Tech Weekly: Elemental Design

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In classical thought, the four elements were considered to be earth, fire, wind and water. These essential components once made up everything in the known world. Today we know better of course, but that didn't stop these incredible Technology projects from using the classic elements to great effect.

Tableau : Automatic House Plant Watering Tray

Low technology was the first technology, and it's good to see projects like Tableau keeping it alive. Tableau is a thoughtfully designed, self-watering planter tray. It consists of a steel base, three ceramic pots, and a handsome glass reservoir for water. It uses zero electricity, instead automatically irrigating based on pressure and humidity. Your plants sip their water from the base, and can be left on their own for a whole month before the reservoir needs a refill. Looks like your house sitter will need to find another gig.

The Sound Torch: Set your Music on Fire

The last time your bluetooth speaker was on fire was probably a bad day for you. But now Sound Torch is here, looking to add some heat to your everyday jams. Sound Torch is a bluetooth speaker with an entirely new type of audio visualizer built-in. It uses a century-old scientific principle—Ruben's Tube—but across two axes. Basically, you just charge the battery, fill the device with lighter fluid, and pair it to your audio source. The resulting flame will dance in response to your music. (We've never had to say this about a bluetooth speaker before, but it's not recommended for children under the age of 18.)

Sprite: portable and rugged. A totally different drone.

On December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers achieved the first controlled, sustained, heavier-than-air human flight. Since then, mankind has mastered the skies—and we've basically just been showing off. Sprite, an unmanned aerial vehicle, continues that proud tradition. With a super rugged body and collapsible propellors, this portable device is considered more tool than toy. Sprite can fly autonomously or by remote control. That means if the neighborhood kids complain about your Sprite buzzing them, you can just blame the robot.

Wave Fountain - Desktop Water Display

There's something serene about fountains. It's a shame that the closest thing many of us have access to is the water cooler at work. But the folks behind Wave Fountain think they have the solution. Wave is a desktop water display with a small 10-inch footprint. Just select a nozzle, fill Wave with 1.5 liters of water, and watch these peaceful ripples for weeks on a single charge. It's a pretty chill sitch—just, like, keep your phone on the other side of the desk.

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