As the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in the US winds down after some game-changing announcements, Matthew Herbst picks some of the highlights of this year’s extravaganza
On the Rocks
Finally, music and drinks have been combined in one handy package for those lazy days out. The Kube (above) boasts not only 110-decibel Bluetooth speakers, but also the ability to cool your beverages. It terms of storage, the Kube has room for several soft drinks along with ice and its sleek, durable design and 20 hours of battery life mean that you can take it almost anywhere. Perfect for wadi bashing and weekend camping trips. Reserve one now at kubesound.com. Prices start at RO423.39
If you’re a fan of the 60s TV show Bewitched, you’ll love this gadget that allows you to control the smart side of your life with just a wiggle of a finger. The Ring acts like a wearable magic wand and allows users to assign gestures to tasks on their phone. It comes in a variety of sizes, looks stylish and is not too clunky. The Ring is expected to be on the market by March, when it will retail for about RO50. In the meantime, you can read more at kickstarter.com
This will look like any other dummy to the untrained eye, but don’t be fooled. The Pacif-I actually allows parents to monitor their baby’s temperature and general health, which is then transmitted via Bluetooth to an accompanying app. While regular dummies are easily lost, Pacif-I comes with a proximity sensor that alerts the parent when the dummy – and, of course, the baby – move more than six metres away from the smart device. Worth investing in for extra peace of mind and at only RO15.3, it’s a bargain. Keep your eyes peeled and check bluemaestro.com for the product’s official launch date.
Busy work schedules can put a dampner on your plans to make time for important wellness activities such as yoga classes. The SmartMat is here to rectify that through 21,000 piezoelectric sensors that connect directly to an app. After calibration, the mat is able to measure your height, weight and length of your legs and sends information to the app to let you know if you’re performing the postures correctly. The app then gives you real-time feedback, while also tracking your progress over time. Pre-orders are now being taken at smartmat.com ahead of its July release. Prices start at RO115.47.
Ditto is an unobtrusive piece of wearable tech that knows its place. Instead of trying to notify you about every little thing and overloading you, this thumb-sized device clips on to your clothes and only vibrates with the notifications you want. Using the accompanying smartphone app, you can assign individual notification vibrations for the apps or contacts you want to hear from. Much like Hush [Y-Fi issue 351], Ditto can also be used for a silent wake-up. Due to launch later in 2015, prices will start from RO15.39. Read all about it at kickstarter.com
EDITOR’S PICK: Zippy
Meet the Polaroid Zip, a lightweight, smartphone-sized portable printer that is able to go about its business without an ink cartridge in sight. This nifty device makes use of a baffling technology called Zink (zero ink) that uses a combination of heat and colour crystals to produce the required shades. The Zip runs on a rechargeable battery and a pack of 100 Zink sheets will set you back somewhere in the region of RO9.60. The product itself is priced from RO50 and should be in stores by spring. Check it out at polaroid.com
NEW: Zuli SmartPlugs
Bluetooth LE (low energy) is very much in vogue this year and Zuli SmartPlugs make the most of the technology. Just plug your lamp into a Zuli SmartPlug and it will track your movement throughout the home, turning on lights to your preferred brightness as you enter a room and automatically turning them off when you leave. Zuli has also joined forces with the Nest programme, which means that the same technology can be used to set your thermostat to a desired temperature once it detects that you’re home. Very impressive. Read more about it at zuli.io and pre-order for RO19.24
APP OF THE WEEK: I See What You See
This great app lets you reach out to others based on their location and request photos, showing what’s going on there at that moment. From the dunes of Oman to hiking in the Himalayas, uCIC keeps you in the know. Digital karma points are received every time you fulfill a request from another user. Free from the App Store