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Gadgets of the week: PLAY:5, AirBolt, Altwork Station and more!

This week we saw some unique gadgets get announced for pre-order, but not all of them are exactly affordable — such is often the story for new tech toys. The PLAY:5 speaker from Sonos is the company's latest and possibly best-evet connected speaker, the AirBolt Smart Lock that features amazing location tracking, proximity alerts, and incredible battery life, and Teforia's Brewer that uses algorithms to pour the best cup of tea you've ever tasted with its own Android app. Check out the complete lineup below!

Altwork Station

If your standard, everyday desk isn't cutting it, the Altwork Station may be the answer you're looking for. This workstation redefines comfort and flexibility, building on the research that slouching has been shown to decrease productivity and creativity (not to mention just being bad for your back). After working through several prototypes since 2011, the finalized Altwork Station allows users to work in 4 key positions: sit, stand, share, or focus. No matter how you decide to adjust this workstation, the entire setup moves with you and, yeah, it's pretty incredible. You can pre-order the Altwork Station starting at $3,900 for the base model or opt for the Signature Edition that allows to choose from 10 custom upholstery colors, 3 frame colors, and 4 desk and accents colors with an engraved commemorative plate and unique serial number (if such things are important to you).

Pre-order from Altwork{}

Sonos PLAY:5

The latest addition to the Sonos connected speaker lineup is the PLAY:5, featuring 6 custom digital amplifiers and speakers. It packs 3 tweeters and 3 dedicated mid-woofers for an amazing audio experience. You can also pair two PLAY:5's together for left and right channels to provide a thicker stereo sound. New to the PLAY:5 is Trueplay, which uses an app on your phone to measure the acoustics in the room and adjusts the speaker's output to compensate for room size, layout, and furnishings. This new PLAY:5 comes in black or white, and is up for pre-order right now for $499.

Pre-order from Sonos (opens in new tab)


Brewing tea seems like something that's pretty straightforward, but Teforia takes the process to a whole new level and uses an Android/iOS app to do it. This new tea brewing robot utilizes machine-learning algorithms to brew the perfect cup of tea — whether it's using loose tea leaves or Teforia pods. It's similar to a Keurig in some ways, only the machine seeps the tea leaves a few times at a different temperatures to extract vital components for a unique blend. If you think a particular blend needs adjustment, you can provide feedback on the app so it brews your next cup more or less sweet. The first 500 units are up for pre-order for $649, but then will retail at $1,299 when it launches in spring 2016.

Pre-order from Teforia{}

UsBidi Charger

Providing a smarter way to charge your mobile devices is the UsBidi Charger that comes in both Micro-USB and Lightning models. This unique smart charger features a durable braided cable that reduces tangles and the affects of common wear-and-tear, and is available in lengths of 1, 3, or 6 feet. The end of the cable has an LED indicator that lets you know when it's charging and packs an automatic shut-off feature to prevent overcharging and battery wear. It even has a magnetic end for attaching to your nightstand, desk, or dashboard for quick and easy access. You can still back the UsBidi charger on Kickstarter even though they've already greatly exceeded their $25,466 goal.

Back UsBidi

AirBolt Smart Lock

Keeping your luggage safe like never before is the AirBolt Smart Lock. It uses Bluetooth and a designated app for Android or iPhone to unlock your belongings. This TSA-approved smart lock is extremely compact and provides location tracking, proximity alerts, and a variety of privacy controls that can be accessed from your smartphone. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery lasts up to one year before needing a recharge via a Micro-USB charger. Even if you don't have your smartphone handy to wirelessly unlock the AirBolt, you can use the backup button feature to get to your goods. You can back the AirBolt Smart Lock on Kickstarter right now to reach their $36,168 goal.

Back the AirBolt

  • The Sonos' adjustability is nice. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Haha $1300 for a smart kettle that only knows how to make one drink? Wow! I'd put that in the money>sense category, but there you go. Posted via the Android Central App
  • or a thermometer (for $5) and a pan of water. Heat to 160 degrees, takes about 1 minute with 1-2 cups of water with burner on high. Seriously WTH?
  • Exactly! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm rich and need something frivolous to spend my gobs of money on... Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm not getting all of these Bluetooth speakers. I guess I'm just old school. There is a whole generation whom have never listened to music on a quality sound system. I guess if you never have, you do not know what you are missing. Hell, I still by compact discs and vinyl. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • I agree to a point... But I do use a Bluetooth speaker with a battery for when headphones aren't really convenient. It's strange to rag on Bluetooth in the same breath as saying you still buy vinyl though. It's hardly a high definition, lossless media. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Need a walker there old timer? :-) Signatures are so___________!
  • Ha, yeah my hip has been bothering me. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • I'm 28 but I am into vinyl. I also see the benefits of Bluetooth. I use both. Posted via the Android Central App
  • That AltWork station is pretty nifty.
  • The USBIDI cable looks nice. But I'm not really sure why they think leaving the phone plugged it overnight is bad. Lithium batteries don't degrade the same as alkaline. Also, don't most phones already have built in chips that control charging for this exact purpose?
    LED on the cable is useful though. Posted via the Android Central App
  • If I had 4 grand burning a hole in my pocket that workstation would be here in a heart beat. When we die, we go bye-bye. - Sal Vulcano
  • $3,900 for a workstation that's alittle steep. I just can't see how laying back could be comfortable for typing . I could see if you were a hardcore gamer. I love the idea but before I'd buy it is need to try. If you have an extra one sitting around I'd be more then happy to try it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I REALLY want that tea thing, but the price is absolutely bonkers.
  • Airbolt is such a good ad, so stupidly funny Posted via the Android Central App
  • Still wish the sonos could stream regular PC audio.... Posted via Android Central App