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
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
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.
Just calling it an external drive would be reductive. The LaCie 2big Dock Thunderbolt 3 complements modern port-sparse USB-C-equipped computers like Apple’s MacBook & MacBook Pro with not only large storage capacities but also a myriad of ports to serve as a dock and USB hub all at once. We’ll start with storage: it includes two Seagate IronWolf Pro drives in RAID that’ll hold a total of between 12 and 20 terabytes of data and serve it to and from your computer very quickly, with transfer speeds of up to 440MB/s thanks to the inclusion of Thunderbolt 3. On the front it’s got both CF and SD card slots as well as one USB 3.0 port, and on the back you’ll find three USB-C ports — two being Thunderbolt 3-enabled and powered so they can charge your laptop — plus a DisplayPort out to plug to your high-resolution 4K display. And all this is accomplished with a single plug running to your computer.
Learn more at LaCie – $TBA
If it reminds you of a Raspberry Pi you’re definitely onto something. After decades of making solid motherboards and miscellaneous hardware (not to mention computers), the Asus Tinker Board is the hardware giant’s first take on a miniature, affordable single board computer made for DIYers and tinkerers. The compact credit card-shaped device boasts a surprisingly large amount of functionality that includes a quad-core ARM Rockchip RK3288 processor, 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM, a dedicated ARM-based GPU good for playing 4K video, and a ton of inputs and outputs (think full-sized HDMI, 3.5mm audio, LAN, two USB 2.0 ports, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, a microSD card reader, and more). It runs on Debian-based TinkerOS and though it costs a little more than the highest end Raspberry Pi, for projects where more robust specs and feature sets are necessary the Thinker Board should make a name for itself.
Sony’s been holding it’s own and even outdoing, on several occasions, both of its main rivals in the camera world: Canon & Nikon. And the Sony A9 Camera charges on with features that’ll make Canon’s already fast 1D fluster. The A9 boasts a 24.2 megapixel full-frame stacked CMOS sensor behind both a traditional mechanical shutter as well as an electronic one. Using the latter means no blackouts on the viewfinder, silent operation devoid of vibrations (imagine a future of televised golf devoid of clicking), and of course very high speeds, shooting at up to 20fps with a max shutter speed of 1/32,000 of a second while never losing sight of your subject. Sony’s 4D Focus system is also worth noting, which is fast, operates uninterrupted even with the shutter released, and uses 693 phase-detection AF points that cover nearly the entirety of the image. And with a huge battery, dual memory card slots, and likely the best viewfinder ever fitted on a camera at Quad-VGA, the A9 isn’t lacking when it comes to important details that make or break your shooting, either.
Learn more at Sony – $4,500
The Roadie 2 Automatic Guitar Tuner won’t just tell you if your string is tuned — it’ll literally tune it for you at the push of a button. To use this device, turn the scroll wheel to select the type of guitar (or bass) you’re tuning, be it acoustic, electric, a ukulele, a banjo, or whatever. Then place it the peg of an untuned string and pluck the latter and Roadie 2 gets to work, tightening or loosening the string automatically to get it just right. Because it comes preprogrammed with most standard tunings it’ll get your guitar in tune quick and switched between two keys almost as fast. If standard won’t cut it you can also use the app to create your own alternate tunings to your taste,. Vibration detection means it’ll still tune accurately in noisy settings, and a distinct Roadie Bass comes with a stronger motor and larger battery, both helpful if not necessary for tuning bass guitars.
Hit up Kickstarter for details – $90
Concrete’s not the first material we’d think to go to in high-end audio equipment, but the Master & Dynamic MA770 Concrete Speaker — designed by Sir David Adjaye, the architect behind the new Smithsonian museum in Washington D.C. — shows that the material’s acoustic properties are more solid (sorry) than you’d imagine. The proprietary concrete composite adds both heft and ample dampening, the latter to the tune of five times superior than wood. In terms of components the MA770 features two 4-inch woven Kevlar long-throw woofers and a 1.5-inch titanium tweeter, all driven by a 100 watt Class D amplifier. Each also comes with a removable magnetic grille to protect the speakers and features WiFi, Chromecast, and Bluetooth 4.1 on top of a wired input so you can stream to it however you’d like.
Find it at Master & Dynamic – $1,800