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Dutch Engineer Builds Face-Recognition Gadget for His Cat

To make sure his cat doesn’t have to wait too long at the door waiting to be let in, a Dutch engineer built a face-recognition gadget that identifies the feline and messages him so he can let it in.

Arkaitz Garro, a WeTransfer software engineer in Holland, doesn’t have a cat-flap on his door, so every time his cat wants to come inside, it has to wait until he or his wife notices it at the door and lets it in. That didn’t really do, so he decided to use his skills to solve the problem. Instead of installing a good old cat-flap, he decided to go for a more high-tech solution involving artificial intelligence, motion-detection sensors, face recognition software and a messaging app. You might think it’s overkill, but Arkaitz claims that it only took him a few hours to do it, as all the hardware and software he used is available to anyone.

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Model Gets Tattoo of Her Cat with Ink Made from Its Fur

A German model has found a way to makes sure her beloved pet cat stays with her forever. Not only did she get a huge tattoo of it on her thigh, but she had it done with a s special ink synthesised from its fur.

38-year-old Kathrin Toelle loves her two pet cats like they were her own children, and knows that she’ll miss them more than anything else when they eventually pas away. So when she heard about a new tattoo ink that would help her stay connected to her felines forever, she didn’t hesitate. Now Kathrin, who goes by the modelling name Makani Terror, sports a large tattoo of her 10-year-old cat Gizmo, made with ink from its luscious fur, and plans on getting one of her other pet soon.

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Swedish Funeral Agency Wants to Use Artificial Intelligence to Allow People to Chat with the Dead

A funeral agency in Sweden is currently seeking volunteers for a project that it hopes will offer people comfort by allowing them to speak to their deceased loved-ones.

First of all, if you’ve already read something about this on sites like Mail Online or Sputnik News, you should know that most of the information they present is truly ‘fake news’. No, Swedish scientists are not trying to create robots or androids that are “fully conscious copies of dead relatives”, in fact, I’m not even sure any Swedish scientists are involved at all. This is actually about a Swedish funeral agency called Fenix wanting to create bots (computer programs, not actual robots) powered by artificial intelligence that can offer comfort to living relatives of the deceased.

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Bizarre Toy Lets Users Experience the Sensation of Popping a Huge Pimple

If you love watching those stomach-churning pimple popping videos on YouTube and wish you could squeeze massive amounts of puss yourself, you’ll probably fall in love with Pop It Pal, a squishy toy that recreates the sensation of popping huge zits.

2017 was the year of the fidget spinner, but 2018 might just turn out to be the year of the Pop It Pal, a piece of fake “flesh” filled with disgusting-looking goo that allows users to pop fake pimples to their heart’s content. The Pop It Pal features 15 fake zits that you can squeeze to experience the (apparently) satisfying feeling of seeing fake puss ooze out. And it gets “better” – every Pop It Pal kit comes with a bottle of fake puss which you can use to refill the silicone toy, so you can keep popping for as long as you like.

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The Focus Cap – A Noise-Cancelling Accessory for Your Eyes

Noise-cancelling audio gadgets have been around for a while now, but one Berlin-based designer believes that blocking “visual noise” is as important, if not more so, as cancelling out unwanted sounds. To this end he has created a simple accessory called the Focus Cap.

Open work spaces definitely have their benefits, but they come with the drawback of offering employees little to no control over visual distractions. With so many people around and so much going on, some us can easily get overwhelmed by this information overload and lose focus in what’s really important. That’s where the Focus Cap comes into play. As the name suggests, it’s a cap, but one with a folding visor, allowing the user to block out peripheral vision distractions in a matter of seconds. Think of it as horse blinders for humans.

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Electronics Company Develops Smart Device That Cancels Embarrassing Toilet Noises

Japan is known as the most polite nation on Earth, and that extreme politeness extends to all aspects of life, including bathroom etiquette. Many public toilets feature a wall-mounted device that, when pressed, creates a sound that masks that of urination. However, electronics company Roland has come up with an improved version that drowns out embarrassing bathroom noises completely.

Before the technology boom of the 1980s, toilet users would either flush the toilet or turn on a sink to mask the sounds they made when relieving themselves. However, as this was a needless waste of water, a more eco-friendly solution was sought, and thus the concept of the toilet sound generator was born. The most famous of the resulting devices, developed and manufactured by toilet brand Toto, is the Otohime (literal translation – “sound princess”). These devices resolved the water waste issue but only partially efficient in making people comfortable in the toilet, because the sound they generated didn’t do a perfect job of masking the embarassing noises. Luckily, a better solution is now available to them.

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This Gadgets Lets Parents Share Their Babies Bowel Movements Online with the Touch of a Button

From the country that gave us the delightful classic children’s book ‘Everyone Poops,’ comes a new app that will let everyone know when you’re toddler goes potty. The Unko Button, made by 144Lab, is a small box with two buttons that, when pressed, instantly share the news that you’re little one has made a poo with a designated chat group on Line, popular messaging app in Asia.

“Unko” is the Japanese equivalent of the English word “poo,” hence the name of the gadget. The developers claim that the device is ideal for busy parents who need an easy way to record their infant’s digestive system but don’t have time to stop and write down each bowel movement. In addition to notifying the chat group, the Unko Button also records a series of details such as the exact date and time of the expulsion or whether the child pooped or peed. It even has options to record notes regarding color, consistency, and the baby’s mood. The connected app is also able to estimate the cost of diapers based on how often the child defecates or urinates.

