5 Gadgets From This Week: Track Your Family, Smart-Everything, Flexible TV
Every device is smart. Smart watches, glasses, bands — even shoes. There was no shortage of smart devices announced this week, all of them lining up to help make your life more intelligent. Other innovations took a backseat, but there were a few standouts, including a flexible screen and a date-rape drug detector that tests your drinks for nefarious substances (other than alcohol).
Every device listed has a rather practical purpose, but all aren’t on the market, yet. Some need a little crowd-funding help, while others are mere prototypes to pique your interest. Check out the gadgets that were on display this week.
1. A smartband to track the whole family
Smartwatches have flooded the market, and the latest devices can do it all: track fitness, send you alerts from your phone, and more. Developers really need to sell consumers on a feature other wearables don’t necessarily have. The Sync Smartband can track fitness and sleep, but more importantly, it can help you keep tabs on your kids. It does everything a fitness band can do, but with a familial twist.
You can keep track of how long your kids slept, where they are if they get lost, and even attach a health profile of your child’s allergies if they have to be rushed to an emergency room. It’s currently asking for funding on Indiegogo to make the band a reality. You can back it for as little as $69, which gets you a band for your donation at nearly half the price it will be at retail ($129).
You’re walking around an unknown city in the middle of the day and you keep having to stop and hunch over your smartphone to double-check your GPS directions. It’d be nice if a walk like this could flow easily without stress or slowing down foot traffic. Thankfully, the innovators over at Lechal want to let you navigate without stress and hands-free by sending directions to your feet.
Haptic feedback is sent to the shoes or insoles to help direct you when to turn. The shoes come with a Lithium Polymer battery, which has an estimated lifespan of three days of typical use and 10 days on standby. The shoes are slated for release in September at $150 a pair. It’s compatible with Windows, iOS, and Android devices, and pairs over Bluetooth.
3. Flexible TV
The day when you can fold or roll up your TV and bring it with you is fast approaching. Engadget recently reported on LG’s quite flexible 18-inch OLED display. The TV is quite slim: at 3 centimeters thick, it’s paper-thin. The resolution isn’t up to par with the latest industry standards (a mere 1,200 by 810 pixels). This prototype uses a polyamide film instead of plastic, which makes it so flexible and thin.
4. Knowing when your drink has been spiked
Identifying whether your drink has been spiked isn’t always apparent by smelling or looking at your drink. Rohypnol dissolves easily and leaves no detectible odor or taste. One way to safeguard yourself from falling victim to a slipped substance is pd.id, a personal drink ID that can detect any unwanted substances in your beverage, whether it be water or an appletini. It’s a small, reusable stick that you dip in your drink to see if it’s been tampered with. The device takes a sample of your drink to identify its properties and components. After a few seconds, the pd.id will blink to let you know if your drink is safe or not.
The product currently isn’t for sale — yet. It’s featured on Indiegogo, seeking crowdfunding to help make it to market. For $75 you can fund and receive a pd.id when it’s released.
5. Google Glass no longer alone
Smartwatches have readily saturated the market, but one wearable that has yet to break out are smartglasses. Google Glass has gained both praise and notoriety depending on what kind of business owner you are. Lenovo revealed its own very Glass-looking smartglass prototype. One differentiating factor is that the battery is strapped around the user’s neck — a new fashion trend or a nuisance?