Foldable game controller concept solves portability in a different way

Gaming on the go is quite popular these days, whether it’s on a mobile phone, a handheld device, or even a laptop temporarily parked at a cafe. While video games have traditionally been divided into PC and console camps, this latest trend has made many gamers reach for controllers or devices with built-in controllers, regardless of their platform of choice. Wireless game controllers have become quite numerous because of this, ranging from typical designs to telescopic mechanisms that stretch to grip smartphones or even tablets. Of course, these two aren’t the only designs possible for portable gamepads, and this concept tries to approach the problem from a different angle, one that takes a page out of one of the trendiest smartphone designs of late: foldable phones.

Designer: Przemysław Wolnicki

The basic problem with game controllers is their innate bulk. You can’t really shrink them without sacrificing comfort and ergonomics. This makes them less appealing to quickly stow in bags, much less pockets, as you dash out the door in the hopes of being able to play later on. Even those who prefer to game at home might find the permanent presence of a large chunk of plastic to be visually distracting and might look for ways to minimize their footprint when not in use.

Swift is a game controller design concept that adopts a folding mechanism to make the device more compact in transit. Despite the fact that foldables aren’t new, it’s curious that this design hasn’t been adapted for game controllers at all. There are, of course, advantages and disadvantages to such a design, but those can hardly be verified unless tested in the real world.

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This controller concept adopts the more symmetrical button arrangement of a PlayStation controller, which would make the folded form also more balanced when folded. One curious detail about the design is the ribbed surface covering the middle and back of the controller. It’s not clear whether the choice of material is simply aesthetic, but it will definitely have an effect on the texture of the controller, which in turn affects comfort and ergonomics.

While a foldable controller design is definitely interesting and curious, it also raises a few questions as well. While the design does halve the width of the device, it doubles its thickness in turn. There might also be some concerns about the wear and tear this mechanism will incur over time, especially given the wires that have to run through the middle to connect the two halves. Perhaps that is the reason why a foldable design hasn’t been adopted for controllers, but this concept at least tries to encourage pushing the boundaries instead of just adopting the status quo.

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Diet-friendly electric spoon enhances saltiness in food without actual salt

It’s almost too easy to take salt for granted these days given how common it is, but there was a time long ago when it was as valuable as gold. The role that salt and salty flavors play in our lives becomes all too apparent the moment we taste bland food, resulting in requesting for seasoning or, well, salt. Too much salt, however, put people’s health at risk, especially in cultures that lean towards very salty dishes. Replacing salt with healthier alternatives might just be a stopgap solution, so this innovative electric spoon simply tries to trick our tongues into tasting saltiness where there is barely any salt, allowing people to consume less salt without actual giving up their favorite flavor.

Designer: Kirin

Simple as it may look, our tongues are really complex systems of taste buds that may react different depending on their location and sensitivity to certain flavors. We’ve all been through science experiments related to the different areas of the tongue as well as how weak electrical currents, like those from a lemon, can affect our sense of taste. The latter is the principle behind this simple-looking electric salt spoon that aims to promote a healthier diet by reducing the amount of salt you need to use or consume just to get that salty flavor you love.

In a nutshell, the plastic and metal spoon passes a very weak electrical current on your tongue that tries to draw sodium ions that are normally dispersed and wasted, enhancing the salty flavor that would have otherwise been lost normally. This does mean that the salty flavor doesn’t just magically appear and there needs to still be some amount of salt in the dish for the magic to work. That said, the technology promises 1.5 times more saltiness, which mean you can use 1.5 times less salt to taste the same flavor. For a food culture like Japan that consumes 10g of salt daily, much higher than what the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends, that’s still a significant reduction.

The design of the spoon itself is pretty basic, and its large handle almost makes it look and feel like a child’s spoon. Operating the electric spoon is a simple matter of pressing a single button to turn it on and cycling through different electrical intensities. Amusingly, they recommend a proper way of holding the spoon and positioning your arm in order to maximize the effect of the weak current provided by a rechargeable lithium battery.

