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7 Useful Features of Your Smartphone That You Don’t Use

Modern cell phones have plenty of functions: they allow you to reach someone at the other end of the world, send messages to all your friends in just a couple of seconds, and surf the Internet. However, this is hardly a complete list of what your device is actually capable of.

Just for you, we at Think About Network found and tested 7 clever tricks that you probably didn’t know you could do with your smartphone.

Turning your cell phone into a listening device

With just a few simple manipulations, you can turn your cell phone into the ultimate spy tool or a baby monitor. The device works very simply. In order to test it, place your cell phone in the desired location, then go to a remote area and call the handset you have set up as a listening device. It will answer automatically, and you will be able to hear what is happening where you have placed it. This thing isn’t just for spies!

Getting your phone locked forever

If your smartphone gets lost or stolen and you want to keep your personal data safe from prying eyes, this function can come in really handy. The thing is, for each SIM worldwide, a unique 15-digit number is assigned, called the IMEI. If your phone is no longer in your possession and there is little chance that you will see it again, just call the cell phone company and ask them to block your device using that number. By the way, if we all start using this trick, cell phone theft will become essentially meaningless! In order to find out your phone’s IMEI code, you just need to dial the combination *#06#. Take a moment to do this right away!

Turning your phone into a microscope

It may sound incredible, but you don’t actually need to splurge on expensive equipment in order to see objects that are too small for the naked eye. Using a small lens (which can be found in any laser pointer) and a cell phone, you can make a portable digital microscope that is just perfect for taking amazing magnified pictures and even for letting kids peer at the nuclei of cells. Find the instructions here.

Taking underwater photos

Not all smartphones that are produced today are waterproof. However, just because you have a mobile device that isn’t designed for underwater shooting, it doesn’t mean that you can’t take it to the pool, sea, or ocean with you. “How is it possible?” you ask. You just need a case made of polyethylene that will take you less than two minutes to make.

Setting up Face Unlock

Android provides a plethora of ways to unlock your phone: a PIN, a password, a pattern gesture, or a typical insecure swipe. But there is one more unlocking method that most users simply ignore. In fact, the Face Unlock feature is much more secure than a simple password. To set it up, just go to Settings, scroll down to Security, tap Screen lock, and select the option you need.

Making holograms

Just like magic! With a little bit of creativity and patience you will be able to make awesome 3D holograms straight from the future. The instructions are here.

Extending the life of your smartphone

It’s absolutely normal that your phone’s power jack tends to collect dust, dirt, and other debris over time. But only a few people know that dust in the charging port may be one of the main causes of your device’s death. To avoid this, clean your smartphone regularly. Just take a syringe full of air, insert its needle into the power jack, and inject the air. This procedure will allow you to easily remove the dust from the charging port and extend the life of your smartphone.

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21 Seriously Brilliant Inventions That Will Change Your Life

New gadgets, devices and design solutions are becoming increasingly embedded in our daily lives, capable of making life more comfortable wherever we are and whatever we’re doing — cooking in the kitchen, washing in the bathroom, even when driving a car.

We’ve picked out 21 inventions that we think are seriously brilliant. You can’t help but wonder at the creativeness of their inventors!

The alarm clock mat: you have to get up in order to turn it off

A spray-cleaner for fruit

A video-recording contact lens

The ironing board which doubles as a mirror

The solar-powered chaise longue

A bed which lets you snuggle

The nail varnish holder

The cucumber spiral slicer

The bedside table with a food tray

A net for drying your shoes

The exercise chair

A very comfortable paint roller

A ’jelly cloth’ for cleaning hard-to-reach places

Batteries which can be charged in a USB port

The heatable knife which can cut through cold butter

The scooter which turns into a suitcase

The cyclist’s backpack which has a built-in safety display

A portable, solar-powered plug socket

A brilliant idea for small apartments

The exercise cycle of the future

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“Unpleasant Design” — This Is What We Need In Our Cities

Today, we at Think About Network would like to present you with 10 examples of “unpleasant design” from around the world that can help make our cities more comfortable.

A special cover on a lamp post to prevent people placing stickers or adverts on it.

