The UK's First Spaceport And More Tech Of The Week

Also featuring the robotic salamander, wireless-charging furniture and Huawei 's Bluetooth fitness band

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1 | Your Second Glimpse At Our Future Robot Overlords

We’ve already warned you about Boston Dynamics' robotic hellhounds (not their official name) and now it may be time to horde a few more shotgun shells and tins of alphabet spaghetti and head to your loft, thanks to the world’s first robotic Salamander. Developed by Swiss researchers EPFL, the Pleurobot moves exactly like the amphibians and can walk, swim and walk under water. Basically, there’s no escape.

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biorob.epfl.ch


2 | Your Home-Grown Trip To The Final Frontier

Forget about all this Heathrow vs. Gatwick propaganda you've seen pasted all over the Victoria Line, the only transport development we’re interested in is the possibility of the country’s first spaceport.

It’s been backed by the government and could open as early as 2018 if a location can be agreed upon and one of a range of development proposals is accepted. Whatever the location and whatever it looks like, a spaceport is likely to be an interesting prospect for commercial space flight (think Virgin Galactic and SpaceX) but will it bring in trade with extraterrestrials that will boost businesses across the country? Time will tell. 

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3 | Your New Bluetooth Headset/ Fitness Band

The tech world is going crazy about this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, but while phone manufacturers were busy comparing screen sizes, Chinese developers Huawei sneaked in under the radar with two great pieces of kit. We’ve already told you about the Huawei Watch, but the new TalkBand B2 is also worth a mention.

A touch-screen fitness band with all the usual features, the TalkBand B2 stands out due to the fact you can remove the screen and use it as a Bluetooth headset. Whether this will spawn a Bluetooth revival remains to be seen, but it’s an interesting take on the standard fitness bands many companies are experimenting with, and could well be the first indication of wrist-based wearable doing more exciting things than measuring your daily calorie count.

£144, huawei.com 


4 | Your New Wireless Charging Flatpack Table 

Swedish meatball producers Ikea are branching out into wireless charging furniture, as debuted at this year’s Mobile World Congress. The new range will include tables, desks and lamps and aims to do away with the clutter of wires by incorporating wireless Qi charging pads into the pieces.

The furniture will need to be plugged in and it only works with certain models of smartphone, such as the Samsung S6. Ikea will, however, be selling Qi compatible phone covers in store when the product line launches in April. Hopefully the new wireless furniture won’t require a mini-break to the Seychelles to recover from the stress of putting it all together.

ikea.com


5 | Your New Way To Game Without Disks

With their Shield console, American company NVIDIA are hoping to do for gaming what Netflix did for films. The console is the world’s first 4K Android-based console that allows you to stream games form an online catalogue, or download them directly to your console. You’ll also be able to stream music and films on demand. All of which means tless time waiting around for the postman to deliver the latest Grand Theft Auto game and more time bashing buttons.

nvidia.co.uk

Which are you most excited about?


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