Image via WIRED
Imagine going for a leisurely bike ride or, heck, even an athletic bike ride, and getting just a little help when you need it. See a hill ahead? Just push a red button and jet over it at a swift 27 miles per hour. That’s possible with the Specialized Turbo.
It’s been available in Europe for a year, but the Specialized Turbo is just now hitting the streets of the US thanks to a mechanism that caps its speed at 27 miles per hour. This thing looks like a street bike, charges like your phone, and rides like a motorcycle. Cyclists still pedal and break as usual, but the touch of a button gives them superhuman speed. (Watch the video here.) I’d imagine it also heavily increases the number of dooring incidents, a rising problem in cities like Chicago.
The price tag is $5,900, so I’ll just stop talking right now. If you’ve got a lot of dough to drop, read more about it at WIRED’s Playbook.
Image via Pure Fix
I’m a sucker for anything that glows, and you must have noticed our EL wire obsession here on WIREDInsider. So it’s no surprise that the Glow Series collection stopped me in my tracks.
LA-based Pure Fix Cycles created a line of glowing goodness for bikers who love to hit the streets after sunset. A Glow Wheels set of two wheels will set you back $140. If you want the total package, pick up one of Pure Fix Cycle’s $399 fixed gear bikes. There are three different styles, each completely coated in a solar-activated paint. Let your bike power up outside during the day; an hour of charging time provides and hour of glow-y riding time.
Image via YouTube
Technically, Sony’s new Android smartphone is being advertised for its ability to take underwater HD videos and photos, which is way cool. But when you say “waterproof” I think “toilet proof,” and that’s even cooler.
How many times have you put your phone in your back pocket only to find it smacking on the bathroom floor, narrowly missing sudden death? The Sony Xperia Z can be submerged in fresh water up to five feet deep. Unfortunately, salty ocean water isn’t in its realm. For the pool boys who put their phones in their swim trunks – and never remember to take them out – this one’s for you.
Watch a video on how it works here.
Image via Wired
Have you placed your order yet? The much-anticipated Fitbit Flex is finally available.
Those who pre-ordered were a little angry that select retailers, like Best Buy, had Fitbit Flexes for sale the same day their orders shipped. What was the point of pre-ordering? Well, who cares. The good news is the Fitbit Flex is a go. We gave it a “Nearly flawless; buy it now” rating of 9 out of 10.
I ordered one immediately. As of Monday, the wait time was set for 3 to 4 weeks, but I just checked my order status and it’s now 6 to 8 weeks. I called the local Best Buy and they’ll be getting a Fitbit Flex shipment in two weeks. It looks like canceling my online order in the not too distant future!
I’m looking forward to keeping track of my steps and my sleep. What are you most looking forward to? Read more about what the Fitbit Flex can do at WIRED.
Image via Flickr
No, I’m not talking about your personal high score. I’m talking about scoring our personalities. After all, we’ve become obsessed with using technology to track our own stats: the number of steps we’ve taken, the amount of calories we’ve consumed, the distance we’ve traveled, how much Klout we have, or how many people “follow” us.
The first iteration of this personal ratings system may have been eBay’s star-ratings system for sellers. Now, LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements can help you land a job – or miss the boat. Think about how far you could take this system. What if mortgage approvals were based on personal reviews and character strength? Sound crazy? Lenddo is already doing it, and getting great results.
Read more about the potential for a universal personality score at VentureBeat.
Image via Flickr
I’ve been mostly ignoring the rumors about an Apple watch because, well, that’s the sane thing to do. Whenever there’s a new Apple product, the amount of guesswork reported as news is enough to drive a person crazy. Until Apple holds a launch event about a new product – if this product ever comes out – we won’t know anything about it.
But despite all this, a Read Write Web reporter believes an Apple watch is most definitely coming and it’s going to be the best wristwatch on the street. And I’m starting to believe him. A watch would make sense in the line-up of Apple products. They could jump on the activity tracking bandwagon because, let’s be honest, this watch will not be just for telling time. It wouldn’t be the first time Apple entered an industry before proceeding to a state of total domination (ahem, cell phones).
What rumors do you believe about the Apple watch? Will you buy one?
Image via Kickstarter
What if you could take all that energy you expel while biking to work and bottle it up? Now you can. It looks like others are finally realizing the benefits of pedal power.
If the Atom is fully funded on Kickstarter, you’ll be able to purchase a lightweight rechargeable battery than can charge any device via USB. The generator mounts to your bike frame while the battery pops off with ease, so you can charge post workout. And, it’s all renewable energy. I can’t think of a better way of reducing your carbon footprint than creating a charge with your body.
Read more about the $105 Atom at WIRED’s GadgetLab.
Image via Charity Miles
Whad’ya know, there’s an app for that. It’s not a new one, but it deserves a special shout out since runners are always looking for ways to do good while doing what they love: running. Whether you’re training for a marathon or just going on a walk, this app allows you to raise money while you work out.
Charity Miles pulls from an initial investment fund of one million dollars every time users run, walk, or bike. Runners and walkers earn 25 cents per mile and bikers earn 10 cents per mile. The app keeps track of your distance based on location. Before you begin, you’re instructed to swipe through and select from a list of 20 different options, including the Wounded Warrior Project, Stand Up to Cancer, Ironman Foundation, and more.
Start moving. Start raising money. It’s that easy. Download Charity Miles now.
Image via Github
Turns out that your webcam is a little more advanced than you think. With the help of an app, it can see things that are invisible to the naked eye – like your heart rate.
The Webcam Pulse Detector locates the user’s face then focuses on the forehead. It takes about 15 seconds for the app to isolate your heartbeat frequency. The process is pretty complicated and is based off MIT’s Eularian Video Magnification, which analyzes periodic color variations in the face to visualize the human pulse.
Now if only this app was built into those TV screens on the treadmill… Read more about the Webcam Pulse Detector at Gizmodo.
Image via Flickr
It’s not a pretty reality, but it’s the truth. When we travel – even around our own hometown – disaster can strike. And it’s not always as simple as placing a call to tell someone that you’re OK.
With our connected society, you’d think it would be easy to get in touch—but cell phone towers are often overcrowded during emergency situations, and the phone lines should be left open for first responders. Try texting, Facebook messaging, or using a service like GroupMe to get in touch with multiple people fast. If you’re the one in the danger zone, people will want to know your whereabouts ASAP. My Facebook news feed was filled with “We’re OK” posts from friends in Boston on Monday afternoon, and I’m so thankful for that.
Another precaution you can take is to change your voicemail message. That way if family tries to reach you and it goes straight to voicemail, they’ll know your safe. Read more tips for how to get in touch with loved ones during a disaster at WIRED’s Gadget Lab.