Controlling Arduinos from a mobile phone can be a challenging task. The amount of effort that’s required to program an app often isn’t worth it. So when Blynk was launched on Kickstarter I was really excited. Blynk is a mobile app which lets you control Arduino or Raspberry Pi using ethernet or wifi. The well thought out interface lets you create dashboards of virtual buttons, sliders, and other widgets to not only send requests but receive and display data.
There seems to be a renewed interest lately for companion robots, “intelligent” friends that learn to know you and can assess your needs. More than just “technology at your service”, there appears to be a real aim to create a bond between human and machine. Was this sparked by Disney’s Big Hero 6 and the lovable Baymax? Maybe. (If you haven’t seen this film, stop reading and watch it immediately!)
Mono is our take on an easy embedded developerment platform. We always wanted a platform (like Arduino), with easy access to a display and Wifi. We love Arduino, but it takes a great deal of effort to attach a display and wifi shield. Mono brings this kind of embedded programming to the masses, by an easy interface for developers. You do not need to be familiar with voltage levels, pull-up resistors, GPIO, SPI, I2C etc.
Nine years after its initial release in 2006 by Sinclair Research Ltd the lightest and most compact bicycle is being refreshed in line with London’s cycle boom.
The 30th annual New Designers event at the Business Design Centre had a colourful array of design ideas and products on show. Three designers’ responses to dementia/ Alzheimer’s really caught my eye.
Created by Rodolphe Hasselvander BUDDY is the do-it-all robot for your home, capable of home security, entertainment, communication and care.
Last year we met the team a few weeks before the unveiling of SAM and the start of their Kickstarter campaign which would achieve an impressive £125,500 in backing and an order of over 600 kits. This month the units shipped.
Doppel came about from some research into our body’s reaction to non-chemical stimulants like music. What the research shows, and what most of us have experienced, is that when we listen to music we love it gets us going. Dopamine is released and we feel a rush of energy.
Lurid in appearance the typical Pachinko machine is designed to hook and stimulate. Typical then this is not. The Pa-Drink-O was designed and built by Instructable Content Creator/ Maker DJ Harrigan. Its purpose to nurture the soul rather than entrap it.
Action games on touch screen devices are a bit crap. With your fingers covering 25 per cent of the screen you might as well have your head in your heads. While phones are getting more powerful, games more intricate, the controls stay the same; awkward and without precision. Flitchio is an attempt to solve the problem and does it with style and convenience.
If you can’t help but press the snooze button, you may want to try an alternative to your morning alarm. SensorWake is offering a gentle, stress-free awakening, exploiting the power of smells. This new kind of alarm clock was thought up by young French inventor Guillaume Rolland, who was a finalist of last year’s Google Science Fair. This made his project one of the “Top 15 inventions that can change the world”.
French model maker and sculptor Gael Langevin spoke to us about how he created InMoov – the life size 3D printable robot which has attracted huge interest from roboticists since its birth in 2012.
DISPLIO is a little wireless wifi gadget that shows you whatever you want to see on an e-ink screen. You choose which widgets you want to display. You can interact with it by taping, shaking or turning it to reload or change between widgets.
Crowed funding has opened the doors for everyday inventors who want to take their projects to the next level. Not only do they provide funding but also a way to test the market. But it’s not all plain sailing. Newbie founders who fail to prepare for the challenges ahead are at a high risk of everything going pear shaped.
BleepBleeps are a family of little friends that make parenting easier.
Last week, Techmog met with Dan Lewis, founder and CEO of Skute, to talk about new ways to connect and share content with friends, and the challenges arising form creating a physically connected social network. Skute aims to create new connections between people through content unlocked with NFC tags. They have been described as “the Instagram of people, places and things”, making a fun wearable with discoverable content.
Play time has dramatically changed over the years. What was once a rag doll is now an iPad. Toy robots have become iPads. Mud pies? iPads. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Reigniting the imagination of children is still possible, not by forcing antique toys on them, but taking the best bits from both eras and combining them. Berlin based startup Vai Kai have done just that by creating Avakai – a beautifully crafted wooden figurine with all the technology whizz-bang of the modern age.
Hyperalarm was first dreamt up by two of our team members, founder and CEO Ion Curves Mons and “technology ninja” Chema Diez del Corral. As self-professed gadget geeks, the two were brainstorming new smart products that could form part of the rising Internet of Things about a year ago. Though they had the idea of a smart alarm in mind, they brought in a diverse group of people, including designers, architects, writers, to independently generate ideas for IoT objects that they thought could be valuable. Luckily, the group also came up with the idea of a smart alarm for heavy sleepers, and so the Hyperalarm project was born.
Some of my favourite products come about when those in non-technical professions have an idea and embark on a journey combining technology with their own love. This is a perfect example of that. Musician Pete Roe found himself needing a bass player while on tour to accompany him. Lacking the van space he had to get creative. His idea was to hijack two of his guitar strings and have them output different sounds, effectively turning his guitar into two.
When Eastenders is shown on the TV the grid has to deal with 1.75 million kettles being boiled at the same time, requiring 3 gigawatts of power. That’s a whole lot of energy needed for something as small as a cup of tea, and thanks to the inefficient design of the kettle much of it is wasted in boiled water that’s not used. MIITO is a new kind of kettle; one that solves this problem of waste.