Language Learning App Magiclingua Lets You Practice Speaking With an AI-Powered Smart Bot

Magiclingua
Magiclingua

Move over, Duolingo, Babbel, and Memrise: There’s a new language-learning app on the scene. Magiclingua bills itself as “the first language learning app built for your tongue, not your thumb”—and for good reason. The app, which is built for Android and iOS, uses a combination of video tutorials and artificial intelligence to get you speaking in full conversations (in a foreign language) from day one.

When you first start out, you’ll watch some videos to learn the basic grammar structure from a language instructor. Shortly after that, you’ll have the chance to talk to an AI-powered “smart chat companion,” which will correct your sentences in a safe, embarrassment-free environment. “Our smart conversation bot will be patient, won't judge you, and will let you practice as long as you want without any fear or awkwardness,” according to the company, which is headquartered in Munich, Germany.

Once you start to gain confidence, you can have an actual conversation with a native speaker via the app’s 30-minute tutor sessions. The app was created by a team of developers, designers, and language professionals, all of whom are fluent in at least three languages. It’s currently being developed for people who want to learn Spanish, French, German, Italian, and English, but there are plans to add additional languages in the future if the company’s fundraising goals are met.

The app hasn’t officially launched yet, but subscriptions to the beta version are currently up for grabs at discounted rates. Sign up on Kickstarter to get three months’ access for about $39 (the fee is displayed in Euros), six months’ access for $68, or lifetime access for $148.

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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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