These cyberpunk boots will let you walk inside the metaverse without moving from the spot

We might soon be virtually walking on the moon without leaving our homes, thanks to the Metaverse push. With boots that give off a Pacific Rim vibe, you won’t even have to leave the spot you’re standing on and just moonwalk your way to distant worlds.

Virtual reality has been around for decades, but it was only recently that it had made giant strides in making what was once science fiction a reality. While visuals have significantly improved, the illusion of VR is immediately broken when it comes time to interact with the world. A lot of R&D has been poured into making touch input more believable, but that still leaves the problem of moving around the virtual world unresolved. These funky-looking books straight out of a cyberpunk prop set might offer one solution, and you might not look too ridiculous while using them.

Designer: Ekto VR

We almost have the visuals of VR down to a “T,” but there are still a lot of missing elements to make these digital realities almost feel like the real thing. The metaverse is promising to bring us to new worlds, both real and virtual, but our eyes won’t be the only ones that will be making the journey. Hyundai, for example, is envisioning a way to help humans feel a snowstorm on Mars without actually being there, but that still involves people sitting in place, whether in a room or in a moving car.

Moving around virtual worlds feels very artificial when all that we move are our hands or even just our fingers. In some cases, that might be OK since you probably don’t want to walk miles inside a virtual shopping mall or on a tour of the world’s famous landmarks. When exploring unfamiliar places or inspecting industrial sites, however, you might want to actually get a feel for the environment, including the act of walking.

Ekto VR is one of the latest attempts at solving this problem of Location Interface or LI. Some VR systems try to use treadmills to emulate the action of walking, but that feels just as artificial and as awkward as not walking at all. In contrast, the Ekto VR boots ingeniously use motorized wheels to go in the opposite direction and speed as your feet. The effect is that you feel like you’re walking, and your brain feels like you’re walking, but to the people outside, you look like you’re dancing the moonwalk instead.




The boots won’t be winning any awards for design, at least not yet. This hefty and bulky footwear looks more like prototypes than a finished product, and rightly so. They’re still in the early stages of development, so looking nice isn’t really as a priority yet. Then again, you can always mask your apparel in the metaverse, so it might not matter much what things really look like in the real world.

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Japanese artist’s face masks and wearables give off futuristic, dystopian world vibes

Artist Ikeuchi Hiroto was obsessed with pop culture influences right from his childhood. The cinematic world of the Star Wars, the imaginary robotic animals of Zoids, or the intimidating form of the Gundam. In his early childhood days, Ikeuchi started crafting pieces out of PC parts and models. Later on, when he got hang of things, he graduated to more refined gadgets and mech gear creations to express his cyberpunk love. The artist started using industrial parts and repurposing ready-made plastic to achieve the form for his creations.

Recently the funk-obsessed artist joined forces with Balenciaga to create cyborg creations under the SS 2022 campaign. His largest-ever solo work exhibiting a wide range of high-tech mechanical masks is currently on display in an exhibition in Tokyo.  These masks transform the wearer into a cyborg of sorts, giving them an alienated appearance reminiscent of a future dystopian world. His work mostly employs recycled materials like motherboards and old plastic wiring. The reason is, as he explains, “It’s just that recent products are simple and small, and their parts don’t give me much room for customization, so old products allow me to use more parts for my work.”

The solo exhibition is showcasing the custom mechanical masks, VR headsets, wearable exoskeleton developed by Skeletonics (robotics company), and interactive works developed in collaboration with Prototype Inc. (a design firm). His exoskeletons are the perfect blend between fashion, art and tech – virtually blurring the lines between them all. Working with the icons of the fashion industry, Ikeuchi gave his opinion by saying, “I think it’s great that someone is redefining my work in their own subjective way, just like I use ready-made products in my own contexts.”

The wearables sculptures here are highlighted by the series of headgear having intricate gadgets such as reality masks, headphones and flashdrives. All of the creations function lending each one of them an experimental aesthetic. That privilege is reserved for the buyers of the artwork!

Designer: Ikeuchi Hiroto

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This fashionable smartwatch keeps track of your sleep and the air quality in your room

While most wearables are more focused on what you do when you are awake, this smartwatch is more concerned about getting the best sleep that you can.

