At a concert or a game, it’s often tricky to find just the right sweet spot using earplugs that allows for hearing clearly without sustaining some degree of permanent hearing loss. Dubs Acoustic Filters aim to do just that while looking like something you’d actually wear. These reusable earplugs employ a 17-piece Dynamic Attenuation filter, a passive mechanical system that reduces volume while preserving the sound’s balance and clarity to let you fully enjoy the show, just at a lower volume. Throw in premium materials including silicone, polymer foam plus a cold rolled steel body, and we’ll gladly shell out 25 bones for a pair.
Looking to pop the question in a far off land? Even if you happen to ask close to home, spare yourself the trouble of carrying a typically bulky, cubic ring box and grab a Clifton instead. With a 1 cm profile, i.e. probably thinner than your current wallet, these handsome leather cases come in two sizes to fit even the biggest rock-adorned rings and slip inconspicuously into any pocket. Then, as the case is opened, the ring holder presents the ring with a flower blooming motion for a bit of added effect.
Need? Not exactly, but that won’t stop us from seriously wanting NiqueGeek’s Batman Branding Iron. 3D printed of steel, this miniature branding iron boasts the Dark Knight’s insignia and simply snaps onto standard, ubiquitous Bic lighters. Then, just light up the flame, hold it for 60 to 90 seconds, and get to branding. Some suggested targets include notebooks, leather, and anything made of wood – though we’re certain that, given one, there won’t be any shortage of things to brand.
Find it at NiqueGeek’s Etsy page – $30
Experts tell us that it takes 30 repetitions for the human brain to remember a given sequence of data. Human experience tells us that 30 minutes is enough time to forget said sequence. If you’ve ever forgotten a combination to a lock or misplaced a key – and who hasn’t? – Noke is the answer. Noke is the first Bluetooth padlock and the first padlock you can share. Using its iOS or Android app, Noke finds and pairs your Bluetooth 4.0 enabled smartphone. Then, unlock Noke at the touch of the lock’s shackle: just have your phone within 10 feet of your lock, without having to launch its app or even pull your phone out of your pocket. The app also allows for sharing the lock permanently, one-time, or anything in between. Even if your phone battery dies you’re not locked out, since Noke allows a custom access code to be programmed for access anytime, inputted by pressing on the shackle in a sort of Morse code. And since the technical prowess of a lock is moot if it can’t stand up to abuse, Noke is water-resistant, made of hardened steel and boron, and lasts up to a year on a single battery.
Find it at Kickstarter – $59
Debatably our best purchase ever was Swiss+Tech’s Utili-Key. Unfortunately, that ended when the TSA confiscated it, but the PocketMonkey looks like a worthy substitute that’s not on their radar – in fact, it’s even TSA-approved. This wallet-friendly, credit card-sized multitool is made from lightweight 1mm-thin stainless steel and packs 12 distinct tools, including five sizes of hex wrenches, three screwdrivers (one flathead, a phillips, and a micro flathead for glasses), a bottle opener, ruler, and letter opener. It’ll even help peel oranges or form a kickstand for your smartphone.
Get one on Amazon – $12
There are about a thousand ways to prop up your tablet or notebook, but sometimes the simplest, most intuitive wins out. Moku Woodware’s revisited Desktop Chair accommodates virtually any tablet, large or small, or a MacBook Air/Retina, attaining two distinct angles – one more vertical, the other more horizontal – depending on which way it’s used. And like a piece of furniture it’s built to last thanks to cross-grain layered and pressed premium wood sheets, overall making for a strong, beautiful design.
Grab one at BiteMyApple – $60
Get a leg up on your opponents with Bunch O Balloons, by far the fastest way to stockpile loads of water balloons with minimal effort. While traditional methods of filling and tying balloons by hand produce at a rate of about 6 per minute, Bunch O Balloons uses a custom attachment and individual stems rigged to pre-tied balloons. Screw it on then turn on the hose to fill 37 balloons at a time – or roughly 100 per minute – before gently shaking to release.
Go pledge on Kickstarter – $17
This one’s more for ladies than guys, though we’re not judging if you decide to hide one in your hair – in fact, we wish we had an excuse and the necessary hair length to wear one. The Leatherdos Mini Tools expands on the functionality of typical hair clips, adding three screwdrivers (including one small Phillips), a ruler, 8mm / 5/16 hex wrench, Trolley coin, and a cutter for getting through rope, tape, and the like. Its the handiest and least conspicuous way to bring along a handful of tools, all while keeping one’s do well under control.
Penned the world’s most intelligent retractable dog leash, we see no reason to contest the words on Lishinu’s site. Unlike existing leashes, Lishinu straps comfortably around your wrist using velcro and a soft neoprene protector, freeing up your hand for better things. It also lets you set the maximum leash length to anything between 20 and 120 inches, letting your dog roam free within that range until you pull back your arm quickly to auto-lock – no buttons required. And should you need to keep your pal on a short leash through crowded areas, its collar provides a handle-like extension to grab onto.
Learn more at Lishinu – $TBA
Still have an extensive collection of action figures left over from your childhood? There’s one you’re bound to be missing: yourself. Shapify’s service lets anyone with a Kinect and eighty bucks order a realistic 3D printed figurine of themselves – sadly, sans articulations – without leaving the living room. Using your Kinect, scan yourself from 6 rotational angles, then examine the 3D model generated by the scan. If you like it, order, and within 5 days your 1:20 scale 3D printed doppelgänger arrives on your doorstep.
Hit up Shapify for details – $79