Sony’s futuristic floating habitat shows what homes could look like in 2050!





In 2050, it is said that there will be more “climate refugees” who have lost their homes due to the impact of climate change, as well as emigrants who have been forced to leave their countries due to political problems. There may also come a time in the future when people live in floating mobile houses that drift across the world’s oceans. These groups of people could become like sea nomads, forming a unique ecosystem in which they coexist with the natural environment.

When people from a wide range of cultural spheres are living on the ocean, how do people coexist with other people or with the environment? This design prototyping examines people’s life at sea in 2050 and the ecosystem they create from the perspective of housing.

People who live on water inhabit floating mobile houses that can travel freely on the sea, depending on the weather, ebb and flow of tides, and time of the day. They may move in search of food to a place where there is a school of fish, and they may also connect with houses of different “sea cities” to interact with people with different cultures and values. People’s mobile lifestyle will make urban ecosystems more fluid.

2050

Floating mobile houses are housing for use at sea, equipped with an engine with a cleaning filter, sail, and stabilizers in the living space. The variable roof can be folded up in a storm to avoid the wind and erected to use the wind as a power source when traveling. The two-story structure is divided into a public space above the water and a private space underwater.

The house uses solar panels for some of its materials and produces the electricity used by the inhabitants. The electricity generated is stored in an energy tank containing water as thermal energy, which can be retrieved as electricity when needed. For houses that need more electricity, an energy tank can be autonomously connected to supply energy.

Designer: Sony

2050

The best outdoor gear for the fall

The weather is starting to get cooler, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to head indoors for winter just yet. There’s ample time to enjoy the backyard, porch or balcony before the first snowfall. We’ve rounded up the best outdoor gear for cooking, relaxing and imbibing this fall, from a pizza oven, to a uniquely designed fire pit and a smart outlet for your outdoor lighting.

Ooni Karu 16

Ooni Karu 16
Ooni

If you’ve opened Instagram in the last several months, chances are you’ve seen someone firing up an Ooni pizza oven in their backyard. The company has become even more popular during the pandemic, and rightfully so. Its line of wood- and gas-fired pizza ovens allow you to make restaurant-quality pies at home. The Karu 16 is the company’s latest offering, with a larger stone for bigger pizzas, an easier to access fuel chamber and a built-in thermometer. The door is also attached so it’s simpler to use and has a glass window so you can keep an eye on things without losing heat. Like commercial Neapolitan-style ovens, the Karu 16 can reach temperatures of up to 950 degrees Fahrenheit, and does so in just 15 minutes. This model runs on wood chunks out of the box, but the company offers an optional gas burner for $100.

Buy Karu 16 at Ooni - $799

Traeger Ironwood 650 and 885

Traeger Ironwood 650
Billy Steele/Engadget

Cooler weather is a perfect time to tune up your backyard pitmaster skills. Even if you’re a beginner, Traeger’s line of WiFi-connected pellet grills can guide you through the entire cooking process. The company’s app, which allows you to control and monitor its grills remotely, is also packed with recipes and step-by-step guidance.

Traeger Ironwood 650

Personally, I like the Ironwood series, which comes in two sizes with 650 and 885 square inches of grilling space. They sit in the middle of Traeger’s lineup, and offer the best bang for your buck. Low and slow smoking? Yep. Hot and fast searing? They do that too. And with the company’s pellet sensor, you don’t have to worry about running out of fuel halfway through a 10-hour brisket sesh.

Shop Ironwood series at Traeger starting at $1,400

Weber Genesis II EX-315

Weber Genesis II EX-315
Engadget

Weber is best known for its charcoal kettle grills, but its gas models aren’t too far behind. Following up on the smart grilling tech it built into its SmokeFire pellet grills in 2020, the company brought the Weber Connect system to its gas lineup earlier this year. There are a number of options here, but the Genesis II EX-315 is a great mid-range choice. Thanks to the Connect tech, you get real-time food doneness updates, estimated completion times and fuel level monitoring.

Weber Connect also offers step-by-step guidance based on the food you're cooking and the LED display on the grill shows both meat and ambient temperatures. Of course, the grill is WiFi-enabled, so all of this info can be sent to your phone. And if you get caught in the dark, a handle-mounted light and backlit control knobs are there to help.

Buy Genesis II EX-315 at Weber - $1,030

Thermoworks Thermapen One

Thermoworks Thermapen One
Thermoworks

The Thermapen is the grilling tool I use most often. It’s handy for making sure I’m not serving undercooked chicken or overcooking a pricey steak I’ve had in the sous vide for hours. It’s also great to have in the kitchen to instantly check temps of things like bread. Thermoworks unveiled the successor to its wildly popular Thermapen Mk4 earlier this year with the Thermapen One. The device is super fast, giving you a reading in one second. It’s also more accurate and has a brighter display than the previous model. The screen automatically rotates depending on how you hold it, plus an auto-wake and sleep feature and IP67 rating keep things running smoothly.