This invention is sometimes called the “Anti pee-pee.” It’s made from a triangular piece of metal, angled in such a way that anybody who tries to relieve himself against it will end up with pee on his shoes.

The opening on these bins has been deliberately made small to discourage people from dumping large items.

These decorative pyramids placed in front of an office building in Canada prevent passers-by from loitering for a long time or smoking under someone’s window.

Uneven boulders were added to the space under this bridge in Calgary, Canada to prevent people hanging around underneath and risking their health and safety.

Decorative elements have been placed on the edges of these low walls to prevent teenagers from skateboarding.

This architectural feature was added to a university campus in Cambridge, UK to deter skateboarders.

This bench in London has a ridged surface, making it impossible for people to sleep on it. It also has no alcoves in it that people might use to hide drugs or get rid of trash.

No more loitering here! It definitely wouldn’t be very comfortable to sit on these stones for a long time.

This half-bench in Rotterdam, Netherlands doesn’t allow people to stay for too long.

In addition to these examples, we at Bright Side couldn’t help but remember this smart and highly motivational ad from Nike.

RUN!

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18 Weird Yet Incredibly Brilliant Inventions You Never Knew You Needed

Different kinds of gadgets and new devices come into our everyday lives and make things more convenient wherever we are — in the kitchen, office, bedroom or the driver’s seat.

Think About Network put together a list of these incredibly brilliant inventions for you, and we just want to say thanks to their creators.

A handy gizmo for cutting melons

A climbing wall for a swimming pool

A portable toaster

An electric egg boiler

A crib and rocking chair

Two in one: a glass for beer and shots

Mobile phone holder

Magnetic clothes hanger

Portable aquarium

Nozzle for a soup pot

Umbrella for your pet

Kissenger — a gadget that allows you to send a real kiss to your long-distance lover

USB portable humidifier

Scotch tape that is easy to tear

Joint salt and pepper shaker with a switch

Three-level grill for the oven

Tulip-shaped folding chairs

Folding bottle that fits in your pocket

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25 Strange Inventions That Are Surprisingly Helpful

Today, Think About Network presents you with a selection of the most strange and unusual inventions that are genuinely helpful. Even if they look a bit ridiculous!

The Roller Buggy/Scooter-Pram

The Breast Gymnastics Hand Massager

The Ping Pong Door

The Umbrella with Goggles

The Babygro Mop

The Boyfriend Arm Pillow

The Coffee Mug Iron

The Instant Six-Pack Abs Creator

Anti-Theft Lunch Bags

The Weight-Watching Belt

The Goalpost Chair

The Beard Hat

The Sleeping Bag Suit

The Duck Bill Dog Muzzle

An Umbrella for Dogs

The Walking-Powered Bike

Pizza Scissors/Spatula

The Water Gun Umbrella

The Baby Bath Visor

The Piano Door Bell

The Spherical Umbrella

The Sing-In-The-Shower Sponge

’Hold My Hand’ Mittens

Angled Corner Picture Frames

The Cutting Board Bird Feeder

LED Slippers

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Try Looking at These Things Without Wanting to Buy Them

Designers continue to impress us with new inventions, and we should all celebrate their inexhaustible imagination.

Today we at Think About Network found 16 unusual things which you almost certainly want to buy as a gift for either your loved ones or yourself.

A convenient butter knife

Thanks to its unusual design, the ButterUp knife can easily cope even with the hardest butter.

A gadget that turns your smartphone into a retro TV

Smartphone Magnifier is a pretty box with a magnifying glass. It allows its users to watch their favorite movies on a smartphone at greater convenience than before, increasing the size of the image on the screen by half.

A magnetic smartphone holder

The Mengo holder is suitable for most smartphones and GPS-navigators. 4 strong magnets can securely hold the device at any angle.

Shoelaces you don’t need to tie every time

These flexible shoelaces don’t need to be tied and untied every time — it’s enough to thread them through the shoes and fasten. They stretch perfectly, thereby turning sneakers and trainers into slip-on shoes, which are convenient to put on and take off.

