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Ask HN: What is a creative product you've discovered recently?
96 points by toto444 12 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 89 comments
It does not have to be a tech product. Just something that is radically new, not a variation of some other well know product.

Blender3D for video editing is really cool.

iMovie crashed bad on me and I never got it working again. Almost paid 300 bucks for Final Cut Pro.

Then remembered that Blender had this built in. And its really good. No need to import videos into a bin or nonsense like that. Just drag them into the timeline, add filters, drag to reorder, render to mp4/aac and its done.

Best discovery of the year sofar

Have you heard about DaVinci Resolve?

That's my recent great find. It's amazing that it's given fir free even for personal use.

> Almost paid 300 bucks for Final Cut Pro.

Tip: If you're in school or have a family member in school, Apple's "Pro Apps Bundle for Education" is a great deal. https://www.apple.com/us-hed/shop/product/BMGE2Z/A/pro-apps-...

I thought Blender was for animation, didn't occur to me you can just edit video within it.

Lossless-cut is a great little tool for splitting and merging videos too (limited by i-frames), but lightning fast.

I found remarkable [0] recently and ordered one. I love writing with pen and paper. Remarkable looks the closest to that experience and can save digitally. It's like having your cake and eat it too :)

[0] https://remarkable.com/

I have found my rocketbook[0] extremely useful for the task. Its almost as good as real paper and you can find the pens anywhere. Only issue is once you scan it you can't edit it.

[0] https://getrocketbook.com/

Wat?? Could you explain me how it works? Is it a screen? Regular paper? Something in the middle? Really curious...

It's a kind of plasticky paper. It's got QR codes on it and little circles at the bottom so you can save each scan to different places. The paper is a little slick to pass for real pen and paper writing experience, but it's not bad.

The pen used is a Frixion pen. If cleaned in a week or so, the ink can wipe off with a damp cloth (similar to wet erase markers). But it can also be cleared with heat/friction (be aware, sufficiently cooling it can cause it to reappear, at least faintly). This also means you shouldn't leave something written with these pens in the car on a hot summer day unless the intent is to clear the page to write over.

Along with Rocketbook notebooks, you can also look into "stone paper" products which offer similar usability but without the scanning tool/app that Rocketbook provides.

It´s a normal notebook but with some kind of plastic-coated paper sheets. You can use certain type of pens to draw on it which is deleted with heat.

I bought one for my wife that can be heated in the microwave to "reset" it. A pretty nice gimmick for someone that still write in paper.

I went with the Fujitsu A4 as i wanted the bigger screen, but everything I read about it said it worked wonders with the writing feel as well. Should arrive next week, and I'm already beyond excited for it.

I love remarkable. Really worth checking out rehackable as well. There is a growing community of people building mods.

Is there a web browser mod? This would be the killer device if it could browse the web

EDIT nevermind, I see that they have a Chrome plugin that sends web pages to the device. Would much rather have a built-in browser https://remarkable.com/

if remarkable offered an integration with G-Suite, specifically Google Docs, I would buy one right now

boox air has full android. I use google books but you won't be able to use google docs for writing because apps need to be designed to account for eink latency.

I'll leave software aside:

- Toto 550 bidet and a poop stool changed my life.

- Sideclick learning remote that snaps on to a Fire TV remote.

- "Neon" addressable LED RGB silicone strips that don't have the fugly individual LEDs exposed. Especially neat when directed by a music & bluetooth controller.

- It's something I assembled: installed a waterfall shower head and wand in an apartment using a very long extension pipe, 6 heavy-duty removable bathroom hooks, and strong fishing line for support like a bridge.

- Toilet bowl motion lights for not just toilet bowls.

- Hand-made plamp hats.

- Vinyl records turned into bowls.

- Sunglasses made from discarded baseball bats.

- Bed made out of enameled rebar with chemical drum nightstands.

- Lighting and tornado detector.

- Handmade and custom items on Etsy all the time.

>Handmade and custom items on Etsy all the time.

Someday I will be buying one of these: https://www.etsy.com/shop/bensworx

Wooooah! Neat.

Inevitably, such beautiful designs will be applied to "health & wellness personal products."