Buy Thermapen One at Thermoworks - $105

Meater Plus probe thermometer

Meater+ probe thermometer
Meater

I’ll admit it: when I first saw Meater’s wireless food probes I was skeptical that they would work well. The Meater Plus has all of the convenience of the company’s original wireless probe, but with extended Bluetooth range. Each one has two sensors, so it can monitor both internal food temperature and the ambient temp of your grill. All of the info is sent to the company’s app where you can set target temperature, get estimated completion times and follow step-by-step directions if you need them. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about routing wires since the Meater Plus is completely wireless and stays out of your way. Not having to fight food probe cords is a grilling innovation I’m sure a lot of people can get behind.

Buy Meater Plus at Amazon - $100

Thermacell E-55

Thermacell E-55
Thermacell

Last year, the Thermacell Patio Shield kept us mosquito-free for socially-distanced outdoor activities. For 2021, the company is back with the E-55 that offers a 20-foot coverage area and is fully rechargeable. This slightly larger unit runs on a Li-Ion battery instead of burning fuel to keep the biting bugs at bay for up to 12 hours. If you need more protection for you and the fam, you can buy refills for up to 40 hours of use. Also, like other Thermacell products, the E-55 doesn’t give off any odor, so you’ll barely notice it’s there.

Buy Theramcell E-55 at Amazon - $40

Solo Stove

Solo Stove
Billy Steele/Engadget

As the temperatures drop, a fire pit is a cozy place to spend your time. However, most of the cheap options you’ll find at your local big box store aren’t really designed to channel smoke away from you or to maximize airflow. Solo Stove’s stainless steel fire pits do both, creating a roaring fire that won’t smoke you out. Each of the three models, ranging from $269 to $599, are portable(ish) and burn whatever variety of wood you happen to have. I’ve been testing the Ranger, the smallest and most portable option. While you can certainly set these right on the ground or concrete patio, I highly recommend splurging for a stand and a weather-proof cover which cost around $80 for the Ranger and Bonfire models.

Buy Solo Stove starting at $269

TP-Link Kasa outdoor smart plug and dimmer

TP-Link Kasa outdoor smart plug
TP-Link

I tested the Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug for our first backyard guide and I was immediately hooked. TP-Link recently announced a new model of the smart plug in addition to a dimmable single-outlet version. Both are waterproof and plug into your existing outside outlet to give you one or two spots for lights and other gear. With the two-plug option, you can control each one independently. The Kasa app allows you to set a schedule, timer, runtime and more for each plug, so you can automate when those string lights over the deck turn on. Additionally, they work with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you don’t even need to pick up your phone most of the time. Plus, 300 feet of WiFi range means you shouldn’t have trouble connecting these to your home network for use.

Buy Kasa outdoor smart plug at Amazon - $25

Sony SRS-XB13

Sony SRS-XB13
Sony

When you need tunes outside, whether that’s at home or on the go, Sony’s tiny XB13 speaker is a great option. Its small size makes it insanely portable, but it still manages big sound thanks to Sony's Extra Bass feature and Sound Diffusion Processor. It’s rated IP67 for dust- and water-proofing so taking it outside shouldn’t incite anxiety. What’s more, it has a UV coating for protection from the sun. You can use the XB13 for hands-free calls and employ two of them at once for a stereo pair. It lasts up to 16 hours on a charge and will only set you back $60.

Buy SRS-XB13 at Amazon - $58

Brumate Toddy and Toddy XL

Brumate Toddy
Brumate

I’ve been a big fan of Brumate’s beverageware since I bought myself a Hopsulator Trio for a beach vacation a few years ago. I still use it all the time, during both warm and cool months. However, when the temperatures begin to dip, I tend to reach for hot beverages more often, so Brumate’s Toddy insulated mug is a better option. The cup works well to keep drinks hot or cold and the trademark feature is the spill-proof lid. That thing has saved me from massive cleanup more times than I can count. The regular Toddy can hold 16 ounces while the Toddy XL doubles the capacity to 32 ounces.

Buy Brumate Toddy starting at $30

The best outdoor gear for the fall

The weather is starting to get cooler, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to head indoors for winter just yet. There’s ample time to enjoy the backyard, porch or balcony before the first snowfall. We’ve rounded up the best outdoor gear for cooking, relaxing and imbibing this fall, from a pizza oven, to a uniquely designed fire pit and a smart outlet for your outdoor lighting.