Adhesive tape for Lego lovers

This tape is compatible with Lego blocks and allows you to place them on any surface — for example, on a wall or a refrigerator door. In addition, this “Lego tape” can help you to build curved objects, such as roads, rivers, and bridges.

Headphone Holders

BudStraps will be useful for those people whose headphones fall out of their ears all the time, such as during a workout.

A cube that helps you to concentrate

Fidget Cube is a cube that has buttons, wheels, and switches on its edges — in short, everything that could help you to keep your hands busy. The toy’s creators claim it can replace pens and other objects that people like to “play” with. The cube helps its owner to relieve their feelings of stress and focus on performing everyday tasks.

A “clever” fitness tracker

An inexpensive device called Misfit Shine automatically calculates the distance you’ve walked and the calories you’ve burnt, detects sleep phases, and synchronizes with your smartphone. In addition, the tracker is equipped with a replaceable battery, which lasts for 6 months of work.

Roses that won’t wilt for 3 years

It’s not the cheapest pleasure in the world, but how beautiful is this?! Although there’s a more accessible but no less attractive variant. As its creators assure us, these roses will please their owner from six months to 5 years.

Levitating speakers for Star Wars fans

  • Fans of the iconic saga will be in seventh heaven if they receive a gift like this. Perhaps, even Darth Vader himself would approve of it.

A 15-in-1 compact multi-tool

This device fits easily in your hand and contains as many as 15 tools: a slot and a cross screwdriver, a set of hex keys, a T25 torx key, a set of spanners, a nail puller, a pry bar, and a flashlight.

A set of tablet and smartphone lenses

The GoStellar Universal kit consists of 3 lenses: wide angle, ultra wide angle (“fisheye”), and a macro lens. It’s very convenient for those who like to take pictures but cannot always carry a bulky camera with them.

Transformer shoes

Shooz consists of two parts: the top and the sole, which are connected with a zipper. Thanks to this innovation, different types of soles and tops can be combined, what allows you to always have a different pair of shoes.

A smartphone laser ruler

In addition to measuring the distance between an object and the phone, the iPin Spatial Ruler can determine the distance between two points on the object it captures, such as the length of a desk.

A socket guidelight

A perfect solution for those who sometimes have to look for a socket in the dark. This guidelight consumes a minimum of electricity and can be used as a night lamp.

Archaeology soap

Inside the Archaeology Soap there are plastic figures of dinosaurs, which you’ll have to “uncover” as the soap is used for its intended purpose. Each layer represents a certain archaeological epoch. Both practical and educational, especially for children.

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20 Hidden Messages in Famous Symbols You Had No Idea About

Every large company strives to ensure that its logo is not just recognizable, but conveys a message to the consumer. Naturally, logo designers do their best to fit as much meaning into as small an amount of space as possible.

Today, Think About Network invites you to take a fresh look at some popular symbols logos and discover the witty and diverse meanings they conceal!

FedEx

The most well-known of all logos that contain a hidden meaning. If you look closely, you can see an arrow, which is formed by the empty space between the letters ’E’ and ’X’. This arrow symbolizes speed and accuracy — the two guiding principles of the company. Interestingly, having noticed this arrow once, people begin to see it first and foremost each time they look at the FedEx logo.

Hope for African Children Initiative

This logo is used by a public organization involved in helping children of Africa. If you look at it closely, you can see an outline of the African continent, as well as images of a child and an adult (the latter symbolizing support).

Bluetooth

In the tenth century AD, Denmark was ruled by King Harald Blåtand, a historical figure famous for uniting Danish tribes into a single kingdom. Harald was often called “Bluetooth“ since he was a known lover of blueberries, and at least one of his teeth had a permanent blue tint.

Bluetooth technology is designed for uniting multiple devices into a single network. The symbol representing this technology is a combination of two Scandinavian runes: ”Hagall“ (or “Hagalaz”) which is the analogue of the Latin ”H,“ and ”Bjarkan“ — a rune that equals the Latin letter “B.” These two runes form the initials of Harald Blåtand’s name. By the way, a first generation Bluetooth device was colored blue and — yes, you’ve guessed it — resembled a tooth.

