New Product Stories Today

We’ve shared a number of electric bikes here on 9to5Toys in the last year, particularly noting the variety of designs that are currently available to consumers. Another option has hit the market, or Kickstarter rather, with a foldable frame and small footprint. Tern’s new Vektron eBike uses a Bosch motor that provides up to 250W of extra electric power. The 49-pound two-wheeler comes in at just 16 x 33 x 25-inches when completely folded up.


A 400Wh battery provides between 40 to 80 miles on a single charge depending on your speed. There are four different power modes to choose from that can serve up to 250% of the power from a typical human. It tops at 20mph thanks to its lightweight and aerodynamic design that is made for riders as little as five feet tall. Tern is using Kickstarter to fund its latest creation but it already has an impressive network of 125 dealers in the United States. A pledge of $3,100 will deliver a Vektron eBike in April if all goes to plan.

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New Product Stories October 21

Coding and modular builds have dominated the Kickstarter scene in 2016. We’ve seen it with Raspberry Pi, smartphones and more. But one category has yet to pick up on this trend: drones. That’s where Airblock comes in. After launching on Kickstarter a few days ago, the DIY quadcopter has experienced massive success. This is the fourth project from creator Makeblock who has successfully funded a handful of other STEM toys.

Airblock is a “starter drone” designed to encourage kids to build their own quadcopters. It has a simple app to code software and create stunts. A processor, motor and rotors are all wrapped in a styrofoam frame that can be taken apart and adjusted as needed. It is all held together by magnetic connection points. Different builds result in a variety of flying styles, from low-key and smooth to fast and loud. Currently an early bird pledge of $99 will deliver a unit in February.

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One of my favorite gadgets ever is the Amazon Echo Dot (review) which started shipping to pre-orders last night. Better yet, you can get one almost free with the purchase of various bundles which Amazon is offering. My favorite is the best-in-class sounding Bose Soundlink Mini + Echo Dot for $214. That means your Dot effectively costs you $15. The Soundlink Mini makes a great accessory for amplifying the Dot’s speaker.


Other great bundles:

Oh and if you add 6 to your cart, Amazon will float you one for free with code DOT6PACK. Or add 12 and pay for just 10 with code DOT12PACK. Pretty good way to knock out Christmas shopping or the office holiday gifts. That’s 12 for $500 or less than $42/ea.

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New Product Stories October 20

There’s no shortage of family-centric routers available to consumers but they’re not all created equally. The Gryphon Wireless Router looks to bridge the gap between the world wide web and your kids with its sleek design and impressive software. Made by the creators of the MiFi hotspot, this Kickstarter project has a substantial list of features. Administrators will be able to set per-device limits, shutdown access when needed and view browsing history. The coolest feature is the ability to allow or deny realtime requests submitted by users.

Not only is it loaded with helpful software, the Gryphon router also checks all of the boxes on the hardware side of things. It has tri-band connectivity with MU-MIMO and beam-forming technology. The network can be easily expanded thanks to support for mesh networking. However, the design may be our favorite part. Gryphon has a unique curved shaped that places antennas at a variety of different angles to help with signal quality. It is currently available for the super early bird price of $139 with an estimated June 2017 ship date.

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With the advent of digital photography and the impressive optics of iPhone 7, Kodak has struggled to keep up. While it has managed to reinvent itself with digital cameras, there is still room to grow. Insert the Kodak Ektra. An Android-based smartphone with throwback styling from the brand’s classic instant cameras. Named after the 1940’s rangefinder, Ektra is covered in a leather composite material with a large camera on one side and a full display on the other. There is a slight bump from the optics to support the 21-megapixel sensor from Sony below.

Inside, you’ll find 32GB of storage and a deca-core MediaTek Helio X20 processor. The five-inch 1080p display runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow. A 3000mAh battery and 3GB of RAM round out the list of specs. Of course, this is being played up as a photography-enthusiast’s device. Kodak will be recommending a variety of third-party camera apps to supplement the optics, including Lightroom, VSCO and others. Kodak is planning a European release for Ektra in December with plans for a US announcement still in the works.

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Well all of the rumors of a hybrid portable/home console appear to be true. Nintendo has now released the very first trailer for its upcoming new console known as Nintendo Switch, previously codenamed NX. Thanks to a modular design of the new controllers and base station, gamers will be able to switch from the couch to the road in no time at all. It is basically a mobile console with a TV dock for playing at home and a cartridge based system similar to the 3DS.

The new Nintendo Switch is scheduled for release in March of 2017.

Head below for the initial launch trailer along with some new gameplay footage from the world’s most anticipated game ever: Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild (currently $47.99 shipped for Prime members). expand full story

New Product Stories October 19

There’s a fair share of robotic lawn mowers and vacuums on the market today. But there aren’t many that are as full-featured as the new electric Kobi Lawn Robot. This autonomous outdoor helper will mow your lawn, rake leaves in the fall and even remove snow during the winter. Safe to say, Kobi is next-level.