Ooni Karu 16

Ooni Karu 16
Ooni

If you’ve opened Instagram in the last several months, chances are you’ve seen someone firing up an Ooni pizza oven in their backyard. The company has become even more popular during the pandemic, and rightfully so. Its line of wood- and gas-fired pizza ovens allow you to make restaurant-quality pies at home. The Karu 16 is the company’s latest offering, with a larger stone for bigger pizzas, an easier to access fuel chamber and a built-in thermometer. The door is also attached so it’s simpler to use and has a glass window so you can keep an eye on things without losing heat. Like commercial Neapolitan-style ovens, the Karu 16 can reach temperatures of up to 950 degrees Fahrenheit, and does so in just 15 minutes. This model runs on wood chunks out of the box, but the company offers an optional gas burner for $100.

Buy Karu 16 at Ooni - $799

Traeger Ironwood 650 and 885

Traeger Ironwood 650
Billy Steele/Engadget

Cooler weather is a perfect time to tune up your backyard pitmaster skills. Even if you’re a beginner, Traeger’s line of WiFi-connected pellet grills can guide you through the entire cooking process. The company’s app, which allows you to control and monitor its grills remotely, is also packed with recipes and step-by-step guidance.

Traeger Ironwood 650

Personally, I like the Ironwood series, which comes in two sizes with 650 and 885 square inches of grilling space. They sit in the middle of Traeger’s lineup, and offer the best bang for your buck. Low and slow smoking? Yep. Hot and fast searing? They do that too. And with the company’s pellet sensor, you don’t have to worry about running out of fuel halfway through a 10-hour brisket sesh.

Shop Ironwood series at Traeger starting at $1,400

Weber Genesis II EX-315

Weber Genesis II EX-315
Engadget

Weber is best known for its charcoal kettle grills, but its gas models aren’t too far behind. Following up on the smart grilling tech it built into its SmokeFire pellet grills in 2020, the company brought the Weber Connect system to its gas lineup earlier this year. There are a number of options here, but the Genesis II EX-315 is a great mid-range choice. Thanks to the Connect tech, you get real-time food doneness updates, estimated completion times and fuel level monitoring.

Weber Connect also offers step-by-step guidance based on the food you're cooking and the LED display on the grill shows both meat and ambient temperatures. Of course, the grill is WiFi-enabled, so all of this info can be sent to your phone. And if you get caught in the dark, a handle-mounted light and backlit control knobs are there to help.

Buy Genesis II EX-315 at Weber - $1,030

Thermoworks Thermapen One

Thermoworks Thermapen One
Thermoworks

The Thermapen is the grilling tool I use most often. It’s handy for making sure I’m not serving undercooked chicken or overcooking a pricey steak I’ve had in the sous vide for hours. It’s also great to have in the kitchen to instantly check temps of things like bread. Thermoworks unveiled the successor to its wildly popular Thermapen Mk4 earlier this year with the Thermapen One. The device is super fast, giving you a reading in one second. It’s also more accurate and has a brighter display than the previous model. The screen automatically rotates depending on how you hold it, plus an auto-wake and sleep feature and IP67 rating keep things running smoothly.

Buy Thermapen One at Thermoworks - $105

Meater Plus probe thermometer

Meater+ probe thermometer
Meater

I’ll admit it: when I first saw Meater’s wireless food probes I was skeptical that they would work well. The Meater Plus has all of the convenience of the company’s original wireless probe, but with extended Bluetooth range. Each one has two sensors, so it can monitor both internal food temperature and the ambient temp of your grill. All of the info is sent to the company’s app where you can set target temperature, get estimated completion times and follow step-by-step directions if you need them. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about routing wires since the Meater Plus is completely wireless and stays out of your way. Not having to fight food probe cords is a grilling innovation I’m sure a lot of people can get behind.

Buy Meater Plus at Amazon - $100

Thermacell E-55

Thermacell E-55
Thermacell

Last year, the Thermacell Patio Shield kept us mosquito-free for socially-distanced outdoor activities. For 2021, the company is back with the E-55 that offers a 20-foot coverage area and is fully rechargeable. This slightly larger unit runs on a Li-Ion battery instead of burning fuel to keep the biting bugs at bay for up to 12 hours. If you need more protection for you and the fam, you can buy refills for up to 40 hours of use. Also, like other Thermacell products, the E-55 doesn’t give off any odor, so you’ll barely notice it’s there.

Buy Theramcell E-55 at Amazon - $40

Solo Stove

Solo Stove
Billy Steele/Engadget

As the temperatures drop, a fire pit is a cozy place to spend your time. However, most of the cheap options you’ll find at your local big box store aren’t really designed to channel smoke away from you or to maximize airflow. Solo Stove’s stainless steel fire pits do both, creating a roaring fire that won’t smoke you out. Each of the three models, ranging from $269 to $599, are portable(ish) and burn whatever variety of wood you happen to have. I’ve been testing the Ranger, the smallest and most portable option. While you can certainly set these right on the ground or concrete patio, I highly recommend splurging for a stand and a weather-proof cover which cost around $80 for the Ranger and Bonfire models.

