Aquatics Sports

Ride breaking waves like never before with the Uncommon ultra-portable surfboard

Staying connected to the swells of the ocean is the goal of surfers around the world. However, lugging around the huge surfboards that make it possible can be a complete drag. Having to transport fragile surfboards through airports or trying to stuff them into cars makes every trip an awkward one. Although bodyboards exist to mitigate that issue, the surfboard is the most popular method of experiencing the breaking waves, and the most lucrative one at that.

Surfer Michael Grau presents another, much lighter and smaller alternative in the Uncommon Surfboard. Billed as the world’s most portable surfboard, this 350 gram board is small enough to fit inside a average-sized suit case; a miracle considering how big even some bodyboards can be. And those who use it won’t need to worry about wipeouts as much being that there’s less for the wave to grab onto.

The Uncommon is looking to become an alternative to what’s already available and its impressive size and weight will help it get there given enough backing. The Uncommon Surfboard currently goes for $225 AUD (~$184 USD) to be shipped in May 2015. The campaign is looking for $2,000 AUD (~$1,650 USD) on Kickstarter.

Connected Objects Lighting

Waves connect with each other for elaborate light and sound shows

On any given day, there are a myriad of things that can and will stress you out, but what’s most important is how you deal with it. Drinking a calming tea, yoga, breathing exercises — there are a variety of ways to decompress when you need to. For inventor Frank Cohen, the colors, lights, and rhythms of a lava lamp helped him after particularly draining days. After so many years, he now feels the humble lava lamp deserves an appropriately modern upgrade.

Waves is the modern lava lamp that comes in the form of a Bluetooth speaker within a slim box that can sit desk-side or be mounted onto a wall. Thin diffusion filters stand atop the unit, allowing pre-programmed light shows to do everything from brightening up a space to soothing someone who may be feeling weary after a long day. The inexpensive diffusion filters are also easily cuttable, giving more artistic types the room to explore whatever designs might interest them.

The product is also incredibly social. Along with being able to sync up to most popular social networks and act as a push notification hub instead your buzzing phone, each Waves unit can talk to each other. This communication between five, ten, or even fifty units can facilitate light shows with all of them participating and gives the product the versatility to be used in ways that haven’t even been thought of yet. Fortunately, new ideas will be in abundance as Waves is supporting a strong communal aspect where members can create sell their own filter designs and share light shows, with the option of earning royalties on our show. Control everything with a Web app or your iOS or Android device. Two Waves are going for $149 and are to be delivered by December 2014. To do that, the campaign is looking for $10,000 in funding.

For now, Waves must be hard-wired which severely limits its aesthetic appeal. But, all in all, Waves is an imaginative product that will make a great conversation piece in any environment. Its open-nature also stands out as a great entryway to technology and its use of the Processing language will ensure it more converts. A product like this is only limited by how much interest there is in it, so only time will tell if this can be what Frank Cohen wants it to be.