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Designer Creates “Substitute Phone” to Help People Battle Smartphone Addiction

Austrian designer Klemens Schillinger has created a therapeutic replacement for smartphones called Substitute Phones. The Vienna-based designer made a series of five of these non-devices which feature a row of stone beads to imitate various motions typical to smartphone use, such as scrolling, zooming, and swiping.

By using stone beads to emulate interaction with a phone’s touchscreen, Schillinger aims to create therapeutic tools that can provide the physical simulation that frequent smartphone users crave, and help them cope with the withdrawal symptoms of being away from their phones for long periods of time

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High-Tech Cocktail Glass Lets You Experience Plain Water as the Perfect Cocktail

If you’ve been having trouble finding the right cocktail to suite your taste, look no further than the Vockatil, a high-tech cocktail glass that relies on three layers of sensory stimulation to trick your senses into thinking that the plain water you’re sipping is the most amazing thing you’ve ever tasted.

The Vocktail – short for virtual cocktail – glass technically lets you turn water into wine, or pretty much any other drink imaginable. It accomplishes this messianic miracle through multisensory stimulation, essentially tricking your eyes, nose and taste buds that you’re consuming something completely different. The revolutionary glass comes equipped with LED lights that allow you to change the color of the drink, sliver electrodes on the rim of the glass which stimulate the tongue so that it tastes the liquid as salty, sweet or sour, and three micro air pumps equipped with flavor cartridges, which are activated when a person sips from the glass, fooling their nose into detecting a far greater variety of subtle flavors.

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Designer Creates High-Tech Mirror That Only Works When You Smile

A new high tech mirror, designed specifically for cancer patients, will only become reflective when a user smiles into it.

The plug-in device, which closely resembles a tablet, comes equipped with a mirror, a built-in camera, and an opaque smart material triggered by propriety software. Facial recognition technology captures the face and prompts the surface of the mirror to change when a smile is detected. It can hang on a wall or sit on a table, much like a conventional mirror. Unlike a regular mirror, however, the price is currently standing at a staggering $2000-$3000 (USD).

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Japanese Company Creates Smart Fork That Cancels Out Noodle-Slurping Noises

In an attempt to battle “noodle harassment”, a Japanese company created a smart fork that can cancel out a user’s noodle-slurping noises.

Any ramen connoisseur will tell you that proper Japanese ramen etiquette entails slurping your noodles while you eat them, as doing so allows for aeration and full flavor development. This practice, however, can be
disturbing for Westerners and is officially referred to as “noodle harassment”, or “noo-hara” in Japan. The Japanese, however, have no intention of giving up this much loved cultural practice, and so an impasse has been reached. Enter Nissin, the 69-year-old Japanese company that invented instant noodles, and their revolutionary, albeit cumbersome, slurp canceling gadget the Otohiko fork.

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This Children’s Tent for Adults Offers a Temporary Escape from the Stress of Modern Life

The Pause Pod has been mocked on social media as a really expensive children’s tent for adults, but its inventors claim it is actually a portable “private pop-up space free from stressful moments”.

Inspired by the blanket forts that most of us made as children, the Pause Pod is designed to offer user an escape from the pressure of modern life, anytime, anywhere. Whether you’re looking to take a quick nap, read a chapter of your favorite book, watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones or just meditate, at the office, at home or even on the street, all you have to do is take out your portable Pause Pod, step inside and take a break from the outside world.

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Dutch Startup Wants to Train Crows to Clean Streets of Cigarette Butts

Alarmed by how many cigarette butts littered the parks of Amsterdam, two Dutch designers came up with an unusual plan to train crows to pick up the butts and trade them for tasty rewards.

Industrial designers Ruben van der Vleuten and Bob Spikman originally considered using robots to clean the streets of cigarette butts, but they presented a series of difficulties, particularly the complicated programming required to have them vacuuming the buts out of every nook and cranny while trying to avoid bicycles and passers-by. So they turned their attention to one of the most abundant resources of urban areas – birds. Pigeons were the first ones they considered, because they can be found in virtually every city in the world, but a quick search revealed that they aren’t really known for their intelligence, so training them would have been very hard. But the two designers soon found a bird that was both very common around human settlements and much, much smarter – the crow.

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You Can Now Replace Your Pet with a Tail-Wagging Robot Pillow

If you sometimes feel the need to stroke a pet, but don’t actually want the responsibilities that come with owning a pet, this tail-wagging robot pillow is probably just what you’ve been waiting for.

Developed by Japanese company Yukai Engineering Co, Qoobo is a two-pound robotic pillow that sits on your lap and wags its fluffy tail when you pet it. That’s all it does, but then again, that’s all the interaction some people want. Whether they are allergic to cats and dogs, live in an apartment that doesn’t allow real pets, or just hate things like meowing, barking and having their furniture scratched, some people just want to stroke their pet and see them wagging their tail. And that’s where Qoobo comes in.

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Thermo-Sensitive Sweaters Change Color Depending on the Weather

Fall is here and so is the crisp sweater weather. This year, however, tree leaves won’t be the only thing changing color as it gets colder, thanks to this line of innovative thermo-sensitive sweaters from Stone Island.   Stone Island’s “Ice Knit” sweater made out of color changing yarn.

Italian high-end men’s clothing brand Stone Island is known for experimenting with unconventional fabric treatments and coming up with all kinds of impressive innovations. For their Spring 2017 collection, they introduced something called “hand corrosion technique” that allowed garments to be faded by hand, using a special corrosion paste, and for autumn, they recently unveiled a line of thermo-sensitive sweaters that change color depending on the air temperature.

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