All posts in “food and drink”

Snap reportedly working on new Spectacles, including two-camera version

Snap, Inc. calls itself a “camera company” so it shouldn’t be all that surprising that it’s working on new versions of its Spectacles hardware (especially since we reported just that last June). But a new report from Cheddar has surprised some with news that Snap is working on a refresh of their hardware´set to launch later this year, as well as a two-camera version planned for 2019.

The camera-equipped Snapchat Spectacles sunglasses, originally released in 2016, were briefly a hot commodity thanks to limited, pop-up retail only availability, but ultimately didn’t impress with total hardware sales and generally lacklustre broader retail launch. At $130, they come in a variety of colors and house a single camera at the joint where the arm meets the front of the frames, which captures circular video for sharing clips on Snapchat.

While some are expressing mystification about why Snap would continue developing this product in light of that performance, I think it makes perfect sense that the Snapchat-maker would take another kick at the can. Spectacles did create a big moment for Snap, for instance, especially in the early days, and that’s the kind of brand advertising that you can’t even buy with a gigantic advertising budget.

Also, if Snap is serious about being a camera company, it won’t give up after one middling attempt. Its apparently planning to build slight improvements into the next new version, intended to ship this fall, per Cheddar, with new colors, water resistance, and performance improvements. But the big changes are being lined up for next year’s model, which could incorporate an aluminum frame design, and 3D-depth effects in videos capture using them thanks to a second camera. Plus, they might also build in GPS for geotagging and a leather case, with a cost increase to around $300 for the premium features.

Spectacles’ disappointing first outing resulted in some significant setbacks for its hardware division, per Cheddar, including layoffs and management turmoil, but now it’s hoping to move forward with its gadget plans and it even acquired a company called FiveLocal, per Cheddar, to help prototype camera tech for various different types of potential gadgets.

Cheddar also reports that Snap is considering partnering with Luxottica and Warby Parker on sales on building camera tech into their existing eyeglasses, though it seems like those discussions are still at an early stage.

As we reported previously, the new report says that Snap is also intending to incorporate augmented reality into future version of Spectacles, including potential Bitmoji AR features.

The Rite Press takes low-tech coffee making to high-tech highs

If coffee be the food of innovation, pour on. Give me excess of it that, surfeiting, the appetite may sicken, and so die. And if you wish to pour me coffee, do so from the Rite Press, a clever hack on the traditional French press that adds a few features that even high-end models don’t have.

The press – which costs $35 for a half-liter model and $40 for the liter model – has hit its goal on Kickstarter and I’ve been able to play with it over the past few weeks. The press features two special features. One is a small, readable thermometer on the plunger that ensures your water temperature is well within the proper range for a good brew. Second, the system includes a magnetic timer that looks like something Hal Solo would use to time his Italian roast.

It also has a very clever removable bottom that lets you clean out the grounds with ease. The Kickstarter ends in thirteen days and they are already well over their goal.

Again, this is some low-tech stuff. You could buy a very basic French press for much less. I particularly like the design here and I suspect we should support the creation of new and unique kitchen gear or else be buried in an avalanche of status quo devices. As a fan of coffee and a fan of good design the RitePress is something I’m happy to get behind.

I, for one, welcome our robotic waffle-stacking overlords

As a fan of both waffles and robots I present to you the FANUC food and beverage manipulation robot, waffle edition. The robot, as you see below, sorts the waffles by color, stacks them, and then another robot grabs them and puts them into a box. And these bad boys can do some heavy lifting. From the site:

We have the largest o­ffering of standard and collaborative robot models with payload capabilities from 0.5 – 2,300 kg. In addition, we provide application software for packaging and palletizing, integrated iRVision® and tracking features, ROBOGUIDE simulation, and Dual Check Safety (DCS) to support all your automation needs.

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If this video of the waffle stacking isn’t sufficient Spectrum presents the following ABB video that involves some very exciting pancake pickup techniques. It’s a great example of what happens when innovation comes to a traditionally artisanal space and should give anyone who is getting a Master’s in Pancake Sorting at Vassar pause.

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If you constantly burn your tongue and never learn your lesson, you need this magic mug

Skipping Starbucks and its line in the morning initially seemed like a time-saver — until you realize your home coffee maker produces java as hot as lava and you have to wait ten minutes anyway. Isn’t this supposed to be the future?

Though multiple temperature-adjusting mugs are out there, a Kickstarter campaign claims that theirs works the fastest and keeps the perfect temperature the longest: meet Thero.

According to the Kickstarter listing, most coffee is poured at 180-200 degrees — ouch. While traditional insulated mugs keep coffee at this temperature for hours, Thero is made of a fancy phase change material that apparently absorbs the extra heat in two minutes, stops this process at the “perfect” temperature of 140 degrees, and keeps it that way for five to six hours. Because getting to the bottom of your cup and sipping cold coffee is not delicious.  

You’re not the only one who consistently burns your tongue on too-hot coffee — the Kickstarter project has far surpassed its goal. Back the campaign, get the early bird prices, and save your tongue here

Want to make fried food without using tons of oil? Try an air fryer.

Raise your hand if you’re constantly trying to eat healthy but your addiction to fried food is ruining it. 

You don’t have to wait until cheat day to eat your favorite treats, you just have to be smarter about how you cook them. With an air fryer, you can whip up your guilty pleasures with a tablespoon or less of oil. This one from Cozyna is on major sale now for 50% off. 

The Cozyna Air Fryer is not only a great deal — it’s also portable, versatile, and has excellent reviews on Amazon. The Air Fryer is about the size of a microwave and, according to the listing on Amazon, can cook almost anything a microwave can. “Fryer” is in the name, but the Air Fryer can also roast and bake. 

People in the reviews have cooked everything from Cornish game hen to pie. If you’re in need of inspiration, an Air Fryer cookbook is included in your order, as well as an e-book with even more recipes. 

You may need to purchase some accessories if you want to get super fancy with it. This bundle includes a pizza pan, two grilling racks, a cake barrel, and a heat-resistant silicone mat that’s compatible with the Cozyna Air Fryer and its more expensive cousin, the Philips Airfryer

Pick up these accessories if you want to be fancy.

Pick up these accessories if you want to be fancy.

Image: Coyzna

This Air Fryer is apparently easy to use for people of all ages. Bobbie, who may be the best reviewer of all time, wrote, “This is so nice. I put one in my cart many times and put it back, saying to my self. you don’t need this. that you are too old, this is for young people. One day I got up and said ‘today is your day my dear!’ I am so glad.” 

Another great thing about having an enclosed fryer with such little oil is that there’s no splatter and your kitchen won’t smell like oil for the rest of the night. Best of all (for us lazy cooks out there) everything is dishwasher safe so you can clean up with minimal effort too.

This deal is only available for Amazon Prime members. If you’re not a member, you can sign up here for a 30-day free trial. Pick up your Air Fryer for 50% off now and kiss that fried food guilt goodbye.