Why you should care
Because you might need a one-wheeled personal transporter.
The future moves incredibly fast nowadays and it’s a constant struggle to keep up with all the innovations around us. This is especially true in the consumer electronics arena. IPhones didn’t exist nine years ago but now everyone is an expert in iOS mobile application development. That’s the way Silicon Valley goes. So what’s the next great technology that might be commonplace in a few years – or even better – is already out in the wild but few have actually used? Our reporters have chosen some of the most interesting tech around that will be ready in a few years or is available now. Check them out below.
The Biostamp is a spray-on bandage that will make it easier to detect body temperature, hydration levels, UV exposure and more. Unlike current body trackers, the Biostamp can stretch, wrinkle and flex with the skin and incredibly, harvest power from radio waves. It will also be able to measure a wide range of health data beyond what current gadgets can monitor, from hydration levels to muscle fatigue. The professor leading the development of the gadget says sophisticated, clinical quality measurements in ordinary daily life will be a differentiating factor of the product.
Inventor Ray McEnaney is convinced his oddly-shaped keyboard, which resembles a bee in flight with two “wings” of keys arranged on either side of a radial center, will help make typing faster and easier. It’s a buzzy concept: The layout is larger, with the keys you need most at the center (which gives you less fatigue, McEnaney says). He promises that anyone can become a capable BeeRaider typist in 20 minutes through mnemonic learning tools. Reporter Melissa Pandika says it feels a little weird to use at first but that it became natural after awhile. She says having the alpha characters — the keys used most often — grouped together really helped memory retention as well.
There are millions of portable chargers available but some companies are developing alternative technologies that might improve upon them. The Blue Freedom is one of those gadgets. It uses moving water, such as a river or stream, to recharge any device that can be connected to its two USB ports. Using it is simple. With the base on shore, the rotor is tossed into a water source such as a nearby brook, where the rotor top spins and churns and charges the 5-watt generator. You can even tow the rotor behind a canoe to charge the 5,000 mAh capacity integrated battery pack, which can revive a fully-dead iPhone 6 a couple of times.
A small startup based in Guangzhou, China, is using data tracking technologies to curb your smoking habit. The Tosee gadget (pronounced toe-SEE) is a smart cigarette holder that tracks how much you smoke and how much that translates to poisonous inhalation. The Tosee connects its sensor to smartphone applications and Eason Wu, Angmi’s co-founder, told OZY he believes that the more smokers know about the numbers associated with their habits and come to understand how much they’re being hurt by them, they will eventually quit.
Alternative ways to commute aren’t any much more fun, futuristic and weird than this. The Ninebot One robotic “personal transport system” looks like a mini Segway and unicycle rolled into one cool Tron-like system. It looks hard to ride but reporters who have tried it say it’s actually easy after a few minutes. You only have to place your feet on the shelf-like platform protruding from the main wheel and then, when balanced, you have to adjust your body weight to move. Lean forward to speed up, like with the Segway, and move back to slow down. The gadget is powered by an internal battery that charges in two hours and can go up to 9-12 miles per hour up to 18 miles per charge. Oh, yea, and it’s available now for less than a $100.