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Wooden Keyboard Merges Tech With Nature

by Kenneth Rosen0

Technology is all starting to look the same. The materials used to make computers, tablets and smartphonesare not eco-friendly and are designed for obsolescence. What if instead of aluminium casings, our phones were surrounded by oak or hemlock? What about our keyboards?

A small team of designers and craftsmen have done just that by building Bluetooth-enabled portable keyboards from a more sustainable material: wood.

Through a mixed process of machining and final hand assembly and varnishing, the keyboards are made entirely from your choice of Maple or Walnut.

The team of three — Franck Fontana, Christophe Della Signora, Julien Salanave — formed Orée, a company that is “reconciling tradition and novelty to create exceptional products,” and plans to continue making similar products.

The Orée Board sells for £125.

Lockitron Lets You Unlock the Door With Your iPhone

by Charlie White

Apigy just made its Lockitron keyless entry technology smarter, letting you unlock your door from anywhere in the world — or having it automatically unlock when you walk up to it.

This $149 device installs on top of your existing deadbolt lever, and it works best if you have a Bluetooth 4 or NFC-equipped smartphone. That lets it sense your presence, magically unlocking the door without you even having to say “open sesame.”

Lockitron is equally helpful if you’re away from home, where you can use its new iPhone app to manually and remotely unlock the door for friends using a smartphone app. And you can give them their own access by entering their email address and phone number — then Lockitron gives them access using their smartphones.

It’s even smarter than that: Lockitron lets you know if someone has knocked on your door, and it can sense if your door has been unlocked, dutifully notifying you immediately.

If you’re using a cellphone, you’re not going to feel left out: using the SMS system, it lets you send text commands to the Lockitron website that will remotely unlock the door. And, if the unit’s batteries have worn out after a year, you can still use your key to open the door the old-fashioned way.

One obvious improvement: The first version of Lockitron cost $295, almost double the price of the new version.

Now available for preorder, Lockitron’s creators used a Kickstarter like process to fund this revised version, raising $715,500 from 4,770 eager backers so far, with 29 days left to go. Apigy is saying the first batch will be shipped in March, 2013. Apparently there are a lot of people who are interested in keyless entry controlled by a smartphone.

The iPhone 5 Will Cost You at Least $1,800 [INFOGRAPHIC]

by Chris Taylor

So you scraped your pennies together and you’re ready to buy the cheapest iPhone 5 there is: the 16 GB model with a 2-year contract. A pretty good deal, right? $199 for the best smartphone on the planet?

Not so fast. Consider your voice and data plan, which is going to cost you at least $1,440 over two years — and that’s for the absolute rock-bottom plan on AT&T, the cheapest iPhone carrier in the U.S., with pay-as-you-go texting. (AT&T is also the most expensive carrier; its unlimited plan will set you back more than $5,500 over two years.)

If you’re a former iPhone user, you’re going to need Lightning adapters. Even if not, we doubt you’ll make do with just the one Lightning charger. And then there’s the content; only 30% of iPhone users get by with free apps. Chances are strong you’re going to download more.

All in all, we’d say $1,800 is a conservative estimate.