Tech Accessories

PowerTower organizational stand stacks devices, cleans up cords

An excess of cords anywhere in the household can be an incredible eyesore, and one that isn’t very easy to fix without some sort of creative solution that hides the wires in some way. It’s difficult sometimes to do so with the sheer number of cords that sprout from the growing number communication peripherals, like routers, people own.

The PowerTower organizes all of these peripherals by offering a four level stand that accommodates a decent number of devices. The product was designed with spaces in its semi-circular base and spine to tuck away the many wires that need to be connected in a clean fashion, reducing the amount of snake-pit like corners in the home.

Six AC and four USB outlets ensure everything needing power gets enough of it. Since it doesn’t itself get out of the way like the WrapAround, as a consequence the stand itself can end up being the eyesore instead as it isn’t the sleekest of designs. The $100,000 campaign is looking to get the $99 PowerTower in homes by May 2015.

Music Tech Accessories

Brick and Bullet make Mac-based music simple and clear

The Premise. The performance stage has changed for musicians in the last few years, as many performers are finding it easier to just connect their equipment through a MacBook and play through AirPlay. However, going beyond what AirPlay was designed to support can cause a wealth of problems, certainly not the least of which is lag between the performance and the outputted audio.

The Product. Really two separate products, the Brick is a Mac mini-like Ethernet switch designed for professional digital audio that can connect to instruments, mixers, amps, and more, bringing it all together to be controlled with a single application. The Bullet is an adapter to connect audio jack-controlled instruments to Ethernet devices like the Brick, bridging analog and digital. The Brick and Bullet setup is natively supported by and MacOS device running Mavericks, including MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, or iMac.

The Pitch., creators of the Brick and Bullet, demonstrate the difference between using AirPlay with an AirPort Express and using a Brick through simply playing the keyboard. It can be almost painful waiting for the sound to come out after each of the keys is hit on the former setup, but with the Brick the two are simultaneous. While the technology behind the Brick and Bullet is certainly a little more than just end user-level stuff, the campaign for the Brick and Bullet keeps things simple and straight to the point, perfect for performers who just want to know if the device will fix their issues. has set its goal at $35,000, largely to finish development of the Bullet.

The Perks. The Brick Ethernet switch will launch in September 2014 and backers who pledge $300 can get their hands on one. For those that want to get the complete rig for live digital audio, a Brick with two Bullets is available at the $850 tier in November, and the set can be custom engraved for $1,500.

The Potential. For performers, adding a Brick and Bullet setup to the stage can certainly make things easier to handle DIY digital audio. For a similar price however, it’s not too much to expect to be able to set things up using a standard analog setup with amps and cables. If it’s digital or bust, then there’s certainly nothing wrong with picking up these items to get the most out of a simple MacBook-style performance setup.