It might be a weird idea to be giving your tongue a tiny electrical shock to make food taste saltier, and the company behind the innovation promises it’s all within safe ranges. While it’s not going to make food magically taste better, the electric salt spoon offers a simpler, and somewhat more affordable way to enjoy low-salt diets without resorting to expensive salt alternatives.

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Scorpion-like chair is a computer cockpit made for immersive, lazy gaming

When speaking of computer chairs, you probably first think of overgrown office chairs with a tall back and plenty of padding. While that is indeed the most common design, there are some that take the idea to the extreme, creating what is better described as a cockpit rather than a chair. These often include not only a space to hide the desktop computer from view but also a way to mount not just one but multiple monitors as well. It’s an all-in-one battle station for gamers and computer users who want all their equipment in a single basket. But while that concept in itself is already unconventional, this rather peculiar design really pushes the envelope by embracing the form that immediately comes to mind when looking at these computer gaming “thrones”: a deadly metal scorpion.

Designer: Cluvens

Truth be told, we may have caught a glimpse of chairs with embedded computers and built-in monitors from sci-fi shows, but those have mostly remained the stuff of fiction and stage props until recently. There have been a few new designs surfacing lately, including from giant brands like Acer, and while some of these gaming pods or cockpits try to aim for a similarly futuristic aesthetic, the SK Scorpion puts a different twist on the idea. Instead of a piece of furniture, this over-the-top chair looks more like a sleek robotic insect designed to keep you within its grasp and keep distractions away.

The scorpion motif isn’t just for show, however. Just like the segmented “tail” of the scorpion, the chair’s back and top arch can actually move with a little flexibility, reclining the backrest down to an almost flat angle and moving the screens away for a more restful position. Instead of claws, the scorpion’s arms can swivel in and out, providing not only a place to put things but also some degree of customization for what is practically your small workspace. That said, the chair’s legs don’t inspire too much confidence and is one aspect of the design that tried to be too realistic without being practical.

As far as computer cockpits go, however, the functionality that the SK Scorpion provides isn’t exactly extraordinary. It can support up to three 29-inch monitors placed side-by-side, or more depending on your creativity, creating an immersive view that’s almost in your face. You sadly need to put a separate tray on top of the two arms for the keyboard and mouse, and other things you might need for play and even work, though there are accessories available for holding your cup and hanging your headset. There are no built-in lights as well, so you’ll have to make provisions for that on your own.

That feature list looks a bit sparse until you consider the $3,400 price tag, a mere fraction of what fully featured computer cockpits cost. The menacing scorpion design probably won’t appeal to all gamers, and its novelty will quickly wear off. At least its ability to almost like completely flat, providing gamers with a convenient though probably uncomfortable bed to take power naps, is admittedly intriguing. Then again, these designs are really meant more for hardcore gamers, those who don’t mind isolating themselves in a bubble, at least when they’re gaming.

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The Airseekers Ultimate AI-Powered Robotic Lawnmower Mows Your Yard So You Don’t Have To

Experience top-tier automated lawn care with Airseekers TRON, the AI-powered robotic mower that redefines precision and convenience. Featuring 360-degree vision and auto-mulching capabilities, this advanced mower seamlessly cuts and mulches grass clippings, eliminating the hassle of disposal and simplifying your lawn maintenance routine. Equipped with a state-of-the-art 6-camera AI Vision navigation system and a TOF sensor, TRON captures extensive visual data, allowing it to plan the most efficient cutting paths and expertly avoid obstacles. This ensures precise localization and performance even in areas with weak GPS signals. Designed to handle complex terrains easily, TRON is your perfect partner for maintaining a pristine lawn, making traditional mowers obsolete. Embrace the future of lawn care with TRON unparalleled technology and intelligent design.

Designer: Airseekers

Click Here to Buy Now: $1299 $2499 ($1200 off). Hurry, only 3-days left! Raised over $2,030,000.

