New Toy of the Day Today

There’s no denying the success of Raspberry Pi and its affordable DIY motherboards. Through multiple iterations, this project remains notable in the world of homebrewing and, more recently, kid-focused coding kits. ASUS is hoping to cash in on this trend (albeit a bit late to the party) with its new Tinker Board. Coming in at nearly an identical size as the Pi 3, it features a quad-core Rockchip processor, four USB ports, 802.11n Wi-Fi and a gigabit ethernet jack.

The Tinkerboard has a couple of notable specs, including 2GB of RAM and 4K video output. Both of which go above and beyond the typical list of features on these DIY boards. That, of course, will come at a price. ASUS has listed its latest creation at £55 across the pond, which transfers to around $70 in the US. It certainly has a long way to go to catch up to Rasperry Pi’s name recognition but the upgraded specs should help along the way.

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New Toy of the Day January 20

It’s been a long journey for the Dash button, Amazon’s physical one-press ordering system, since it was announced nearly two years ago. But with the advent, ease-of-use and success of its Echo lineup, some have wondered what the future holds for this add-on. Today, Amazon revealed new digital Dash buttons that reside on a virtual shelf for quick re-ordering of your favorite items. Of course, you’ll have access to all of the brands already associated with this service.

Unlike the physical buttons that cost $4.99 per unit, the digital alternative is free. This could potentially be the beginning of the end for Amazon’s at-home buttons. There have always been a number of pitfalls along the road to success for Dash, most notably consumer’s dependance and access to smartphone devices. Simply put, it’s easier to access the Amazon app on your phone or offer a command to Alexa than ordering and setting up one of these buttons. Digital Dash is available today and can be setup by visiting this page.

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New Toy of the Day January 19

Leica, creators of some of the world’s most visually attractive cameras, has announced its newest model: the M10. Designed to blend vintage styling with new technology, this digital camera offers full manual controls and a new 24 megapixel sensor. Leica is also offering Wi-Fi and GPS radios in the M10 with eyes on attracting travelers that transfer photos on-the-go to a compatible iOS device (Android coming soon). The magnesium-alloy chassis houses a large display on the back that visually communicates the changes made via the manual controls.

Upgrades abound throughout this model in comparison to its predecessor, perhaps none more than the impressive 100 to 50,000 ISO range. The updated image processor can capture five frames per second and spits out 30 RAW or 100 JPEG images in that time. Additionally, a refreshed viewfinder has a 30% larger field of view that Leica claims will offer increased relief of eye-strain. In typical fashion, this blend of technology and vintage looks will not come cheap. Leica will sell the new M10 for $6,495 at authorized retailers.

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New Toy of the Day January 18

Beeline, a 2015 Kickstarter success story, is now officially shipping units of its smart navigation system for bicycles. Designed with simplicity in mind, this add-on for your two-wheeler brings smartphone connectivity and turn-by-turn direction in a small circular display that mounts right to your handlebar. Beeline starts in a small rubberized shell that fits on a keychain, so you can store it when not in use. The e-paper display is not much bigger than a coin but it packs a ton of information.

Inside is an accelerometer and gyroscope that works in tandem with your phone’s GPS radio to provide directions to your desired location. You’ll start on by setting a path within the free iOS and Android app, from there, simply follow the directions on the display. A potential downfall for some is that Beeline only communicates with arrows and distance remaining to the next action. If you’re someone that prefers a street or map view, opting for a smartphone bike mount may be more beneficial. Beeline’s inconspicuous design is likely to be a hit with those looking for a minimalistic alternative to traditional bike computers. It is currently available for purchase direct from the manufacturer for $119.

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New Toy of the Day January 17

With the success of STEM programs across United States schools, more new products are hitting the scene based on these hands-on education programs. The newest of which is Plezmo. This Kickstarter project is the latest iOS and Android coding kit that allows students to build a variety of projects with step-by-step instructions. Plezmo uses connectable blocks (called elements) that represent actual code seen within the app. As pieces are put together, projects then come to life.

Like littleBits, each block provides a different function. For example, the proximity sensor and bulb can be combined to light a Christmas tree or space when someone enters a room. Or you can place the buzzer on your mini basketball hoop and program a scoreboard that countdowns to the final horn. Plezmo is also compatible with LEGO Mindstorm and Sphero products, so you can use it in conjunction with some of our favorite robotics kits. Currently a pledge of $109 will deliver a bundle in September if all goes to plan.

