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October 2017 Archives

October 13, 2017

Pike Trail - Pocket Blanket

Here's a simple product that just makes sense -- the Pike Trail Pocket Blanket.

The Pike Trail is an outdoor picnic / beach mat that's big enough for 2 to 4 people (60 x 56 in.), but is also thin and light and portable -- folding down into its pocket-size pouch (~ 5 x 4 1/2 x 2 in.).


It's durable, made from reinforced rip stop nylon that is puncture resistant to sticks and rocks. And it's waterproof and easy to clean, since it does not absorb water.

You can use it for a ground cover, for a shelter, or even to build a solar still. You also can anchor it in windy conditions with the sand pockets and stake loops at each corner.

Even better, it's inexpensive -- around $19 -- and available in two color combinations, gray/orange or yellow/blue.

We even play tested the Pike Trail Pocket Blanket with kids, wrapping up and rolling on the ground and flying in the wind, and it stood up well, was easy to wipe clean, and then packed up easily by folding and stuffing back into the pouch. It's a nice holiday stocking stuffer.

Find the Pike Trail Pocket Blanket on Amazon.com

October 18, 2017

Halloween "Digital Decorations" from AtmosFX

Haloween is happy pumpkins and candy -- but also scary witches and ghosts and creepy crawlies -- oh my!

And now you can have them all in your home, with AtmosFX "Digital Decorations" -- animated video vignettes that you can project on your window or wall, or show on a video display hanging like a window or portrait on your wall.

AtmosFX has built 18-some packs of Halloween clips, including that scary list above, plus skeletons and zombies and movie monsters (Frankenstein, Dracula and the Wolf Man), plus more lighthearted singing pumpkins and skeletons that dance, play music and perform silly slapstick vignettes.

Each pack then contains multiple clips, formatted to display in different modes, full-color and silhouettes, horizontal and vertical (for portraits and windows):

  • TV/Monitor - Hang on a wall, or position in a window to play outside. Great for animated portraits, or overlay the display with window panes so that it looks like a window to another room
  • Wall - Project directly on surfaces including walls, ceilings, doors, or floors. Great for creepy crawlies or zombies that appear to burst out of the surface. You even can project animated faces directly onto pumpkins.

  • Window - Rear project onto translucent material (curtains or sheet) for viewing outside. Great for short vignettes with silhouettes of monsters in the house.

  • Hollusion - Project onto a semi-transparent mesh material for the illusion of characters that hover in mid-air, in your doorway, archway or yard. Great for ghosts and other spectral creatures.

  • Doorway - Project onto a closed door or open doorway to create the illusion that something is going to appear.

  • Prop - Project a character video onto a draped human form, so the body comes alive, including hand gestures.


Whew! If you need more inspiration, check out the AtmosFX how-to videos and blog with fun examples from customers.

And did I mention that AtmosFX has additional (albeit smaller) collections for other holidays and events -- including Halloween, Christmas, Easter, New Year's, Valentine's Day, Fourth of July, Birthdays, and Football.

You can buy the packs with collections of some 3 to 11 clips for $19.99 to $39.99, or individual scenes for $5.99 to $9.99. They are available as immediate digital downloads, with some also available on DVD or SD card.

You then can play the clips from a computer, or DVD player, or from a projector that can play from a SD card or USB drive, or from a portable device like a tablet.

Some collections also include buffer clips with black or background lighting, to set the scene and build tension before the action starts. You then can build a playlist of multiple clips that loop and repeat. (The clips are typically under 1 minute, with some story clips running up to 2 1/2 minutes.)

AtmosFX also sells Window Projection Material ($24.99 - $39.99), an inflatable 3DFX Form for Prop display mode ($59.99), and a media player box with motion detection ($69.99).

So turn your home into a movie special effects showcase. Inside you can have portraits that come alive, ghosts haunting the hallways, and zombies bursting through the ceiling. And outside you can see monsters silhouetted in the windows, animated pumpkins, and blood dripping down the house. Eeek!

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About October 2017

Entries posted to Manifest Tech Blog in October 2017, listed from oldest to newest.

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