Experience the future of yard maintenance with our advanced, full-range visual technology. This innovation allows you to achieve precise localization and a comprehensive 360-degree perception of your yard. Gone are the days of dealing with inconvenient perimeter wires, complex manual setups, or the need for RTK stations. Instead, Airseekers technology enables you to map your yard in three dimensions using the power of AI panoramic perception. This cutting-edge feature ensures seamless and smooth lawn maintenance, even in areas with weak signal reception. This technology is designed to make lawn maintenance easy and hassle-free, giving you more time to enjoy your beautifully kept yard.

Enjoy worry-free mowing with the AI vision system, which skillfully identifies and avoids obstacles. The mower cuts, shreds, and mulches grass and leaves as it goes, laying finely chopped clippings back onto the soil for a neat and attractive lawn. Streamline your lawn maintenance with self-guided navigation, efficient path planning, auto-recharging, and uninterrupted mowing, eliminating the need to empty clippings midway.

Experience a straightforward setup, eliminating the need for manual wiring or RTK base stations. The 6-camera and TOF sensor system provides a comprehensive 360-degree view for in-depth lawn analysis. Using the app, you can effortlessly create virtual boundaries, designate no-go zones, and configure pathways between multiple zones.

This AI mower outperforms RTK-only models with a wide 360-degree vision for top precision and full lawn coverage, getting it right on the first try. Set your custom paths, angles, and patterns to match your lawn’s shape. Armed with six cameras and a TOF sensor, including three RGB cameras, dual stereo vision cameras, and one rear camera, the Air Vision system provides a detailed 360-degree view and depth insights. By analyzing extensive visual data using advanced AI algorithms, it ensures precise, stable positioning without RTK stations or signal poles.

The expansive multi-lens field of view continuously monitors every direction, enabling smarter obstacle avoidance. The system dynamically adjusts to static and moving targets in real-time, ensuring smooth operation without getting stuck. Leveraging AI deep learning and TOF sensors, the mower offers human-like perception for obstacle avoidance.

This advanced technology excels in narrow spaces and weak signal areas, maintaining performance under trees, close to eaves, or along tight fences. Its high-redundancy, multi-camera system captures vast visual data, staying stable even if a camera fails. Efficiently cutting and mulching grass and leaves, the mower spreads finely chopped debris evenly over the soil, ensuring a clump-free, nourished lawn.

Robust Algorithms Handling Extreme Situations: High-redundancy, multi-camera system ensures stability by capturing vast visual data, allowing seamless takeover if a camera fails or shakes.

Discover the sleek FlowCut Mowing system, featuring an X-shaped vortex chamber that uses aerodynamics to vacuum grass upwards, ensuring crisp cuts every time. The dual-layer blades swiftly shred grass while the chamber expertly mulches, creating a perfect, carpet-like lawn in one smooth motion. Enjoy the neatly trimmed grass without uneven edges, keeping your lawn healthy and visually appealing.

FlowCut Mowing System: The X-shaped chamber vacuums grass for crisp cuts, while dual-layer blades shred and mulch for a perfect, carpet-like lawn.

The adjustable cutting chamber offers a versatile mowing height range from 1.2 to 3.5 inches, ensuring the perfect trim while preventing grass scalping. With its anti-clogging cutting deck, the mower easily handles thick grass. The X-shaped vortex chamber maintains a steady airflow for seamless operation, making cutting through grass effortless.

Mastering Tall, Thick, and Wet Grass: Adjustable cutting height from 1.2 to 3.5 inches prevents scalping.

Enhance your lawn’s charm with precise app control, crafting vibrant patterns without height adjustments. The powerful rear-wheel drive, larger front wheels, and high-clearance EV chassis improve passability across various terrains. An intelligent self-rescue system enables smooth disengagement and continuous operation with automatic reverse and turning actions if stuck.

When Others Get Stuck, TRON Prevails: Powerful drive, high clearance, and smart self-rescue system.

The mower can climb hills up to a 65% slope and effortlessly traverse uneven ground or potholes. The 30-degree inward-angled wheels reduce grass tearing and ensure stability during straight-line driving. An edge-cutting mode ensures clean lawn boundaries.

