Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 9, 2016
As everyone in the free world knows, it was Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, and due to the 8hr time difference between London and San Francisco, live coverage of the game didn't commence till 11pm. This meant that an early night was out of the question; not a great start to my busy working week. In fact, I didn't hit the sack (no pun intended), until 5am so when my alarm went off at the usual time, I felt more than a little bleary-eyed.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 12, 2015
The Parrot micro-drone and hydrofoil only costs £139.99 ($179.00). It is essentially, well, a small drone attached to a hydrofoil, but what a great combo! As the boat surges forward, carried by the Parrot, it is lifted almost entirely out of the water to reduce drag, thereby making the boat go faster. The micro-drone propels the boat forward by rotating upwards.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 9, 2015
Brick 2015 is coming to town this weekend. The Lego-themed event will take place at the Excel conference centre in London's Docklands Dec 11-13. Not only will there be seasonal displays such as a snowman constructed using over 250 thousand bricks, but attendees will also be able to checkout Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Batman-inspired Lego creations. In addition, SmartBrick will be there.
Posted By Simon Montford on Oct 17 2015
Whenever I go out wearing my LG Watch Urbane during the day it receives very little attention, because it looks very much like a conventional horological watch. At night, however, it's a different story. The Urbane's illuminated P-OLED fascia looks so good it turns heads.
Posted By Simon Montford on March 2, 2015
Beam is a small 100-lumen projector (commonly known as a Pico project or mini beamer) that can be connected to any light socket. It is capable of 20,000 hours of operation, contains an LED light, two 2-watt speakers and 8GB of storage capacity. Any electronic device can be connected to Beam, including mice, keyboards, game controllers, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth speakers, and smartwatches.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 10, 2015
Last year in a post titled "Who's Data Is It Anyway?" we shared our concerns that wearable owners were not being given access to their own personal data by OEMs. One example was the Basis Peak (acquired by Intel). Well it looks like the recent firmware upgrade has addressed this issue! The company's blog states "Our new data export feature lets you populate your own charts and graphs with your activity and fitness metrics, do customized analyses, in-depth comparisons and more". To learn more about their data export policy, you can visit their support section here.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 7, 2015
In 2013 Canonical attempted to raise $32 million via crowdfunding to build the Ubuntu Edge. Unfortunately their Indiegogo campaign did not succeed, however the company did manage to attract $12.8 million by the time their campaign ended. The Edge was intended to double as a desktop PC when connected to a monitor, mouse, and keyboard, which would have been pretty cool. Cononical's second attempt, the "Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition", will not transform into a PC, but retains the Edge's best feature - the OS.
Posted By Simon Montford on Jan 26, 2015
Canary, the complete home security system, is about to go on sale in the States at a RRP of $250. The Canary received a great deal of attention when the company exceeded its funding goal of $100,000 on Indiegogo, back in July 2013. The Canary attracted an impressive two million dollars' worth of pre-orders, and also closed an additional $10 million round of funding led by Khosla Ventures.
Posted By Simon Montford on Jan 21, 2015
An increasingly popular way to operate wearable devices like the Moto 360, Sony SmartWatch 3, Martian, Omate, and the Apple Watch is via voice control. Devices powered by Android Wear are activated when the user says "Okay Google", and those that use their iPhone usually tap a “command” button which activates the familiar Siri chime. Both Google Now and Siri enable users to read and reply to emails directly on the wearable device as well as read and compose text messages, make calls, enter calendar appointments, and set reminders.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 22, 2014
When the first version of this product was released I was very pleased that an OEM had finally realized that a two screened smartphone was a good idea. Unfortunately, what I wanted was a two screened phone with two sims, so I could have my work and personal phone in a single device. If anyone out there's developing a smartphone like this, please let me know!
Guest Post By Harry Fielder on Nov 27, 2014
As a web developer and general tech enthusiast, I felt it was about time I dipped my toe into the exciting and rapidly growing area of the ‘Internet of Things’. I am a relative newbie to hardware hacking, so my aim is not to offer a deep dive review, but instead simply alleviate any concerns you may have about rolling up your sleeves and giving the Spark Core a go.
Posted By Simon Montford on Nov 28, 2014
Okay it may look like something out of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory but the "WunderBar" is the easiest way to start developing apps for the Internet of Things. The German startup behind this well-connected device, that looks like a chocolate bar, is Relayr. The startup was able to put itss into production after a successful crowdfunding campaign earlier this year.
Posted By Simon Montford on Nov 27, 2014
There are well over a hundred fitness trackers on the market that monitor activity based on movement, and in some cases heartbeat. The problem is that keeping track of exercise, and its effect on the body, is a very complex process. As a gimmick, fitness trackers work just fine, but to be genuinely valuable, particularly to medical professionals, accuracy needs to be improved. Perhaps this is why over 50% of consumers in the States have ditched their trackers, myself included.
Posted By Simon Montford on Nov 24, 2014
Kovert has integrated cutting edge micro-electronics into designer jewellery in order to enable fashion-conscious wearers to receive subtle vibration alerts from their smartphones. To avoid constant interruptions, it is possible to predefine vibration alerts so that only relevant texts, emails, calls or whatsapp notifications trigger the smart jewellery.
Posted By Simon Montford on Nov 24, 2014
Finnish organisation Beddit, based in Helsinki, has developed a sleep tracker which can be strapped to a mattress. It can sense breathing and heart rate, and claims to be far more accurate than most wearable sleep monitors.
Posted By Simon Montford on Nov 18, 2014
LittleBits launched its cloudBit device earlier this year. It allows users to control electrical devices around their home remotely and receive notifications via the LittleBits smartphone app. For example, you can remotely control heaters or air conditioning units or receive a notification whenever the doorbell is pressed.
After a successful campaign on Indiegogo, the GymWatch is finally on sale for $199! Turns out it isn't really a watch, as the name would suggest. It is, in fact more of a band-type device that can be strapped around the arm or leg.
Posted By Simon Montford on Nov 13, 2014
The new Raspberry Pi Model A+ is on sale now for $20/£15.50.
Here are the specs taken directly from raspberrypi.org:
The Model A+ uses the BCM2835 application processor and has 256MB RAM, but it is significantly smaller (65mm in length, versus 86mm for the Model A), consumes less power, and inherits the many improvements that made to the Model B+, including:
Posted By Simon Montford on Nov 13, 2014
Some say DJI's new design is reminiscent of a dinosaur skull, which in our books is not necessarily a bad thing when it looks this good! The Inspire 1 is a major improvement when compared to its predecessor, the Phantom. It is capable of streaming 1080p video up to a mile away and at a price of $2,800 (£2749), the Inspire 1 is reasonably priced but not cheap (Phantom RRP $1,000/£999).
Posted By Simon Montford on Nov 10, 2014
In addition to the Tempo, Blue Maestro has also created a Bluetooth pacifier called Pacifi, which not only monitors body temperature but also features a proximity sensor that will alert parents when the device strays out of range. The Pacifi app can also be used to find the Pacifi in the event that it has been lost or intentionally hidden by mischievous toddlers. Parents can also record when medication was administered, set-up reminder alerts, and share data with carers and medical professionals. Pacifi will be available in Autumn 2014 and will retail for approximately £30 ($47) where applicable.
Posted By Simon Montford on Nov 7, 2014
According to Phandroid a champagne gold version of Motorola will be made available in 18mm and 23mm watchband sizes. The metal strap will cost around $300 and a leather band version, called "cognac", will cost around $50 less.
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