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Build Your Own Full-Size Arcade Cabinet With This 32-Inch DIY Kit From Rec Room Masters
Want an old-school style arcade cabinet, but don’t want to pay the premium prices companies require? You may want to check out the Rec Room Masters Xtension “Gameplay Edition,” a full-sized DIY arcade cabinet built around the Raspberry Pi.
That’s right, it’s an arcade cabinet that ships flat-packed and assembles like IKEA furniture, allowing them to offer it a lower price than traditional arcade rigs. It’s supposedly as easy to assemble as IKEA, too, requiring you to just drive some screws, secure some bolts, and plug in a few things to get it in working order.
The Rec Room Masters Xtension “Gameplay Edition” is an arcade cabinet kit, with all the parts and hardware you need to build one of those arcade machines that were a ubiquitous presence throughout the 80s and 90s. It measures 69.5 x 36.5 x 27 inches (height x width x depth), so this will make a substantial presence in any room you decide to set it up in, all while driving all the attention straight to it because, you know, we all become kids again when there’s an arcade cabinet in the room. All panels are CNC-cut, so everything should fit in a precise manner, with all needed cutouts already in place, so you just have to mount all the individual parts in their designated slots.
Do note, the kit only includes the cabinet and the control pads (which use Suzo Happ joysticks and buttons), so you’ll have to buy your own VESA-compatible 32-inch TV (smaller TVs will leave holes on the edges and larger ones won’t fit), speaker (it has pre-cut speaker grilles and holes on the top and sides), and Raspberry Pi board computer (they recommend installing the free RetroPie software on it). The two sets of control pads, by the way, ship pre-assembled, so you just have to plug it in to your computer via USB to set up the rig, while they recommend 5-inch PC speakers for the audio.
The Rec Room Masters Xtension “Gameplay Edition” is designed to set up like a traditional arcade cabinet, albeit with a tiny Raspberry Pi powering the whole thing instead of whatever ran in one those things in the past. To make it even more useful, though, they included a hinged keyboard slot that you can pull down if you want to wield your fingers over a QWERTY layout, as well as a switch that lets you change up between keyboard, DirectInput, and XInput, with the latter required if you want to run two player games on Steam. Yes, that’s right, you can play Steam games on the darn thing, as it also supports PC, in case you’d rather use an existing machine instead of buying a Raspberry Pi.
The top front section of the cabinet, by the way, has a light-up marquee graphic with the lighting already pre-installed. Sadly, you can’t choose the graphic, so you’ll have to make a custom one if you want something fancier for your arcade rig. Other features include an optional metal door (if you want to add a coin mechanism) and a fully-open lower back for easy access to the components (so you might want to push it close to a wall to avoid the eyesore).
The Rec Room Masters Xtension “Gameplay Edition” is available now, priced at $749.99.
•Use The Nurvv Run Smart Insoles To Get Precise Running Data That You Can’t Get Anywhere Else
Most people track their runs using a wrist-worn device, whether it be an armband, a sports watch, or a full-fledged smartwatch. As powerful as those things are for activity monitoring, you’re still measuring things your feet do with sensors on your wrist, making its accuracy just slightly questionable. The Nurvv Run should be able to acquire more precise information.
A sensor-equipped pair of insoles, the device captures its running data right from the part of your body that actually comes in contact with the ground, ensuring it gets the most precise readings with very little inference involved. They call it a “running lab on your feet,” which sounds nice, we guess. At any rate, it definitely feels more reliable than the usual measurements done on a wrist-strapped wearable.
The Nurvv Run consists of insoles with a dongle-like device that hangs by the side of your shoe, so it’s not entirely right under your feet. We’re guessing the insoles hold most of the actual sensors, while the dongle house other electronics like the Bluetooth chip, onboard storage, and battery. A total of 32 sensors are onboard, with the device able to identify not just common data like cadence, but more complex ones, such as step length, foot strike (it can detect how you use your forefoot, midfoot, and rear foot in each stride), pronation (how your foot rolls when it impacts the ground), and the symmetry between your left and right feet. Suffice to say, this can get data that’s totally unavailable to people using traditional activity trackers.
Based on the data it gathers, the device can give you’re a running health score, which indicates the sustainability of your current running style, how prone you might be to injury (based on both technique and training load), and how you can improve. It can also give you detailed tips on how to use technique to improve your running speed, as well as give you achievable goals to go after, so you can level up in controlled increments.