This mower features a detachable and interchangeable battery, boosting convenience and adaptability. Powered by a high-capacity battery, it offers a reliable 3-hour runtime per charge and a quick 120-minute charging time, surpassing traditional gas-powered options. The robot autonomously recharges at low battery, precisely docking in GPS-challenged areas, and resumes mowing right where it left off.

High-Capacity Battery Excels Gas Power: TRON’s large battery provides 3-hour runtime, surpassing traditional gas-powered options.

Multi-tiered security measures prevent theft, including app alerts, GPS tracking with PIN code protection, and real-time location monitoring. The person who first sets up the mower is recognized as the owner, with the ability to authorize family members.

Meeting IPX6 waterproof standards, the mower is easy to clean with a convenient handle for lifting and washing the blades. Intuitive controls streamline complex functions, and a rain sensor triggers an automatic return to the charging station during rain. OTA updates continuously improve performance and features, enhancing precision over time with AI learning.

Diverse connectivity options offer easy remote management, including 4G, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Autonomous operation is maintained with a programmed schedule, free from constant connectivity needs. The standard cutting width of 220mm efficiently covers about 250 square meters per hour, with an optional larger cutting disc kit for increased efficiency.

Changing cutting discs takes less than three minutes, and the “Quick Cut Mode” available in the app allows the mower to cover up to 400 square meters in just an hour with the larger cutting disc. Comprehensive safety features ensure protection for people, pets, and wildlife.

Great news for backers! Airseekers offers free 3D files and design blueprints for DIY mower garages with every pledge for TRON or TRON Max. These will be emailed directly to our valued backers at the end of the campaign, allowing for easy customization and cost savings.

Experience the future of lawn care with Airseekers’ AI-powered precision, intelligent obstacle avoidance, no wiring or signal issues, and hassle-free mulching for neat lawns.

Click Here to Buy Now: $1299 $2499 ($1200 off). Hurry, only 3-days left! Raised over $2,030,000.

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Robot wheelchair concept puts a friendlier face on caregivers of the future

More than just the population problem, we are also facing a crisis in terms of care for the aging segments of that population. Traditional geriatric care centers are sometimes filled beyond capacity, and caring for elderly people living alone can be expensive and at times even risky. Futurists and visionaries would have us dream of a future where robots, whether humanoid or not, would take the place of household help, and we’re starting to see some of those rolling boxes in homes, often for less critical conveniences like bringing things from one place to another. Human care, however, is a very different matter entirely, so this concept design for a service robot and an advanced wheelchair duo tries to paint a different picture by making the experience look and feel a little bit more human and, therefore, more humane.

Designer: Sungmin Hwang

Geriatric patients living at home need more than just having things brought to them, which is what many home service robots are designed to do. They will also want to move around, on their own or with assistance, and motorized wheelchairs try to make that activity more convenient. These two mobility activities might be related, but they’re provided by two very different kinds of products. But rather than having disparate and disconnected machines, this design concept presents an integrated system that acts like a whole, even if they function separately.

The actual “companion” is a service robot that looks like a tall board with arms and wheels, unlike the common design that’s practically a self-driving cabinet. It has a simplified face, basically just eyes that can express emotions and a dot matrix display that can spell out words, but it’s enough to give it a more personable character. Rather than having shelves to put items on, the robot has harms and hands that can grab and hold objects to hand them over to the patient, making the action feel more personal rather than clinical.

The other half of the duo is a motorized wheelchair that’s designed as much for comfort as it is for mobility. In addition to the cushioned surfaces and curved parts, the chair features plenty of storage space not just for things but also for medicine. The patient can exercise their own agency by driving the wheelchair on their own, but it can also be pushed by the companion robot when it connects to the chair. This recreates the experience of having someone push their wheelchair, hopefully making them feel less lonely and less detached.

