Last week I attended GetGeeked here in San Francisco. If you’re not familiar, GetGeeked is like a consumer tech meet-up with drinks and food. To call it a mini-CES would be a gross overstatement, and even calling it a smaller version of CE Week would be exaggerating its size. But regardless, GetGeeked attracted a few outfits making some very cool products. Here were three of my favorites:
Dash Robotics: I’m a sucker for robots, and these guys caught my eye not for their high-tech wizardry but for their low-tech appeal. Their bodies snap out from a mold like a model airplane, then hook up to a few components that transform this humble assembly into an automaton you control from your smart phone. They should be ready for purchase by the holidays so if my wife is reading this, you’re always asking me what I want…a Dash robot kit is my answer. (Kits under $50)
Kube speaker: Now if you thought this product looked like a $1,299 cooler with built-in speakers, think again. The cooler is definitely a product feature of this bad- ass sound system (powered by Polk Audio, no less), and is a perfect fit for a 20-hour party with your closest 200 or so friends. The protype that was showing at GetGeeked costs $26,000 and was the ninth version of a speaker system that now weighs in at about 47 pounds.
These guys definitely spent a lot of time thinking about their industrial design. The bottom of the Kube features the pattern of their diagonal logo, so when it is picked up after a day at the beach the logo stays imprinted in the sand. Their diagonal design language also makes another appearance in the speaker grills on either side. But you know someone loves industrial design when they spend the time to unscrew the handles so they can show you how much thought went into the bolts. (Drinks not included.)
Torque headphones: The concept behind these headphones, unlike others, is that they can be tuned on the fly to enhance the music you’re listening to at any given moment. Today’s music fan might like country one minute and hip hop the next. Traditional headphones are tuned with one specification in mind, but with a quick adjustment Torque headphones adapt to your everchanging tastes. Before you dismiss this as a novelty, understand that product developer Yasu Yamamoto spent over three years perfecting the concept and that the result is very impressive. With high-quality construction and audiophile sound engineering, these are a relief from the sea of me-too headphones presently sold at retail today. (Earbuds: $329.95; over-ear: $399.95)
Jamie Capozzi is the founder and creative director of Theory Associates, a strategic branding agency that “creates crave for some of the world’s leading technology brands.” He can be reached at (415) 904-0995.