The Week In (Interesting) Tech News

A quick tour of the stories and gadgets you need to know about

Most Popular

1 | The Fitness Band That Wants You To Take It Easy


Keeping up with the plethora of fitness bands on the market can be exhausting, and that’s before you’ve set out on that 10pm lap of the park because a piece of brightly coloured tech on your wrist has been beeping at you to burn more calories. Microsoft know how important it can be to take it easy, which is why they’ve created the Microsoft Band, a new fitness band focused on keeping you healthy, rather than drenched in sweat.
 
Thus there’s an optical heart-rate monitor and a UV sensor to make sure you’re getting enough sunlight (essential for Vitamin D) plus a sensor to measure how stressed you’re feeling at any one time. Those put off by the Apple Watch’s 24 hour battery life will be pleased to know the Microsoft Band can keep going for two days straight. After using it a while, maybe you will too.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

On sale now from £125. microsoft.com
 

2 | The App For Sharing All Your Weird Quirks

 


We’ve all got our little quirks. Maybe you’re interested in retro bicycles. Maybe you love obscure Icelandic literature. Maybe you’re a mayonnaise aficionado. Whatever it is, Facebook has the app for you. With “Rooms” you’re able to create your own chat room on your mobile, altering the traditional Facebook template to your liking with backgrounds, colours and text (change the “Like” button to a big “YES” if you want to).
 
Each Room is meant to be focused around a particular topic and you’ll have the option to join a pre-existing Room or create your own and invite specific contacts to join with a personalised invitation sent by text or email. Forget those strange online Game Of Thrones forums, start your own, on your phone and talk about exactly what you want to talk about with your mates. It’s almost as good as a real conversation.


Available on iOS. microsoft.com 

 

3 | The Future Is Here, And It’s 3D

Most Popular

Remember watching Avatar back in 2009 and thinking “this is it, 3D has arrived"? It already seems a more innocent time - today the word 3D just represents paying through the nose for some crap plastic glasses. Luckily, Japanese company Aerial Burton have taken the initiative to create a 3D projector that functions without screens, meaning images and words can be beamed straight onto thin air. It’s all very complicated and involves words like “ionized” and “photons” so it’s probably best just to watch the video above. 

4 | The App For Homework Cheats

How did Pythagoras Theorem go? Something about the hypotenuse and its adjacent sides? More importantly, who cares? We don't and you won't either after downloading the new PhotoMath app, which solves any issues just by taking a photo. If you’ve sworn off maths for life the moment you finished your GCSE exam, this is the way to get out of helping your kids get through their homework. If you love maths and use it every day at work, this could (possibly) make you very rich*.

*highly unlikely

Available from the app store.

 

5 | The Worst Named / Most Exciting Piece Of Tech Of The Year: HP Sprout

 

Have you ever wanted a computer, projector and scanner all in one machine? Oh course you have, which is why you should be very excited about the new release from HP. Looking like something from a TV spaceship’s control board, there’s no keyboard or mouse and the whole thing is operated by a futuristic mat which also serves as the screen for the overhead 3D LED projection lamp.

The basics, however are grounded in HP’s best tech, with a 23-inch display powered by Intel Core i7, complete with a whopping 1 TB of storage. The first piece of kit from HP’s push towards “Blended Reality ecosystem”, collaborations with Skype and Microsoft Office are also in the pipeline. Basically, it looks like HP have put everything you’d ever want into one machine, but why, oh why did they have to call it the “Sprout”?

There’s no word on an official UK price yet, but estimates put it at around £1,200. sprout.hp.com


***
MORE TECH:

How John DeLorean Went Back To The Future
Over-Ear Headphones: The Best New Pairs For 2014
8 Of The Best Fitness Bands Reviewed
***