TECH TALK: The £10 Now TV Box & CES Phone Gadgets

This week: the incredibly under-rated £10 Now TV Media Streamer Box and CES features phone gadgets galore!

Now TV: In case you had missed it, and someone’s marketing dept needs a kicking, Sky launched the Now TV box recently. Possibly you saw it and thought “£10 for a wireless media gateway – it must be rubbish!?”. I can honestly say that this is probably my gadget of the 2013. For £10 and no additional fees (neither set-up one-offs nor annual membership), you get an HDMI-delivery, WiFi-enabled media streamer, with the likes of BBC iPlayer etc built-in, and the option to subscribe to some Sky premium channels. And at £10, it certainly squarely kicks the almost amateurish Google ChromeCast stick (which still hasn’t got most of its UK content sorted out at £35) firmly in the socket!

NowTVboxback  f1d1b3da3cb34c148e52bbca00750214

CES 2014: Phones Add-ons Give Stun guns & Tricorders –  CES Las Vegas this week saw a release of add-ons that turn smartphones into Star Trek-like tricorder medical diagnostic kits, Predator-style thermal vision cameras and even electric “stun guns”!

scanadu-scoutCalifornia-based Scanadu have a scanner designed to be held up to a person’s head to deliver a diagnosis onto their smartphone. They are developing a health-checking scanner packed with sensors called Scout, which the user holds up to their head to let it check their heart rate, skin and core body temperatures, respiratory rate and blood oxygen levels. It has no screen of its own, and relies on a smartphone app to interpret the data in order to warn of potential problems or help its owner manage a chronic condition.

Sensor Jacket’s case contains a “non-contact” infrared thermometer, that could appeal to the parents of newborns who want an easy-to-hand way of checking their temperature.

3Izzi Gadgets have a new cases that offer fisheye, wide-angle and macro lenses to increase the style of pictures that can be taken. The Izzi Orbit Pro provides a selection of different lenses and a camera-style grip to help steady shots.

Flir-One-Thermal-Imaging-Camera The Flir One case has adapted the thermal imaging tech that it developed for US army helicopters and put it into an iPhone case. It promises potential purchasers a new way of looking at the world in which your cat is a psychedelic mix of yellows and pinks, and your child’s eyes appear to glow.

SensusFrontBack Canopy’s Sensus App-Enhancing case, which includes resistive force pressure sensors, allows users to control a handset by touching its product’s back and sides, and can detect how firmly they are pressing. The company aims to ship the first copies later this year, but will require app developers to support the case for users to enjoy the benefits.

phoneYellow Jacket’s (Marvel trademark pending?) case will turn your mobile into an electric stun gun. The “self-defence” feature packs 650,000 volts – enough to provide an unpleasant sting rather than a Taser-like knock-out blow – and comes in a range of colours including pink. Just beware, you could be arrested for owning one in the UK.

GoProng_PocketPlug_rear Prong’s case let’s a smartphone be plugged straight into a plug socket. Its PocketPlug case features two pop-out strips of metal that let a phone be plugged directly into the US mains.

powerpot-by-power-practical-2A-thumb-307x396-70314But perhaps the most unusual solution comes from Power Practical. Their ‘Power Pot’, is a camping cooking pot with a built-in electric thermogenerator that both cooks your food and simultaneously recharges your phone.

Sources: BBC, Scanadu, Sensor Jacket, Izzi Gadgets, Yellow Jacket, Prong, PowerPot, Canopy Sensus

GS Reporter: SilverFox

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