1 | The Super Computer With One Eye On Your Waistline
If you’ve seen Interstellar (and if you haven’t – why not?) you’ll be familiar with the latest incarnation of Sci-Fi’s all-knowing super computer, TARS. While sentient tech may yet be light-years away, IBM and Pathway Genomics are offering the next best thing with an app that lets you quiz your smartphone about your health in the same way you’d talk to Siri.
Pathway CEO Jim Plante has claimed, “It’s meant to allow patients to be the CEO of their own health,” and while we’re not quite sure what that means, we do know the app will channel data from IBM’s supercomputer Watson, which stores information from a wealth of medical research and journals as well as asking you to import your own medical records.
All this means that your phone will tell you if you’re eating enough leafy greens, getting enough exercise and whether or not you need to see the doctor about that cough. Who said smartphones were bad for us?
2 | The Virtual Reality Camera That Means You Never Have To Leave The House Again
Samsung’s 360-degree camera, Project Beyond, promises to give you a live virtual reality feed from a separate environment by capturing data on 16 HD cameras simultaneously. What this means is that you’re now able to experience locations such as Californian beaches without ever having to go there, as the video proves. All you need is a group of friends to place the camera and a twinkly feel-good soundtrack and you’re good to go.
The bad news is you’ll also need to buy the Samsung Gear VR headset in order to use it. The good news is that this headset is set to be released at the start of December, with a Project Beyond release announcement to follow shortly.
3 | The Speaker That Loves Your Singing Voice
We’ve all been there, belting out the new Taylor Swift album in the shower when suddenly a random and unwanted track comes up on your iPad. The Amazon Echo, the company’s first voice-activated speaker, is here to make sure you never have to listen to anything you don’t want to again.
In order to use it you have to be listening to Amazon-affiliated services such as Amazon Music or iHeart Radio, but with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, the Echo learns your preferences and even speech patterns over time to tailor your music exactly to your tastes. It’s also able to respond to questions about the news and the day’s weather - and what could be better than being well-informed against a great soundtrack?
4 | The App That Will Rescue Your Christmas
You may have noticed – what with all those adverts about Penguins playing football during WW1 – that Christmas is on the approach. While for a lot of us, this involves a long journey back to the nest and an argument with your dad about how to cook Brussels sprouts, there is another option.
Download the Hotel Tonight app to access their bespoke Xmas getaway service, featuring affordable accommodation from Vienna to Strasbourg, then swap warm Baileys with the family for a romantic festive escape with your better half.
5 | The Gadget To Help Hypochondriacs Sleep Easy
The health app/gadget boom continues with the rHEALTH X1, a new piece of tech able to check you for hundreds of diseases using a single drop of blood - just prick your thumb and bleed into the device's receptacle. While it’s not one for the squeamish, it could serve as an early-warning system or a way to help hypochondriacs finally put their minds at rest.
Created by Dr Eugene Chan at the DNA Medical Institute in Massachusetts, the device analyses your blood sample using a series of Nano strips and reagents, passing the mixture through a micro-mixer and lasers. Developed in co-ordination with NASA, it’s also designed to be used in space, should you find yourself feeling a bit peaky in a zero-gravity scenario.
Release date to be announced.