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October 2006 Archives

October 13, 2006

Vibrating Laser Balls Organ

small%20balls%202.jpgDidi Vardi enjoys bringing the smart and the useless together as much as we do. The "Vibrating Laser Balls Organ" is a wonderful, real musical instrument inspired by the Animusic's virtual Pipe Dream. Didi and his son Guy schlepped the 400 pound golf-ball-and-aluminum Stradivarius all the way from Israel to perform at Gadgetoff. We wept when we heard the sweet sounds of Titleists careening off extruded aluminum - what other music could possibly soothe the savage geek?

From The New Yorker -

“How long did you work on your vibrating balls?” Yossi asked.

“Four months.”

“And why did you work for four months on this useless piece of equipment?”

“We loved it.”

Autonomous Intersection Management

fcfs-insanity.pngImagine speeding through an intersection at high speed; now imagine everyone doing it - this is exactly what our brilliant friend Peter Stone likes to think about. Peter showed the automobile intersection of the future at this years Gadgetoff. He and his colleague Kurt Dresner have come to the realization that vehicles of the future will be autonomous and as such don't need the traffic light shuffle that we've all grown so weary of. Their intersections do away with traffic lights completely and instead rely on vehicles receiving instructions from the intersection itself. Clever queuing algorithms allow all of the lanes to be active at the same time, even turns across traffic are handled safely. The result is an intersection that handles tons of traffic with minimal delay. Check out AIM and watch the videos for the ride of your life.

The Talk of The Town

In just a few short years, Gadgetoff has gone from a three person casual dinner to New Yorker's The Talk of The Town - who would'a thunk it? Nick Paumgarten wrote a beautiful piece that accurately portrays the insanity of Gadgetoff. The article focuses on Yossi and Didi Vardi whose personal work aptly matches our motto: "Bringing the Smart and the Useless Together." Thank you, Nick, for truly understanding what we are all about! (But let's not get sanguine here: nice words don't give you a free pass to the next Gadgetoff: You had better bring some outrageous technology next time!)

October 16, 2006


Technology is booming in the state of Israel and the site that best covers the frenzy is Gadgetim. We had Roei Deutch, the founder of Gadgetim at this years Gadgetoff. You can read (if you can read hebrew) his musings on his website.

October 26, 2006

Gadgetoff and the Peace Process

Our friend Yossi Vardi who is featured prominently in Nick Paumgarten's New Yorker piece received the following letter from Shimon Peres, former prime minister and current Vice Premier of Israel -

Dear Yossi,

I read the entertaining and charming article about the conference in Governors Island. You are one of a kind . I don’t understand why playing with gadgets is considered "useless". Maybe when we all turn to "useless" there will be no more wars and hatred .

shimon peres

My Shirt Says You're Off Key

tqualizer_anim.gifIt's a t-shirt, it's a spectrum analyzer, it's both!
We've all been to the opera and sat there wondering "Did the diva really hit the high note?" Now you can listen to music in style with the T-Qualizer 8 band audio spectrum analyzer t-shirt. Electroluminescence built into the shirt display the frequency and volume of music real time right on your chest. Just add 4 AAA batteries and you are good to go.

Available from ThinkGeek for $39.99

October 27, 2006

Paris Hilton Pops Up

pop-up-book.jpgIf you were one of the selected few to attend Gadgetoff 2006, you would have ended up with the most wonderful gift book for the holidays. Our friend, Charlie Melcher, who published other books of great social importance such as Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth", has created a book of equal (or greater) significance. "The Pop-Up Book of Celebrity Meltdowns" book features embarassing moments of "the beautiful people" richly-animated in 3D. Melcher, and his design team, finally allow readers to fully reinact OJ Simpson's epic Ford Bronco "chase" - where your finger-pulls bring the action to life. Also, celebrated are Janet Jackson's "Booby Trap"; Tom Cruise "Jumping for Joy"... and Paris Hilton rear-ended. Smart and useless...

Available from Amazon

Put That Ladder Away!

One of the most useful tools I have around the house is my folding ladder. Urban life means dealing with crowded spaces but my ladder folds down to the size of a 2 x 4 for easy storage! The ladder is light weight and easy to use. The ability to store it in my closet (and not lose any space) makes it essential.

Available from Global's Corner Store

Now what do you do once you have your ladder?
Well... Christopher Bauder turns his into instruments and performs some amazing musical and video pieces. Perhaps a trip to the hardware store is in order for all of you budding musicians out there.

October 31, 2006

Man of Fire

Designer Neal Ormond is far too modest.  Some see their name in lights: Neal sees names in fire. He has built the a 96-inch flame display screen, called the "Infernoptix Digital Pyrotechnic Matrix." Using computer-controlled jets of fire, Neal's massive 12 X 7 array presents a visual fire-ballet of words and images synchronizred to music.  You have to see it and FEEL it: this metal matrix screen of flaming nozzles has a percussive mode, where scrolling letters actually send shock waves at the audience.  Neal's experiments with flame have included many other radical designs: a fire helmet, a flaming "battle tank", and many other vehicles and devices of explosive merriment. I want to be Neal when I grow up.

About October 2006

This page contains all entries posted to Gadgetoff - Things We Like in October 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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