When you’re surrounded by high-resolution displays, classic pixelation takes on a retro novelty, which is what makes the LaMetric notification display look so good in an office or bedroom. Available for pre-order, $89.
The 9 by 3-inch display functions as a dedicated notification center that monitors and gives concise updates for stock quotes, the day’s weather, Twitter mentions, or your Gmail inbox count.
There are other dedicated displays, such as the Facebook Like counter called Fliike and the now-defunct Chumby, but the flexibility of options on the LaMetric give it the potential to be more than a smart light-up belt buckle.
To set it up, you connect it to nearby Wi-Fi using the LaMetric app on your smartphone, and cycle through options to pick out what you want to have it say.
Coaxing the LaMetric to flex all of its muscles requires some know-how of RSS feeds and apps like If This Then That (IFTTT), but basic setup of email notification and appointment reminders is simple.
If you have a phone, tablet, and laptop that all ring simultaneously when an email arrives, you know that too much information can be distracting, but used well, auxiliary notification sources like the LaMetric can be great. Waking up and seeing the weather without picking up your phone feels almost futuristic.