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[February 09, 2014]
Tech Monthly: Bright: Five things we love . . .
(Observer (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) 1 A BUSINES CARD LIKE NO OTHER Is your bland business card failing to get the attention you feel it deserves? Perhaps your colleagues and clients are fawning over a rival's embossed wallet-fillers. Don't sweat it, with the TechKeys keyboard business card, you're sure to have the edge. Boasting a printed circuit board and USB unit, the electronic card allows you to install and reprogram three buttons that can direct contacts to your website, email address or Facebook page when the card is hooked up to a computer. But you may not want to ditch your analogue versions just yet - at pounds 7 a pop, the TechKeys cards are an expensive way to woo clients.
2 THE ONESIE BABY MONITOR Forget animal prints and over-sized pockets, onesies are becoming sophisticated. Mimo's Kimono babygrow has a tiny turtle smart monitor that clips on to the outfit and hooks up to sensors that allow parents to keep track of their baby's breathing, skin temperature, body position and activity level in real time via a nifty smartphone app. It even boasts a mini-microphone so you can stream happy gurgles and ear-piercing wails.
The Kimono is, thankfully, machine washable, so it can cope with your little darling's most unpredictable moments, but at pounds 120 for a starter kit, your baby may well end up with a pricier wardrobe than you have.
3 EVIL GENIUS POWERS PHONE Focusing the sun's rays into a highintensity beam is the kind of thing you usually associate with fictional criminal masterminds. But the beta.ey's purpose is much more prosaic: charging your phone. In a recent Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, the inventor claimed the beta.ey's acrylic ball lens directed sunlight on to photovoltaic cells mounted on a moving platform, allowing the cells to track the direction of the light beam as the sun moved throughout the day. The device stores charge in a battery, connects to your phone via USB and emits a glow from its LEDs at night.
4 YOUR BUM WILL LOOK BIG IN THIS It's free from queues, all items are in stock and it takes a fraction of the time, but shopping online has an undeniable drawback: you don't get to try before you buy. Now Fits.me is trying to solve that problem. Using a robotic mannequin with myriad adjustable parameters, garments can be photographed on to almost every conceivable body shape and size. When you go to an online shop, you simply enter your measurements and see how well, or badly, the garment would fit you. The website even alerts users when an outfit may be too tight, too loose or even too short in the arm.
5 ALMOST BACK TO THE FUTURE Hoverboards are, sadly, still some way off, but this curious single-wheeled skateboard claims to make you feel like you're flying. Called the Onewheel, it uses an electric motor to propel you forward and has a not-too-shabby top speed of 12mph. Motion sensors and a gyroscope help balance the board and its rechargeable batteries have a four- to six-mile range. The Onewheel recently completed a successful Kickstarter funding campaign, and the developers are currently designing apps to interact with the board, allowing you to set a top speed and GPS track and share your movements. It's the nearest you'll get, for now, to being Marty McFly.
(c) 2014 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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