Also, why are Etsy sellers offering downloads of unartistic nudes for $5 and others selling tons of Chinese generic products claiming they're "handmade"? Has Etsy stopped curating?

This is something I never considers. I know Etsy had handmade items, I just never thought about the custom aspect.

What are you using for 'Lighting and tornado detector' out of interest? Curious how a tornado detector works.

Here is the hardware one site uses for locating lightning strikes. It looks like they use VLF (Very Low Frequency) antennas and mostly use time or arrival to locate sources. https://www.blitzortung.org/en/cover_your_area.php

I sometimes listen to the live map as a background noise source with some randomness. https://map.blitzortung.org/#1/10.1/8

> poop stool

Doesn't just leaning forward (resting your elbows on your thighs) accomplish the same thing?

No, it has to do with raising your knees higher. Humans were designed to poop squatting. A poop stool brings a sitting pooper closer to a squat.

How is it different from a squat? Are people not spreading their cheeks? Your body is still aligned the same way when you rest your elbows on your thighs.

> Vinyl records turned into bowls.

hopefully, you're not using this with food

Haha. Of course not. Common sense. We're using them for coaster holders, fake fruit centerpieces, and keeping odds/ends from scampering off.

Walden Pond. It's a service that curates unread articles from your Pocket collection, print, binds, and mails them to you. I get the long edition, which works out to about 140 pages for $14 USD/month.

I've used pocket for years, but I collect articles much faster than I read them. I currently have enough saved for 300 editions. You can tag articles as must-print. The print quality and paper are amazing. It's now my preferred way to read good online content, especially things I know I will want to read again in the future.

Here is the table of contents for my most recent volume: https://imgur.com/a/3ceBfOB


I just came across this by accident!

I make WP* for exactly this reason. I'm about to finish a 12 hour edition that I made to test if the printers could handle it (they could) and there's no way I'd have read that much on my phone.

* WP is my iso project

I feel embarrassed saying this but I feel both Clubhouse and TikTok are pretty amazing.

Both of them lower the barrier of entry on content creation and make distribution easier when one is starting out.

I haven't found a single conversation on Clubhouse that was

1. interesting 2. i could take a part in

I guess they are still growing, but I feel like the format has severe flaws and I don't know if they can be easily resolved as they scale. The idea is still solid though, but I don't know if they can execute it really well. Currently its a bunch of wantrepeneurs trying to sell themselves and that's really boring.

When clubhouse is good, it's magic. But they have a content quality / signal noise ratio problem currently, making it hard to find good content. Combined with how notifications work, it makes the app very noisy and hard to find the good stuff.

This is how I felt before I found a room I regularly frequent. We meet up once a week for the past 3 weeks, and so far it's 3 consistent participants with 2-3 newcomers each time. I've only met 1 of them in real life. We talk about surfing ;p.

What I've learned is that Clubhouse is only fun if you're participating. Unstructured conversations are hard to follow if you're not actively shaping it.

TikTok is enabling some awesome creativity, which is weird because I can't figure out why it's anything new. Like, why did this one app take off all of a sudden?

It didn't; TikTok released six years ago in China. In the West, the app musica.ly was more popular, but it was merged with TikTok.

Before TikTok and Musica.ly there was Vine, founded in 2012 which had a peak of 200 million active users by 2015.

And of course there's Instagram, which has allowed short videos since 2013 as well to try and compete with Vine.

And of course before all of those there was Youtube.

the transparent content suggestion algorithm is insanely good. If you spend any amount of time in the actual app, you'll find it immediately starts catering content to you based on your specific interests (without ever obviously indicating them). Pair that with a very simple yet powerful "editing" suite, complete with audio editing and vfx, the app is the perfect storm for micro video content creation/consumption.

I don’t think anybody else in the social space has managed to work out licensing music as part of the content creation.

Imagine if Spotify bought Snap.

Can you give some examples of awesome creativity on TikTok? I do not have the app, but I have only seen people share funny videos.

The only non-humor creativity I've ever really seen is BoardGamesInAMinute[1], doing minute overviews of board games. But I don't go to TikTok much myself.


Growth hacking, probably.

I'm not sure I would call spending billions in ads growth hacking

That's brute-forcing ;)

The other clubhouse http://clubhouse.io to keep my projects going. Just the simplicity of getting started with an agile board was great.

