Connect with us

Gadgets

Casper announces the Glow — a portable, sleep-friendly light – TechCrunch

Published

on

Over the past few years, mattress company Casper has expanded its product lineup to include everything from dog beds to nap pillows. (It’s also opened its own nap store.) The latest addition: the Glow, an $89 light.

While the company has never made this kind of internet-connected hardware before, Chief Strategy Officer Neil Parikh pitched the Glow as part of Casper’s mission to improve sleep. And although there’s already whole categories of sleep-friendly light bulbs and smart lamps, the Glow has a couple of smart touches that could make it particularly appealing.

The basic use of the Glow is pretty straightforward. You turn it on by flipping it over, and it fills your room with warm LED light. The light then dims to darkness over a 45-minute period — as Chief Product Officer Jeff Chapin put it, it’s “mimicking the setting of the sun and it helps you get sleepier as it dims into lower and lower amplitudes.”

You can control and customize the Glow with a smartphone app, but Chapin said, “There are some people who are never going to download the app and that’s fine.” That’s because the Glow can also be controlled by gesture — flipping it to turn it on and off again, twisting it (when it’s set on a flat surface) to adjust the brightness and wiggling it to get a low light.

The Glow is also portable, so if you wake up in the middle of the night and need to get a glass of water or use the restroom, you can just pick it up and carry it with you, rather than turning on a bright kitchen light. You can also set a wake-up time so that the Glow gradually lights up again.

“We’ve leveraged the good and the bad of light so that it would help you fall asleep, stay asleep and go back to sleep into the night,” Chapin said.

In fact, if you’re a frequent traveler who struggles with jet lag, you can even “freeze” the settings, pack the Glow in your suitcase and take it with you to your destination, though Chapin admitted, “We don’t know how many people are going to do that.”

In addition to buying a single Glow for $89, you can also get a two-pack for $169. The light comes with a small base for wireless charging.

The Casper team sent me a couple of Glows to try out for myself. I wasn’t able to download the app, but the Glow was indeed largely controllable by gesture. (My only real complaint is that the wiggle-for-dim-light only worked sporadically for me.)

Keep in mind that I didn’t have a particularly sophisticated or sleep-friendly lighting setup before this, and that it’s hard to know how I would have slept on any given night without the Glow. Still, I can say that I found myself getting sleepier as the light dimmed, and I seemed to pass out more quickly and reliably than normal. And since the Glow is pretty small (five inches tall and three inches wide), it was easy to find room for it in my cluttered bedroom, and to carry it around when necessary.

It sounds like Casper has plans for more products that go beyond bedding, addressing broader environmental factors that affect sleep.

“You can expect a lot more from us in the same vein, trying to help people [sleep] across the board, in a multivariate way,” Parikh said. “It’s a very complicated problem.”

Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Gadgets

This enthusiast’s keyboard and trackball used to launch nuclear missiles

Published

on

There’s no telling what you’ll find on eBay—like an old keyboard and trackball originally dedicated to firing off nuclear missiles.

As detailed Tuesday by YouTube channel Pointless Tinkering, an enthusiast bought the keyboard off eBay simply because it “looked awesome” and had “some interesting buttons” saying things like “TRANSMIT,” “ABORT,” and “INITIATE.”

The keyboard and trackball were part of a larger control system for a nuclear missile silo command center. More specifically, the peripherals were part of a console used to launch Minuteman III missiles in the ’80s as part of the US Air Force’s Rapid Execution and Combat Targeting (REACT) program.

As explained by the Cold War history site Nuclear Companion and cited by Pointless Tinkering, “There is one stunning difference between REACT and the old Command Data Buffer (CDB). While the CDB had two separated workstations, in REACT, both crew are side by side. In other words, they operate in a single console with keyboard and trackball included.”

The keyboard has reed switches, which use magnets to actuate. Other parts include an Intel MD82510/B chip as a serial controller, an Intel 8051-family microcontroller, and RS422 communication chips.

After grabbing the keyboard and trackball from eBay and learning about their history, the enthusiast went to work, armed with tools like an Arduino Pro Micro (which eventually got fried) and a programmer for the microcontroller, which he acquired through Dromeda Research. He also repaired the trackball that stopped working after purchase and got both the keyboard and trackball to work with modern computers with a USB port.

“All that reverse engineering led to me creating this little interface, which has the Arduino Micro, which can emulate a mouse and a keyboard,” the owner said. There’s even custom software for the keyboard.

