6 New Gadgets From This Week
Google’s I/O keynote wasn’t the only gadget highlight this week. There were plenty of DIY doohickies and product announcements to excite your inner gadgeteer. There were also a few that will make you question what kind of world technology is helping us create.
Razer’s Android-powered micro-console
Entertainment and gaming has been moving out from under the office desk to the living room. Microsoft and Sony, with their respective Xbox and Playstation consoles, created all-in-one systems for your living room. Wherever gaming is involved Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO, wants to be there.
The company announced its Razer micro-console that runs off of Android, much like the Ouya. It will allow families to congregate around the TV to watch their favorite shows through apps, as well as put Android game on the big screen. It’s scheduled to be released this fall, but no price has been announce. However, Tan said in the press release that it will be “an affordable system.” Razer has been compared as the “Apple of gaming” so some wonder how cheap the system will actually be.
Texting and talking while driving is a hazard to you, as well as the other people sharing the road. Jason Humphreys from Florida took matters into his own hands and equipped a high-powered cellphone jammer. Humphreys said he was “fed up with watching cell phone usage while people were driving.”
However, the FCC didn’t look to fondly on his rogue acts and had spent days tracking the source of these phone outages. They don’t appreciate unlicensed jammers. Now facing a $48,000 fine, Humphreys is trying to raise money by selling the Toyota Highlander to which he had equipped the jammer.
Toy gun feels like the real thing
The Striker VR looks and recoils like a real weapon of war. It’s weighted down, so you’ll get quite the workout (and maybe a few shoulder bruises) while you’re playing you’re favorite multiplayer shooter.
Virtual reality is bringing the realism consumers dreamed of (and feared) in the ’80s and ’90s to life. The difference from then, is we’re now better equipped with more affordable technology to distribute VR devices like the Oculous Rift to mass market.
Handheld backscatter x-ray gun
Security is a big concern, but security from what? Since Snowden leaked those papers on NSA spying, privacy has been on people’s minds. The MINI Z doesn’t help to alleviate those concerns. This handheld device brings x-ray vision away from airport security checkpoints to anywhere in the terminal. Its aim is to help law enforcement officials, according to the American Science and Engineering, Inc. who developed the technology. Citizens can only hope that the law will be able to keep up with technology on this one, as it poses certain questions about search and seizure when used in a public space.
Movement restored to paralyzed
There were two medical breakthroughs in science this week. The first is a previously previewed ReWalk exoskeleton (à la the suit Matt Damon wore in Elysium) has been certified by the FDA for consumer use. However, it will run you a pretty sizable bill: $72,000. But weigh that against the long-term hospital costs that come with paraplegics being inactive.
The second story is about a microchip implant in the brain that has helped paralyzed Ian Burkhart control his fingers for the first time in years. He’s the first quadriplegic in history to move his fingers.
Google cardboard VR kit
You too can get the full virtual reality experience on the cheap! For only $20, receive a cardboard cutout from Google (some assembly required). It’s not quite the full VR experience. The cardboard headset is more a 3D viewer. It uses your smartphone and a pair of lenses in the cardboard to create a cool 3D effect.