The “Companion” robot and wheelchair concept is designed with many of the existing technologies already available today, from self-navigating home robots to intelligent charging docks to precision robot hands for carefully grabbing objects. Of course, such a machine would still need to undergo rigorous testing, not to mention regulatory scrutiny given its medical applications, but it’s definitely an interesting take on what a home service robot can do, especially when it’s designed to take care of elderly people or people with mobility disabilities.

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Futuristic mini PC is like a spaceship ready to take gaming to new heights

Is there a reason why desktops and even mini PCs mostly come in flat boxes? Electronics are still rigid objects, and they have to adhere to flat or similarly boxy designs with today’s engineering limitations. As such, a tower or a box is the most space-efficient container for these pieces that work together to provide all your computing needs. But what if space was less important than aesthetics, especially with today’s more compact hardware? That’s the kind of revolutionary mindset that this mini PC is trying to present with a chassis that is almost literally out of this world, looking more like a spaceship that’s ready to take off and elevate your gaming, and it does so literally as well.

Designer: ACEMAGIC

Mini PCs are no longer that alien to people’s ears, especially thanks to the popularity of the non-PC Mac mini and Mac studio. These computers emphasize compact designs that save you some desk space while still cramming as much power in a tiny boxy. That doesn’t have to be the only design available, however, especially with how small some computer components have become. After all, the latest breed of handheld gaming PCs are technically portable mini PCs, though with even bigger constraints when it comes to performance.

The ACEMAGIC M2A is a mini PC that throws design conventions out the door. Technically, its hardware can all fit in what would be a slim and minimalist rectangular box, but that would be boring and completely unoriginal. Instead, the company aimed to make its product stand out, almost literally, but making it look like a spacecraft similar to those you’d see on sci-fi flicks and shows. Specifically, the main body itself tapers slightly to the side and then splits upward and downward into fins. The style is largely polygonal, which matches the sci-fi theme, with LED accents in front and on the tip of the wings for added flavor.

The design admittedly takes up more vertical space on your desk, and it won’t be something you can conveniently place underneath your monitor (unless that monitor is set up on an ergonomic stand or arm). It is, after all, designed more to have some visual impact rather than space savings, but it does have one practical benefit, whether intentional or not. The bottom fins act as legs that lift the mini PC up, allowing for better airflow into the bottom-mounted fans.

Internally, the ACEMAGIC M2A tries to be a compact gaming PC, and it seems to meet that description, depending on your needs. It practically uses hardware from 2022, so it might not be up to snuff when it comes to more demanding AAA titles today. There are definitely more powerful mini gaming PCs in the market today, ones with the latest CPUs and GPUs, which makes you wonder if this spaceship-like computer’s high price tag is really worth that distinctive design.

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Donut-shaped Bluetooth speaker concept inspires a more playful way to enjoy music

Wireless speakers have become all too common now thanks to multiple factors, from the rise of voice-activated smart home assistants to the popularity of streaming services to the demise of the headphone jack from smartphones. These audio devices have also outgrown their initial designs which seemed to be limited to blocks or cylinders, adopting more fluid forms that are almost artful than technical. Of course, there is no need to go to opposite extremes to have a good speaker design, as this concept proves with a simple and clean shape that immediately strikes one as something that isn’t your regular wireless speaker while, at the same time, clearly tries to deliver the basics of an omnidirectional audio source.

Designer: Fran Rossi, Javier Bianchi

Many wireless speakers today try to deliver sound in 360 degrees to cover the entire room, which is especially needed if it’s meant to respond to voice commands coming from anywhere in the area. Thanks to the likes of the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod, cylindrical shapes seem to have become the most common design for wireless speakers. Of course, there are conical or even spherical speakers, but these aren’t the only round objects that can be used to the same effect.

Orbit adopts a lesser-used shape that, along with a sphere or ball, is immediately associated with fun things. A torus can be a donut, a wheel, a piece of candy, or even a floatation device, and the way it can roll on a floor and wiggle and spin before falling down flat is often a game played by children. That playful charm is further emphasized the by concept’s choice of colors and materials, with a bright orange accent against a cool white body, and reflective plastic instead of fabric. It looks almost like a toy, though its functionality is far from being child’s play.