It is slightly more robust than some of the popular grass clippers we’ve seen with four large wheels and a hefty power supply. There are brushless motors that can handle each of the aforementioned tasks at ultra-quiet noise levels. Kobi ships with a charging station that it will automatically return to when not in-use for more juice. It has a pretty serious battery system that can handle up to 40 feet of cumulative snow at once. A built-in GPS system provides direction alongside sensors that detect obstacles in the way. Perhaps coolest of all? It uses weather services to detect upcoming precipitation and it acts accordingly. Kobi is slated to sell for $3,999 when it is released sometime next year.

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Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service is slowly making its way to more products following its initial release on the Echo speaker. Aside from the second generation Echo Dot, a new Bluetooth audio system is also receiving the voice assistant. The FABRIQ Smart Speaker is a cost-effective option for consumers that comes in at just $50. Surprisingly, it has built-in Wi-Fi that allows for multiple units to be connected for a whole home setup and Apple users will be happy to hear that it also supports AirPlay. That’s a welcome feature that we wouldn’t expect to see at this price point.


FABRIQ can play music from a variety of services including Spotify, Pandora, Prime music and more. Playback is controlled via a free iOS and Android app. Inside the compact speaker is a two-inch driver that is powered by a 5W supply. Alexa is activated by the push of a button, which unfortunately means FABRIQ doesn’t have always-on capabilities like the larger Echo. Nevertheless, this is bound to be a very attractive option for consumers this holiday season. The FABRIQ Alexa-enabled Smart Speaker is available in three colors for $49.99 and can be ordered via Amazon today.

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New Product Stories October 18

Internet-connected products are continuing to infiltrate our homes, perhaps none more than our lights. Philips Hue, WeMo and others are all pumping out products designed to create custom lighting schemes in our homes. The latest product to do so is the Kiën Light out of Europe that brings smartphone control, custom colors and energy savings in a stylish LED strip package.

Starting at just $395, users will be able to recreate a variety of different lighting scenes with these modern tubular accessories. The outer casing comes in three styles: aluminum, wood and concrete. There are three sizes available and they can be daisy-chained together if needed. Obviously, LED lamps are designed to be energy savers but the ability to customize shade and brightness are also noteworthy. Free iOS and Android apps will bring a Hue-like experience to the mix where you can adjust every feature with the slide of a finger. If all goes to plan, Kiën Light will ship in April.

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Misfit, who is primarily known for its fitness trackers, has today unveiled a new product in its line of wearables. The Phase Hybrid smartwatch combines technology and classic looks into one slick product designed to compete with Apple Watch and others. Being a Misfit product, it is packed with all of the fitness features that you’d expect including a pedometer, distance traveled and sleep statistics. It uses a built-in accelerometer that is combined with Misfit’s own proprietary algorithms to accurately track your movements.

Fitness features aside, Phase is loaded with all the normal smartwatch capabilities. You’ll be able to place calls, check notifications and send messages on the display. Best of all, it ships with a six-month battery life that is user-replaceable when needed and has a water-resistant casing. It will connect with both iOS and Android devices. The Phase may be one of the best Apple Watch alternatives for shoppers that prefer classic styling. It is slated to go up for pre-order on November 7th in six colors with a $175 price tag.

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New Product Stories October 17

Since iPhone 7 was announced back in September, manufacturers have been scrambling to come up with solutions for its new design that inhibits simultaneous charging and listening. There have been a few ideas in the meantime but with varying degrees of functionality. That’s where Auxillite comes in. A fresh Kickstarter project that combines a 3.5mm jack and Lightning port in a small footprint. The T-shaped accessory has both ports for simultaneous charging and listening, solving the issue presented by Apple’s latest device.

Auxillite also has a built-in digital-to-analog converter that was created to supplement the built-in system on iPhone 7. Aside from its problem-solving capabilities, this product is attractive for its minimal design. As of now, Auxillite is available for early bird backing at just $13. If all goes to plan it will ship in January. It’s important to note that the campaign page does not mention MFi certification, so you’ll be backing this product at your own risk. In the meantime, consider these popular Lightning headphones or take a look at our favorite wireless options on the market.

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A combination Ping Pong and music creation system wasn’t on my list of topics this morning, but here we are. In a move that combines the tabletop game and some sick beats, Ping Pong FM is a new project that DJs your party while you play. The paddles have special microphones inside that pick up on your movements and record each contact with a ball. A special software system then analyzes each hit and adjusts the music accordingly. Strike the ball harder? Your music will speed up.