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New Toy of the Day January 13

Competition in the electric scooter market is heating up, with Kickstarter becoming a proving ground for this evolving product category. GoTube has raised over $110,000 with what it claims to be “the world’s most portable electric scooter.” Thanks to its unique foldable design and sleek finishes, it’s flown past its original goal. So what makes GoTube different from the competition? It collapses into a cylinder and can be transported just like a backpack. In fact, it looks like you’re ready to go to yoga class. There is a built-in display on the handlebar that relays speed and range alongside push-button speed control. Of course, like any good 2017 release, it has a USB port for charging your smartphone.

Diving into the specs reveals a 4Ah 36V electric battery that powers a 120W motor. The trade-off for its slim design is around eight miles range with a maximum speed of 10MPH. The carbon fiber body weighs in at just under 13-pounds, which gives this eScooter a lot of potential for college campuses and the like. Currently an early bird pledge of $299 will deliver a GoTube Scooter and backpack system in March of 2017.

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New Toy of the Day January 12

SpeedX hit the scene just under a year ago with its Leopard Smart Aero road bike on Kickstarter to massive success. In that time, it has worked to develop a new version with updated features. This week, SpeedX returned to the popular crowdfunding site with its Unicorn road bike. A slimmer design, Android-powered head unit and built-in power meter highlight its lengthy list of features. In just 75 minutes, this project reached its full Kickstarter goal and has raised nearly $1,000,000 in the meantime.

So what makes the Unicorn so special? Its “ultra-lightweight” frame has a number of gadgets that are meant to make your ride easier. According to SpeedX, it features the first of its kind integrated power meter that works in tandem with a number of sensors and GPS to accurately track your rides. The SpeedForce computer has a 2.2-inch touchscreen that relays key data points via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Just a few of the noted measurables include heart rate, cadence, speed, calories and distance. A wireless toggle switch on the handlebars serves as an input device for the computer. However, this kind of tech doesn’t come cheap. Currently a pledge of $2,999 will deliver a unit in April.

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New Toy of the Day January 11

Steadicam first came on to the scene back in the 1970’s when it introduced buttery smooth shots in hit films like Rocky. Since then, it has become an industry standard for filmmakers. Skip forward to 2017 and the brand is bringing its well-known name and technology to smartphones. The new Steadicam Volt landed on Kickstarter this week with a $139 price tag. It uses a mix of traditional gimbal balance and a built-in motor to deliver jitter-free shots on your iPhone or Android.

The Volt is similar to DJI’s Osmo handheld (review here), but does so without all of the added bells and whistles. Creators will be able to continue to use it without the motorized gimbal when the eight hour battery is dead, which is helpful on those long trips. There isn’t much in the way of extras here aside from simple iOS and Android apps. In exchange for a lower price point, you can expect a higher learning curve in comparison to the costlier competition. That said, this has the potential to be an excellent entry-point into the world cinema for aspiring videographers. Steadicam’s Volt has already surpassed its $100,000 goal and is expected to begin shipping units in June.

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New Toy of the Day January 10

When Apple Watch was first unveiled, accessory makers sprinted to fill the market with add-ons. One of the less popular items have been cases, which have largely added bulk without much function. MTM Status has landed on Kickstarter with a design that does both. Made of “weapons-grade” materials, this Watch case has a pair of analog dials with a built-in clock and compass. It’s no surprise that its robust design and dials would be attractive to outdoors-types that also coincidentally own an Apple Watch.

MTM locks around your wearable with a series of metal screws that tighten from each side. There are two material choices, including 7075 aluminum and Grade 2 titanium in silver and black, respectively. At this time, the plan is to only have 500 Titanium models made as a limited edition run. MTM is also offering a series of silicone, nylon, leather and metal bands in multiple colorings as a part of this Kickstarter campaign. Other official and third-party bands will not be compatible with this accessory. Prices start at $129 for the aluminum model and go up to $449 for titanium with a May 2017 ship date if all goes to plan.

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New Toy of the Day January 9

Netatmo is known for its smart home gear that includes weather monitoring, security and other categories. However, its latest releases looks to take on Nest with the HomeKit-enabled Smart Smoke Alarm. A ten-year battery and smartphone connectivity highlights the list of features. The 85-decibel alarm can be silenced with its Hush function or via the smartphone app. HomeKit compatibility is a standout feature here versus the Nest Protect, allowing this unit to communicate with other brands in Apple’s ecosystem.

In addition to the Smart Smoke Alarm, Netatmo is also introducing a new Indoor Security Siren that is designed to work in tandem with its other products. It will ring out at 110-decibels, which should scare off just about any unwelcome intruder. Users will receive a notification of movement via the smartphone app which also can trigger the alarm at any time. Netatmo has yet to release final pricing on either of its newest products that are slated to be released during the second half of this year.

