When tech is too much

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Panono, a 360° X 360° full-spherical, 108 megapixel Panoramic ball camera created by Berlin-based company Professional360 GmbH.

There are no bones about it, mining the precious minerals used in our electronics has had some pretty serious environmental impacts. Sure, some of these precious minerals end up in life-saving technology that changes the world, but others end up in products that seem simply to serve as a big middle-finger to nature. This week, we’re going to dive into the innovations that only extravagant consumerism could produce.

1. The Vinci Touchscreen Headphones

If you’ve ever felt that the idea of using headphones was just missing that element of announcing to the world what you’re listening to, then these are for you! These over-ear headphones have a touchscreen built into the side so that you can… touch them I guess? On the side of your head? I’m not quite sure why anyone would need a touchscreen on their headphones, especially when most of us are connecting our headphones to touchscreen devices from the start, and because our eyes face outward from our heads, not inward. While these headphones are still in the works, you can pre-order them on Amazon for about $150.

2. The Hidrate Spark

Living in Tuscon, drinking enough water to stay hydrated can be difficult. When alarms and apps that remind you to drink water don’t quite cut it, we can look to the Hidrate Spark for salvation. This "smart" water bottle connects to your phone and keeps track of how much water you’ve drunk and glows as a reminder that it’s time to drink more water. It can even connect to your Fitbit or smartwatch! If you forget to charge it, don’t fret. Even when dead, it still functions as a plastic water bottle -- that you for some reason bought for $50!

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3. The Dog PC

Yes, this is a personal computer for your dog. It feeds them, keeps an eye on them and plays with them. The Dog PC’s maker, Tesla (not to be confused with the electric car maker. You know, the one that makes things with actual use), claims this product will "help your dog achieve their dreams." I have no idea as to what these dreams would be unless it’s to pee on something that costs $400.

4. The FOODsniffer

A few years ago, a good friend of mine lost his sense of smell due to a head injury. While the FOODsniffer is a ridiculous product, I can actually see some merit in this one. It’s a device that connects to your phone and detects compounds associated with food spoilage. Unfortunately, it seems less to be marketed to the olfactory-impaired and more towards those lacking common sense. If you can drop $130 on a gadget to smell your food for you, you can probably afford to just throw away that moldy steak.

The FOODsniffer is a device that connects to your phone and detects when food has spoiled.


5. The Hair Coach

If you yearn for the days of brick-shaped electronics made by Nokia, the Hair Coach is here to save the day. This smart hair brush connects to your phone and collects all sorts of data about your hair such as dryness and your hair-brushing acceleration. While this godsend isn’t yet available for purchase, Nokia speculates that it will hit the shelves sometime in Fall 2017.

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6. The Panomo Ball

This product helps us achieve our dreams of throwing around something that costs around $2,100. The Panomo ball is a 360-degree panoramic camera built into a ball. It’s literally made to be thrown and while it soars through the air, takes panoramic pictures. Now, if we could just get the Dog PC to throw it!

7. The Qwerky Writer

Weighing in at three pounds, this all-metal wireless keyboard looks and functions just like a typewriter, except for the ink ribbon, of course. Available on Amazon for $300, the portable and not-at-all lightweight Qwerky Writer is the end-all solution for folks wanting to carry around a keyboard three times heavier than their tablet.

These were only seven things, but I could go on. The technology market is so saturated with products such as these that attempting to get to all of them is as useless as some of these devices. Some gadgets make our lives easier. These gadgets do that too, I guess ... in some way … somehow. Feel free to call me if you figure out how exactly.


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