Buy Solo Stove starting at $269

TP-Link Kasa outdoor smart plug and dimmer

TP-Link Kasa outdoor smart plug
TP-Link

I tested the Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug for our first backyard guide and I was immediately hooked. TP-Link recently announced a new model of the smart plug in addition to a dimmable single-outlet version. Both are waterproof and plug into your existing outside outlet to give you one or two spots for lights and other gear. With the two-plug option, you can control each one independently. The Kasa app allows you to set a schedule, timer, runtime and more for each plug, so you can automate when those string lights over the deck turn on. Additionally, they work with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you don’t even need to pick up your phone most of the time. Plus, 300 feet of WiFi range means you shouldn’t have trouble connecting these to your home network for use.

Buy Kasa outdoor smart plug at Amazon - $25

Sony SRS-XB13

Sony SRS-XB13
Sony

When you need tunes outside, whether that’s at home or on the go, Sony’s tiny XB13 speaker is a great option. Its small size makes it insanely portable, but it still manages big sound thanks to Sony's Extra Bass feature and Sound Diffusion Processor. It’s rated IP67 for dust- and water-proofing so taking it outside shouldn’t incite anxiety. What’s more, it has a UV coating for protection from the sun. You can use the XB13 for hands-free calls and employ two of them at once for a stereo pair. It lasts up to 16 hours on a charge and will only set you back $60.

Buy SRS-XB13 at Amazon - $58

Brumate Toddy and Toddy XL

Brumate Toddy
Brumate

I’ve been a big fan of Brumate’s beverageware since I bought myself a Hopsulator Trio for a beach vacation a few years ago. I still use it all the time, during both warm and cool months. However, when the temperatures begin to dip, I tend to reach for hot beverages more often, so Brumate’s Toddy insulated mug is a better option. The cup works well to keep drinks hot or cold and the trademark feature is the spill-proof lid. That thing has saved me from massive cleanup more times than I can count. The regular Toddy can hold 16 ounces while the Toddy XL doubles the capacity to 32 ounces.

Buy Brumate Toddy starting at $30

The best wireless earbuds you can buy right now

In the last two years, true wireless earbuds have made quite the leap. There’s no doubt the popularity of Apple’s AirPods helped make these headphones a mainstay, but companies’ ability to offer reliable connectivity, great sound and active noise cancellation (ANC) in an increasingly smaller form factor has hastened widespread adoption. You can also get features that used to be reserved for premium models on mid-range devices. Of course, the popularity means that new earbuds are popping up all the time and the list of options is longer than ever. To help, we’ve compiled the best wireless earbuds you can buy right now, including noteworthy features for each selection.

Best overall: Sony WF-1000XM4

Sony totally overhauled its true wireless earbuds with a new design, more powerful noise cancellation, improved battery life and more. However, the choice to change to foam tips leads to an awkward fit that could be an issue for some people. The M4 is also more expensive than its predecessor, which wouldn’t be a big deal if fit wasn’t a concern.
Billy Steele/Engadget

No one comes close to Sony’s true wireless earbuds with its overall mix of sound and features. That was true of the WF-1000XM3 in 2019 and the company distanced itself even further from the competition earlier this year with the WF-1000XM4. A smaller design offers a better fit, but Sony still packed in the features — from adaptive ANC and wireless charging to 360 and high-res audio support. The company’s app gives you the ability to let the M4s do a lot of the adjustments for you based on activity and location. What’s more, tools like speak-to-chat, although imperfect, are handy when you need to have a quick conversation.

I’m not a huge fan of the new foam ear tips, but based on other reviews, I’m in the minority there. Still, it’s easy enough to find alternatives, and those tips shouldn’t deter you from an otherwise excellent set of buds.

Buy WF-1000XM4 at Amazon - $278Buy WF-1000XM4 at Best Buy - $280


Runner up: Master & Dynamic MW08

With its latest true wireless earbuds, Master & Dynamic continues to refine its initial design. The company improved its natural, even-tuned trademark sound to create audio quality normally reserved for over-ear headphones. There are some minor gripes, but M&D covers nearly all of the bases for its latest flagship earbuds, which are undoubtedly the company’s best yet.
Billy Steele/Engadget

Master & Dynamic typically stands out from other audio brands due its attention to detail when it comes to design. When most companies are using spruced-up plastic, M&D chooses aluminum, ceramic and leather — even for its true wireless earbuds. The leather is reserved for its headphones, but Master & Dynamic still pairs premium elements with a stellar set of features on the MW08. 12-hour battery life, improved noise cancellation and excellent sound quality are the highlights, plus the company reduced the overall size of the earbuds for a better fit.

