Ever wonder how Google shoots 360º pictures for Maps’ Street View? OK, it’s not with a Bublcam, but close enough. Using sophisticated stitching software and four 190º camera lenses set around an aluminum tetrahedral design, Bublcam boasts zero blindspots, capturing literally everything around it simultaneously – up, down, and all around – to shoot 1080p videos at 15fps (720p at 30fps) or 14MP photos. The resulting photos and videos are interactive in that the point of view can be changed in the fly while watching on your computer or smartphone. Future Oculus rift compatibility is just icing on the cake.
Sticking your phone in a bulky, ugly plastic case that then straps to your bike isn’t our idea of a decent mount. Studio Proper’s take on it is a little more our style. Precision machined from solid aluminum, the M Lock replaces your bike’s existing stem cap, making it harder to steal without specific tools, centering your device, and adjusting to attain your ideal angle. Better yet, it works with Proper’s M Lock iPhone case (which is compatible with a ride range of their accessories), firmly and instantly securing the latter using four powerful Neodymium magnets in either portrait or landscape orientation. And should adverse weather interrupt your ride, just wrap your iPhone in the included weatherproof sock to keep it safe and dry.
Learn more at Studio Proper – $60
Instagram’s simplicity is paramount to its success and widespread adoption. That said, Hyperlapse is bound to follow suit. This app, crafted by the former, employs Instagram’s impressive in-house image stabilization to create smooth, polished time lapse videos even while in motion: for instance, during a jog or on the back of a motorcycle. Just download the app, tap to start recording, tap again to stop, choose a speed from 1x to 12x, then save to your camera roll. And - importantly – you can just as easily share your time lapses with your Instagram followers as you could a picture.
Download a copy from iTunes – $Free
Umpteen trackers exist to quantify various elements of your lifestyle: steps taken, sleep quality, posture, and the like. But by far the most interesting in recent memory is Spire. Clip this soft, stone-like device to your belt (or bra) and it instantly starts analyzing your breathing patterns in real time, giving deeper insights into your various states of mind, for instance whether you’re focused, calm or tense. If you seem stressed, Spire attempts to pull you out of it by pushing notifications to your smartphone, discouraging shallow breathing by making you focus and concentrate on taking deeper ones. And when its 7-day battery runs out, drop it onto the included cork-lined Qi charging pad for a quick top-up.
Learn more at Spire – $120
At its base, OM/ONE is already a solid 3 watt portable speaker, complete with Bluetooth 4.0, one 75 mm audio driver, a built-in microphone, and 15 hours of battery life. But unmissable is the fact that it magically floats 1.2 inches in the air when placed on its stand thanks to electromagnets within, slowly spinning all the while. Granted, its levitating act is mostly aesthetic, but that’s still bound to sway us into choosing OM/ONE over its more grounded counterparts.
Hit up OM/ONE to learn more - $180
What’s the weakest link in your sound system? If you’re rocking Audioengine’s B1 Bluetooth Receiver, it likely won’t be connectivity. This premium, all-aluminum receiver boasts Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX codec, a 24-bit upsampling low-noise, high-fidelity DAC, and support for A2DP and AVRCP. Plug it to your system using either stereo analog RCA or digital optical out, then pair it to a Bluetooth device stocked with good music. And with its extended 100 foot range, the source device won’t be shackled to the same room, either.
Find it at Audioengine – $189
Add one more to your smartphone’s ever-growing list of capabilities with the Iris Z-Wave. Mount this garage door controller near your opener, connect its two wires to your opener’s input terminals, then plug it in to a socket to begin wirelessly controlling your garage using the Iris smartphone app from anywhere in the world. It works with virtually any opener and an associated tilt sensor detects whether the door is open or closed, relaying this information to you through the app as well for peace of mind. Only one catch: you absolutely need Lowe’s Iris smarthome hub ($100) to actually use it.
Find it at Lowes – $100
At first glance, it mightn’t be obvious what puts VapeXhale’s Cloud Evo above its competitors. Sure, this a tabletop vaporizer is without a control panel that looks like it was pulled from the space shuttle, intuitively employing a simple switch and temperature dial instead. But more importantly, it boasts an all-glass vapor path to spare you from any imparted taste, PerpetuHeat technology that quickly adapts to changes in airflow to provide consistent heat for abundantly thick vapor, and uses a variety of distinct HydraTubes that cool, diffuse, and moisten the vapor to varying degrees for a smoother hit. The end result? A ludicrously powerful, well-balanced vaporizer that will extract all the good stuff out of your loose leaf and deliver quality vapor quite unlike anything you’ve experienced.
Learn more at VapeXhale – $450+
Since we’re permanently glued to our laptops, we’re all-too-familiar with the strain in our necks and wrists that accompany endless hours of typing. The Kickflip laptop stand is one answer to such woes. It’s essentially a hinge that flips out into a stand designed to elevate your laptop at an angle that provides an optimal level of comfort, and minimizes the risk of stress or injury. Stick it to the bottom of your notebook and it stays in place using high-tech gel adhesive that’s removable, residue-free, and repositionable – simply clean with soap and water if it loses its grip.
Get it for a 13” or 15” MacBook Pro at Amazon – $18
Clip-in extensions are the first choice for adding length, volume and color to your own hair. PowerCube provides a different type of extension. Gone are the days of the old brown extension cord with a power strip plugged in through an adapter so the ground won’t be in the way. This 5-foot extension cord and power strip offers four outlets, dual USB ports, and a resettable fuse in a 2.5” cube. At only 10 ounces, you can take your cube anywhere to power just about anything. And if one cube doesn’t provide enough options for your power needs, the PowerCube is designed to work in conjunction with other cubes, making your outlet options virtually unlimited.
Grab one on Amazon – $25