April Fools'! It's not April Fools' anymore!
Nonetheless, that doesn't change the fact that there are plenty of products teased this April Fools' that should have been real. I'm rounding up five of those for you today. Let's get started!
Jurassic World Dinosaur Detection System
You know what the most terrifying thing in the world is? No, it's not when you only get eight likes on your tweet--it's when you're watching Jurassic Park and...that little puddle of water starts to ripple. Well thank goodness for the good people at ThinkGeek for conjuring up this Dinosaur Detection System using the science(?) of the Jurassic Park movies! You can tell if a T-rex is about to snag you based on one of four "ripple" readings, ranging from "Area Secure" to "Run! Attack Imminent!" I actually need this. I mean, what am I going to do if scientists ever bring back extinct carnivorous animals and turn their lab into an amusement park?
Welcome to the first edition of my newest blog series, Cool Tech for Your Life! In case you missed my announcement last week, this new series will deal with cool tech that actually is or will be on the market for consumers. It's a perfect fit with my Real Life Sci-Fi blog category--and I think you're really going to enjoy it. (I'm excited, anyway :D).
For this inaugural Cool Tech for Your Life blog post, I'll be discussing these awesome new earbuds from Google called "Pixel Buds" (pictured above). These Bluetooth headphones, designed for Google's newest phone, are packed with features.
First off, these headphones will largely be independent from your phone. Aside from the fact that they're wireless, there's also a touchpad on the right earbud that allows for easy navigation. Tapping it pauses/plays whatever tunes you're jamming out to, while swiping adjusts the volume. Of course, we're accustomed to these features in earbuds, but I think the touchpad is a really neat way to incorporate navigation without having to fiddle with a rocker positioned somewhere on the wire. Despite all this wireless-ness (is that a word?), Google says you'll get five hours of juice out of the earbuds' battery.
Second, arguably the coolest feature of the earbuds is their ability to translate languages in real-time. No, it's not just a science fiction dream anymore--the Pixel Buds will actually allow you to communicate with anyone who speaks one of over 40 languages included at launch (provided they also have a pair). Check out this demo of the earbuds' translation capability (demo begins around 1:11):
Pretty cool, right? The Pixel Buds will also be integrated with Google Assistant, which will allow you to essentially access all of the features of Assistant without having to take out your phone.
The Buds aren't quite available yet, but when they release, they'll cost $159. You'll be able to choose from black, grey, and blue options. Of course, to fully utilize all the features included in the product, you'll need a Google Pixel smartphone; however, many of the features will still be accessible with many Android smartphones.
If you're looking to purchase the Pixel Buds (when they release) or to see the system requirements for them, check out this page. I just washed my own earbuds in the washing machine the other day, so I might be joining you soon!
After a short hiatus last Saturday, "4 Most Awesome Products" is back this week better than (or at the very least, as good as) ever! I love finding cool, geeky products that allow us fanboys and girls to express ourselves in a way that doesn't make us look like total fools. Scratch that, nothing can do that--at least for me. I hope these 4 products suit your fancy anyway! Let's get started.
James Islington's Licanius series
I'm a sucker for a good fantasy--and James Islington's Licanius series looks like it might satisfy my search for such a story. The Shadow of What Was Lost is the first installment in the series, and An Echo of Things To Come will be the second installment when it releases on August 22. The book's official synopsis, via Amazon, is as follows:
It has been twenty years since the end of the war. The dictatorial Augurs - once thought of almost as gods - were overthrown and wiped out during the conflict, their much-feared powers mysteriously failing them. Those who had ruled under them, men and women with a lesser ability known as the Gift, avoided the Augurs' fate only by submitting themselves to the rebellion's Four Tenets. A representation of these laws is now written into the flesh of any who use the Gift, forcing those so marked into absolute obedience.
As a student of the Gifted, Davian suffers the consequences of a war fought – and lost – before he was born. Despised by most beyond the school walls, he and those around him are all but prisoners as they attempt to learn control of the Gift. Worse, as Davian struggles with his lessons, he knows that there is further to fall if he cannot pass his final tests.
But when Davian discovers he has the ability to wield the forbidden power of the Augurs, he sets into motion a chain of events that will change everything. To the north, an ancient enemy long thought defeated begins to stir. And to the west, a young man whose fate is intertwined with Davian’s wakes up in the forest, covered in blood and with no memory of who he is.
If that grabbed your attention, you can check out this synopsis of An Echo of Things To Come's plot on Barnes and Noble's website, where you can order both books in the series.
My newest blog series, "4 Most Awesome Products," is now eight editions in and still going strong! I've gotten some really positive responses to this series (one of them was my most visited blog post in a single day, ever). I've got four more products this week that I hope will suit your fancy, so let's get right to it.