Buy MW08 at Amazon - $349Buy MW08 at Master and Dynamic - $349


Best budget: Anker Soundcore Spirit Dot 2

Anker Soundcore Spirit Dot 2
Engadget

Sure, there are cheaper options, but for $80, it’s hard to beat the Anker Soundcore Spirit Dot 2. These true wireless earbuds are smaller than a lot of the competition which makes them more comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. Anker also delivers ample bass, which means they can handle hip-hop, electronic and other genres better than many budget buds. They’re also IPX7 rated, so they’ll easily double as your new workout partner.

Buy Soundcore Spirit Dot 2 at Amazon - $80


Best for iOS: AirPods Pro

AirPods Pro
Billy Steele / Engadget

There’s no denying that AirPods are extremely popular among iPhone owners. And there’s a good reason. The earbuds integrate seamlessly with iOS. Plus, the more recent models offer hands-free access to Siri, on top of core features like quick pairing. In addition to active noise cancellation, the AirPods Pro have one very important thing the “regular” AirPods don’t: comfort. And when you factor in the spatial audio improvements in iOS 14, the Pro model is well worth the extra investment at this point.

Buy AirPods Pro at Amazon - $250


Best for Android: Pixel Buds A-Series

Google Pixel Buds Series A
Engadget

In 2020, Google debuted redesigned true wireless Pixel Buds. They were a massive improvement over the original model, but they were also far from perfect. Instead of issuing a minor update in 2021, the company took nearly all of the best features and put them in the more affordable Pixel Buds A-Series. Hands-free access to Google Assistant, handy language translation and actionable notifications will help with tasks and productivity while improved sound quality makes the A-Series a better option for music than its predecessor.

Buy Pixel Buds A-Series at Best Buy - $100


Best overall sound quality: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
Engadget

Sennheiser made quite the leap from its first true wireless earbuds to version 2.0. The company figured out the touch controls, extended the battery life and added active noise cancellation. The Momentum True Wireless 2 is also the best sounding set of true wireless earbuds we’ve tested. As we noted during our review, Sennheiser consistently creates an audio profile that highlights minute details of songs, from the subtle attack of acoustic guitar strumming to the deep sub of synths and drum machines. The company’s trademark tone is warm, pleasant and inviting. The downside is these are pricey at around $300 and you can find better battery life (and wireless charging) elsewhere. In terms of pure audio quality though, this is the clear top pick.

Buy Momentum True Wireless 2 at Amazon - $300Buy Momentum True Wireless 2 at Best Buy - $300


Best overall noise cancellation: Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
Engadget

It’s no surprise Bose built a set of true wireless earbuds with impressive active noise cancellation. The company has spent years perfecting its QuietComfort technology to block out the world around you. Most of the time, that’s easier said than done with true wireless, but Bose’s QuietComfort Earbuds stand above the rest in the ANC department. The company allows you to select one of 11 levels of noise cancellation in its app and you can assign three of those to the on-board controls for quick access. It doesn’t match the isolation of its over-ear headphones, but Bose is clearly ahead of the true wireless competition when it comes to blocking unwanted noise.

Buy QuietComfort Earbuds at Amazon - $279Buy QuietComfort Earbuds at Best Buy - $279


Best mid-range: Samsung Galaxy Buds 2

With the Galaxy Buds 2, Samsung adds active noise cancellation to its most affordable true wireless earbuds. This successor to the Galaxy Buds+ are smaller and more comfortable with premium features like wireless charging and adjustable ambient sound. However, ANC performance is only decent and there’s no deep iOS integration like previous models. Still, at this price, Samsung has created a compelling package despite the sacrifices.
Billy Steele/Engadget

Samsung’s recent Galaxy Buds have all been well-designed — perhaps with the exception of the Galaxy Buds Live — and offer a comfy fit due to their small size. The company merged its noise-cancelling Galaxy Buds Pro with the more affordable Galaxy Buds+ to create the Galaxy Buds 2. At $150, this true wireless model remains tiny and comfortable with improved audio quality, adjustable ambient sound and wireless charging. That combination of features makes the Galaxy Buds 2 a solid option for the Android faithful that won’t break the bank.

Buy Galaxy Buds 2 at Amazon - $150Buy Galaxy Buds 2 at Best Buy - $150


Honorable mention: Beats Studio Buds

Beats Studio Buds review
Billy Steele/Engadget

Beats is no stranger to true wireless earbuds, but until recently, the only option was its over-the-ear hook design that isn’t for everyone. With the Studio Buds, the company offers a more “traditional” true wireless fit and surprisingly balanced sound. Plus, the small size keeps things comfortable, even during extended listening sessions. iOS users get hands-free access to Siri and the company offers Android users a similar quick-pairing experience iPhone owners have enjoyed on previous Beats headphones.

