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Tested The Show 2017: Deconstructed

The full 2017 Tested Live Show! The Tested team and friends from the maker community present an evening of talks, demos, and presentations deconstructing their projects and processes. Presenters include Allen Pan, Science Friday's Undiscovered podcast, Kenji Lopez-Alt, Simone, and Adam!

Testing: SmartPlane Pro FPV Fixed-Wing RC

The thrill of First Person View (FPV) flying is a big draw for many aspiring RC hobbyists. Everybody wants to experience the sensation of flying from their model's perspective. While there are lots of beginner-oriented FPV multi-rotors on the market, there are very few fixed-wing options. A new entry in the fixed-wing column is the SmartPlane Pro FPV from TobyRich ($300).

I'll be honest. I didn't expect much from this model. The marketing material made it seem like something you might find in a Sky Mall catalog…plenty of cool factor, but no real substance. I've tested enough of those types of products to know that I shouldn't get my hopes up.

You can imagine my surprise when I discovered that the SmartPlane Pro FPV (SPPF) is actually a great-flying little airplane. In fact, the entire package works much better than I expected. I've really been enjoying it. Keep reading to find out what makes the SPPF stand out. I'll also share some things that could use improvement.

Hands-On with HoloPlayer One Display

The inventors at Looking Glass Factory experiment with different ways we can interact with three-dimensional computer images, and their latest product is able to generate a convincing holographic display. Looking Glass's CEO Shawn Frayne stops by our office to demo the HoloPlayer One and chat with us about his dreams of making holograms.

Adam Savage's King Arthur Armor Build, Part 5

What goes into the design of film armor? Adam and Terry have a conversation about the aesthetics of armor, take a close look at some original design sketches from Excalibur, and go through an exercise in designing a villainous armor from scratch.

Google Play App Roundup: Graphice, Tower Fortress, and Faraway 2

Another week is upon us, and that means it's time to check out the state of the Google Play Store. Your phone is only a shadow of itself without the best apps, so it's a good thing we're here to save the day. Just click on the app name to pull up the Google Play Store so you can try things out for yourself.

Graphice

What color is that in your photo? It can be hard to say, what with the variance in display calibration and our own woefully inaccurate eyeballs. Graphice is a new app in the Play Store that can tell you, objectively, what colors are in a photo. It's free to try, but there's also a paid upgrade with more features.

Graphice looks and works a bit like your standard gallery app. Open it up, and you see all the images on your device. You can tap on any of the thumbnails to open in full-screen. At the bottom of the screen is a toolbar, which expands with a tap. It opens a full palette of colors from your image. Each one has a swatch and the hex value of the color. A long-press on any square copies the hex value, which you can then paste into other apps. As an aside, Google search understands hex values, so you can get more info on the color.

The toolbar also includes a share button, but this isn't just a regular photo sharing feature. This button brings up the image along with your color palette. You can tap on as many hex values as you like, which are then included at the bottom of the image. This new JPEG is what's shared via Graphice. You can send it to any of the apps on your phone that plug into Android's share menu.

So, that's neat, and it's all free. If you pay for the $2.49 pro license, the app gets substantially more useful. With the upgrade, you can specify areas of your photo to generate multiple palettes. These are all saved in the app, and you can do the same things with those palettes (eg. sharing and copying hex codes). The multi-palette options are grayed out if you don't pay the license fee.

Graphice seems like a solid way to obsess about colors. The free version will be fun to play around with if you're not super-serious about design. There are no ads, either.

The Art of Custom Mechanical Keyboard Keycaps

We meet a 3D artist who models and 3D prints custom keycaps for mechanical keyboards! Robert, who runs Clackeys, explains to us how he designs unique keycaps inspired by video games and pop culture, treating the surface of a key as his canvas. We about talk his approach to printing these designs and the amount of complexity he can get from an SLA print.

Artist Jason Freeny on Toy Design and His Anatomical Sculptures

We catch up with artist Jason Freeny, whose anatomical sculptures we first featured on Tested over four years ago. Since then, Jason has teamed up with the toymakers at MightyJaxx to release a line of anatomical collectibles, including ones inspired by DC Comics characters, LEGO figures, and even mythological creatures. We discuss toy design and what's next for Jason's creations.