Amazon

At first glance, the Amazon logo doesn’t appear to hide anything special. However, it’s still been designed to help us understand the philosophy of the brand. The yellow arrow resembles a smile, because Amazon.com want their customers to be happy. Also, the arrow connects the letters ’A’ and ’Z’, hinting at the fact that this online store has absolutely everything.

Yoga Australia

Another neat little gimmick is used in the Australian yoga enthusiasts’ club logo. The space between the girl’s hand and leg forms the outline of Australia.

Sony Vaio

The first two letters of the Sony Vaio logo constitute a wave, symbolizing an analog signal, while the last two resemble 1 and 0 — a symbolic representation of a digital signal.

Unilever

Unilever produces a huge number of diverse products, and this is reflected in their logo. Each segment of the logo has its own meaning. For example, the heart signifies love, care and well-being, while the bird symbolizes freedom, liberation from everyday chores, and enjoyment of life.

Formula 1

If you look closely at the empty space between the ’F’ and the red stripes, you’ll see it transform into a ’1′. The logo is designed to convey a sense of speed.

’Power On’

The “power“ (or ”power on”) symbol can be found on practically any device, but few people know about its origins.
As early as the 1940s, engineers used a binary system for representing specific switches, where 1 meant on and 0 meant off. In the following decades, it has transformed into a sign that features a circle (zero) and a vertical line (one).

BMW

The company started out as an aircraft producer, and the BMW logo remains true to these roots. Nevertheless, contrary to the popular belief that the center of the logo depicts the rotating propeller blades, it actually alludes to the Bavarian flag, which has a checkered pattern.

Apple

Rob Janoff, the man who designed the famous Apple logo, says: ’I bought a whole bag of apples, put them in a bowl and made sketches of them for a week, trying to simplify the details. At some point during my artistic experiments, I took a bite from one of the apples. Later that day, to my surprise, I found out that ’bite’ sounds very similar to ’byte’ – a computing term’.

At one stage in Apple’s existence, its logo used to feature vibrant, multi-colored stripes — to emphasize the fact that the company produced computers with color monitors. In 1998, following the return of Steve Jobs and the advent of a new generation of computers, Apple switched to the monochrome version of the logo.

Sun Microsystems

The Sun Microsystems logo is one of the world’s most famous ambigrams. The word ’Sun’ forms the basis of a square and can be read from each of its corners. The logo was created by a Stanford professor, Vaughan Pratt.

Continental

Continental is an automotive manufacturing company specializing in tires. One of those tyres is clearly present in the company’s logo — created by the combination of the first two letters.

Big Ten

The Big Ten is an academic association founded in 1896. Until 1990, this union consisted of 10 universities. Then, in June 1990, it was joined by Pennsylvania State University. The association decided not to change its name and simply added ’11′ to its logo.

Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-Benz’s logo symbolizes the company’s confidence in its own perfection. The three-pointed star represents superiority in every environment — on land, water and in the air.

NBC

In the early 1950s, NBC was owned by RCA, the company that pioneered the production of color TVs. The bright-feathered peacock’s tail featured in NBC’s logo was meant to show the people who still watched black-and-white what they were missing out on.

Eighty 20

Eighty 20 is a small consulting firm. Many believe that the firm’s logo has no connection whatsoever with its name. But, if we imagine that the dark squares are ones, and the light squares are zeros, then, in binary code, the top line would read as 1010000 and the bottom line as 0010100. Translated to ordinary numbers, this stands for 80 and 20.

Toblerone

Toblerone is a company that produces chocolate, based in the Swiss city of Bern, which is also called ’the city of bears’. This is why the company has incorporated a silhouette of a bear into its logo.

Baskin Robbins

If you look closely, you’ll find that the pink-colored segments of the letters ’B’ and ’R’ form the number 31. This alludes to the number of flavors that Baskin Robbins ice cream historically comes in.

Carrefour

Carrefour is one of the biggest European retailers, with its headquarters in France. That’s why its logo, which symbolizes the ongoing expansion of the company, is made in the colors of the French flag. In addition, the logo incorporates the first letter of the company’s name.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Milwaukee Brewers is a professional baseball team from Wisconsin. Their logo is made of the letters ’M’ and ’B’ and resembles a baseball glove.

