed and limited to a run of 250 units.
Learn more at Stellavie – roughly $78+
If you’ve been eyeing a Kinkajou Glass Bottle Cutter for awhile but haven’t gotten around to it yet, now’s as good a time as ever — especially if you didn’t know what to do with your cut bottles (we’re using one as a pen holder). The Kinkajou Bottle Cutting & Candle Making Kit, predictably, includes both a glass bottle cutting kit along with a pound of soy wax balls, five wooden wicks, and five metal wick clips. When you’re done decapitating a bottle that’s between 1.7 and 4 inches in diameter using the tool and some water (alternating in temperature between hot and cold), finish it to a smooth edge with the included sandpaper plus finishing tool and then pour in some wax over the wick to make yourself a candle.
Find it at our shop – $60
We don’t know how they got their hands on it, but Theropoda will sell you a 45% complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton… that we guess we’ll classify under “decor”. Nicknamed Roosevelt, this specimen was discovered near Fort Peck Lake in Montana, a hydroelectric dam constructed under FDR’s governance about 75 years ago. All of its 65 million (or so) year old bones are cleaned and stabilized for mounting on its custom steel armature display, and the skull itself is 44.44% complete, with most absent parts replaced by high quality replicas. It might not fit through the door, though, an understatement considering it’s 12 feet tall and 38 feet long.
Learn more at Theropoda Expeditions – $2,390,000