Wired Planet

Feeding Your Geek Gadget Habit!

Twelve South HiRise

If you’re looking for a drool-worthy, but affordable stand for your Lightning Cable-equipped iPhone 5, iPad Mini or iPod Touch (5th Gen), then stop looking now.

Twelve South has created a brushed metal stand that not only looks great in your work space, but allows you to take FaceTime and standard calls hands-free. Unlike most other docks, HiRise doesn’t block your speakers, mic or headphone ports. It uses the Lightning Cable you already have and it works with many of the most popular cases in the world, like the OtterBox® Defender and Speck CandyShell.

While the HiRise obviously works with iPhone 5’s and iPod Touch’s, we feel it has the biggest visual impact with the iPad Mini. Get your Mini up high and vertical while streaming your favorite music or display your favorite photos, all while charging your device on this modern vertical perch. Looks good and works great? Sounds like a winning combination to us. $34.99 with free U.S. shipping.

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Moto X

Back in early 2012, when Motorola spun off their handset division (“Motorola Mobility”) and it was subsequently scooped up by Google, the press wondered if the deal was more about acquiring Motorola’s vast patent library, or whether we’d actually see some new handsets from the company.

With today’s intro of the Moto X, I believe we have our answer.

Completely assembled in the U.S., the Moto X allows buyers to personalize their phone with thousands of combinations of distinctive front, back and accent colors. Sporting a voice-activated Siri-like feature that allows users to access maps, compose a text message, and more, with merely their voice, the Moto X actually listens for your voice cue, no touching required. And the features just keep coming: a battery that lasts with mixed-usage up to 24 hours, a 10MP rear camera, a crisp 4.7″ AMOLED display that springs to life when you take it out of your pocket, 8 cores courtesy of the Motorola X8 Mobile optimized for intelligent, probabilistic computing, and 16GB or 32GB models available.

The Moto X couldn’t have come at a better time. While other handset makers (ahem, Apple?) are reloading their tech for their next big release, Google’s Motorola launches a sneak attack that will have Android purists cheering.

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Coravin’s Wine Access System 1000

One of the huge first world problems that plague wine drinkers, in particular red wine drinkers, is that once you’ve opened a bottle you’re committed. Once that cork is pulled, air spills into the bottle and the resulting chemistry will ruin your wine in under 24 hours.

Enter the Coravin System which changes up the game completely. When the Coravin System is put in place, a thin, hollow needle is inserted through the cork to extract the wine. You don’t need to remove the foil, or the cork, to access the wine. The bottle is then pressurized with argon, an inert gas that’s in the air we breathe. Once the bottle has been pressurized, the wine flows through the needle and pours into your glass. When the Coravin System and its needle are removed, the cork reseals itself. The remaining wine never comes in contact with oxygen, and continues to evolve naturally.

The system will set you back $299, but consider how many ruined bottles of amazing wine you’ll prevent.

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BMW’s All-Electric i3

BMW today, announced their all-new, all-electric i3 model for 2014.

The company’s first EV produces 170 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque from its electric motor, launching it from 0-60 mph in about 7 seconds. Not exactly on par with their gasoline models, but pretty typical for an electric vehicle. The new i3 charges completely in about 3 hours and can range about 80-100 miles per charge. If that gives you range-anxiety, you might consider the optional 34-horsepower, 650cc engine which doubles the range and creates something akin to a German Chevy Volt.

The i3 is due this fall and will be priced at $41,350 (or $45,200 with range extender).

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Prodeco’s Phantom X 2013

The electric bike market is quite diverse, ranging from $500 Chinese specials (with dubious reliability records) to $5K+ models that sport the latest e-bike tech. Somewhere in the middle is often where you’ll find the sweet-spot with a given product and that’s smack dab where we find Prodeco’s Phantom series e-bike. Assembled entirely in the U.S., the Phantom X for 2013 is all new, sporting the quality and some highly upgraded features you just won’t find on sub-$1000 e-bikes.

Featuring a folding aircraft-grade aluminum alloy frame, front 120mm suspension fork, an SRAM drive train along with an Avid disc brake system, you’ll think you’re riding a high-end mountain bike. One that folds for easy transport in your car. But give the throttle a twist, let the 500-watt direct-drive electric motor kick in, and you’ll realize this is no ordinary bike. You’ll achieve speeds of 20 mph and cruise for up to 30 miles on a charge courtesy of the on-board 9Ah LiFePO 24 cell battery.

Peddle if you want to, but we’re thinking of letting the motor do all of the difficult work while we kick back and enjoy the ride and the scenery. Drink holder and Mai Tai’s are entirely optional, but recommended.

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Google Chromecast

Google’s Chromecast

Google has shaken up the world of TV streaming devices with their all-new Chromecast. A tiny $35 dongle attaches to any HDTV and allows streaming via apps like Netflix, YouTube, Google Play, and Chrome. Control it from your Android-powered smartphone or tablet – and good news for iOS fans — there’s an iOS app on the way too!

Chromecast competes with the likes of Roku and Apple TV, but with a price-point this low, it pretty much blows everything else out of the water. We intend to use ours on-the-road. Who doesn’t need an easy way to stream programming when you’re stuck in a hotel with only basic cable and expensive PPV movies?

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