Chewbacca Sleeping Bag
This luxurious sleeping bag will make you feel like you're sleeping on a...walking carpet? Let me just tell you, I'm no fan of camping (just ask anyone who knows me), but I might actually go camping just to wear this. While its main function is to be used as a sleeping bag, it can also be worn like a Snuggie, so you can take a nice, long stroll on Hoth and stay warm without having to sleep inside a tauntaun. The booties on the bottom can be zipped on or off, so you can wear normal shoes when you're walking around in it. You can grab one for your next campout on ThinkGeek for between $79 and $99, depending on the size you need.
Umbra Fish Hotel
I love the futuristic feel of this "fish hotel" aquarium by Umbra. It features an ABS shell (which can be painted to match whatever room you decide to put it in) that encloses a glass bowl. The bowl is removable, so it's supposed to be relatively easy to clean. You can even stack more fish hotels on top of each other to give the appearance of a high-rise building. Measuring in at 7.5x7.5x8 and with a capacity of two gallons, it should provide a decent amount of space for your beloved fish to swim around. Give your little aquatic friend an modern upgrade and get it for just $35 on Amazon.
It's Saturday, and you know what that means--four more awesome products I found on the Internet that I love, and I think you will, too. Here goes!
Death Star Levitating Speaker
If you actually find this product on Amazon, you'll find that it's called the "Arc Star" speaker (I'm guessing because the creator didn't want to bother doing a licensing agreement with Lucasfilm?), but c'mon, it's the Death Star. The speaker, which is the actual orb part, can be used separately as a portable speaker, or you can use it with the magnetic base to make a Death Star that actually flies. The laser is not (yet) fully operational. Get your own for $150 on Amazon.
Spinneroo Fidget Spinner
Because why not? In an endeavor to continue the fad that just won't die, Spinneroo adds a slew of unnecessary and ridiculous features. It's made from aerospace aluminum and features LEDs that can be programmed to do everything under the sun using the companion app for iOS and Android. It also has built in speakers--yep, you read right--so you can play your favorite tunes while you spin your boredom away. As excessive as this product is, I have to say that I could totally imagine myself spinning this to the beat of some deadmau5 songs. Spinneroo isn't available just yet, but if you back them on Kickstarter for about $43, they've promised to get it in your hands before Christmas.
You might not be able to count on a lot of things, but you can bet that every Saturday, I'll have a new set of awesome products from across the interwebs that you'll love. And this week is no different! Let's get into it, shall we?
Brixo Electric Construction Toys
LEGOs are fun by themselves, and with a little imagination, even better--but imagination can only take you so far. Instead of building a stationary LEGO car, why not make one that actually moves on its own? Enter Brixo, the Bluetooth-enabled bricks that you can control with your smartphone. Combine your ordinary LEGO bricks with one of Brixo's electric ones (including magnet, light, sensor, and motor blocks) to create anything your heart desires. Brixo is a fantastic way to introduce your kids to STEM or for the tinkering, kid-at-heart adult. It's only available for pre-order right now, but you can purchase a kit for $200 from their Kickstarter page.
R2-D2 Shower Head
One of the things my "4 Most Awesome Products" blog series should do is help you find things you never knew you needed. With this R2-D2 shower head, I think I did just that. Far from just a chintzy gimmick from some touristy gift shop on Tatooine, this shower head has three spray settings and is designed to save you on your water bill without sacrificing pressure. You can get one on Amazon, where it has acquired a 4.5 star rating. As the droid himself would say, wow!
I don't know about you, but I just love looking at cool products that make me inwardly scream even if I'm not going to buy them. Hopefully, I found some products this week that make you do the same--though, you might wanna buy it (I'm just a tightwad). Let's get started.
Star Wars Snack Bowls
These Star Wars Snack Bowls received mixed reactions from the Internet, including positive marks from Popular Science and disgust from Gizmodo. I can understand both viewpoints--but in general I give a thumbs up to them. Eat directly from the ceramic mouths of Jabba, the Wampa, or Chewie (and thinking about that is actually pretty gross) for only $17 apiece from ThinkGeek.
Faces of Groot Tee
In case you haven't noticed, I have a mild obsession with Groot from Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. Take, for example, the cutting board I featured a few blog posts back, or the limited edition Groot POP! Figure I have sitting on my dresser right now, or the Groot mask I sitting on my bookshelf. Okay, maybe I have more than a mild obsession. Regardless, I love this "Faces of Groot" t-shirt. Despite the fact that there are several similar t-shirts out there, well, I am Groot. Need I say more? You can pick up this shirt for $19-$25 based on your shirt size from Amazon.
I'm a sci-fi/fantasy lover & writer who especially likes talking about Star Wars and futuristic tech. I like finding new things & finding the beauty in old things, especially in my "Everyday Snippets" series. I hope you'll join me on my blog and unleash your imagination!