Tech Round-Up

Two of the biggest topics in the tech world are Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) – here’s a little look into the future…

Augmented Reality – While strictly speaking not ‘true’ AR – love it or hate it, Pokémon Go has turned the world of AR on its head and forever defined the consumer AR experience. From kids to adults and even Heads of State, the hunt is on to find these odd creatures. However beyond the incredible success of the game itself, the developers of Pokémon Go have entrenched AR as a viable means for other applications to overlay content on the real world, such as industrial maintenance, education, training and even medicine. One such example is relieving phantom limb pain of amputees and the dawning of a new era of augmented reality therapy. AR is predicted to be a USD 90 billion industry by 2020.

Virtual Reality – VR on the other hand, is not yet gaining as much traction. Forecasted at reaching only USD 30 billion (only!) over the same period as its older cousin AR, VR is nevertheless starting to gather interest. The Gaming and social network world are two of the current forerunners creating virtual scenarios, but unlike AR where hardware is optional, hardware is essential. They’re not fashion items though and are usually helmets or goggles like the Occulus Rift set… Make a date to get down to the Canal Walk Gaming Expo at the end of October to check out the latest VR entertainment coming your way.

Insta360 Nano iPhone Video Camera – staying on the topic of VR, we couldn’t help noticing this little beauty. Billed as the world’s first 360-degree spherical iPhone video camera (and the smallest), we are quite taken with the quality of the images, its portability and its versatility (can also be used as a stand alone camera so you don’t have to have an iPhone 6S or 6SPlus). Neat.

Mouth where the money is – edible packaging is set to become a reality. Researchers in the US are working on food packaging made from milk proteins that can be eaten, along with the food. The technology is working towards creating cheaper packaging that doesn’t need to end up in landfills. With benefits to both consumers, retailers (the milk proteins keep the food fresher for longer) and the environment, we would say this is a triple thumbs up to technology.

Robo-Case – the world of robotics is fascinating (and frightening as the man vs machine convergence grows ever closer). We’ve already had Google’s and Tesla’s driverless cars but now there are suitcases that can follow you like dogs and even find their own way home. Aside from ride on cases, we now have the33 litre ‘Cowarobot’ suitcase that deploys some pretty smart computer technology to track you down. Using Hi-tech sensors, including sonar, depth-sensing cameras, light sensors and a GPS chip in order to autonomously navigate various terrains, roadblocks and other things in its way, it keeps pace by synching to the sensors in the owner’s wristband. The wristband also acts as a key to the suitcase’s smart lock, and will vibrate if you accidentally leave it behind. There’s also an Android and iOS app so if it does get left behind it can travel of its own accord (up to 20 kms) to locate you.