Sadly, Ping Pong FM is not a mass produced project yet. But it’s gaining quite a bit of traction around the web. At this time, the paddles are required to be hardwired into the hub which you can imagine might be tricky while playing. If Ping Pong FM could go wireless with Bluetooth and communicate with a free smartphone app, we might be on to something. For now, you’ll just have to imagine the possibilities.

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New Product Stories October 14

Leica has long been known for its top-end end design and impressive cameras. After announcing a low-cost version of its M series camera nearly a year ago, the German company has announced a new limited edition version with a big-time price tag. The X Rolf Sachs M-P Grip has a few standout features starting with the outside. Leica has dropped a lot of its traditional metal styling for a bright textured rubber grip. It’s quite the departure from Leica’s typical black and muted color design.

Inside, it’s much like any other Leica M-P camera. It has a Maestro image processor that pushes out 24MP images from the full-frame sensor. There is a LCD display on the back, an optical viewfinder and standard manual controls. The lens is a standard Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 system. Leica’s new limited edition camera is available for $14,950.

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New Product Stories October 13

Despite vinyl’s massive resurgence in popularity over the last few years, it’s still difficult to reinvent the turntable. Largely, most designs are the same give or take a few different choices of material. However, a recent Kickstarter project has a new idea. Mag-Lev Audio’s Levitating Turntable is the perfect party trick that also plays your records. As the name suggests, it takes your vinyl and leverages the power of magnets to make your music float while it spins. Check the video out for yourself:

The Levitating Turntable has all of the regular technology you’d expect and it can play 33 or 45rpm records. It uses industry-standard Pro-Ject tonearms and a Ortofon cartridge to ensure your music sounds as intended. All told, the other features are standard vinyl specs. What’s truly impressive is the ability for the magnets to consistently keep the record spinning at a precise speed so it plays correctly. No matter, it’s a fun re-imagination of an old classic. It’s available for pre-order today on Kickstarter for $780 and is slated to ship late next summer if all goes to plan.

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Much like everything else in your residence, doorbells have received the smart home treatment in recent years. But those camera-connected models won’t necessarily fit everyone’s needs. The Ding smart doorbell hopes to fill the gap between old school and overpowering. It just hit Kickstarter this week with a simple design and a $129 price tag. If all goes to plan, Ding will ship late next summer.

So why is it notable? Ding is a subtle three-piece system that consists of the doorbell, a fabric-covered chime and a free smartphone app. It has helpful features like the ability to converse with someone at your door via your iPhone or Android device. The chime can be configured to ring at different noise levels or you can schedule quiet hours where only your phone rings. My favorite part is its minimal design that doesn’t scream technology but also has a modern look. It’s available for pre-order today if you’re interested.

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New Product Stories October 12

The LEGO Ideas program allows brick building enthusiasts to submit designs with hopes that they may be selected for mass production. The latest creation coming to fruition features what might be some of the most famous minifigs in history. Not only are we getting the iconic Yellow Submarine from the 1968 film, but also the Beatles themselves. The kit, courtesy of Kevin Szeto’s submission and LEGO designer Justin Ramsden, will be hitting store shelves next month.

In what will likely be one of the hottest gifts of the holiday season and one of the coolest Ideas kits yet, the set consists of over 550 pieces along with minifigs of John, Paul, George, Ringo and Jeremy (from the movie). Along with being a pretty close replica of the submarine from the film, we will get access to the cockpit as well. It will hit store shelves on November 1st at $59.99. Head below for the first official images of the set along with a little teaser video from LEGO: expand full story

After introducing its Family Hub smart refrigerator at the beginning of the year, Samsung is back with a few new additions to its kitchen offerings. Today’s announcement includes new built-in ovens, cooktops and range hoods that have built-in smartphone connectivity. Naturally, Samsung will be requiring its SmartThings Hub as a means for communicating between devices. You’ll be able to monitor temperatures, settings and more while you cook.

Looking at the oven, it has a Flex Duo system that allows you to have different temperatures going while you cook. Features include the ability to pre-heat, adjust time/temperature and monitor progress throughout the meal. Samsung also has larger built-in double and single wall ovens with the same features. The cooktop systems are available in gas, electric or induction with ‘Rapid Boil’ and 15 different heat settings. Samsung’s line of smartphone-connected appliances starts at $1,099 for the electric cook top and hood with prices going up from there.

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With multi-room wireless audio building in popularity, consumers are faced with two routes when it comes to selecting a speaker system. Do you go with Bluetooth that might be portable or Wi-Fi-connected that offers powerful features? A new product called the Cassia Hub plans on simplifying this situation. Cassia uses its BlueStream technology to set up a wireless whole home audio system.

Here’s how it works. The Cassia Hub is connected to your device and each of your Bluetooth speakers. From there, the smartphone app can stream music to multiple devices at a time just like a SONOS system. Users have access to all the popular services, like Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora. Although there is upfront cost with the Hub, Cassia’s added flexibility for Bluetooth enthusiasts makes this a very attractive product. The Hub with BlueStream is available for purchase today for $150.

