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Swedish Tech Company Implants Microchips in Employees’ Bodies to Make Their Lives Easier

Epicenter, a technology startup hub in Stockholm, Sweden, has been offering employees the chance to have a small microchip implanted in their hand, ever since 2015. So far, 150 of its 3,000-strong staff have taken bosses up on their offer, and they couldn’t be happier with their decision.

Implantable microchips the size of a grain of rice have been around for a while now, but they are usually used as virtual identification plates for pets, or as tracking devices for deliveries. Up until a couple of years ago, when Epicenter started offering its employees the chance to have them implanted into their hands, these tiny devices had never been used to tag humans on a large scale. For many people, having a chip inserted into their body sounds like something out of a dystopian future, or, at the very least, raises privacy questions, but the 150 Epicenter employees who have had them implanted say the technology just makes their life easier.

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Russian Company Sells Religion-Themed Gold-Plated iPhone 7 Smartphones

With Easter only a couple of days away, there’s no better time for Christians to draw closer to God, and a Russian luxury goods company wants to help rich folks do just that with a collection of gold-plated iPhone 7s engraved with religious symbols and prayers, and blessed by an Orthodox bishop.

Caviar Phone has been creating limited edition gold-plated smartphones for a few years, even making international headlines in 2014 for a Putin-themed iPhone aimed at rich Russian patriots. But what really caught my eye was its Caviar Credo collection featuring the same type of gold-plated iPhones but this time engraved with Orthodox symbols like crosses and holy icons, and prayers like “Our Father”. Credo also includes Apple smartwatches with similar decorations.

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World’s Largest “Artificial Sun” Could Fry Any Living Thing in an Instant

Scientists in Germany recently turned on the “world’s largest artificial sun” a device made up of 149 Xenon short-arc lamps that can create about 10,000 times the amount of solar radiation we get on Earth. That’s enough to melt metal or fry pretty much any living thing.

Luckily, researchers don’t plan on using this powerful device, called “Synlight” to fry anyone, and have taken precautions to keep people well away from it while it’s switched on. Instead, they hope it will help them discover new, cost-effective ways of producing climate-friendly fuels like hydrogen.

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This Weird Mask Muffles Your Voice to Keep Phone Calls Private

Don’t you just hate it when you have to take an important phone call and you’re surrounded by potential eavesdroppers? You either have to whisper or go outside to keep the conversation private, which is not exactly ideal.Now, a new gadget aims to fix this problem by muffling your voice and making you look like Bane in the process.

Hushme is a bizarre high-tech mask that blocks the sound of the wearer’s voice so that people nearby can’t hear what is being said. It connects to your phone via Bluetooth and comes with a pair of earbuds. When you get a private call, all you have to do is put the muzzle-like mask on and it will do the rest. The pair of thick cushy pads over your mouth do a good job of muffling your voice, but to ensure nothing gets through, Hushme also features external speakers that play a variety of sounds when you speak.

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Smart Bracelet Allows Dads-to-Be to Feel The Movements of Their Unborn Children

In an effort to help expecting fathers feel more involved in the pregnancy, a Danish tech company has developed a smart bracelet that lets them feel the kicks and movements of their unborn children in real time.

Fibo is the newest development in wearable technology. It looks like a cross between a fitness tracker and a smart watch, but its purpose is completely different. By pairing it with a patch -like baby kick monitoring device worn by the mother on her belly, Fibo can accurately imitate the movements of the fetus right after they occur. The bracelet features rotating beads that create a natural movement, rather than the usual sharp, unrealistic vibration that most notification devices rely on.

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Meet FORPHEUS, the World’s First Robot Table Tennis Tutor

An advanced robot developed by Japanese electronics company Omron has recently been certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s first robot table tennis tutor. FORPHEUS (Future Omron Robotics Technology for Exploring Possibility of Harmonized Automation with Sinic Theoretics) used machine learning to asses the skills of a human player, adjust its game accordingly and provide tips to help opponents improve their technique.

Unveiled at the Ceatec electronics show in Japan in 2014, FORPHEUS has come a long way in the last three years, especially after developers made a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. Originally designed to showcase Omron’s sensor technology, the table tennis-playing robot has now become a Guinness-certified tutor thanks to machine learning. It analyzes data like the human player’s movement, the speed of the ball and the trajectory to determine his opponent’s skill level with around 90% accuracy. FORPHEUS then uses this information to adjust its play style – slow and and easy for beginners, faster and more unpredictable for advanced players.

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BionicGym – A Leg Muscle Stimulator That Claims to Burn 1000 Calories/Hour while You Lie on the Couch

How does running a marathon and burning over 1000 calories per hour without even getting off your couch sound? That’s exactly what the BionicGym, an advanced wearable neuro-stimulator, claim to help you achieve by delivering sophisticated electric pulse patterns to your muscles.

Let’s be honest, we’ve all seen commercial electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) devices before, but despite what those teleshopping commercials claim, they’re really not that effective. But BionicGym creator Dr. Louis Crowe claims that this product is truly revolutionary. Instead of the usual muscle stimulation patterns, BionicGym allegedly “mimics shivering, nature’s way of burning calories without doing anything.”

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‘Magic’ Megaphone Automatically Translates Speech into Various Languages

To help Japanese companies better deal with the increasing number of foreigners visiting the country, Panasonic has created an innovative megaphone capable of automatically translating Japanese into English, Chinese and Korean.