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Thanks to its ring shape, it can also transmit audio 360 degrees, though it also has more freedom on where the sound is sent. When standing, it can bounce the sound off the ceiling, though it can also be placed down on its back for a more conventional horizontal output. The Orbit is almost a perfect torus, so it requires a stand to, well stand up. Its other functions, however, are all built into the device itself, like the large backlit power button in front and the embossed playback controls on top.

Despite the playful nature of its shape, small variations to the design can result in a totally different character. Covering the entire ring with dark gray fabric and switching the accents to wood or gold gives it a more luxurious appeal that could proudly stand as an art object in your living room. Switching up the colors and materials also generates different imagery, turning what looks like a simple design into a highly flexible and customizable one.

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M4 iPad Pro teardown reveals an important sustainability upgrade

As expected, the Internet is abuzz over the new M4 iPad Pro’s ultra-thin design, but there are also reasonable concerns over the device’s durability and longevity because of that design as well. Fortunately, a bend test proved that the tablet has enough resistance to withstand accidents within reason, but accidents will still happen regardless. Displays will get cracked and batteries degrade and, sooner or later, the new iPad Pro will become old and will need to be repaired. When that time comes, how easy and expensive will it be to open up the thinnest iPad in the world and replace those broken parts? It turns out, that Apple made one very important step toward improving the device’s repairability, at least for one of the most common types of repairs.

Designer: Apple (via iFixit)

Whether it’s a smartphone or a tablet, mobile devices have two or three parts that easily get damaged or need to be replaced. Screens crack or shatter after accidental falls, charging ports get damaged or blocked, and batteries start to lose their charge faster or, worse, start to bloat. For the iPad Pro, getting to any of these parts has always been a chore and a risk, but the M4 iPad Pro has surprisingly made it easier to remove and replace the battery without removing as many important parts.

Opening up the iPad Pro is still an exercise in patience and dexterity, perhaps even more so now with a new Tandem OLED display. A closer look at that screen reveals not the dual-layered panels that Apple used to explain the technology, but, for all intents and purposes, it practically functions the same way. Long story short, there’s a high chance that the screen will be damaged beyond repair when you try to open the iPad Pro just to replace the battery.

Fortunately, the battery itself is easy to reach, as it is immediately exposed after removing the display. There are a few parts that need to be unscrewed to gain access to the pull tabs, but there’s no need to remove daughterboards, logic boards, or even speakers. Considering this is Apple we’re talking about, that’s a rather ground-breaking change and a step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, Apple’s “size zero” design does also come with its drawbacks, like many of the parts now glued down rather than screwed down, just because there’s virtually no space left for screws. And then there’s the new Apple Pencil Pro that’s still an expensive disposable accessory as far as repairability is concerned. All in all, the M4 iPad Pro represents a significant step forward for Apple when it comes to making the tablet a more sustainable option on top of being one of the best of its kind.

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AYANEO AG01 graphics dock puts a retro-style spaceship on your desk

Nostalgia is a very powerful (and lucrative) emotion, but the retro designs don’t necessarily have to be just based on past products. In fact, they don’t need to be based on real things at all. Retro designs only need to incorporate elements from the past, whether that’s a historical past or a fictional one. The latter especially applies to what has become known as retro-futuristic styles that try to blend past and future in a way that makes some sense in the present. This upcoming graphics dock, intended to give handheld gaming PCs a performance boost, is one such example, bringing a unique visual accent to your workspace by taking on the appearance of a miniature spacecraft with the blocky and rugged aesthetics of the past.

Designer: AYANEO

Although external graphics enclosures have existed for a while now, it was only with the advent of handheld PCs that they started to become smaller and slightly more portable. The purpose remains the same, providing significantly more powerful graphics capabilities than the portable computer can manage, but in a form factor that can also be carried around in a bag if desired. Many of these so-called graphics docks take on the form of uninspiring rectangular bricks, but the AYANEO AG01 bucks the trend with a design that is almost literally out of this world.