Smartwatch sales have exploded in the past two or so years, eclipsing even the older smart fitness band categories, thanks to a sudden interest and obsession over personal health. While it’s good that people are now more conscious about staying active even at home, exercise, movement, and even diet don’t complete the whole fitness picture. Sleep plays an equally important role in staying healthy, and this smartwatch is just as concerned about that as it is with the rest of your body, including the air you breathe in at home.

Designer: Heyok Shin

Most smartwatches these days do keep track of sleep quality or length, but mostly as an afterthought. Sleep, however, is a critical part of our health, and length isn’t the only relevant metric to keep track of. In fact, different people need different amounts of sleep, so there’s no one size fits all recommendation. The ZOS smartwatch tries to take the mystery out of sleep management and analyzes sleeping habits in order to recommend better sleeping times and conditions. It also has features like smart alarms and even ASMR audio recordings to help induce sleep.

The ZOS smartwatch concept doesn’t exactly look like your typical smartwatch, especially with its elongated screen. It is, however, designed for maximum comfort since you are supposed to be wearing it even in your sleep. The choice of magnetic straps and leather material was made with that in mind, ensuring the wearer’s wrist won’t be irritated in the middle of the night, disrupting their sleep.

Sleep management is actually just one-half of the ZOS smartwatch’s purpose. The other half ties into the designer’s other concept, the CLOSSY air purifier and plant care cabinet in one. This smart home concept product can analyze the quality of air inside a room and keep an eye on the plant that will also help purify the air. While these pieces of information can be seen from a smartphone, the ZOS smartwatch is imagined to be the perfect companion for the CLOSSY product.

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The Louis Vuitton ‘Tambour Horizon Light Up’ is a stunning luxury smartwatch with a glowing bezel

Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up Smartwatch

Aside from that beautiful glowing bezel, the Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up smartwatch also comes with the world’s first third-party OS to be bestowed with Apple’s “Made For iPhone” distinction.

Three full years after the company announced the 1st gen Tambour Horizon in 2019, Louis Vuitton is giving the smartwatch a refresh with a newer edition that offers endless customization wrapped within a design boldly and unabashedly highlights the LV brand. The watch comes with a 1.2-inch display that sits within a stainless steel body underneath a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. However, while most smartwatches with displays often fall within the trap of having a bezel (no matter how minimal it may be), the Tambour Horizon Light Up avoids that trap by turning the bezel into an interactive dynamic element too. As its name suggests, the bezel on the Tambour Horizon Light Up comes with Louis Vuitton’s monogram pattern, and 24 LEDs underneath that cause the patterns to glow in a wide array of colors. This gives the smartwatch the illusion of having a 360° ‘waterfall’ display that bends over the edges to create an endless screen effect.

Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up Smartwatch

The Tambour Horizon Light Up is equipped with an always-on display that shows you the time in a variety of customizable styles while also allowing you to access the smartwatch’s host of features either by using the touchscreen or the crown and two buttons on the right side of the watch. Notably, the watch comes with an operating system that’s been accredited with Apple’s “Made for iPhone” certification (while also being compatible with Android and even Huawei’s harmonyOS), and you can swipe right to access a ‘My Day’ tab that lets you view your daily tasks, step-counter, and heart rate. Swiping left, on the other hand, brings you to the Tambour Horizon Light Up’s special ‘My Travel’ page where you can access travel plans, view boarding passes, as well as tap into 30 of Louis Vuitton’s expertly curated city guides. Swiping down reveals your notifications while swiping up lets you view the weather and air quality based on your location.

The Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up is priced rather unsurprisingly at $,3300 (it’s a luxury smartwatch after all). The device will be available for purchase worldwide via Louis Vuitton’s website and at retail stores.

Designer: Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up Smartwatch

Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up Smartwatch

Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up Smartwatch

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Wearable health monitoring gets stylish with these rings that can potentially watch your glucose

If smartwatches and fitness bands aren’t your thing, then something more discreet like this smart ring could still keep you on top of your health.

