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Circuit Breaker

I don’t know why this exists, but it looks beautiful

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Image: Simplistyk

“Levitating _____” is a classic Kickstarter formula. There are levitating clocks, levitating tops, levitating turntables, levitating speakers, levitating incense holders, levitating light bulbs, and so many levitating plants. None of these are strictly useful, but all of them look amazing and impossible and briefly seem like they’d look great in your living room and not at all goofy and unnecessary after a few days. The latest, and one of my favorite yet, is a machine that levitates drops of water called LeviZen.

A levitating clock, turntable, and speaker — and to a lesser extent a levitating plant holder, light bulb, and incense holder — are at least somewhat useful levitating objects, but the levitating water drop machine is nothing but visual flair. There is not even a hint of practical use, and it’s hard to imagine that you will use it for more than a few moments over the course of its lifespan to impress or confuse a friend.

Simplistyk, the company behind LeviZen, seems to be perfectly aware of this and has seemingly spent as much time designing a stylish retro look for the machine as it has on developing the relatively basic technology itself. The LeviZen looks like some obscure piece of audio equipment from the ’70s, with a walnut case, brushed aluminum plates, a large metal knob, and three very clicky metal toggles. I would put its control box on display somewhere even if it wasn’t connected to anything.

It’s fitting that the LeviZen looks like a strange piece of audio gear because it essentially is one. To make water levitate, it blasts opposing ultrasonic waves back and forth so that they combine into a standing wave, which has points that remain perfectly still. By placing water at those points (known as “nodes”), the droplets are able to hover in the air because they’re caught between equal and steady forces. The sound is ultrasonic, so you won’t be able to hear it, though your pets might, so that’s something to be wary of.

Simplistyk has already raised over $50,000 from more than 250 backers on Kickstarter, which is well above its $15,000 goal. As always with Kickstarter, be cautious when deciding to back them, as things can go awry. Simplistyk has shipped a product before — a fancy (but not-levitating) top / gyroscope — after running a successful Kickstarter, however, the product appears to have shipped two years late. Also, keep in mind that the LeviZen has no practical use.