Buy Studio Buds at Amazon - $150


Honorable mention: Jabra Elite 75t

Jabra Elite 75t wireless earbuds
Billy Steele / Engadget

Jabra’s true wireless earbuds are always a solid option, offering a lot of features for less than the typical premium flagship prices. The company made an impression with its Elite 65t earbuds in 2018 and followed up in late 2019 with the new-and-improved Elite 75t. Jabra redesigned nearly everything, offering smaller buds with a better fit, in addition to improved sound quality, longer battery life and optional wireless charging. The company also added ANC via a firmware update in 2020, so these don’t seem outdated by any means.

Buy Jabra Elite 75t at Amazon - $150Buy Jabra Elite 75t at Best Buy - $150

A LEGO Sony Walkman Sounds Like a Great Idea

Back in the days before streaming, MP3s, and CDs (and dinosaurs still roamed the Earth), all the cool kids had a Sony Walkman. This portable cassette player was a revolution for those wanting to listen to their tunes on the go and sold more than 200 million units by the time Sony stopped production of its cassette-based Walkmans in 2010. Now, thanks to one clever LEGO creator, we could soon be carrying a Walkman again. This 1:1 scale replica is based on the Walkman WM-22, which wasn’t the first Walkman, but it was the first truly affordable model, and it also looks pretty great in this red color with matching LEGO headphones.

Of course, there are two big differences between brick-builder Jerac’s LEGO Walkman and a real Sony Walkman: 1) you have to assemble this one yourself, and 2) the LEGO one doesn’t play music. Of course, it’s possible that if LEGO decides to build this – and Sony decides to play ball with the licensing – that they could come up with a clever way for it to play music. Wouldn’t it be cool if it worked as a digital media player, and the controls actually worked? And to show your significant other that you love them enough to make them a mixtape? Well, I can dream, I suppose. But even if the LEGO Walkman doesn’t play music, I’d still buy one. I mean, look at it. It’s too cool not to.

If you dig the idea of a LEGO Sony Walkman, take a stroll over to the LEGO Ideas site and show your support with a vote. If the project gets enough votes, it could go into production. It’s already got more than 4,000 supporters, and once it hits 10,000 it goes to LEGO’s expert review team for consideration. Cast your votes and let’s see if we can help make it a reality.

[via Gizmodo Japan]

Sony debuts original sustainable packaging as part of its initiative to achieve a zero environmental footprint by 2050!

Brands across the globe have taken green initiatives to communicate to consumers their commitment to sustainability. While some companies are rolling out products with longer life cycles that reduce waste and overall consumption, other brands are seeking out sustainable building materials for their products and their packaging. Multinational conglomerate Sony has commenced its own sustainability effort by sourcing recycled paper goods and building material from locally grown annuals to replace their previous packaging, which came from mature perennial trees.

Sony’s Original Blended Material, the brand’s new sustainable packaging, consists of 100% paper material derived from bamboo, sugarcane, and post-consumer recycled paper. Whereas most paper packaging comes from mature perennial trees, Sony’s new Original Blended Material is responsibly harvested from annuals like bamboo and sugarcane, generating less CO2 in the process. Annuals, like bamboo, carry CO2 absorption and emission cycles that last only for one year, decreasing the perennials’ emission cycles that can last several decades by more than half. Similarly, the release of CO2 gas emissions given off from sugarcane fiber production for power generation is halted by using the fiber as one of Sony’s Blended Materials. While the bamboo and sugarcane fiber is both sustainably grown and harvested in local farms, Sony also cuts back on shipping and handling by incorporating post-consumer recycled paper goods into the Blended Material, giving packages a crisp, organic look.

Currently, Sony has developed the Blended Material specifically for their new WF-1000XM4 headphones, but future variations of the organic packaging accommodate differently shaped products by adjusting the construction formula. In addition to acquiring sustainably sourced building materials and cutting back on the effects of shipping and handling, Sony’s Original Blended Material ditches ink for embossed signatures and supplemental package coloring for a more organic look.

Designer: Sony

By adjusting the construction formula, Sony’s new Original Blended Material can be made to fit differently shaped and sized products.

Sony ditches ink for embossing their signature.

Without coloring, Sony’s Original Blended Material achieves an organic look.

Constructed for their new WF-1000XM4 headphones, Sony’s Original Blended Material echoes Sony’s initiative to eliminate plastic packaging from newly designed small products, an initiative set for their medium-term environmental target for ‘green management’ by 2025.

Sony is disrupting the photography industry with its Airpeak S1 drone that can mount ANY Sony Alpha camera





Sony is probably the only company at the moment to be able to boast of having a robust camera as well as a burgeoning aerial-tech business. It’s preceded only by GoPro, which launched the Karma drone back in 2016 and discontinued it in 2018 after a very tepid response. GoPro’s cameras, however, are still some of the most popular payload options to add on existing drones, but that pales in comparison to what Sony is offering. Sony’s first drone, the Airpeak S1, is a large pro-level drone that is designed to carry a gimbal along with a full-size mirrorless Sony Camera. It expands what your existing camera is capable of, and essentially means your professional camera (and its lenses) can now take to the skies, capturing professional-grade image and video content.