The Nurvv Run can provide real-time coached workouts, provided you have your phone (iOS and Android) or Apple Watch (series 3 and above) on hand, with an electronic voice delivering prompts straight to your earphones. According to the outfit, it will give real-time step length and cadence coaching to keep your pace on track, as well as alerting you of various milestones (e.g. when you’re on pace to beat your personal record).
It works in any indoor or outdoor environment, so you can use it while running around the neighborhood, streaking across backcountry trails (it can handle rain, mud, and puddles), or sweating it up on a gym treadmill. It can be used without bringing your phone along, as well, with the system simply storing any data on the onboard storage, which it can then sync later when your phone is nearby. That means, if you don’t like wearing belt bags and vests to bring your phone along, you won’t have to.
Slated to ship January 27th, the Nurvv Run is now on preorder, priced at $299.95.
• Robosen T9 Transforming Robot Can Shapeshift On Its Own
It looks like a Transformer knockoff from the 90s. Or from the 2000s. Or from any era, for that matter. And… well… it kind of is. Except, the Robosen T9 is also self-actuating, which means, the darn thing can transform from vehicle to robot and back all on its own, making it a whole lot more awesome than even most licensed Transformer robots we’ve seen.
No, it’s not as cool-looking as traditional Transformer characters. Its vehicle form, for instance, takes on a futuristic aesthetic that looks like it was designed by a child, compared to the more conventional cars, trucks, and aircrafts of the actual franchise. No, it doesn’t look like a Tesla Cybertruck, but its general appearance falls along the same strange vein.
The Robosen T9 is a detailed and highly-articulated robot with 22 joints, which are powered by 22 separate servo motors, enabling its versatile range of motion. In robot form, it can walk forwards, backwards, turn left, turn right, and even walk side-to-side in two different speeds, all while being able to raise its arms forwards, spread it out to the sides, rotate its wrists, and even perform push-ups with fully synchronized sounds. Seriously, the darn thing can drop to the floor, do push-ups, and get back up all on its own. It can also perform different movements together, so you can make it look like it’s dancing, exercising, or just being a weird spastic automaton.
The robot can be controlled through the companion app, where you use onscreen controls to make it walk towards any direction, transform from one from to another, and perform any of its other actions. Those actions, by the way, include simulating the action of firing different weapons from its hands, such as cannons, machine guns, and more, complete with lethal sound effects. It also supports some basic voice commands (e.g. “T9, transform”), although it doesn’t support every action with it out of the box. And yes, you can control the robot while it’s in vehicle form, so you can drive it around like a regular RC car if you feel like it.
Like many modern robot toys, the Robosen T9 is programmable, either by physically teaching the robot specific motion sequences while it’s paired with the app (it basically records all the movements you put it through and repeats them), choosing action sequences from the app, or using their proprietary 3D drag-and-drop programming interface. We know, there doesn’t seem to be an option for writing traditional code (no API), so the customization you can do will still be pretty limited (albeit still fun).
The robot, by the way, is made up of over 3,000 individual parts, so this thing is quite the complex creation, making it something lifelong tinkerers will have a lot of fun breaking down for their own experiments. We know, that can get your toy damaged, but what’s the fun in having cool stuff like this if you can’t turn it inside out?
Originally a Kickstarter project, the Robosen T9 is available now.
• Logitech Ergo K860: Microsoft Gets Competition In The Split Ergonomic Keyboard Space
We’re big fans of Microsoft’s Surface Ergonomic Keyboard, whose split design and unique ergonomics enable a strain-free typing experience. While the guys from Redmond have had sole ownership of the category for the past few years, it looks like someone’s looking to challenge them going forward. Specifically, we’re talking about the Logitech Ergo K860.
A split ergonomic keyboard similar to Microsoft’s, the peripheral claims to enable “better posture, less strain, and more support.” Seriously, all that from a simple keyboard. They get specific, too, boasting 54 percent more wrist support, 21 percent reduced muscle activity in the trapezius, and 25 percent less wrist bending compared to using traditional keyboards. Use this along with Logitech’s advanced ergonomics mouse from a couple years ago and your desk should have the most comfortable peripherals in the entire office.
The Logitech Ergo K860 uses a fixed-split design, which divides the keyboard into two angled halves, creating a triangle-shaped space right down the middle. So yeah, you’re basically making the illuminati symbol with your fingers while you’re typing, which, we guess, could actually be what’s responsible for the keyboard’s ergonomic benefits. You know… just saying. It has a curved key frame that positions the hands, wrists, fingers, and even your traps in a more natural posture, causing less strain on your small joints and muscles even through extended periods of typing.