Greenlabs

The crown of the tree in this logo represents a brain. This both emphasizes the great intellectual potential of Greenlabs’ employees and provides a graphic representation of the company’s name.

McDonald’s

Yes, the M stands for McDonald’s, but the rounded M also represents a pair of nourishing breasts, according to the design consultant and psychologist Louis Cheskin. In the 1960’s, McDonald’s was prepared to abandon this logo, but Cheskin successfully urged the company to maintain this branding with its Freudian symbolism.

Although the logo also reminds us of the movie Coneheads. Isn’t it a perfect match?

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18 Incredible Inventions That Will Change Our Lives

Here’s a list of new inventions that are so brilliant you immediately want to shake their creators’ hands in gratitude.

Very comfortable park benches

Thanks so much!

The ’I could eat a horse’ spaghetti server

So you never make too much or too little ever again.

Air con for your bed

We all know the trick of sticking one foot out from under the duvet to keep cool. Now you don’t need to do that ever again!

Slippers designed for playing with your kids

Simply ingenious!

Clips for the grill

Perfect for grilling vegetables, bacon, and much more!

The super suitcase

This suitcase easily becomes a set of drawers with a hanger rail attached.

A pocket lamp that looks like a credit card

This one even fits in your wallet. Guaranteed to help when you can’t find something in your bag.

Three in one: a coffee machine, toaster, and frying pan

The perfect machine for making breakfast.

Magnetic switches

Great for making sure you have everything you need before leaving your apartment.

The mug that stirs itself

It can stir anything you put in it. A fantastic idea!

A laser-projected keyboard

This incredible invention is ideal for when you have to write long messages and your tiny smartphone keyboard is just too uncomfortable to do so.

A solar-powered tent

You can charge your phone and other devices in it, and it provides lighting at night. You can even heat the floor!

An innovative bag for washing

You can’t take your washing machine with you wherever you go, but this incredible wash bag is the next best thing.

Observe the weather inside your home

This almost unbelievable invention recreates the weather system outside your window. Fascinating!

Convenient cup holders

Simple but brilliant, these will be useful both at home and at work.

A pen that can determine different colors

Why has no one ever thought of this before?

A hidden TV

The perfect camouflage.

The smart pencil

If only we’d had these at school.

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The 20 Most Terrific Inventions That Just Can’t Leave Anybody Unimpressed

Designers are wonderful people. They think day and night about how to make our lives more comfortable, pleasant and interesting.

In order to recognize their achievements, we picked out some of the most ingenious things they’ve come up with lately.

The device which shows tomorrow’s weather

Ken Kawamoto is a software engineer who has the ambition to unite the digital and real worlds. He came up with the idea of a device which visually displays tomorrow’s weather. He calls it the Tempescope. If there’s going to be a thunderstorm, it shows flashes of real lightning; water drops fall down if it’s going to rain. It’s truly amazing! The only problem is it can’t quite show us snow yet.

Mirror Cups

A Japanese design team called D-Bros has come up with a unique set of tea cups and saucers which they’ve given the brand name ’Waltz’. These cups reflect the colourful patterns on their saucers, making selecting ones that match no longer so difficult. Captivating!

A saddle for dad

SaddleBaby is a fantastic new way to transport those kids who love to sit on their father’s shoulders. Dad now has his hands free to use his phone or camera — so everyone’s happy!

Shoes with removable heels

Now with just a light tug on your shoe you can turn casual pumps into elegant high heels for the evening. Designer Tanya Heath has come up with special shoes that can be matched to a whole range of different heels. They’re indispensible for all those who want to wear nice shoes but have to drive!

The tap which makes saving water beautiful

Young London-based designer Simin Qiu has created a unique design for a bathroom tap which not only looks stylish, but helps save resources by turning the stream of water into an elegant, captivating ’net’ spiral. A special turbine saves 15% more water than with an ordinary tap.

A miniature garden around your neck

Designer Colin Jordan has invented some ideal jewelry options for those who love nature. He makes tiny little vases using a 3-D printer, and fills them with small flowers who actually grow like their larger cousins. They can be worn as necklaces and broaches or placed on your work desk.