Make no mistake, the Airpeak S1 isn’t your average drone. It isn’t meant for FPV racing or for consumer-grade aerial shots like drones from DJI or Parrot. The Airpeak S1 is the kind of drone a high-budget photographer or cinematographer would use for taking film-grade shots. The drone comes built entirely by the folks at Sony, engineered to work seamlessly with a 3-axis gimbal and a host of Sony’s cameras, including the A1, A911, A7s111, A7RIV, and FX3 cameras, along with E-Mount lenses between 14mm and 85mm.

The Airpeak S1 is currently the smallest drone ever made to be able to carry a full-size camera. Measuring 644mm in total span, the drone’s most compelling features are its ability to go from 0-50mph in 3.5 seconds, and its stability and wind resistance, making it perfect for aerial shots no matter the weather… although those figures change with different cameras and lenses. According to Sony, the Airpeak can stay stable in winds of up to 44.7 miles per hour, a feat made possible by the 5 additional stereo cameras located on the drone that help it constantly optimize its performance, along with an infrared range-finder that actively helps it avoid obstacles.

For now, the Airpeak S1 can either be controlled via its remote, or the Airpeak Flight app, which will be available later this year only for iOS devices. Sony has worked with drone gimbal experts at Gremsby to develop a bespoke 3-axis stabilizer for the Airpeak S1, although this will be available as an additional purchase. The drone and gimbal can both be controlled singularly by the remote that can hook up to an iPad for viewfinding purposes. Somewhere down the line, Sony will allow the drone and the gimbal to be operated independently (allowing one person to take on piloting activities while the other person oversees cinematography). While launching the drone, Sony also announced that it was working on a cloud-based app called Airpeak Base, that would let users plot automated flight routes and manage a fleet of Airpeak drones.

The Airpeak S1 currently exists as an incredibly niche product that’s made for professional use. Just the drone itself comes with a whopping $9,000 price tag (the gimbal and camera cost extra), which definitely puts it in a class of its own, but then again, the drone lets you mount 8K cameras on it along with a wide range of lenses. While this isn’t something that would probably excite consumers, it opens up an entirely new class of drones, which could one day even work with smartphones (imagine an Apple-branded drone that works with your iPhone 12 Pro).

Sony’s $9,000 drone will be made available at the end of this year – For that price tag, you’ll get the drone along with 2 batteries, a charger, and a remote. The Airpeak S1 still awaits approval from the FAA, although Sony’s even made it clear that the production and manufacturing of all the drone’s hardware is happening in Japan, in light of US legislation and controversies around all drones being manufactured in China.

Designer: Sony

PlayStation 5 “Pro” edition concept looks like a shiny Roomba-shaped gaming console

It says a lot about the PS5’s design that concept artists are still trying to reimagine its aesthetic as something more traditional and less alien-like. The PS5 “Pro” comes from the mind of Anesthétique Projets, who also developed the PlayStation 5G, a handheld PS Vita-styled concept that made the most of the console/mobile gaming crossover. Now, the NY-based designer is back with an overhaul of the ‘polarizing’ PS5 design. Titled the PlayStation 5 Pro, the console borrows from the circular elements seen on the 1st gen PlayStation and its younger sibling, the curvier PS One. Its back-to-basics design even sports an updated version of the DualShock 4 controllers that pair well with the console’s flat cylindrical design.

It’s safe to say that Anesthétique Projet’s approach to designing the PS5 involved bringing a sense of ‘normalcy’ back into the console’s design language. The PS5 Pro’s design language takes on a very “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” vibe with its simple circular design that pays a hat-tip to the original PlayStation. It does, however, have the proportions of a Roomba, although with that glorious brushed metal finish, that’s a Roomba I would gladly own. The front is rather simple, with a CD slot and two USB-C ports (to charge your controllers), while the back is where all the magic is, with an 8K HDMI out, ethernet, USB-A, and even a digital audio output (there’s no 3.5mm jack in sight).

The controllers should really please PS purists, as they give the DualShock series an upgrade rather than adopting the DualSense style. The base of the controllers play around with a transparent-on-opaque finish, as do the trigger buttons on the back. Titled the DualShock 5 Pro, the controllers come with USB-C ports on the front and the back, and sport the signature Stormtrooper-style black-and-white color-way.

The PlayStation 5 Pro isn’t the first circular concept we’ve seen. In November last year, designer Riccardo Breccia designed a circular PS5 concept too.

Designer: Anesthétique Projets

Sony PS5 gets a DIY vintage hardwood case in this video by our favorite Youtuber. Watch the video!