Although fitness trackers have been around for years, recent events have caused a surge not only in interest but also in sales. The arrival of smartwatches also made it easier for people to keep tabs on their bodies, and the Apple Watch’s plethora of health monitoring features have become the gold standard for these wearables. Not everyone, however, is willing to part with their favorite timepiece, and wearing a rugged-looking fitness band might clash with their preferred fashion style. Fortunately, there are companies already putting a ring on health, and Movano might have the most stylish one to rule them all.

Designer: Movano

Admittedly, there aren’t that many players in this smart ring market, at least the ones that are intended to keep track of health rather than giving wearers some techno-magical powers to control devices. The most notable of this bunch is perhaps Oura, but its style and size definitely don’t appeal to everyone. That’s where the Movano Ring comes in, offering an alternative that specifically caters to women that prefer something less conspicuous and even fashionable.

It’s easy to mistake the Movano Ring as a fashion accessory rather than a health tracker, coming in Gold, Silver, Copper, and Black colors. The open-loop or twisted design gives it more personality while also ensuring that it can adjust to any finger size. More importantly, you won’t see the bare electronics underneath, unlike on the Oura, at least if product renders are to be believed.

 

Movano’s wearable isn’t just a pretty face, though, and it promises the staple features you’d find on larger wearables. That includes measuring heart rate and heart rate variability, sleep, respiration, temperature, blood oxygen levels, steps, and calories. It correlates this data and transforms them into information and advice that most people will be able to understand, rather than having to rely on charts and graphs to try and make sense of all the figures.

The one thing holding back the Movano Ring is its availability, which might not happen until later this year. That does give it enough time to get FDA approval for some of the features that require regulatory clearance first. Even while preparing its first product, the young startup is already settings its sights high, putting resources into R&D for non-invasive glucose monitoring and cuffless blood pressure measuring, which could quickly put it ahead of the competition.

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Top 10 Apple Watch Accessories of 2021

Nightwatch Magnifying Apple Watch Charging Dock

Currently, the Apple Watch is the most popular watch globally, and this honestly doesn’t come as much of a surprise when you consider the number of people you see jogging or walking on the street with their Apple Watch armed on their wrists. In celebration of this one-of-a-kind watch, and in anticipation of what its latest version may unveil, we’ve curated a collection of nifty accessories that will perfectly complement your beloved Apple Watch. From the most inventive Apple Watch charging dock you’ll ever see to an accessory that lets you wear your Apple Watch as an armband for an improved workout experience – we’ve put together a range of diverse and interesting Apple Watch accessories that even hardcore Apple lovers will go gaga over!

1. The NightWatch

Nightwatch Magnifying Apple Watch Charging Dock

Nightwatch Magnifying Apple Watch Charging Dock

The NightWatch is a pretty simple accessory that enhances your Apple Watch’s abilities. It doesn’t come with its own charger but will let you hook your Apple Watch’s charger into it. Once assembled, you can easily slide your Apple Watch into its unique design, and that calibrated glass lens on the front enlarges the screen like a magnifying glass would, making numbers much more visible when your watch is in Nightstand mode. It comes with a patented system that even lets you tap the glass surface to ‘wake’ up your Apple Watch’s display, so you can read the time clearly… and when your watch’s alarm begins ringing, special acoustic channels designed in the NightWatch charging dock’s base help amplify your watch’s audio, making that alarm much louder. The NightWatch, unfortunately, doesn’t have a snooze button, so you’ll need to pull the smartwatch out of its dock to stop or snooze your alarm!

2. The ActionBand

While we use our Apple Watches outside of the gym, keeping an eye on our workout’s progress with activity tracking always helps to push our limits. Designing a new wristband made specifically for working out with your Apple Watch, Apple-inspired design group Twelve South created the ActionBand, a sweatband that can hold your Apple Watch. When working out, our grips make all the difference. So when sweat comes into play, a tight grip around dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells becomes harder to maintain. No one wants to lose out on activities that might close our rings though, so Twelve South developed a solution.

3. Bellroy’s Apple Smartwatch Straps

Bellroy Leather Strap for Apple Watch

The smartwatch straps from Bellroy come with a durable elastomer base for comfort and to prevent slipping, but are then finished off with a wonderfully eye-catching eco-tanned leather top. The leather-elastomer blend gives the watch the best of both worlds. The leather brings back the watch’s most trusted strap material, giving the watch an authentically classic appeal, while the elastomer base on the strap prevents it from slipping on your wrist. Since the Apple Watch’s main hardware is fairly heavier than most regular watches, it succumbs to the effects of gravity, which is why having a rubbery base to the strap helps. A texture on the underside also promotes breathability, so the strap never makes your skin feel sweaty.

