Sort Of Bring Your Old Car Into the 21st Century With Brando’s Bluetooth Steering Wheel MP3 Player [Carelectronics]

Standard

Brando’s new Steering Wheel Bluetooth MP3/FM Car Kit is a wacky little device that hangs on your steering wheel, giving you all sorts of different features probably done better by a nice in-dash stereo kit.

First, there’s a Bluetooth speakerphone for hands free driving, including an ugly little Bluetooth headset. There’s also a built-in MP3 player that reads files off microSD cards and transmits audio to your stereo via an FM transmitter.

The phonebook holds 600 numbers, the battery is rechargeable, and this thing seems like a crappy substitute for any number of better gadgets. But hey, for $48 it’s probably one of the cheapest ways to get all of these features into a beater you don’t feel like upgrading with a nice in-dash stereo. [Brando via CrunchGear]






611 total views, no views today

Wool Felt Cases Give Your Gadgets a Plush Life [Stuff We Like]

Standard

Your phone, iPod, and other gadgets are cold pieces of futuristic tech, but you’ve got a soft spot for them. Give them, and your pockets, a different feel with Byrd & Belle’s wool felt cases, which combine plush linings with modern style.

Byrd & Belle is run by an architecture employee in downtown Minneapolis who found herself sidelined by the economy. Her shop delivers gray wool felt cases for iPods, iPhones, laptops, and generic pocket-sized gadgets. There’s a unified look to her designs, with brown or black leather straps for each item, though custom orders seem to be accepted. And the straps on the iPod and iPhone cases are functional, tucking your wrapped-around earbuds into place and keeping your device from sliding out of the pocket.

So many gadgets are machined in such a way as to leave the impression that no human ever had a hand in making them, and the cases are made to match—shiny, polished, round-edged things meant to either let the device’s looks come through, or hide the device in a similar-minded pocket of future-shock materials. Byrd & Belle’s cases are the antithesis, looking stylish, sleek, and unique, while offering a softer touch and warmer looks than the standard black accessory.

Want to try your hand at your own custom felt cases? Rosa previously showed us how to print and fold your own customizable iPhone case that can be modified for any smartphone design. Design*Sponge has a felt glasses case tutorial that can easily be adapted for other objects, and, well, the list goes on if you Google for “Felt” and “DIY case.”

Byrd & Belle’s cases start at a reasonable $8 and range up to $82. Given that it’s an Etsy crafter just catching up after a holiday hiatus—and, well, given this post—your order may have to hold a while before shipping.







606 total views, 1 views today

Build a Wall-Mounted Kitchen Computer [DIY]

Standard

If you’ve been dreaming of having a computer in your kitchen but don’t like the idea of hanging it from a cabinet or having it clutter up the counter, this guide can help you build a sleek in-wall computer.

Putting a computer in your kitchen and having it look natural and part of the design is a big challenge. Ryan’s wife had been bugging him to put a computer in the kitchen so she could use it to access the internet, manage recipes, generate shopping lists and so on. She also had a pretty tall order when it came to the machine, she wanted it to be discrete, have a touch screen, be internet-enabled, with wires hidden and equipped with a barcode scanner for her to scan products and manage a kitchen database. Not dissuaded by such an ambitious list, Ryan set to work and built an in-wall computer that looks like it was designed and installed by a professional.

The build sports a touch screen, runs Windows XP with an interface cloned from the iPhone for easy finger-based navigation and use, and can do everything from displaying the weather to organizing the pantry. You can check out his build guide for detailed information including how he created the iPhone interface from scratch using the active desktop feature in Windows and coding a custom web page using icons he made and linking them to online services and software on the computer.







670 total views, no views today