Matt, of DIY Perks is back again with another custom hack that you can build in the comfort of your own home. This time, the handyman YouTuber designs and constructs a wooden case for his new PS5. DIY Perks starts his process off by disassembling the casing of PS5 to keep only the core of the unit. Left with a compact and thin inner structure, the bulkiest aspect of the PS5’s internal workings is the cool and heat sink. Since the core of PS5 cannot remain leveled on a flat surface, DIY Perks evens out the structure with a few hexagonal PCB pillar supports. Then, using long screws, the PS5’s power supply latches and securely fastens on top of the leveled-out inner structure. DIY Perks then takes a sheet of carbon fiber, a tough layer of woven crisscrossing carbon fibers, to form the case’s base plate.

Carved into the base plate, DIY Perks creates holes where the rest of the PS5’s components fit. Next, DIY Perks mounts the system’s fan onto the carbon fiber baseplate, overlaying the fan with a grill to prevent anything from getting caught in the fan’s blades. Divided into two halves, the fan pulls air in through both sides, allowing airflow drawn from the heat sink to exit through the carved hole in the carbon fiber base plate. To direct the airflow from the heatsink to the fan, DIY Perks uses strips of foam, a cue taken from Sony.

With the inner system securely fastened to its new carbon fiber baseplate, DIY Perks begins work on the system’s American walnut wood case. Using a Japanese saw blade, DIY Perks carves angled edges on the walnut wood to create a cubic frame. Before situating and locking the PS5 into place within the wood frame, DIY Perks etches holes for the USB cables to reach their port located inside the wooden frame, on the PS5 system itself. Leaning on the holes he previously carved into the carbon fiber base plate to mount it onto the wooden frame, both pieces easily merge with one another.

With the rear side of the case still exposed, DIY Perks uses a CNC router to carve port slits that work as vents for the system to remain cool. Finally, DIY Perks looks to carbon fiber once more for the case’s lid, where he relies on CNC milling to carve a vent for the fan out of miniature hexagon shapes, marrying them to the walnut frame with matching hexagonal wooden inserts. The refined walnut look of the case is certainly a step away from the original metallic and custom brass casing for the PS5. Understated and sophisticated, the new case from DIY Perks doesn’t demand your attention like the original shiny metallic case, but the rustic elegance of the walnut wood blended with the durability of carbon fiber definitely keeps it.

Designer: DIY Perks

The combination of walnut hardwood framing and carbon fiber covering gives the custom PS5 case a retro feel.

Without a flat surface, when the PS5 is laid horizontally, it doesn’t fit in entertainment consoles.

DIY Perks began by disassembling his PS5.

The cool and heat sink is the bulkiest part of the gaming system.

In order to level out the inner structure, DIY Perks inserted brass washers with varying heights on both ends of the system.

Matt took to a carbon fiber base layer to form the system’s bottom covering.

Matt inserted a grill for the fan’s opening to permit and promote airflow.

Additionally, he inserted a foam strip to direct the airflow.

Using a saw blade to cut the walnut framing’s sides, Matt created a wooden border for the PS5 case.

Hexagonal port holes help to keep the inner workings of the PS5 cooled down.

These PS5 Gaming Earbuds are the perfect addition to Sony’s Playstation hardware ecosystem

Titled the EVOLUTION 3D, these conceptual TWS Gaming Earbuds form the perfect successor to Sony’s Pulse headphones, giving PS5 gamers some much-needed variety.

Every archetype of a gamer involves having a clunky pair of headphones with a microphone, but the EVOLUTION 3D wants to give that cliché an upgrade. By combining powerful gaming hardware with sleek, cutting-edge consumer tech, the EVOLUTION 3D creates allies out of two hardware categories that seldom see an overlap. The TWS earbuds come with the distinct PS5 visual style with the interplay between white and black surfaces. The case comes with an embossed version of the PS logo, and a soft, pebble-inspired form. Pop it open at the seam and it reveals the two earbuds docked in place. Designed to work with all devices but especially with your PS5, the EVOLUTION 3D provides a host of unique features that makes your gameplay much more interesting and immersive.

The earbuds are the brain-child of designer Adam Shen, who saw a void in Sony’s PS5 hardware offering and decided to fill it up. Visually, they fit perfectly into the PS5 lineup, although functionally, I wouldn’t be surprised if hardcore gamers still decided to stick to wired headsets. However, the conceptual EVOLUTION 3D earbuds make up for it with incredible features. Not only do they come with Active Noise Cancelling, they support 3D Audio too (like the AirPods Max), which means sounds don’t exist in a static space… they move around as you move your head, making the earbuds great for the PS5 but even better for PlayStation VR! If someone at Sony’s reading this, I hope you consider turning this concept into reality!

Designer: Adam Shen

This is a fan-made concept and the Sony PlayStation and PS5 logos are used for representational purposes only.