Take one last high-tech trip to the beach this holiday weekend
By Kalee ThompsonPosted 08.30.2007 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
The life of a beach bum can be surprisingly high-tech. The latest warm-weather gear draws on clever chemistry for both fun (a chameleon-like surfboard) and safety (a sunscreen that applies itself). And an icebox with a sun-reflective coating ensures that on a hot day, your beer will stay colder than ever.
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For most people, being abruptly shaken awake by a vibrating pillow at the crack of dawn is not an ideal start to the day. But for hardcore surfers, it might be a dream come true. As any dedicated wave rider knows, the best waves are usually found between 5 and 7 in the morning—a pretty gnarly wakeup call for the typical laid-back beach bum. Or, even worse, said beach bum might find upon arriving that the surf isnt even good that day and resignedly head back to bed. Australian inventor Elmar Trefz hopes to take the pain out of this tiresome ritual with the Wave Pillow—a smart cushion that can help surfers catch those sweet a.m. waves with ease.
The Wave Pillow maintains a wireless connection with your computer throughout the night, communicating with special surf-monitoring software. After you pick your favorite surf spot, the software will monitor the conditions at that location and, at a designated time in the morning, send a signal to the pillow. If the waves are high, the pillows 240-volt motor will vibrate strongly, jolting you out of bed; if they're low, the vibrations are a little softer. The pillow can even communicate the frequency of the waves: long, regular intervals between vibrations mean good waves, while fast, irregular intervals signal fewer waves.
And mercifully, if the surf is too low, the pillow doesnt activate at all--ensuring that dreams of perfect ground swells and radical curls continue uninterrupted. —Nicole Price Fasig