Remember that cool universal translator the crew of the Enterprise used to break down language barriers with alien species? Such technology is not yet available in real life, but if Panasonic’s ‘Megahonyaku’ is a sign of things to come, that universal translator doesn’t seem so sci-fi anymore. Megahonyaku is a pun on the Japanese words for ‘megaphone’ and ‘translate’, which actually makes a lot of sense because it’s a megaphone that can translate Japanese into several other languages in real time. When a user speaks Japanese into the megaphone, it recognizes and translates what is being said instantly, and outputs the phrase in English, Chinese or Korean.

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This Little Flashlight Is So Powerful It can Start a Fire and Cook Breakfast

The FlashTorch Mini flashlight is about as close as you can get to a real-life, commercially-available lightsaber. Its 2300-lumens halogen light output is enough to start a fire or cook an egg.

Created by Wicked Laser, the FlashTorch Mini is made of anodized, machined aircraft-grade aluminum and features a highly efficient, heat-resistant lens and reflector. That already sounds very impressive, but it’s the intense light this thing emits that really makes it special. The ‘torch’ in its name has a very literal meaning, as the 2300 lumens output is more than enough to start a fire if you hold the flashlight close enough to something flammable. It’s also strong enough to melt plastic and even cook eggs, if you balance the cooking container on top of the flashlight.

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This Levitating Indoor Cloud Is the Coolest Bluetooth Speaker Ever

American designer Richard Clarkson has recently teamed up with Crealev, a company specializing in levitation technology, to create ‘Making Weather’ – a Bluetooth speaker disguised as a realistic-looking levitating cloud.

This wonder of design and technology is a continuation of Clarkson’s 2014 ‘Smart Cloud’ project. Originally unveiled as a hanging lamp, his indoor cloud has recently evolved into a levitating unit, thanks to innovative technology developed by Dutch startup Crealev. With the help of powerful magnets embedded into an oval base and the cloud, Making Weather floats 1-2 inches off the ground. The designer claims that the cloud has “full rotational movement” and even bobs slightly up and down to create a “realistic atmospheric experience”.

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This Device Lets You wake Up Inside Your Dreams

Lucid Dreamer is an ingenious device programmed to detect REM sleep, the time when people dream more vividly, and emit low electrical impulses to help you realize that you are dreaming, allowing you to take control of your dreams and go on lucid adventures.

Lucid dreams are dreams in which you realize that you are dreaming, but while 20% of the population experience lucid dreams every month, these are usually happen accidentally. However, recent research has shown that a specific brain activity, known as “gamma activity” is associated with lucid dreaming, and that gama activity can be enhanced with the use of Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation (tACS), a form of mild electrical stimulation of the brain. During a study in which tACS was used to enhance gamma activity during REM sleep, lucidity was achieved in 77% of dreams.

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Smart Box Combats Smartphone Addiction by Allowing You to Lock Away Your Phone for a Set Period of Time

Smartphone addiction is a growing problem that often interferes with our personal and professional lives. DistractaGone is an ingenious solution that allows you to lock up your phone in a box that only opens after a set period of time, offering you a period without constant distraction.

Trying to get some work done, enjoying dinner conversation or even watching a movie can be pretty tough with your phone serving up distractions in the form of various notifications, but even if you’re the kind of person who just can’t stop checking their handheld every few minutes, there is still hope. Introducing DistractaGone, a smart box that locks up to four phones at a time and keeps them inside for as long as you decide.

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Smart Strap Turns Your Hand into a Mobile Phone

Signl is an innovative gadget that allows users to take phone calls by simply touching their ear with their fingertip. It then transmits the sound through the body, essentially turning their hand into a phone.

Signl, formerly “TipTalk”, was developed by South Korean company Innomdle Lab, a new startup founded in 2015 by three ex-Samsung employees. It’s a smart strap that can be worn by itself, with a classic watch or any kind of smartwatch ((Apple, Samsung, Pebble, etc.). It connects to your phone via Bluetooth and thanks to a built-in “body conduction unit”, the strap sends sound through your body, allowing you to hear the caller just by touching your ear with a finger. A microphone of the strap lets you have a conversation just like you would on a mobile phone.

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This USB Stick Can Kill Your Computer Almost Instantly

The USB Killer is a commercially available USB stick that can fry almost any computer in seconds by rapidly collecting power from the USB power lines and then repeatedly discharging 240V into the host device until it dies. The whole process only takes a few seconds.

USB sticks have long been used infect unsuspecting users’ computers with all kinds of malware and spyware, but last year, a Russian hacker by the name of Dark Purple showed the entire world a new way USB drives can be used to effectively destroy virtually any PC or laptop equipped with a USB port. When it was first revealed, last year, the “USB Killer” was described as a proof of concept aimed at security researchers and folks who work on USB standards, to help them make devices immune to high voltage attacks. A few days ago, however, the USB Killer became a commercially available product that anyone can order online for just $56.

The USB Killer looks as harmless as any other pen drive, but it’s actually lethal for around 95% of consumer laptops and PCs. It is equipped with small capacitors that draw power from the USB power source to which it is connected, and when they are completely charged – it can take less than a second – the stick discharges over 200 volts of DC power to the host device multiple times per seconds until the machine is fried or the USB Killer is unplugged.

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HB Rings Let You Feel Your Loved One’s Heartbeat in Real Time

Described as “the most sophisticated ring in the world”, the Touch HB Ring is a smart wedding band that lets you feel the rhythm of your partner’s heartbeat in real time.

Phone calls and apps like Facetime or Skype are great in long-distance relationships, but they can only do so much. The internet may connect the world like never before, but it still can’t offer an alternative to physical affection. Or can it? Wearable-tech company Touch has recently unveiled a revolutionary set of rings that rely on advanced technology to make wearers feel closer to each other even when they are hundreds or thousands of miles away.

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