Tech Weekly: Upgrade
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They say if it's not broken, don't fix it. They don't say anything about improving it though. This week our Technology category saw a crush of new-and-improved versions of everyday items, from an internet-connected smart pot, to a totally new take on human-powered transit.
Literally the hardest thing in the world is keeping plants alive. Sometimes you just wish they could tell you what it is they need. Now, with Planty, they can. This internet-connected planter allows you to monitor and water plants from the phone app. You can even monitor temperature levels, and get a push notification if the plant is too hot or too cold. It's a good time to be a house plant.
If you have a gas range at home, you're familiar with all the knob fiddling that goes into cooking/burning your dinner. Meld is a tiny kitchen robot that takes that guesswork out of the equation. Slap this device on your stove, toss the included thermometer into your pot (or pan) of choice, and then use the phone app to set it and forget. (Sorry Ron.)
Holding a camera steady, especially while you move, is no easy feat. But now, there may be a better way. The Rhino Slider EVO + Rhino Motion is a camera movement device that not only keeps your camera gliding smooth, but moves it along at an even clip for you. Use the crank on the Rhino Motion device to set a speed and direction, and your camera will set off down those machine-grade aluminum rails. It pretty much makes for the easiest and most dynamic time-lapse photography ever.
Aside from the incomparably excruciating pain of stepping on a LEGO brick, they're the perfect toy. Which is why it's so exciting that someone took the time to make them even more perfect. The Build Upons: Light Up Bricks are exactly what they sound like. The system is made up of three types of bricks: an LED brick, a power brick, and a bridge brick. Use these bricks in any of your creations, plug in the power pack, and then marvel as the tiny LEDs embedded in the brick come to life. It's such a bright idea.
Be honest with yourself. Do you really need a whole bike? The team behind Half Bike II doesn't think so. Half Bike uses the core mechanism of a bicycle (a wheel and crankset) but has redesigned everything else for a totally unique stand-up biking experience. Riders steer the bike with their whole body, developing their (often underutilized) sense of balance as they pedal. Whether you use Half Bike for commuting, exercise, or just plain fun, you're sure to get ample attention in the process.