4 Gadgets This Week: Open-Source House, Smart Pan, and More
The infamous iPhone 6 Plus “Bendgate” has been taking up a majority of the Internet’s bandwidth — at least, that’s what it feels like — as of late. In case you haven’t been able to take your gaze away from the numerous comparison videos of people bending various smartphones, we’ve compiled a list of gadgets that have made the news this week and have nothing to do with Apple or its bendable aluminum smartphones.
Smart cooking pan
You thought there might be an end to smart tech, but it looks like forks and drinking bottles were only the beginning. The Smartypan is exactly what it sounds like: a Bluetooth-connected pan that allows your smartphone to interface with it via an app. So what will this Smartypan tell you?
If you’re learning to cook, this pan could help save your meal. By measuring the weight of ingredients, temperature, and humidity levels, the pan will be able to give you play-by-play instructions to make sure you don’t burn the chicken. There’s a Recipe Mode supported in the app that makes sure you follow the cooking portion of your culinary adventures to a tee. If you’re looking to impress your friends and become the chef you always believed you could be, check out the Indiegogo funding page for the Smartypan. Its developers are looking for $90,000 to help make this cooking pan a reality.
Leading the blind
What if you lost your sight today? How would you get around? Guide dogs are always an option, but what if you don’t get along well with animals? Technology has to have a better solution.
Noemi Kiraly has been losing her sight little by little her whole life, to the point where she’s now legally blind and requires assistance in order to get around. Some Hungarian postgraduate students wanted to help her regain her independence by developing a device that would lead her around obstacles. The Aurora uses echolocation (much like a bat), sending ultrasonic waves out to detect objects that may be in a person’s path.
The device is still in the prototype and testing phase, so it’s quite bulky. It attaches to the user’s hand, and as that person comes within a four-meter range of a wall or obstacle, the user will feel a pulse — the faster the pulse, the closer the object is to the user. Aurora wouldn’t eliminate the need for a cane, but would complement it by giving the user a heads-up when an obstacle is directly in his or her path. A cane would then be used to feel around the obstacle.
Open source, affordable housing is quite ambitious, but that’s exactly what WikiHouse is trying to achieve through its design project.
It’s an open-source construction project that allows anyone to contribute a house design. The design can then be “printed” along with its parts and built within a week or so (provided you have a few friends to help out). The materials and parts would cost around $80,000, a low price when you compare it to other new homes in certain parts of the United States.
The homes available would also come with all the fixings to be a smart home, which utilizes OpenHAB and could be controlled and regulated through your smartphone.
3D Printed Band
Everything in the future may be readily available to us through 3D printing: homes, cars, and musical instruments. But it’s not just the simple materials we can get through the power of 3D printing, it’s also the kinds of designs we can create — how we can mold and craft objects we would only find from premium independent builders. Through the power of the Web and 3D printing, these items are readily available to us.
Said Olaf Diegel, a professor in product development: “3D printing allows me to make complex shapes that are impossible to do any other way. I can also tailor instruments very precisely for musicians who want their instruments custom-made.”
Diegel has been 3D printing since the mid-90s, but only recently started molding musical instruments. He’s been able to create guitars with a steampunk or patriotic twist. They don’t sound too bad, either, according to some musicians.