As part of its next batch of REMAKE products, AYANEO is including its very own graphics dock with a design that doesn’t really resemble any existing product from the past. The company describes it as a starship, though it might not immediately strike one as similar to those from hit sci-fi shows like Star Trek or even Star Wars. It has a more blocky shape, not unlike other graphics docks, but with an overabundance of panels and grilles. Its rough edges and dark color scheme contrast with the usual smooth curves and lighter motifs of futuristic spacecraft. This is a spaceship that humans would first produce for exploration and perhaps even militaristic action. Space-efficient, rugged, and a little menacing.

Underneath that retro-futuristic shell, however, is a very typical graphics dock, one that even houses a slightly dated AMD Radeon RX 7600M XT graphics from last year. There’s a plethora of connectivity options, including USB4 and the newer Oculink technology. It does also function as a typical data hub when connected to a computer, which means USB ports and even an Ethernet jack for faster network connectivity. Although technically compatible with any computer that supports external GPU via USB4, the AYANEO AG01 is specifically designed for the brand’s handheld gaming computers that have a significantly weaker GPU compared to laptops.

There’s also some RGB lighting, but that’s curiously limited to the ring around the dome on one end of the dock and three “vents” near it. It’s a purely aesthetic element, though one that admittedly looks too modest for what should be a space-faring vehicle. Availability details about the AYANEO AG01 are still unknown at this point, but the graphics dock’s unique design will surely catch the fancy of many collectors, whether they have an AYANEO handheld PC or not.

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AI-powered modular mouse has some nifty tricks to level up your presentations

The nature and location of work today have changed considerably, especially after the introduction of work-from-home arrangements, but there is one thing that still remains the same. People still hold in-person meetings, which often involve making presentations, be it in front of colleagues or before clients. Despite how common this activity is, the tools used especially by presenters haven’t evolved that much except for teleconferencing equipment. Many of the devices needed for an effective presentation often come as separate products, so this concept tries to integrate not just two but four tools into a single design that, at first glance, looks like a normal mouse.

Designers: TianRun Chen, ZiLong Peng, Yanran Zhao, YueHao Liu

Many computer users use a mouse, even if they actually prefer using laptops. It’s almost an indispensable tool for on-the-go knowledge workers, including those who often find themselves speaking in front of other people in a room. Unfortunately, these people would also find themselves grabbing a presenter and a laser pointer during those presentations, making their work lives needlessly complex. There are some thin, portable mice that try to integrate a laser pointer, but these are still rare, not to mention not ergonomic in their designs.

The OctoAssist concept design has a rather intriguing solution that deconstructs the design of the computer mouse in order to provide more functionality. At its core, it sports a modular design where the main “module” is actually the front third of a conventional mouse, where the buttons would normally be located. This module is actually a touch-sensitive device that you can use on its own as a mini touchpad that supports gestures like pinching and three-finger taps. It can magnetically connect to a “base” that provides the ergonomic shape of a mouse, while potentially also offering additional battery power in its rather large body.

The core module also has a built-in laser pointer and, thanks to its touch-sensitive surface, can be used to easily control presentations with the same hand. It also has a voice recorder so you can have the entire presentation or meeting preserved for documentation purposes. But why stop there when you have today’s ubiquitous AI available to almost everyone? That AI, built into the device, can also summarize the meeting and generate notes in a flash, impressing everyone in the room with your technological wizardry and efficiency.

From a regular office mouse to a miniature touchpad to a presenter to an AI secretary, the OctoAssist offers plenty of features, though perhaps a bit too much as well. The AI-powered summary and notes are definitely convenient, but they could weigh the core module down not just with complexity but also with hardware and battery consumption. It does offload the AI processing to a connected smartphone, but that can sometimes cause lags and even data loss. Regardless, it’s definitely an interesting concept that might even be plausible, presuming a manufacturer sees profitable value in an all-in-one design instead of selling multiple devices that do those tasks separately.

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