The spherical bath tub

Invented by Russian designer Aleksandr Zhukovskii, take a bath in this spherical tub and it feels like you’re swimming in the air.

The portable ladder for climbing any tree

Many adults regret that they’re already too old to climb trees without risking an accident. Sometimes you just still want to! But with the CanopyStair, you can easily get to the top of a tree without having to worry about how you’ll make your way down. The staircase can be easily fixed to any tree without harming its bark.

Superheroes to hold up your books

These really do create the impression that your books are being held up by superman. In fact, it’s really the work of magnets which are attracted to the metal base hidden in the book itself.

Text clocks

Unlike ordinary clocks with hands or numbers, which make you simply focus on how quickly time is passing, the text clock makes you stop and think about the moment you’re living through.

The coffee cup which gives you a kiss

The kissing coffee cup was invented by Jang Woo Seok. ’I love both drinking coffee and kissing people,’ he says. ’Now I can do both at the same time.’

Shoes which fit your feet perfectly

Japanese designer Masaya Hashimoto came up with an idea for a new pair of sneakers which perfectly wrap around every curve of your feet. Inspired by Furoshiki, traditional Japanese wrapping cloth used for transporting goods, the shoes have no laces and instead wrap around the foot, fastening with velcro.

The Armstrong Light Trap

This futuristic-looking lamp is both beautiful and mysterious. You can regulate how bright it is using a very simple method — everything depends on how many of the ’craters’ on its surface are left open. Named in honour of famous American astronaut Neil Armstrong, it was in fact invented by a team of Russian designers.

The invisible computer keyboard

This is almost literally magic. The invisible Noki keyboard is made up of two simple-looking bracelets which monitor the movement of your fingers. Very impressive indeed, but a bit hard to use if you still can’t touch type!

Signal indicator for cyclists

The Azerbaijani designer Elnur Babayev came up with this idea. His Cyclee projector allows a cyclist to indicate clearly to other drivers what he is about to do — even when it’s completely dark. The projector is attached to the seat, and works automatically without any input from the cyclist.

The lamp made from an old tree stump

Each one of these lamps is unique, simply because they’re made from real tree stumps. Light-emitting diodes have been placed inside their cracks.

Decorative rolling pins

A simple but brilliant idea, this rolling pin allows you to easily make cookies with decorative patterns on them. This was actually invented in response to an earlier version for children.

Rings that look like they’ve come alive

Every one of these rings, which have been invented by the artist who goes by the name of m e r r y m e, are made up of three separate parts. Individually they don’t look like much, but when worn together as a set it’s as if they’ve come alive on your fingers.

Cat seats

These special blocks were invented specially for cat owners. Our feline friends absolutely adore finding new ways to snuggle inside them.

Weapons for a pillow fight

The world would probably be a much quieter place if we settled all our disputes with pillow fights. Designer Bryan Ku has clearly had the same thought. For those who love pillow fights, he has invented a selection of special soft weapons.

Double-round skate

Unlike a conventional skates the double-round model allows you to freely manage your feet, turn and spin. At the heart of the skateboard there are two wheels with a diameter of 25 centimeters and a comfortable platform for the feet.

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20 Seriously Creative Things to Brighten Up Your Kitchen

At Think About Network, we love discovering new creative gadgets and items for the home. We love them even more when it turns out that they’re genuinely useful.

The following 20 things are guaranteed to brighten up any kitchen, as well as make it a whole lot easier to get things done when you’re cooking. We can’t wait to get our hands on all of them!

Expressive bowls and cups

The submergible spice container

The food savers

The container for storing spaghetti

The clip-on strainer

This vegetable slicer

These silicone oven gloves

This snack bowl

This thing to measure the correct portion of spaghetti

This set of kitchen utensils

This thing for brewing a cup of tea

This really cool cheese knife

This set of chopping boards

These funny salad tongs

This attractive lid support

This thing for separating yolk from egg white

These spice containers

This oven glove/table mat combo for hot pots and pans

The vegetable ’sharpener’

This set for decorating food

The sushi-maker