Ultra-innovative gadgets are not just for lab geeks. Alvin Thomas checks out some of the latest devices available.
Have you ever gone to a party and realised that all it really needs for some added buzz are some cool holographic projectors? This Smartphone Pyramid Projector creates a fantastic illusion, with a lightweight, plastic inverted pyramid that allows you to project images and videos from your smartphone and transform them into three-dimensional moving images. Check it out at scientificsonline.com, from RO5.7.
Is it retro? Is it modern? Let’s just call it a tie.The Impossible Instant Lab Universal instantly transforms images in your smartphone or tablet into photographs, bringing a touch of analog depth and texture to your digital images. The pictures are processed on Polaroid-style photo papers, which should make some amazing fridge posts. You’ll have to download the free accompanying app to use the device. At www.uncommongoods.com from RO9.95.
Many dream of being an astronomer, but few ever get close to being one. However, universe2go allows you to chase your dreams from the comfort of your own home. You can take a journey through the cosmos or even gaze at the planets. This augmented reality viewer connects to most Android and iOS smartphones and will also educate you with its built-in audio guide. It’s like your own personal planetarium. Grab yours from uncommongoods.com, at RO41.
ON THE GO
This nifty little device lets you charge your smartphone and tablet using the power of the sun, meaning you’re doing the earth a favour by using renewable energy sources. The GreenLighting Solar Phone Charger makes use of a 0.4-watt solar panel on the back, which will absorb the sunlight to recharge the internal battery. There’s also a suction cup on the back, which which allows you to attach the phone to windows in cars, buses or even planes. The device also come with adapters for all Android and iOS-powered devices. At www.amazon.com from RO16.55.
Who says microscopes are bulky and expensive? This KingMas clip-on microscope allows you to magnify normal day-to-day objects up to 60 times. The palm-sized device can also be attached to your smartphone’s camera, meaning you can click some awe-inspiring pictures. Multiple LED lights allow you to take low-light pictures as well. At www.amazon.com from RO3.
Makey-Makey allows you to turn any conducting surface into a makeshift keyboard or video game controller. Can’t believe it? Neither could we. But the device is as simple as drawing an image onto a piece of paper with a pencil and connecting it to the supplied board using alligator clips. You can then use the device with any computer with a USB port. The device requires no special tools and can even be used by children. Of course, real enthusiasts could probably use this device to create their own flight or car simulator. At www.uncommongoods.com from RO20.7.
In the Swing
While the OWI Robotic Arm Edge may seem like a toy for young children, we see a bigger potential for this product. The robotic arm has been programmed for multiple movements, allowing it to undertake basic functions. The arm includes a gripper that opens and closes and has a radial wrist motion of up to 120 degrees, an elbow range of motion up to 300 degrees, base rotation of 270 degrees and a base motion of up to 180 degrees. These allow it to carry out basic tasks such as picking up various items as well as arranging LEGO blocks. Since this is an educational robot, experienced users can also have a go at programming the robotic arm for added features and movements. At www.amazon.com from RO15.400.
App of the Week:
The Earthviewer is a lot more than just your average Google Earth simulation app. The educational app lets you explore the earth’s geological past, present and foreseeable future, using preset data. From the interactive maps, users can learn about the movements of the continents, as well as the temperatures of various regions from the past million years. You can also locate modern cities and landmarks, and trace or predict their positions. The app also tells you about various major events and eras in our planet’s history. The app is available for free on iOS-enabled tablets from www.itunes.apple.com.