“It is the essence of genius to make use of the simplest ideas.”

—Charles Peguy

George Washington Carver on a Stamp


Driving Communication Through Emojis

CarWink bills itself as the world’s first car device that lets you communicate with other drivers through animation.CarWink bills itself as the world’s first car device that lets you communicate with other drivers through animation.

With its hands-free voice control, the portable little gadget allows drivers to use a variety of emojis to signal different situations and express feelings to other drivers. (It can also be operated via onscreen touch input.) Just sync your CarWink device with the mobile app.

Current cartoon emojis say “Thank you,” “Sorry,” “Accident ahead,” “I need help,” “Turn on your lights,” “Turn off your high beams,” “Police ahead” and more. CarWink’s built-in solar panel allows for passive energy harvesting and extended usage time.

The planned retail price is $120, with an estimated June shipping date.

Slim TWO

Smart Toilet Seat

Slim TWO offers consumers an alternative to toilet paper, and a luxury bathroom experience with customizable settings and high-end finishes.

Slim TWO includes a heated seat, heated water, stainless steel construction, a night light and more. The smart toilet seat also offers soft closing, turbo wash, a wireless remote and self-clean mode, which helps users worry less about keeping their smart toilet seat clean. All features are fully customizable, from water pressure and temperature to a wide clean mode.

The product works with any home’s existing plumbing. Each Slim TWO seat comes with a 4-foot power cord to connect to an outlet as well as all other installation materials.

The retail price is unavailable. Slim TWO was being offered to Kickstarter backers for $169 and then $189. Delivery was to begin this month.

Mofrel 2.5D Printer

Simulates Leather and Fabric

It’s not 3D printing, but it’s very close: Mofrel creates realistic textures on paper via a new 2.5D print technology that can bring out extremely fine variations. Because the printer can create design samples without using actual materials, it renders unnecessary previously required tasks such as gathering materials, molding and sewing.

The results look and feel authentic with great detail that includes the uneven surfaces and puffiness of leather, the subtle bumps on stitches and the coarseness of embroidered fabrics (especially for kimono designs). Hard materials such as wood, stone, brick and ceramic can also be mimicked, though some of these may require additional coating for hardness or shininess.

Engadget.com says the printer costs about $44,000 and will soon be available as a business-to-business solution. There are indications that the company is prototyping a


Wearable Sleep Improvement System

Based on multi-site clinical trials and designed for people who consistently get fewer than the recommended seven hours’ sleep, SmartSleep is made to improve sleep quality.

A wearable headband, SmartSleep is uniquely designed with two small sensors that detect periods of slow wave (deep) sleep and intervene with clinically proven technology to boost it in real time. Philips’ proprietary advanced sleep analysis algorithms, developed in collaboration with leading sleep experts and neurologists, produce customized audio tones that enhance the depth and duration of slow wave sleep. An accompanying app logs sleep improvement over time and provides tips on how to get the best possible night’s sleep.

The device is easy to use and has no side effects. Its suggested retail price is $399.