Yes, the Patriot Act amendment to track us online is real

Just being able to calmly purchase toilet paper feels like reason enough to celebrate these days. But one thing a lot of people won’t be cracking champagne over this month is the renewal of the Patriot Act/USA Freedom Act — and its terrible inclusion...

Tashi Bharucha’s graphic design background helped him make the iconic Prism blade

The Prism bases itself off a legend of sorts. Inspired by the Church, a wildly popular knife by Tashi Bharucha, the Prism is smaller, more fortified, and just as iconic. Bharucha started off as a graphic designer with a mere penchant for knives. His sense of style, proportion, symmetry, and form helped him carry his skills to knife-designing, allowing him to create the iconic Church, and then redesign it as the small-yet-stunning Prism.

Measuring 7.4 inches when opened, the Prism comes with an eye-catching skeletonized handle made from two titanium parts brought together. Sitting between them is the Prism’s money-bringer, its 3.4-inch blade, made from RWL34 stainless steel. The custom steel, named after legendary knifemaker Robert W. Loveless, is characterized by its high edge strength, toughness, hardness after heat treatment, and corrosion resistance. Couple that with the Prism’s spear-point shape and it’s already a winner. The blade works like a charm for piercing and slicing (you could use it outdoors, or to open boxes… it’s your choice, really), and swivels right into the skeletal handle when not in use. While it can be opened any way you like, a small cutout in the blade’s body is perfectly placed for you to flick it open with your middle finger. If that isn’t the most badass way to deploy a blade, I don’t know what is. And you know what makes things even better? The Prism’s lifetime warranty.

Designers: Massdrop & Tashi Bharucha

Court says data swept up by the NSA is protected by the Fourth Amendment

An appeals court may have just shaped how the US treats the NSA's bulk data collection. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that American communications scooped up under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act's Section 702 and PRISM is...

FISA court: FBI use of NSA’s electronic surveillance data was illegal

A US court ruled that some of the FBI's electronic surveillance activities violated the constitutional privacy rights of Americans. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) deemed that FBI officials improperly searched a National Security A...

Samsung’s customizable refrigerator comes in nine colors and eight sizes

Samsung wants to capitalize on consumers who value personal tastes and experiences, and they plan to do so with refrigerators. Yesterday, Samsung revealed Project PRISM, or what it's calling a "new era of customized home appliances." The first produc...

The AR Headset that puts sound first

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Jonggun Kim realizes something pretty important with AR and VR adoption. We’re less likely to adopt it if it’s alien to our current lifestyle. No one currently carries (or needs to carry) a VR or AR headset with them so the only way to make them more widespread is to actively integrate them into one’s way of living.

No one carries headsets around with them, but there’s a large portion of the population that carries headphones with them. Realizing that, the Prism is an AR headset that transforms into an innocuous pair of headphones. With a HUD that slides upwards and downwards, you can turn the Prism from an immersive audio-visual AR experience, to a pair of headphones. Giving you the power to switch between modes, the Prism does something clever by making you actively adopt one technology by providing you with an alternative that seems more acceptable and commonplace. The headphones get used pretty much every day, while the Prism weans you onto AR by constantly being an available option that’s just one HUD-swivel away!

Designer: Jonggun Kim

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The world’s first phone-based AR headset!

Remember when the Oculus Rift was announced?? We went crazy at the prospect, however the biggest breakthrough for us, the consumer, came when Google announced the Cardboard, a makeshift device that used your phone (the very gadget in your pocket right now!) as a medium to view VR content. The cardboard spawned millions of copies, in paper, plastic, neoprene, etc… bringing VR to the consumer.

The Mira Prism is the Cardboard of Augmented Reality. Bringing AR to consumers, not through the phone’s camera but rather in the form of a headset, the Mira Prism uses your phone’s screen to project content on a visor sitting in front of your eyes. While a rather rudimentary solution, the better your phone’s screen (brightness, contrast), the better the hologram.

The Prism works purely on an ingenious idea, and reflection. The visor isn’t flat, but rather has two curves, allowing the content to be projected without distortion. The app which runs on your phone uses it accelerometer, along with the front-facing camera for image-recognition and gauging distances (it works using tracking graphic, instead of mapping your environment). It then creates a projection with a black background on the screen which gets picked up by the visor. You see only the object, and not the black part of the screen. Objects move in real-time based on their location and adapt to your viewing angle, as would be expected of an AR headset.

The Mira is up for pre-order at just $99, that’s 30 times lower than the Microsoft Hololens, and it even comes with a remote for controlling projections, scaling them up/down, or rotating them. We’re basically literally one app-update away from playing Clash of the Clans on our coffee tables!

Designer: Mira Labs

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