From smartphones to smart cars, gadgets have become an indispensable part of our lives. For those who don’t take things too seriously, there are also plenty of playful tech ideas to distract us from the daily grind. Some of these new smart friends are more classic, others are like something from a sci-fi film. But no matter what they do, these toys look like a lot of fun.
- Microsoft HoloLens
- PicoBrew Pico
- DJI Phantom X
- R2-D2 Fridge
1 Bike of the future?
The LeEco Super Bike has pushed pedal-power into the digital age. Although, for the main part, it looks like an ordinary bicycle, a small computer with an Android operating system, various sensors, and an integrated navigation system among other things make this two-wheeler a rolling high-tech headquarters. For example, on board it also has a built-in automatic lock for when you park up. And for those who are afraid of losing the key? No problem. Unlocking is done via fingerprint. Cost: from around £1000.
2 Reality - plus a lot more
The HoloLens augmented reality glasses from Microsoft mix the actual environment with virtual reality. Whether it’s for new forms of video-gaming, 3D animation for designers or information surfaces in the kitchen - the possibilities are endless. The cost is believed to be around £2,300 but its launch may be a while away yet. Microsoft wants to wait for a wider release when providers of programs and applications have further advanced the technology, but the potential looks huge.
3 Mine’s a cold one
Craft beer is now so popular that do-it-yourself-style brewing is set to be the new craze, and Pico Brew will be ahead of the crowd. After a first development which was a bit too large and expensive, the latest version comes with an appliance not much bigger than a coffee maker. The basic principle: order a blend of ingredients online depending on the variety desired, add water, let it simmer for a few hours and wait for around a week as it ferments. Now just fill your keg or container and cool, you’ve just become your own beer maker. The machine is about to launch, and will cost around £450.
4 Game of drones
With their Phantom X, DJI (Da-Jiang Innovations) is imagining the next step in drone development. Independent of the pilot, soon you may be able to throw these devices in the air to activate. With GPS, obstacle-avoidance, and follow-me tech, the developers have a vision of numerous uses for this autonomous flight intelligence, everything from filmmakers with camera-equipped drones following a biker, to bird’s-eye view-selfies. Soaring plans that could get off the ground in the foreseeable future.
5 Use the froze, Luke
With new blockbuster releases, Star Wars has become cool all over again - and with this product, electronics manufacturer Haier have taken this development literally. The robot R2-D2 as a fridge - why didn’t anyone think of this before? The model can authentically rotate its body and makes the same iconic beeping noises. As if that wasn’t enough, just like the films, this R2-D2 also has a video projector to show movies, or hidden messages from galactic princesses. However, with just 6 litres, the little guy with the round head has far less storage than an ordinary minibar - but probably still enough space for plans to destroy a Death Star.