This Smart Speaker Doubles as a Pixel-Art Display, a Sunrise Alarm Clock, and More

Divoom Smart
Divoom Smart

For most people, the most important feature of a Bluetooth speaker is sound quality, but if it's a device you plan on using every day, it should look just as beautiful as it sounds. The Tivoo-Max from Divoom Smart certainly fits that bill. Its pixel art canvas allows the portable smart speaker to also function as a notification hub, a sunrise-simulating alarm clock, and an animated screen.

Tivoo-Max's LED display includes 256 full-color pixels that you can use to create visuals to go along with your music. You can select a pre-made GIF to play with your music from Divoom's online art gallery, or you can animate one yourself on the device's companion app.

The combination of digital art and sound is great for parties, but the technology has practical applications as well. If you connect Tivoo-Max to your phone, you can enable it to display notifications like phone calls and social media comments.

Person using phone to program a pixel art display on the Tivoo-Max smart speaker
Divoom Smart

The smart speaker also works as an alarm clock. The pixels can be programed to get brighter gradually throughout the morning, simulating the natural effects of the rising sun. And if you have trouble falling asleep at night, just set the device to play white noise and display melatonin-inducing light waves.

Tivoo-Max recently launched an Indiegogo campaign, and currently has more than five weeks left to reach its $25,000 goal.

Buy it for $99 and up on Indiegogo, with shipping estimated for June 2019.

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Never Worry About Uneven Frames Again With This Picture-Hanging Kit

Hang N Locks
Hang N Locks

After struggling to hang a picture on the wall with some combination of hooks, nails, Command strips, and wires, it can be painful to see the frame is slightly off-kilter. No matter how much time you spend positioning a photograph or piece of art so it looks just right in your home, all it can take is one bump to turn it into an eyesore. But you don't have to choose between uneven frames and bare walls—the Hang N Locks Hanger, currently raising money on Kickstarter, is a tool that automatically keeps pictures level for you.

The picture-hanging kit comes with two main components—a hanger and a wall receiver. Before displaying your picture, you can secure the receiver to your wall with a hammer and nails. The larger plastic piece snaps over the wire attached to the back of your frame. When the picture is ready to go on your wall, the hanger slides easily into the receiver.

Unlike traditional hanging methods, a frame hung with Hang N Locks won't slide around when disturbed. Whether it's bumped a during party or a cleaning session, the picture always settles back to its original position level with the ground. The locking design means that the only way to move the frame is to lift it out of the receiver, adjust it manually at the angle you like, and return it to the wall.

Hang N Locks launched on Kickstarter on June 3, and it has until July 4 to reach it's $10,000 funding goal. If the project is funded, everyone who pledged $15 or more will receive a 5-pack of Hang N Locks, with delivery estimated for September.

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These ASMR-Ready Headphones Promise to Lull You to Sleep

AcousticSheep
AcousticSheep

What do hushed whispers, gently tapping fingernails, and Bob Ross’s voice have in common? They’re all examples of triggers that may cause what’s known as an autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR), or, as Dictionary.com succinctly explains it, a “calming, pleasurable feeling often accompanied by a tingling sensation” that can be triggered by soothing stimuli. ASMR has recently been recognized as an effective relaxation technique for those looking to calm their nerves; now, ASMR enthusiasts and novices alike can experience it in the form of a sleep-ready headband.

Upon first glance, SleepPhones: ASMR Edition may look like just a fabric headband, but the device actually features flat speakers tucked into soft, stretchy, eco-friendly material. Unlike regular headphones, SleepPhones can be worn comfortably to bed, even if you sleep on your side, and they come preloaded with content designed to help you relax. They feature eight hours of built-in ASMR content by 16 different ASMR artists (or ASMRtists), including but not limited to tracks with rhythmic tapping and "peaceful Italian whisperings."

A close-up of the SleepPhones speaker technology
AcousticSheep

The speaker components of SleepPhones
AcousticSheep

Using SleepPhones is designed to be a stress-free experience. The speakers have the ability to play for 20 ad-free hours with a mere three-hour charging time in between. There are also zero cords involved, meaning you won’t get all tangled up as you lie down or if you have a tendency to toss and turn at night. The small button located in the back of the headband allows you to start, pause, or skip tracks and control the volume.

For people looking for ways to relax beyond yoga and meditation, ASMR may be the way to go. One study observed that subjects watching ASMR videos not only reported feeling that aforementioned pleasant tingling, but were also found to have reduced heart rates.

You can get a pair of your own SleepPhones on Kickstarter with a pledge of $75 or more. They come in three different sizes with seven colors from which to choose.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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