Beware of the dopamine addiction, specially TikTok, I think it's so addictive it should be regulated :)

A pen and paper. It might be so old and unused that it has become radically new and extremely creative. :)

One of my favorite pre-pandemic pastimes was to browse stationery shops and office supply stores. There's something exciting about seeing all those materials and supplies waiting to be used.

Seconded! Something about perusing the blank pages in all their shapes and sizes feels like strolling through a world of raw potential.

Yay! I love it too...

Bone conducting headphones are nice, especially if you realize you are too tired to read after work, but not too tired to listen. You can still interact with people around you because there's a quick play/pause button.

There are also great while riding a bike.

GeForce Now.

I've known about these "cloud gaming" utilities for some time, but have always just owned my own hardware. I typically don't bother asking my friends to play games with me, because the only ones with a gaming PC are already the few I play games with. The rest I figure would never spend the time or the money to get one.

Recently, I wanted my girlfriend to play a game with me, but it didn't run on Mac. I was about to set up dual boot for her, but then remembered that this existed, so I figured I'd give it a try. Extremely easy to get up and running, and you can even run it from a browser. Given that your internet connection is good enough, latency is low and quality is high.

I'm now recommending it to all of my friends.

I considered GeForce Now, but went with Shadow.tech instead. Shadow gives you a gaming PC in the cloud, where you can bring your own Steam, Epic, etc. You can even use SteamVR with it.

So far, my experience has been very good.

They current have a waitlist of nearly 6 months, which is quite some way from ideal.

Are you sure about that? I signed up in early Feb with a Feb 25th date, and ended up getting my account just a few days later.

Edit: Oh, I see from their site that it's dependent on your location. In my location, it was quite quick.

LookingGlass displays. Their small version is available for pre-order for $250 and ships in June. I've got a leap motion laying around and some experience with Unity, so it sounds like something that would be fun to mess around with.

Is there anywhere that list the technical specifications of the display? Seems like an creative concept they're selling I'm just not sure what I'd actually be buying.

It looks like their kickstarter has all the info:


Linus did a decent review of the tech back in 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EA2FQXs4dw

ctrl+f resolution -> nothing

ctrl+f pixel -> the android phone "Pixel"

ctrl+f hz/refrash/ rate -> nothing

What's the effective resolution of a view? What's the refresh rate? What's the color depth? What's the max viewing angle? What's the max perceived depth? How bright is it?

Somewhere in the 11 minute Linus video it might touch on these for the version of the product their reviewing but certainly not in one place and not for the final specs of the version listed above.

E.g. if this were a cell phone I don't want to hear about how they reached a stretch goal for a video camera which enables you to capture life's experiences in motion... I want to know the specifications of the video camera, and all of the other components.

Lytro made a depth field camera and people made the exact same complaints. Lytro cameras and a 35mm are apples and oranges. Same goes for a phone screen and this display. It is 45 sandwiched light field displays. It projects 8.3 million rays of light over a 50 degree arc. 16m RGB color @ 60hz. It's viewing area is measured in liters.

I hesitate because the product isn't that new and I have praised it quite a bit already at HN ...

... but nextdns is Such. A. Great. Idea.

I really wish I had thought of it - not only is it a great idea but it would have been so fun to spin up a global dns network (I wouldn't have done it with cloud instances - I would have owned the servers ...).

Also, I hear some rumblings about some less-than-perfect behavior from nextdns - specifically how their own homepage has trackers on it ... although, as of this writing, ublock origin had zero hits, so perhaps they have cleaned that up ...

Notion.so I have been an Evernote user for years. But Notion allows me to easily create connections between notes and to creatively synthesize new ideas in ways that Evernote never could. I am very happy with Notion.

If that‘s the reason you like Notion over Evernote, Supernotes (https://supernotes.app) might work well for you too.

This looks like an online-only version of Joplin, interesting. Personally I ended up with Joplin to achieve and exceed feature parity with Evernote for my own use case...

Thank you. I will check it out.

I tried Notion but got turned off by their security policies. I use a lot of encrypted notes in Evernote and haven’t found a SAAS replacement with that feature plus the other Evernote features I use.