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New Toy of the Day January 6

After the success of Alexa, as well as Siri and Google Assistant (to perhaps a lesser extent), Mattel is looking to cash in on the voice assistant market with a new product designed for kids. The happy-go-lucky Aristotle by Nabi has a number of interesting features designed for younger users including a “natural language processing” software that specifically studies your child’s speaking habits. Alongside the voice assistant component is a camera that allows parents to monitor happenings in the room. Aristotle is designed to grow alongside your kid. Initially it will offer bedtime stories and other basic games. Over time, it will expand with homework help and additional features like internet search.

The software is backed by Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant, so it has plenty of phrases loaded up and ready to use. It’s name is somewhat curious, as it will require the child to say ‘Aristotle’ to activate the voice assistant. Question marks aside, it’s no surprise that an established player like Mattel is expanding into this market. AI has proven to be a popular tool for adults and it’s only natural that this tech would trickle down to younger ages, too. Aristotle is expected to hit store shelves in June with the speaker and camera kit retailing for $300.

Our CES 2017 Guide is the place to be for all of this week’s announcements, swing by for more.

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New Toy of the Day January 5

With the arrival of iPhone 7 (and its lack of a 3.5mm jack) we’re seeing more manufacturers dive into the world of wireless headphones. The latest of which is popular microphone-maker Blue. You might recall, the brand first dipped its toes into the headphone market with its Mo-Fi cans over two years ago. Blue is using CES 2017 to share details on its new Satellite wireless cans that feature a funky and retro design. It’s choosing to stick with the built-in amplifier found on its previous releases, hoping to guarantee top-grade audio even in a wireless build.

Blue is using a unique dual-driver design that handle separate responsibilities. One takes care of the audio while the other drivers the active noise cancellation system. The analog amplifier works in tandem with this system to support Bluetooth 4.1 and Apt-X, but users will also receive a 3.5mm cable if that is desirable. There are controls on the outside for Bluetooth pairing, amp, volume and more. Final pricing and release details have yet to be announced, but we’re expecting to see Blue’s latest release by the end of the year.

Our CES 2017 Guide is the place to be for all of this week’s announcements, swing by for more.

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New Toy of the Day January 4

Not to miss out on the fun of CES 2017, LEGO has gone to the Las Vegas event with one of its most intriguing releases in years. LEGO BOOST is a new sub-brand of robotic coding kits designed for kids that have an interest in building programmable creations. It’s designed for kids ages seven and up, making it more friendly to younglings than the previously released Mindstorm collection. The $160 base kit includes the Move Hub with a six-axis sensor that drives the movements of each build. LEGO BOOST pairs with your iPhone or iPad for step-by-step tutorials on each build.

Initially, users will be guided through a basic build of a Getting Started vehicle to familiarize with the process and software. There are five available models that include building instructions after that: Vernie the Robot, the Guitar 4000, the Multi-Tool Rover 4, Frankie the Cat, and an Autobuilder. Of course, every piece has LEGO’s iconic studs, so you can customize each design as you see fit. The iOS app leverages your device’s internal microphone and speaker to communicate between the builder and vehicle. LEGO is expected to begin shipping its new BOOST line “later this year.”

Hit up our CES 2017 guide for all of the latest news and releases coming out of Las Vegas.

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New Toy of the Day January 3

If it feels like it’s been a while since Belkin has updated its Wemo switch, you’re right. Today at CES, the latest version of its popular smartphone-connected outlet has been unveiled alongside a new dimming light switch. The Wemo Mini Smart Plug has a handful of new features and a welcome slimmed-down design in comparison to its predecessor. You’ll still be able to control power via the free smartphone app, set schedules and monitor energy use as before. Wemo recently introduced Google Home compatibility in addition to its already friendly relationship with Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service. The new Wemo Mini Smart Plug is available for pre-order today from Amazon with a list price of $34.99 and a late January ship date.

Today’s news also delivered the Wemo Dimmer, a light switch that Belkin promises will bring enhanced control over your lights. You may recall that a similar switch is currently available from Wemo but it lacks the additional functionality of this model. Belkin says that its newest release can be conditioned to work with any type of light bulb. In addition to dimming a space, it also offers control over other Wemo devices with long presses. You can setup schedules with nighttime mode to ensure that you don’t turn up the brightness too far during those 1AM snack runs. Final pricing has yet to be announced, but the Wemo Dimmer is expected to ship “later this spring.”

