hardware

With its arms folded in, the Plinth hardly looks like a tablet stand.

With its arms folded in, the Plinth hardly looks like a tablet stand. Image courtesy John Bull

The Plinth isn’t just a super-compact tablet stand — it’s an amusing party trick.

Slide the sleek accessory out of your pocket or purse and into the hands of a friend and you’ll likely be met with a quizzical stare as they try to figure out what, exactly, the flat plastic object is. Thin, feather-light and somewhat curiously shaped, the Plinth — which currently exists only as a 3-D prototype, although if you’re quick you can get in on the Kickstarter campaign — looks something like a Chinese puzzle box or a Transformer in stealth mode.

It’s obviously composed of multiple parts that fit together seamlessly, and a couple of buttons look like they might do something. But let a friend fondle the plastic object, and they’ll likely fiddle with it for a while before they discover the Plinth’s awesome secret.

CAD images of the Plinth "universal tablet stand," as shown on the product's Kickstarter page.

CAD images of the Plinth “universal tablet stand,” as shown on the product’s Kickstarter page.

A promising prototype stand called the Plinth fits in a pocket but quickly deploys to support a large tablet, a smartphone or even an old-fashioned book.

Developed by U.K. product designer John Bull, the super-portable Plinth would make it easier for him to use his beloved iPad by holding it rock-steady at three different angles.

The makers of Atheer One glasses want to bring Android-powered, gesture-based computing to the masses.

Atheer One glasses could put Android-powered, gesture-based computing on your face.

Helped along by a sci-fi-style concept video, a new Google Glass competitor called the Atheer One shot halfway to its $100,000 crowd-funding goal in just a day.

“In a few years, the digital world with all its rich information will be completely merged with the real one,” says Atheer Labs in its Indiegogo campaign for the Atheer One, which has already raised more than $54,000. “Let’s get the future started today!”

What does that future look like, according to Atheer? Take a look at the video below and see for yourself.

bactrack-android-1

The BACtrack breathalyzer has been around since the beginning of this year as an iPhone companion, but it’s now available for Android phones running Jelly Bean 4.3.

Like most other smartphone-connected breathalyzers, BACtrack will measure your blood-alcohol level and tell you, via a companion app, whether you’re too drunk to operate a vehicle, or perhaps heavy machinery, and gives you the option of declaring your level of sobriety (or lack thereof) via social network.

I may or may not really desire one of these.

I may or may not really desire one of these.

Google announced its latest Chromebook Tuesday, revealing the $279 HP Chromebook 11. It’s on sale now, and comes in white with Google-style color splashes. It looks a lot like Apple’s Macbook Air design, but is powered by Google’s own internet-centric Chrome OS.

If you live in a browser all day (preferably Google’s Chrome browser), this might be your next purchase.

ultra_Red-500x460

Motorola has always made phones with bold colors and design aesthetics, and the Google-owned company’s upcoming DROID lineup is no exception. Evleaks has shared a leaked rendering of the new DROID Ultra in dark red. “Ultra’s full Kevlar backplate shows off the new shade, and apparently the white edition even has a totally blank face to boot.”

Nokia-Lumia-1020-EOS-1

Dear Handset Maker:

Your company and hundreds of others are engaged in an epic battle for the smartphone handset market, which within a year or two will exceed a billion customers and $150 billion a year in revenue.

Don’t you want a big piece of that? Because if you do, you’re not acting like it.

Samsung gets most of the market share and some of the profits. Apple gets most of the profits and some of the market share. But Samsung fears with justification that its lead is slipping away to lower-cost and more aggressive vendors. Apple’s momentum has slowed horribly with the onslaught of Android phones.

The rest of you handset makers — let’s face it — are scrambling for crumbs on the floor.

Instead of taking one of the known-bad losing strategies, why don’t you try the obvious winning strategy?

I’m going to describe the losing strategies, then spell out the winning one.

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