5 Cool New Gadgets: Rescue Roaches, Genome Testing, and More
The holiday season is ramping up (and it’s not even Thanksgiving), which means gadget releases and news to excite your wishlist. However, many of these gadgets won’t be available in time for the gift-giving season. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth your attention. There have been a few innovations in the medical, security, and commuter space that may be of interest. Check out the full list.
1. Wristband for your passwords
Passwords are a pain, keeping track of which password goes with what account—you end up just changing them all to the same thing so you can keep track. This poses a security risk on all your accounts, but one company thinks it may have a solution: A wearable called Everykey.
It looks like a fatter Jawbone UP and functions by unlocking your devices once you’re within a customizable proximity of your device. It connects via Bluetooth, but has much longer staying power than most devices with an estimated one-month battery life.
You can use the Everykey to unlock devices, but also create secure passwords for your bank accounts and other exclusive online stomping grounds. So long as you have your Everykey on you, you’ll be able to get into your accounts. However, this kind of access gives way to another issue, concerning your Fifth Amendment rights. There’s some litigation still going on as to where passwords stand, but if you keep your password in your head, you’re protected from giving it up as doing so may be self-incriminating. Everykey puts those passwords in physical form, which means they can be seized and used against you.
If you’re willing to wave caution to the wind, you can invest in the Everykey revolution and get one for yourself on Kickstarter.
2. Rescue roaches
They’ve likely caused you a lot of grief (especially if you’ve ever lived in an urban apartment), but cockroaches may be the key to your survival in a disaster.
Researchers from North Carolina State University (NCSU) have developed a way to control the critters through a circuit board, allowing them to detect sources of human sound. The idea is to send the roaches into disaster areas (i.e. collapsed buildings, cave-ins) to find survivors and allow rescuers to locate them more efficiently.
“In a collapsed building, sound is the best way to find survivors,” says Dr. Alper Bozkurt, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, to NCSU News.
“The goal is to use the biobots with high-resolution microphones to differentiate between sounds that matter – like people calling for help – from sounds that don’t matter – like a leaking pipe. Once we’ve identified sounds that matter, we can use the biobots equipped with microphone arrays to zero in on where those sounds are coming from.”
3. Ramos alarm clock
We all do it — hit the snooze button about 10 times before we wake up. It’s not a good way to sleep. There are tricks: Putting your smartphone away from your bed, taping it to the ceiling, but there’s hope yet. Paul Sammut has struggled with his own snooze habits and believes he’s found a working solution: The Ramos alarm clock.
The device comes in two parts: The Ramos alarm that goes next to your bed and the beacon. The alarm will continue to sound until you walk to where your beacon is set, be it in the bathroom or kitchen where you’ll pour your first cup of coffee. The phone connects with the beacon via Bluetooth.
If your interested in improving your sleep and investing in a healthier lifestyle, check out the team’s Kickstarter page.
4. Genome testing made easy
Genome testing has come a long way — it was just years ago that we finally mapped the entire human genome. Now, we can test and map it to solve problems we couldn’t before. However, the machines used to test your bits of saliva are far from pretty or efficient. There have been a few breakthroughs in the gadgetry, namely, Juno.
It’s a genotyping machine that can extract and test DNA all in a single step by sliding the genetic material into the machine and getting results just three hours later. This machine isn’t meant for the consumer market — it still requires a fair amount of skill to operate. But just think of a future where you can take a swab yourself and have results printed out with which to consult your doctor.
For now, Juno makes it easier and faster for doctors to test and respond to outbreaks.
5. Portable bike
Portable bikes aren’t quite where we’d like them to be. They still take up a considerable amount of space on a crowded subway and are heavy to boot. Impossible Technology believes there’s a way to build a more compact and lighter device. Indeed, the entire thing can fold up and fit into a backpack with room to spare.
The bike runs of off electricity with ten 2900mah 44.5g batteries, which will allow the bike to travel up to 12.4mph for 45 minutes on a single charge. The battery life may also have some dependency on how heavy the rider is as well. There should also be some consideration as to how many steep hills are in your town.
The team does need some help getting their project off the ground, but they’ve well-exceeded their funding goal. However, there’s still time to invest if you want to try and snag a bike for yourself.
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