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SMART STUFF | ARCHIVE | SOUND & MUSIC |.Next >

Welcome to the Smart Stuff music section where we collect some of the world's smartest gadgets, inventions and ideas in music and music machines. Below, and on the other pages, you'll find our constantly updated archive of the world's smartest music gadgets.



Mareike Gast's construction kit refugee radio
Construction kit refugee radio.
Information via radio can be crucial in times of crises or natural disasters. Radio is relatively cheap and simple to produce, and even a weak transmitter can reach a lot of people with vital information. But getting radio receivers to refugees and disaster stricken areas is not easy, not to mention getting power or batteries in sufficient numbers. German designer Mareike Gast has designed a possible solution. It is a simple and cheap crystal radio receiver in a kit. Thanks to the crystal technology the set is independent of outside power; it gets all the juice it needs from the radio waves themselves, just like the radios of old. Everything comes in a small box with assembly instructions printed on the box itself.

10 September 2005



Vinyl to CD copying machine

Copy vinyl records to CD.
Everybody has a pack of beloved old goldies on vinyl they cannot play anymore but do not want to get rid of. And buying them new on CD is not the same thing; the new CDs lack the familiar hisses and cracks and they definitely do not have that special scratch you made at your first party. Here is the answer. An old fashioned vinyl player and CD burner combo. The burner supports CD-R and CD-RW, allows you to pause to skip a song, turn the record over or put another on. The vinyl player takes 33-, 45- and 78 RPM records and has a built-in AM/FM stereo with an analog tuner and a CD player. It also sports adjustable increment control, level control, LCD display and a remote. Available at Hammacher Schlemmer for USD 399:95 (ca SEK 3.000:-), but we can't say if it comes in a version for 220/230 V with a Euro plug.

13 August 2005




A. B.

Everybody should have an emergency radio...
The idea of crank radios (we think) comes from a clever Brit who got to thinking how self-powered radios could improve life and communications in Africa, where there is no power and no C-stores with a fresh supply of Energizers.

The one on the left (A) from Grundig lets you have an hours worth of listening i return for sixty revs on the crank. It also sports a built-in flashlight (torch), is reasonably weather protected (ABS plastic), has rechargeable batteries, AM/FM/SW1/SW2 bands, headphone socket and a carrying case. It is USD 49:98 (ca SEK 395:-) in the US, but it should be available here, too.

The one on the right (B) from X-treme Geek offers 25 minutes of listening pleasure for some ninety turns. It is weather protected, has AM/FM bands, an alarm clock (with own batteries), a flashlight, emergency siren and is claimed to be able to recharge your cell (how this is to happen is not explained). Available at X-treme Geek, for USD 28:49 (ca SEK 225:-).

7 July 2005

UPDATE. Walter Mossberg at the Wall Street Journal has reviewed a number of emergency devices, i.e. machines that can survive a protracted power outage either through an onboard dynamo, or through allowing ordinary batteries to be used to power cellphones and other devices. We have previously posted on one such product, but Mossberg mentions another device that we were not aware of before. It is called Cellboost. How it works exactly is not clear at the company website, but it seems to be some kind of battery. It is available for a number of different cellphones plus Blackberry and Treo and it is USD 8:- (ca SEK 75:-). We still think the thing that uses ordinary AA batteries seems to be a lot smarter, but in an emergency we would be grateful for a boost from the Cellboost, too, no doubt about it. You will find the WSJ article here.

21 September 2005




EcoBlast

Inflatable emergency siren.
It is possibly meant to be an emergency signaling device for small boats, but the tip on the inflatable siren comes from Christine, who uses it to scare angry dogs on her daily bike trips. We cannot conclude where Christine lives, but she must have a serious dog problem in her neighborhood. We found her tip on one of our favorite sites of all time; Cool Tools. The siren, that looks like it is using a re-cycled PET soft drink bottle, is pumped to pressure with a bicycle pump, called Eco Blast and USD 20:- (ca SEK 150:-) at Amazon.

4 July 2005


Izon Bluetooth MP3 headset

The best thing since MP3?
When you see it, it looks very logical and very "why did someone not think of this before". Why should an MP3 player be a small box with headphones attached? Why, indeed. It seems everybody was looking at the iPod and making something similar. These new headphones – The Izon Bluetooth MP3 headset – is a lot smarter. They are rechargeable and sport a SD/MMC slot and can receive calls and stream music like other Bluetooth headsets. To top it off, there is an FM radio and a tiny display. They are USD 219:- (ca SEK 1.600:-). Via Gizmodo.

16 May 2005



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