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New Toy of the Day January 2

CES is slated to kick off this week and we’re expecting to see a boatload of new gadgets come out of Las Vegas. One early release that has caught our eye is the Vobot Clock with built-in support for Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service. Dubbed “the first of its kind”, this alarm looks to build off the massive holiday success of Echo and Dot. Vobot Clock looks like something you’d see from Sphero with its friendly digital facial features. Headlining is the “sleep coach” that monitors your wakeup and bedtime to help increase energy and quality of rest. The built-in 5W speaker offers a variety of warm alarm tones but also provides white noise, too.

Of course, Alexa functionality brings access to Amazon’s wide range of skills and control over smart home products like Philips Hue, Nest and more. You’ll be able to kick off your morning with the latest news, weather and sports (which is one of our favorite Dot features). There are no external buttons on Vobot clock, but rather it is controlled completely by voice and movements. For example, covering the face stops an alarm and flipping it over snoozes the device. At $35, this is bound to be a popular buy for consumers looking to jump into the world of Alexa. It is expected to hit online shelves in February.

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New Toy of the Day December 30, 2016

Kanex has been cranking out nifty portable Apple Watch charging solutions for over a year now. At CES next week, the brand will be showing off two new accessories: one for home and another for travel. First up is the GoPower Watch Stand that mirrors similar add-ons from Belkin and others. This all-in-one nightstand solution has a built-in charging puck plus an additional USB port on the backside for charging your iPhone (or other device). This is a nice touch that isn’t always included on competitor’s stands.

Along those same lines, Kanex is also introducing a new portable charging solution called the GoPower Watch Mini. This keychain battery system has a 1000mAh battery and isn’t much bigger than the built-in magnetic charging puck. Apple Watch users will be able to fully charge their wearable one time, making this a perfect solution for one-night stays away from home. There is a small LED indicator on the side that relays how much internal power remains. The GoPower Watch Mini is reminiscent of keychain-style MFi Lightning cables that became popular shortly after the connector was announced.

Final pricing and availability has yet to be announced. We fully expect to receive additional details at CES next week.

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New Toy of the Day December 29, 2016

CES will be here before we know it, and popular manufacturers are just starting to unveil their plans for the trade show in Las Vegas. Samsung will be introducing a new curved quantum dot display in 27- and 31.5-inch varieties. This news follows yesterday’s home audio announcement and continues a similar trend of Apple-friendly designs. Users will have a massive 2,560 x 1,440 workspace that is perfect for content creation in partnership with its 125% sRGB coverage.

Although LG often claims the title of best displays because of its OLED technology, Samsung is hoping to attract attention with its own quantum dot. Slow refresh times and lag have plagued LG despite gorgeous black levels. Faster performance should make these new Samsung monitors a hit with gamers. Final pricing has yet to be unveiled, but we should get an in-depth look at CES next month.

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New Toy of the Day December 28, 2016

Ahead of CES next month, Samsung has announced a new gorgeous aluminum wireless speaker that is certain to attract the attention of consumers. The H7 is a high-end sound system that delivers upscaled 32-bit audio from its two-channel speaker setup. Everything about the design is decidedly un-Samsung. The smooth frame is highlighted by two knobs that control volume and playback, just above the left and right speaker. Samsung is hoping to bring audiophiles into the fold by offering higher quality audio and an impressively low frequency response of 35Hz.


Today’s news also brings the MS750 Soundbar that wraps a tidy 5.1-channel setup into one component. It offers the same high resolution audio technology as the speaker above, but is designed for home theater systems. Samsung TV owners will be able to mount this unit directly onto their display, leveraging the built-in power supply. Final pricing has yet to be announced on each model, but we’re expecting to receive more details next month at CES.

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New Toy of the Day December 27, 2016

Classic Nintendo fans will surely be excited about the release of a brand new Double Dragon game. We have known of the existence of the title for a while, but developer Arc Systems has now released a gameplay trailer along with a release date for the new Double Dragon IV. While some initially believed it would take on a graphical upgrade, similar to Double Dragon Neon, the new title will actually sport a classic 8-bit look like the originals.

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New Toy of the Day December 23, 2016

We’re two days away from Christmas, and you’re most certainly in the swing of things at this point. To get you further into the holiday spirit, we present a fun little project from LEGO Ideas. A Christmas Story house recreates the iconic home of Ralphie Parker in a neat little kit. It even features the fan-favorite leg lamp in the window. This LEGO Ideas project launched a few months back, but is receiving extra attention around the holidays. It’s off to a rousing start thus far with over 2,600 supporters and heading towards the necessary 10,000 to hit store shelves.

