7 New Tech Products on Our Radar This Week
Are you on the lookout for the latest app you won’t be able to put down, the next gadget you’ll be itching to get your hands on, or the slickest new tools to make your work day more productive and your downtime even more fun? Then look no further than our favorite site for finding the latest and greatest tech products.
Each week, we review the crowdsourced links posted to a website called Product Hunt, where tech-savvy users post their best finds and discuss the latest apps and gadgets with a growing community of developers, investors, founders, and tech enthusiasts.
The detween 600 and 800 reportedly use the site, a great testament to its ability to surface products that would otherwise fly under even the most-connected people’s radars.
We took a look at all of the apps, gadgets, and services posted on Product Hunt last week and chose seven innovative products: apps and gadgets that will help you work smarter, be a better explorer, and get more out of the devices and tools you already use.
1. Ello V2
Ad-free social network Ello has been completely redesigned for a second version that’s “far more robust than the first version,” according to the page documenting the release on the social network’s website. The redesign includes a new Ello backend, and not only adds new features for users but “makes it easier to add new features (and mobile apps!).”
The update adds a number of features that are already live for some users and others that have yet to be rolled out, including the ability to share images, video, or sound in comments; recommendations of content as well as accounts to follow in the network’s Discovery feature; an assortment of updated keyboard shortcuts; new drag and drop options; and an improved experience when posting or commenting from the mobile web.
VentureBeat recently reported that Ello just raised a second funding round of $5 million, bringing the total amount of money it’s raised to about $11 million. It’s in the process of developing a mobile app, which is expected to debut this spring.
2. HERO Keyboard
HERO Keyboard claims to be the “world’s most efficient keyboard.” It forgoes the traditional QWERTY layout, which was designed in 1873 for a typewriter, in favor of a new, circular layout. The most-used keys are 30% bigger and placed centrally to the usual position of your thumbs. Common letter combinations are placed adjacent to each other and follow circular paths that mimic how your thumb actually moves.
You can drag across letters for faster entry and enter common symbols from the main view. HERO reportedly saves you three feet of movement in composing the average tweet. HERO requires iOS 8 on iPhone or iPad; supports portrait and landscape modes; offers symbols, a number keypad, and extended characters; and will integrate an auto-suggest bar in the future. Founder Corey Stone told the community at Product Hunt that there will also be an Android version, as well as versions for other languages.
Incubate is a mobile messaging app that enables users to send messages from one minute up to 25 years in the future. With Incubate, you can send photos or videos to family and friends to exact dates in the future.
The app’s website explains, “Imagine getting a video from a crazy night out in college a decade later while you’re sitting at the airport for a business trip. Instant mood changer.What if your favorite grandparent could send you birthday wishes for the next 25 years? They might be gone, but they can still bring a smile to your face on your special day.” Users don’t know when a message is coming or who’s sending it until they receive it, but when a friend places a message in “incubation,” they’ll receive an alert.
You can send future messages to your children by opening an “Incubate Nursery” account. Using a unique email address, you can start sending them messages; when they get their first phone or tablet, they can just sign in to their account.
Ivee is a voice-activated alarm clock and smart home hub that listens for your verbal commands when you say “Hello, Ivee.” It enables you to manage and control your home’s connected devices — from Nest, Hue, WeMo, and others — just by speaking commands. Ivee also lets you set reminders, wakes you up on time, and fetches live content on the weather, stocks, and the news.
The device connects to your home Wi-Fi network and can control devices like Nest and Dropcam, or hubs by Iris, Staples Connect, SmartThings, and iControl. It will also connect with media services like Spotify and wearables like FitBit and Nike Fuel.
5. Riff by Facebook
Riff by Facebook is the latest app from the social network’s Creative Labs, and it enables users to make videos collaboratively with their friends. Anyone can start by creating a video and choosing a topic. Then, their friends can view it and add their own clips on the topic. Josh Miller’s post on Facebook’s Newsroom explains, “The potential pool of creative collaborators can grow exponentially from there, so a short video can become an inventive project between circles of friends that you can share to Facebook, or anywhere on the internet, at any time.”
Tiko is a unibody 3-D printer that costs just $179. It’s now being funded by a Kickstarter campaign, which, at the time of writing, has raised more than $1 million (from an original goal of $100,000) with 24 days to go.
The Kickstarter campaign page explains, “Go into a store with $179 and see what you can get. A microwave, a mini-fridge, a vacuum, etc. All of these products are pretty complicated, and no one expects them to require fixing every week. We believe a 3D printer shouldn’t be any different. That’s why we designed Tiko.” The entire frame is a single piece, which makes it easy to manufacture and virtually impossible to misalign.
Visor is an app that enables you to request a photo or a video from any location. You can ask to see a bar, restaurant, store, or any other location in real time. In minutes, you receive a photo from someone who’s there. You can add photos to Visor’s map when you see lines, crowds, or sales, answering questions like whether there are any parking spots, how the crowd is at a concert, what’s on sale, or how the airport security line looks.
Visor.co founder Jason White tells the community at Product Hunt that you’ll often receive live photos of locations in New York “in just a couple of minutes,” and while the app is officially limiting its support to New York City for the moment, it will announcing support for more cities in the near future.
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