Telegram + dynamist

Every time I have an idea, I send a message to myself using telegram: there is actually a widget just for that in android.

It's awesome cause you can type, take a a picture or a video, dictate... And it syncs across devices, giving you access anywhere to a timeline of your thoughts.

Then when I got time I pop the stack and sort in as projects into the wonderful dynamist. It works offline, on Linux and mobile, syncs, allows notes and nested todo.

I do the same with Whatsapp using a neat trick someone told me about. Create a group(call it "Share with self" or similar) with you and another person. Then, remove that person from the group.. that's it! Functionally it's the same as sending yourself Slack messages, but on WA, which is good

What is dynamist?

I'm guessing it's a typo and he meant https://dynalist.io/


A small USB-C rechargeable LED lantern. It has 3 modes: warm light, cool light and RGB. It has only one capacitive button to turn it off (double tap) or adjust intensity (tap and hold).

I bought it for my small balcony, but end up using it all the time. It's a great night light, reading light, ambiance light etc. It's also mobile.

I honestly haven't fell in love like this with a product in years.

Not recently but as a kid: wooden blocks, LEGO, a pad of graph paper, a pad of blank paper, ruler, mechanical pencil.

Ocassionally as an adult, the pads of paper and mechanical pencil are great for doodling.

For kids, those items alone aren't the magic answer - it's raising them so that they'll be okay with just those items.

I hope to have kids in the next couple of years, and they won't be given electronic pacifiers.

Craft (https://craft.do) has become my goto note taking / productivity / knowledge management app. I've tried Workflowy, Roam, Obsidian, and Notion before landing here. It has a great compromise of features I liked from all the different apps, native mac + iOS applications (huge if you're coming from Notion electron land), and a great dev team that's delivering new features at a rapid clip.

Edit: Matter (https://getmatter.app) has replaced Pocket / Instapaper / Email as my article reader & queue. Still early but looks quite promising.

I don't if its creative but boox air has been life changing for me. I've doubled my reading easily because my eyes aren't hurting. I am actually reading full length articles now. So boox air + pocket app = increased reading.

Roam Research has made tracking all the details to GM my DnD campaigns a breeze.

I find the "daily notes" really lowers the barrier to entry for just writing. I find myself writing a lot more with it.

I've been using Obsidian for world building recently, but Roam would be great for this (if not better) as well.

Literally exactly my first use case of Roam. Unbelievably good for world building.

What does your workflow look like? I have a page for each entity in my stories and use tags in metadata to group them, but for actual plotting it doesn't work quite as well.

WorkFlowy is pretty good for brainstorming an idea without worrying too much about structuration. I've discovered it recently and can only recommend it.

I just checked out their website, it's really annoying. Zero information on pricing, you need to create an account to "try for free" to access that information.

I've used this for a while to track ideas and tasks, but just recently started using it to track recipes as well. (My sous vide cheesecake recipe for example: https://workflowy.com/s/sous-vide-cheesecake/edLz9ugNA3IPrF8...)

For anyone who lives by bullet-point lists and goes way too many layers indented, Workflowy is the solution. You can click in and out of any layer of your lists and go as deep as fits your needs. 10/10, one of my favorite tools for brainstorming, organization, amorphous note storage.

I think this key cluster module [0] for the Ultimate Hacking Keyboard is pretty creative. I don't own a UHK or this module, but I think this is a better answer to your question than Workflowy, Notion, Roam Research, and pen and paper.

[0] https://ultimatehackingkeyboard.com/product/keycluster

I just ordered a Moonlander, but the UHK was one of the boards I considered. Those interchangeable thumb modules are such a brilliant idea. If the UHK were ortho it would have been a much harder choice for me.


80% of what I do is sending people screenshots. It's ridiculously time saving for me, and is one of the first things I install on a new computer.

The dodow 'sleep aid' https://www.mydodow.com/dodow/en-us/home

Incredibly creative how they turn a flashing led into a $60 product.

An epson home cinema projector, Apple TV and a $200 soundbar with subwoofer + a liter of neutral gray paint.

Instant 8’ movie theater in the living room.


It's basically easy-mode music mixing/DJing with live cooperative multiplayer.

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