Of course, there’s no RGB lighting, but some keys actually do have LEDs.

Not quite RGB.

Pointless Tinkering also highlighted a “BIT key” that seems to reset the keyboard.

According to the video, both the keyboard and trackball work like regular PC peripherals, save for the Ctrl, Alt, and down keys, making the Nuclear Keyboard, as the video dubbed it, “very hard to use as a normal, daily driver keyboard.”

Pointless Tinkering said he would try to address any issues that pop up in a follow-up video. Despite its flaws, the Nuclear Keyboard is still a fascinating testament to the power of old tech and fresh minds.

Continue Reading

Gadgets

Luna Display lets you wirelessly use a Mac as second Windows monitor

Published

on

Enlarge / A 24-inch iMac used as display for a Windows 11-based Lenovo Thinkpad.

Sometimes you just need more screen space. You can always buy a portable monitor, but what if you could just use the systems already in your home—whether they run Windows or macOS?

Luna Display is a product by Astropad that lets you turn an iPad into a wireless second display. The $130 offering uses a dongle and works with Windows PCs and Macs. Its “headless” mode turns the iPad into the main display for a Mac Mini or Mac Pro.

Luna Display’s 5.1 update, announced this week, adds even more possibilities. The dongle can now be used with any Apple machine—not just an iPad—to provide a second display for your Windows PC or Mac.

An iMac used as wireless display for a MacBook.
Enlarge / An iMac used as wireless display for a MacBook.

You’re not limited to Apple’s desktops or laptops, either; Luna Display now supports adding a 4K or 5K screen to your PC as a second display. That means you could attach the 24-inch iMac with a 4.5K (4480×2520) resolution or a 27-inch iMac with a 5K (5120×2880) resolution to your Windows or Mac PC.

There are some caveats, though. If you plan to connect a 4K or 5K Mac, the machine has to be running at least macOS Big Sur. Any 5K screen connected to your Windows PC will be limited to a 30 Hz refresh rate, which is half the refreshes per second than what’s typical (60 Hz). If you’re using a Mac with Big Sur or later, the refresh rate is increased to 45 Hz. And if you’re “only” connecting a 4K screen, your refresh rate will be 60 Hz, whether the display is connected to a Windows or Apple system.

Other additions with the Luna Display 5.1 update include support for Apple’s Magic Keyboard and trackpad with a Luna Display-connected iPad. Again, this feature works whether the iPad is connected to a Mac or PC.

Note that to use Luna Display in general, you must have a system with Windows 10 64-bit, Build 1809 or later, or macOS 10.11 El Capitan or later as your main PC. The iPad must run iOS 12.1 or later, and you need either 802.11n Wi-Fi or an Ethernet connection.

With Apple and Windows historically living in such separate camps, it’s nice to see a product bring more platform agnosticism for those who aren’t completely committed to one side.

Continue Reading

Gadgets

Microsoft restores individual “default browser” setting in Windows 11 preview

Published

on

Aurich Lawson

It’s been a rough week for Microsoft’s Edge browser in the court of public opinion as users grumbled about the addition of a controversial “buy now, pay later” financing feature and another layer of pop-up messages that tries to dissuade users from installing Google Chrome. But Microsoft isn’t totally unresponsive to user criticism when it comes to Edge—the latest Dev channel Windows Insider build of Windows 11 restores a button in the Settings app for setting your default browser, something that existed in Windows 10 but is missing from the current stable version of Windows 11.

The change, originally spotted by developer Rafael Rivera, adds the default browser button to the top of the Settings app when you navigate to any browser in the “Default apps” section. The button automatically changes the default app for opening http, https, .htm, and .html files and links instead of making users change each of these associations manually (or relying on browser makers to build that capability into their browsers themselves).

For all the other file types that Microsoft Edge can handle, including PDFs, SVG files, and others, you’ll still need to change those associations manually and one at a time. But this is already how the default browser button worked in Windows 10, so it at least represents a reversion to the pre-Windows 11 status quo rather than a new hurdle to jump over.

Features being tested in the Dev channel builds of Windows are usually destined for the operating system’s next major servicing update, which for Windows 11 will happen sometime in the fall of 2022. Recent builds have begun to address some common complaints about Windows 11’s user interface changes, including tweaks to the Start menu and taskbar.

Continue Reading

Trending