An integrated pillowed wrist rest at the lower section of the keyboard places your forearms just above the keyboard, providing the needed support it needs while minimizing the need to bend your wrists in order to reach all the keys. Legs on the wrist rest allow you to raise its height to an extra four or seven degrees, allowing you to find the ideal typing angle, depending on your seating or standing posture. The wrist rest, by the way, combines 4mm of memory foam for personalized support and 2mm of high-density foam to provide the necessary firmness, then wraps it in an outer layer of knitted fabric that’s durable, stain-resistant, and smooth to the touch.
The Logitech Ergo K860 is a full-size keyboard, complete with a dedicated number pad, cursor keys, and special keys, so if you currently use a regular full-size keyboard at work, you should have no problem moving over to this thing, as the only thing that’s really different is the shape. The outfit even claims that the unique shape should force no compromise in either typing speed or accuracy, as it’s strictly designed to affect your typing ergonomics.
It’s a Bluetooth 5.0 keyboard, by the way, so you can easily pair it with any Bluetooth-equipped Windows or macOS computer, although it also comes with a 2.4GHz dongle, in case you’re using it in a desktop without a Bluetooth chip integrated. Like many of Logitech’s newer peripherals, it can pair with three separate devices at the same time and switch between them, so you can switch between three different laptops using the same keyboard and mouse. It powers using two AAA batteries.
The Logitech Ergo K860 is priced at $129.99.
• Insta360 One R Modular Action Cam Can Serve As A 4K Camera, A 360-Degree Camera, And Even A 5.7K Leica Action Cam
Insta360 made its name building small 360-degree cameras – the kind you can bring along all the time, so you can shoot spherical videos whenever you feel like it. Truth be told, though, 360-degree video is a very niche affair, especially with the seeming slow growth of virtual reality, which makes 360-degree cameras a less-than-interesting purchase for many people. But what if your 360-degree camera can also work as a 4K action cam by simply swapping in a new lens? That’s exactly what we’ll find out with the new Insta360 One R.
Unlike traditional action cams, this camera is equipped to take a variety of lens modifications, allowing it to take on different functions, depending on what you need during a shoot. Most notable of these is the ability to add a second lens in the back, essentially turning it into a 360-degree camera, making it a potentially attractive to those interested in spherical videos, but don’t want to invest in dedicated equipment that can only do that.
The Insta360 One R consists of a base unit that houses the battery, where you can attach all the other available components. In the most basic configuration, you can attach a 4K wide angle action cam and a 1.3-inch full-color touchscreen display right next to it, which you can use to shoot videos like any action cam. Yes, it has a touchscreen, where you can see a live view of whatever’s in the frame, as well as watch video playback, change frame rates, and switch between different lenses. The touchscreen module, by the way, also contains the physical buttons and the SD card slot, so it’s essential to have it plugged it at all times.
Want to use it as a 360-degree camera? Just add the dual-lens 360 module, which adds a second lens to the base unit, right behind the 4K action cam element. From there, you just switch to 360-degree mode using the touchscreen controls and start recording your spherical footage. They also offer a premium Leica-branded component, which is a 1-inch sensor with a wide angle lens, which you can mount in place of the regular 4K wide angle module.
In standard 4K action cam mode, the Insta360 One R can record video in 4K at 60 fps and 1080p at up to 200 fps for all your slow-motion action shot needs, along with a whole host of resolutions and framerates in between. For 360-degree mode, it can record at 5.7K at 30 fps, with full support for the outfit’s Auto Frame function, which can sift through the footage and recommend scenes you may want to frame on their own as conventional video. With the 1-inch sensor on board, the action cam can shoot in 5K at 30fps, 4K at 60 fps, and 1080p at up to 120 fps.
On top of the basic shooting modes, the camera comes with a heaping of features. These include the outfit’s proprietary electronic stabilization (FlowState), HDR support, auto-removal of grips, subject tracking, voice commands, and external mic support. Despite its modular design, the device is actually waterproof to 16 feet, all while coming with built-in rugged lens protection, so you don’t have to be afraid actually using it when engaging in high-pace activities.
The Insta360 One R is available now, priced at $299.99 for the 4K action cam, $479.99 for the action cam and 360-degree combo, and $549.99 for the 1-inch Leica edition.
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