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New Product Stories October 11

Security cameras have seen a huge jump in popularity over the last few years as smartphone-connectivity and cloud services have done away with costly storage systems. Nest Cam is a prime example with plenty others on the market too. Now Netgear is showcasing its new Arlo Pro wireless outdoor camera that has an impressive built-in battery system that last for months on end and a 130-degree wide angle lens. It also has a weatherproof design and an infrared night vision system.

One of the coolest features is its speaker and microphone system. This allows users to communicate with someone within range (say, a delivery man) or sound its motion-detected siren system if there is movement in the area. Of course, it has an iOS and Android app plus free cloud storage for seven days of footage. The new Netgear Arlo Pro is available for purchase today for $250 bundled with the smart hub. Additional cameras can be purchased at a discounted price, too. It is slated to ship at the end of the month.

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Today, Tile has released the newest version of its popular smartphone-connected tracker that is 25% smaller than the previous generation. After unveiling the Slim model (review) just weeks ago, ‘Mate’ is designed to accompany everyday items like your keys or purse. It weighs in at just over 6 grams and is 34 x 34mm in size. Tile continues to use Bluetooth LE for communicating between device (like the original version) and tracker while the internal battery is rated for one-year of use.

Tile Mate connects to your iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch and select Android devices. From there, users can assign a ringtone that will sound if your valuables wander too far away. It can also be used to ping your phone in case it becomes lost, as long as it is within range. The free iOS and Android app also keeps tabs on the last known location of your accessory. Tile Mate retails for $25 as a single unit or you can grab a four-pack for the discounted price of $70 at Amazon.

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Today, Western Digital announced a refreshed line of its popular My Passport Portable Hard Drives. A new design and six colors – red, black, white, orange, blue and yellow – highlight its latest storage solution. There are two options in today’s announcement, one is designed for general storage on PC-friendly devices (Xbox One, etc) while the other is made specifically for Macs (in the black coloring only). Both feature the new textured design, up to 4TB capacity and 256-bit AES hardware encryption. Pricing starts at $80 for the 1TB model and it tops out at 4TB for $160.

Alongside today’s portable announcement is also a new My Book Desktop series that will ship in up to 8TB capacities. The 3TB model starts at $130 before topping out at $300. All of Western Digital’s new devices include a two-year warranty.

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New Product Stories October 10

We all know the famous cuckoo clocks of yesteryear. Remember? With the tiny bird that popped out to signify another hour gone by. I always thought those were pretty neat, despite its lack of technology. A new Kickstarter project, dubbed CuCu Clocks, is taking the old-school charm of those wall-hangings and combining it with modern day smartphone-connectivity. Each clock has a sharp design and is available in a variety of materials, such as wood or metal. There is a bright LED display built in to the casing that shows the time and of course, a cuckoo bird that makes an appearance to notify you of pending events or the time.

CuCu Clocks connect to your smartphone for settings management, synching your calendar and to monitor other features. All told, this is a modern evolution of an old favorite. It’s still a cuckoo clock at heart, but leverages the power of our devices to inform you of events and the time in a 21st century fashion. CuCu is available at an early bird price of around $220 with an estimated ship date of next July if all goes to plan.

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New Product Stories October 7

Roku has announced three new Hitachi 4K Ultra HDTVs with its smart platform built-in. Although the low-end market is crowded with options, Hitachi hopes to set itself apart in two ways. First up, is the design. These new 4K models have one of the more attractive designs that we’ve seen in the $300-$600 range. Hitachi will also lean heavily on Roku’s popular software and its massive catalog of over 3,500 streaming channels and 350,000 movies/TV episodes.

The combination of which results in one of the lowest cost options for consumers to access 4K content. As of now, there are 13 services available on the Roku platform that offer high resolution shows or movies including Netflix and Amazon Video. Set to launch later this month, the 55-inch model will sell for $599, while the larger 65-inch is listed at $999 and the 50-inch variety at $499.

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SONOS has long dominated the home audio scene with its best selling multi-room speakers. Over the last few years, companies both large and small have tried to steal the throne with new features or designs. The latest of which is Tivoli Audio. Although it has mainly been known for its retro-inspired Bluetooth speakers to this point, Tivoli is now introducing a line of devices called ART (audio reimagined together). Starting with two models, these speakers mix style and function as an alternative to SONOS and other manufacturers.

The CUBE and ORB both feature Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity that is controlled by a free smartphone app. Users will have access to a variety of services at launch including Spotify, Deezer and Tidal. Each speaker can be paired together for a stereo setup or function individually. The wood and fabric design continues the retro theme that Tivoli has leaned on for some time. Both speakers are available for purchase today. The Cube will sell for $200 while the ORB is listed at $250. Each model ships in different wood finishes and fabrics.

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