4. The ActionSleeve 2

Apple accessory designer Twelve South has released the ActionSleeve 2The ActionSleeve 2’s unique design ensures the Apple Watch Series 4 (and later) always remains in constant contact with the body, so there is no discrepancy in tracking parameters on the Fitness app. Most of us would prefer wearing the Apple Watch in its default position and deem the band worthless. In fact, that would be the case until you want to put on a pair of boxing gloves! The ActionSleeve 2 armband is meticulously designed to give people more flexibility to keep using the Apple Watch when an activity or sporting gear may restrict wearing it on the wrist or lead to discomfort. “If you’ve ever changed your Apple Watch band, you already know how ActionSleeve 2 works: 1. remove your current Apple Watch band, 2. push the Apple Watch “body” into the back of ActionSleeve 2 and 3. strap ActionSleeve 2 on, tighten and go. Your screen, crown, and button remain fully accessible and functional.” Twelve South explains.

5. The WristCam

With all the possible goodness – health and fitness tracking and everything – Apple Watch cannot click pictures standalone, it remotely triggers the iPhone to pull off the trick. This is where the Wristcam steps in, giving Apple Watch the ability to click pictures by itself. The front-mounted 8MP camera can shoot images in 4K resolution while recording videos in Full HD. The selfie camera can be used for video calling – or either camera for live-streaming. The Wristcam comes with its own 8GB of storage and a battery good enough for a day’s fun. According to the company, the Wristcam is water-resistant up to 1-meter, it connects to the Apple Watch over Bluetooth Low Energy, and with the iPhone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

6. Satechi’s Magnetic Dock

Like all of Satechi’s products, the USB-C Magnetic Charging Dock comes with Apple-certified MFI charging and works across all generations of the Apple Watch. The dock plugs right into the side of the iPad Pro or the MacBook Pro, although you could just as easily use it with any power bank too. The sleek aluminum design does a pretty good job of blending in with Apple’s design language, while inbuilt magnets securely hold onto your watch as it charges, allowing you to dock your iPad on a stand without worrying about the watch slipping or falling off. Neat, eh? Maybe you could even use it as a small extended display too, running a timer, your clock, or the weather app right beside your screen as you work or browse the web!

7. The 2 in 1 Apple Devices Charging Stand

Inspired by the daily sunrise, industrial designer Taesung Yoon has thought of the 2 in 1 Apple Devices Charging Stand (yes, that’s the name of this accessory) that does what it says. Designed after feedback from the data-driven research and realizing what people actually want in their unified Apple charging stand, this accessory has been cleverly designed for form and function. The charging stand’s vertical stance with a slightly arched top means that the iPhone sits comfortably without the fear of accidentally toppling it over with an accidental shove. Likewise, the possibility of using it for watching multimedia content is also there. The same port is used for charging the AirPods Pro when needed. Right behind this port is the space for setting up the Apple Watch for refueling in style. So, you can charge your iPhone and Apple Watch at the same time.

8. The Omnia Q5

The OMNIA Q5 is a nifty docking and charging station that replaces your drawer of cables. Designed as a slick, compact dock that can fit on even the smallest night-stand, or the corner of your work-desk, the OMNIA Q5 lets you organize and charge all your Apple gadgets at once, supplying the right amount of power to each one of them to charge them rapidly and simultaneously. Designed to be an integral part of your ecosystem of Apple products, the OMNIA Q5 acts as an organizer for your gadgets. It docks them in individually assigned areas (so they’re always neatly arranged) and charges them too – wirelessly for the most part, except the iPad which needs a cable with USB-C input.