The inside of the house is divided up into each space seen in the movie, including the kitchen and Ralphie’s room. Included in the set is a minifig of each member of the Parker family plus the Bumbpus Hounds. There will also be special edition Cowboy and Pink Nightmare versions of Ralphie. Although it’s not guaranteed to go to production, it wouldn’t surprise us if this LEGO Idea hit the big-time. Check out the full gallery below with more in-depth pictures. You can offer support on this official landing page. In the meantime, be sure to check out all of LEGO’s holiday themed sets for this time of year.

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New Toy of the Day December 22, 2016

‘Tis the season to be sending gifts. Whether you’re waiting on that last-second gift to arrive or receiving a present from a loved one, you’ve probably been refreshing those tracking numbers all month. The United States Postal Service has come up with a cool holiday keepsake that visually notifies you when a package is near. The Most Wonderful Ornament changes colors as your shipment status updates.

Here’s how it goes down. USPS uses a cellular radio and a sensor within a designated package to track the status as it moves from retailer to final destination. The ornament lights up blue when it is out for delivery, changes to red when the package has been delivered and finally switches to green when the box has been opened. It can be plugged into your lights or attached to a USB port for power. Sadly, The Most Wonderful Ornament is only in a trial beta this year, but if all goes to plan it will be full-scale by next Christmas.

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New Toy of the Day December 21, 2016

LG is trying to make it easier for consumers to ditch their TV in favor of a slim, technology-packed projector. It’s a funny proposition because LG is responsible for some of the best displays on the market today. The new LG ProBeam laser projector fits in your backpack and weighs just under five pounds, but still includes many popular features generally found on TVs. Most notable is the inclusion of webOS, the much loved smart platform that brings access to all of your favorite streaming services.


The ProBream also has an impressive 2,000 lumen bulb, which is brighter than many portable options on the market today. That’s enough juice to clearly see your content in a well-lit room during the day. Another intriguing feature is Bluetooth connectivity that allows users to beam audio to wireless headphones or speakers with minimal latency. We know that it will support full 1080p content, but it’s not yet clear how many inputs this projector will sport. LG is expected to unveil final pricing at CES 2017 in January.

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New Toy of the Day December 20, 2016

When Microsoft announced the Xbox One Elite controller, it was praised for its top-grade materials and customizability. Now, a year and a half later it’s getting another facelift. Microsoft and Scuf are partnering to deliver a handful of new colors, patterns and hardware for the Elite controller. You can’t quite do everything that the Xbox Design Lab offers, but you’re certainly going to be able to stand out from your gaming buddies.


There are carbon fiber skins and blue or purple trims that can be added around each thumbsticks. You can customize the face buttons, as well as the sliders with new colors too. Best of all is the swappable levers on the backside that bring vertical functionality instead of the original horizontal paddles. This is likely to be very attractive for competitive gamers looking for an edge over the competition. The accessory kits start at $30 and are slated to begin shipping before long.

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New Toy of the Day December 19, 2016

Personal transportation has seen impressive growth in 2016, with notable brands like Segway releasing smaller products with commuters in mind. A new Indiegogo project is looking to undercut that two-wheeler with its own electric scooter for half the price. OM is a compact folding Razor-look-alike that is currently available for backing with a $250 price tag. This personal transporter is likely to strike a cord with investors because of its slim design and impressive range (up to 20 miles).

The OM eScooter unfolds just like those popular two-wheelers we’ve seen under Christmas trees for some time. It has a seat and two pedals that can be used for manual power, too. Power and speed are controlled by two handlebar-mounted grips, just above the headlight and turn signal. Comfort was at the forefront of this product’s design, according to its Indiegogo page. The shockproof saddle that moves independently of the frame and disc brakes should provide smoother stops in comparison to traditional products. Naturally, the OM is also smartphone-connected, so you can track usage, routes, and more. The limited time $250 Christmas offer is set to run until the 25th with an estimated ship date of February 2017.

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New Toy of the Day December 16, 2016

Henge Docks, the folks behind those sleek aluminum homes for your MacBook, has announced a new product designed specifically for Apple Magic Keyboard and Trackpad. The Clique2 is made from laser-cut aluminum and is designed to hold Apple’s input devices without taking away from its sleek look. Henge has carefully crated this accessory so that users still have access to the necessary buttons and charging ports on both the Keyboard and Trackpad. What’s more, it has a reversible layout for right or left-handed use and a slimmed down design from the original version.

We’ve seen products like The Clique2 from other manufacturers too, most notably Twelve South’s Magic Wand. What Henge Dock has going for it is a thin profile and unibody design that is certain to catch the eye of Apple enthusiasts. It is available for purchase today with a list price of $59.

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