As it turns out, the whole “blind spot” problem could be solved with a simple camera or two, and Nissan’s on warpath to get it done with their Smart Mirror. While it’s also an actual fully functional mirror, at the push of a button a built-in high-resolution LCD screen lights up, displaying objects behind you courtesy of a 1.3 megapixel camera on the car’s tail end. Without pillars or obstructions, the camera sees all, presenting the driver with angles greater than standard reflective mirrors could ever dream of attaining. Another plus is more freedom granted to car manufacturers, giving the go-ahead to automobile styling in ways previously prohibited by norms regarding rear visibility.
Discovering new music isn’t the simplest of things. But that’s exactly what it should be, and Aether thinks they’ve figured out how to make it so with Cone, a stunning speaker that mates plastic with copper plus a 3-inch woofer and dual tweeters. With an ear for what you want, Cone takes note of songs skipped or not and presents you with music from amongst millions of tracks, all played seamlessly and instantly without the need to sift through countless channels, genres, or the like. Turn the dial to start playing, turn it again to skip, tap its center to pause, or talk to it like you would Siri. Of course, it’ll also play podcasts and music from your existing playlists over AirPlay for 8 hours per charge, meaning Cone will still see use even if your dials are set to predictable.
Check it out at Aether – $400
Dislike the idea of staring into a lightbulb for hours on end? Chances are you’re doing so as you read this. And while F.lux can’t change the nature of your device’s display, it can make reading in the darker hours of the day much more pleasant by stripping away that eerie blue glow. As the sun starts to set, F.lux automatically warms your screen’s color profile, making it that much easier to stare at into the wee hours of the night. F.lux’s warmth can – and should – be custom set (we find 4900K to be the magic number), its transition is extremely subtle, and it can be quickly turned off for an hour just in case color sensitivity becomes important, for example to do graphic work or the like. Trust us – once installed and set to your liking, you’ll never give it up.
Download it free at Flux – $Free
We mightn’t be inclined to place our scalding hot coffee on it, but the truth is Ideum’s USA-built Multitouch Coffee Table can take it thanks to a bezel-less design that has the surface spill proof and water resistant. And if your iPad’s half dozen or so touch points seemed half decent, consider that Ideum’s tables support a whopping 60, meaning even a crowd won’t throw it off its game. Available in 32- and 42-inch sizes, these coffee tables ship with Windows 8 which grants access to thousands of touch-centric apps, all powered by a small form factor computer with an Intel Quad Core i7 at the helm. Other niceties include palm rejection technology (a must at this level), a variety of connectivity routes including Bluetooth, HDMI, WiFi, WiDi, and USB 2.0, plus a rugged vandal-proof design of chemically strengthened glass coupled to aircraft-grade aluminum.
Read more at Ideum – $7,000+
Even with a suction mount, fidgeting with Google Maps or skipping tracks on your iPhone can be more than a little dangerous, or end with you getting slapped with a big fat ticket in some states. And soon you might not have to thanks to CarPlay, Apple’s new interface that seamlessly couples your device to entertainment systems of most major car manufacturers. Full Siri capabilities at the touch of a steering wheel-mounted button, seamless Maps integration, plus full music and Podcast access are just a few of CarPlay’s prominent features, though you’ll need to buy CarPlay-equipped car first.
Shipping on select models later this year. Read the press release at Apple – $TBA
There’s a strong association between acoustics and aesthetics when it comes to high fidelity audio, and while that doesn’t entail causality neither are absent from Grain Audio’s Passive Bookshelf Speaker. Each pair is enveloped in FSC-certified solid walnut and a metal grill, boasting a natural sound curve that helps preserve sound as the artist-intended, something that’s too much to hope for with certain other popular brands. A 5.25-inch neodymium woofer in each speaker maxes out at 75 watts, meaning they’ll continue commanding attention across two senses.
Find it at Grain Audio – $800
While its stunning angular case and diminutive size might have you mislead, 360Fly is basically the GoPro of 360 degree cameras. Its unique top-facing lens captures immersive 360° shots with a 240° vertical angle, the widest view of any camera, ever. It’s lightweight at 120 grams, as easily mountable to helmets (or pretty much anything) as any action cam, plus ruggedized and ready for adventure thanks to 5-meter waterproofing. The resulting video footage captures not only the subject in focus but the surrounding environment as a whole, letting viewers scroll around at will while watching. We’re damned excited about that, and you should be, too.
Learn more at 360Fly – $TBA
Smart watches and fitness trackers are two distinct wrist-borne devices that have – against all logic – so far been mutually exclusive. At least until yesterday when Samsung consolidated the two to craft their sleekest smart watch yet, the Gear Fit. Equipped with a curved 1.84-inch Super AMOLED display, the Fit packs a water resistant casing, heart rate monitor, accelerometer, and gyro, the combination of which is the key to its fitness and sleep tracking features. Of course, it’s also prepared to update you of any incoming calls or SMS messages, upcoming appointments, emails, and grant media player control like any good smart watch would, all via Bluetooth 4.0. Unfortunately, though, the Gear Fit is only compatible with Samsung phones, so iOS users will have to anticipate Apple’s retort.
Learn more at Samsung – $TBA
It’s not all that surprising to learn that staring down at your notebook computer’s screen all day doesn’t do too many favors for your posture, not to mention the misalignment of displays for anyone rocking dual-monitor setups. And while a pile of old textbooks solves the problem we think Rain’s mStand is a lot more elegant. Sculpted from a single solid piece of aluminum that closely matches your MacBook in finish, mStand boosts screen height by about half a foot while inching it slightly closer thanks to a sharp incline, simultaneously improving airflow and helping tidy your desk thanks to a cable organizer plus room to stash your keyboard when not in use. It’s also compatible with most PC laptops, meaning nobody’s left deprived of poor ergonomics (at home, anyway).
Three-dimensional photography may be the future but we’ve still barely had a taste, save for that 3D Viewmaster we owned as children. Fortunately, Poppy brings these capabilities to your iWorld by means of a viewfinder no more complex than the latter. Compatible with iPhones 4 through 5s, Poppy uses but mirrors and optics to capture two images from slightly different angles, meaning quality is left largely unaffected and, even better, there aren’t any batteries to worry about. Shoot 3D images and videos, or browse through thousands of 3D photos and videos between Flickr and Youtube, all at a fraction of the price of dedicated stereoscopic headsets.
Grab one at Photojojo – $60