9. The Wristfit

Elago’s products are just sensible and help you use your Apple products more efficiently. Take for instance the Wristfit, a band for your Apple Watch that lets you conveniently dock your Airpods in them too. At the time of their release, the Airpods were criticized for being too ‘easy to lose’. This spawned a wide variety of products like the Elago Airpods strap that helped you secure your expensive earpieces in place, eliminating the danger of losing them. The Wristfit is another such ‘sensible’ product that simply gives you the ability to dock your Airpods on your Apple Watch. Keeping them in a place that’s easy to access, the Wristfit secures the Watch around your wrist, and the Airpods right on the strap like a sort of holster for your earphones. Push them right in when you’re not using them and you won’t have to worry about them at all.

10. Nisbet’s Apple Watch Packaging

Inspired by the packaging design for the iPod, Nisbet adopted a clear and transparent package for the Apple Watch as well. The transparent packaging comes in two parts, one protects the screen of the watch, whereas the other part forms a protective layer around the strap. But here’s where it becomes interesting, the packaging of the strap has been designed in such a way, that you can slide it on and off! This allows you to try on straps of different styles, letting you mix and match, till you settle on a combination that you like. You can try on the various packaged straps on your hand, so you can see how they would actually look on you! The clear protective layer ensures that no one actually ends up touching the straps, and they are in pristine condition, preventing them from getting dirty or contaminated before they are even sold (especially useful in these COVID-19 times).

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This framed disassembled Apple Watch reveals its inner technical beauty, making it the ultimate gift for Apple lovers

You know how they say mechanical watches are things of sheer beauty with their intricate movements and delicate designs? Well, the same holds true for smartwatches too. The folks at GRID are on a mission to capture the beauty that lies beneath our favorite tech products, like this Apple Watch 1st Gen. Disassembled into all its tiny parts, this framed version of the Apple Watch shows how gracefully intricate our tech is (even if it’s mass-produced), and how much thought and consideration went into designing and engineering this technical marvel.

GRID takes our favorite tech devices (from iPhones and Watches to even GameBoys) and turns them into exploded mosaics that feel like looking at an intricate jigsaw puzzle that’s been pulled apart. This particular framed unit explores the insides of the 1st Gen Apple Watch (also colloquially referred to as Series 0). The frame houses all of the Apple Watch parts underneath a glass panel, all mounted and labeled to perfection. Arrows on the canvas even show where each of the parts fit, giving you a more detailed appreciation of the smartwatch we often take for granted on our wrist!

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This particular framed edition shows the watch in gold, with its anodized aluminum body. A close look shows the beautifully machined crown on the side, the sensors on top, the strap fixtures, and a machined hole for where the home button would normally sit.

As your eyes move along, you notice all the other parts of the watch that make it whole, from the single-core S1 chip to the touchscreen display, the speakers, battery, taptic engine, and all the ribbon cables that connect these parts together.

There’s definitely a certain beauty to the Apple Watch’s complexity, like looking at a da Vinci painting up close so you can see every single brushstroke, crack in the paint, and the canvas texture. If you’re a tech-lover, futurist, and nerd like me, this is no less than looking at the Mona Lisa! GRID, however, produces a very limited number of these framed units (there are only so many 1st Gen Apple watches you can get your hands on, right? For the most part, all these framed pieces are pre-loved (second hand), to help keep the overall cost of the piece down. This one you’re looking at ships worldwide for $199 in a 13×13-inch frame.

Designer: GRID Studio

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This sleek wearable band tracks your daily activities to create smart recovery regimes for you!

Maintaining an active lifestyle, that encourages good health and fitness has become a top priority for most of us these days. We usually set up fitness goals, that we then focus on with an eagle eye vision! At least, I attempt to. Wearable tech can be an absolute boon in helping us achieve these fitness goals! Fitness trackers and watches help us monitor our everyday progress, and keep an eye on how well we are truly doing. PAL is one such wearable device that beautifully simplifies and integrates activity and recovery tracking into a sleek, futuristic, and fashionable wearable. The wearable doesn’t include a digital display, so the activity tracker has been given a minimal and subtle form while being amped with innovative and not-so-minimal tech.

PAL consists of a simple band, with an identifiable pill-shaped motif on the front and the rear of the product. The pill-shaped motif on the rear of the band outlines the interaction zone. You simply double-tap it, to start the tracker and double-tap it again when you want to shut the tracking. The intuitive physical user interface completely eliminates the visual clutter often found on other conventional fitness trackers and watches.

