Monthly Archives: January 2013

First Look: Cynaps Headset


At the CES show earlier this month I met Mike Freeman, the designer of the Cynaps Bluetooth headset.  This revolutionary device uses bone conduction to send sound waves directly to the inner ear, eliminating the need to block the user’s hearing with a pesky earbud.  When he offered to send me a sample I couldn’t resist.

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A Guru and a Gizmo: Two new services open for Austin cyclists around the clock


Photo by Irene Martinez

Meet Fernando Martinez.  When he isn’t working on the Safe Routes to School for BikeTexas he is fixing bikes or teaching some eager student how to do the same.  He helped me work on all three of my bikes during my internship for BikeTexas nearly a year ago.  When he told me about his new bike repair service and an automated 24-hour bike store I just had to share it with every bike-riding nerd I know.

Take a minute to visit his page at and schedule a time to meet with him.  For a small fee he will even come to you.  He specializes in teaching bicycle repair, safe riding and maintenance skills to students of ALL ages.

Next he told me about Gearbox.  Located in front of Thom’s Market at 1418 Barton Springs Road, this convenient vending machine full of bike parts is open for business 24/7.  With any luck there will be a few more locations in Austin this year.  You can visit their page at to find out more.


Product Review: Nix Googles

NixGoogles Patterns from NixTech on Vimeo.

When I heard about Nix Googles I contacted Russell, the designer, about using a pair when I give rides on my pedicab downtown. The “googles” display a variety of complex patterns and overpower most smartphone cameras with their brilliant lights. What’s more, they respond to music, via a built in microphone with highly adjustable gain. In fact, the gain control is so sensitive, that at the highest setting it responds to sounds I barely hear. Turn the sensitivity down all the way and you’ll need a plane taking off to make it react …or a Skrillex show.
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Upcoming Reviews: Cynaps Ears-Free Headset, Lenovo Yoga 11, and Smart Tap Handlebar Mount

On Thursday at CES I was offered a sample of is the Cynaps ears-free bluetooth headset.  Rather than block the user hearing with troublesome earbuds, this headset uses bone conduction to put sounds inside the users head. It can also be hidden completely in a bike helmet or a sweat band. This device seems like just the thing for riders who enjoy music and still want to be alert on the road. I can’t wait to try mine!

Click here to keep reading and preview the Yoga 11 and Smart Tap bar mount.

Parrot AR Drone Dance


The Parrot AR Drone needs no introduction.  If you don’t know already it has a camera that feeds video to your iPhone or iPad which can also be used to control the device.  This makes it perfect for playful reconnoitering.  For their demo at CES 2013, these four quad rotors were pre-programmed to do a dance showing off their precise flying capabilities.  As you can see it was very entertaining, though I doubt four end users could match the performance given a lifetime of practice.


G-Form Body Armor Demo Parts 1 and 2

Until recently G-Form has focused their efforts mainly on cases for portable electronics like the iPhone and iPad. Most know them for their demonstration of an iPad free-falling from the edge of space (yes it lived). But lately they’ve taken on a new project: body armor for cycling.

By using the same material, which hardens on impact, G-Form set out to cover every major impact zone on the rider’s body. I must admit I get my worst bruises where they chose to put pads. While their phone cases seem bulky, they get great reviews as far as durability goes. Producing cycling gear is an original and fitting next step.
Don’t miss part 2. Click here!

CES 2013 Photos (Videos coming soon!)

They create very little heat.  Almost none

When the FLIR rep imaged my “googles”  we discovered they create very little heat. Almost none

I spent this past week in Las Vegas, Nevada attending the Consumer Electronics show.  After arriving home a few hours ago I felt compelled to share these photos from the convention.  There was so much to see and so little time.  I’ve included a brief description of the device in each photo, but please let me know in the comments if you have a question about something from the show.

I was given a few products to review and I’ll be posting about them more in depth soon.  I’m looking forward especially to receiving a sample of the Cynaps device, a bluetooth headseat that doesn’t obstruct either ear.  Rather it causes a vibration in the skull, projecting sound inside your head.  Whether, voice or music, you can definitely hear it.  As soon as the designer sends it in the mail, I’ll be eager to test it out.
Click here to see my photos!