PAL has been equipped with an accompanying Wahoo+PAL app, that utilizes the tracking data collected by the band, to log your activities and vitals. It also uses this data to create a smart recovery regime on your smartphone, once you stop your activities. PAL’s adaptive ecosystem subtly works in the background tracking and creating regimes without reminding you of its existence. So, you can actually focus on the activity at hand, and be present in the moment.

PAL’s soft-touch polymer band and moisture-wicking fabric perfectly merge great aesthetics with high performance, creating a unique fitness tracker that helps you achieve your fitness goals, while also complimenting your everyday lifestyle!

Designer: Angus Chung

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OPPO Air Glass is what the Google Glass wishes it became when it grew up…




In a space where tech giants are eyeing the gold rush of augmented and mixed reality dream, OPPO is taking a detour of its own to craft assisted reality display that looks more exciting and practical for heaven’s sake!

At the annual INNO Day 2021 event, the Chinese company has introduced a cool-looking wearable that takes a very distinct approach to the concept of smart glasses. In fact, it is a monocle worn on one side of the custom glass frame to interact with the world around in a non-intrusive manner. Called the OPPO Air Glass, the lightweight wearable is built to display important information at a glance, not obstructing the real-world view in any way. OPPO likes to categorize this smart glass as an assisted reality (or aR) wearable rather than one that’s close to augmented reality. That’s because of the 2D information projected in the field of view of the user as opposed to overlaying the 3D objects.

Air Glass will be a more practical option for the speculated Apple Glasses, and the Google Glass which didn’t entice geeky users that much. The OPPO’s version is made for delivering simpler but timely information in a very non-obstructive way by attaching (via magnetic ports) to a more conventional glass frame. Things like step-by-step navigation while biking, real-time translation (for Chinese, English and Japanese), calendar alerts, weather updates, fitness tracking data, and even teleprompter applications. Users can interact with the monocle glass with voice, hand gestures, head movements and the touch of the fingers.

According to OPPO the lens measures just 0.7mm thick and is inspired by the wings of a cicada. Waveguide display on the Air Glass has a tiny projector -measuring the size of a coffee bean – with Spark Micro Projector to beam monochrome content (in 16-level grayscale or 256-level grayscale) that won’t hurt your eyes with constant usage. The wearable weighing just 30g is powered by the Qualcomm Wear 4100 SoC. It has a battery backup of three hours on active usage and 40 hours on standby.

The cool monocle glass will come in two frame design options, a silver half-frame or a black full-frame in either black or white color options. OPPO Air Glass will be available initially only for Chinese users in limited numbers by the Q1 2022 for an undisclosed price tag.

Designer: OPPO

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With precise temperature settings, this portable neck warmer is here to keep you warm this winter

005G is a neckwarmer designed by Xiaoming for cold winter mornings when hitting the snooze button is all too tempting.

As the seasons change, our bodily needs do too. With winter quickly approaching, the cold, dry air has us shopping for winter accessories like weighted blankets, moisturizers, and steam inhalers. Despite having the heater turned all the way up to stave off the cold, an extra blanket or pair of fuzzy socks always brings just the right amount of coziness. Industrial designer Xiaoming is bringing coziness to this winter season with 005G, a neck warmer that drapes around your shoulders just like a warm towel.

When we first wake up on chilly winter mornings, the last thing we want to do is leave our warm bed sheets and comforters. If only everyone could have heated floors and in-house towel warmers. While we wait for our heated tiles and hot towels to get here, consider 005G the winter accessory that’ll keep us cozy in the meantime.

Shaped like a pair of over-ear headphones, 005G slips around your neck and emanates warmth from its plush, velvet covering to the skin of your neck. With an adjustable temperature dial, users can change the amount of heat they’d like to come from 005G. For cold winter mornings, when hitting the snooze feels more tempting than ever, 005G is there to get us out of bed.

While 005G is primarily designed to keep us cozy and warm in the cold, it’s the perfect accessory for neck pain as well. There’s nothing worse than waking up in the morning with a stiff neck, especially because there’s nothing you can do about it other than wind your neck back and crack it. To keep comfortable while dealing with neck issues like stiff muscles, 005G provides enough warmth to keep us from thinking about the pain.

Designer: Xiaoming

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