Here are the most amazing and absolutely the most amazing and inarguably the quirkiest gadgets from this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.
The World’s Thinnest Projector
It is a really thick tablet. Till you realise you’re looking at it the wrong way. The ZTE Spro Plus smart projector is the world’s thinnest projector. A big high-resolution screen on top and a 500 Lumen LED bulb projector on the side – this throws out a great picture and even has dual JBL speakers built in. Think of all those times that you were using a tablet and absolutely felt the need to project a huge picture of whatever you were doing! Never? Well....
High On Patrol
Think security camera meets R2-D2 (or more accurately BB-8, the new robot from Star Wars: The Force Awakens). A camera built on a rolling ball isn’t just cute (even though this one is), it all makes sense. The LG Rolling Bot can patrol your house, has a laser pointer, can be driven up and down with a phone app and pumps back a live feed of everything it sees right to wherever you are. The biggest problem with the Rolly is the tagline given by the genius advertising division at LG, ‘Entertain your pets’! Huh?
For Your Assistance
The Sony Xperia Agent is like the Amazon Echo, basically a personal assistant built into a speaker, but takes it several notches higher. It has a built-in projector plus a camera. It responds to voice and gesture, can take dictation, get you all kinds of information, remembers your appointments, plays music, controls all your smart appliances and also has S&M-level sex with you. Okay, the last is still in experimental mode!
A 360-Degree View
It is the era of Virtual Reality and every single company has some kind of a VR headset to showcase. The problem is what to watch on them? Enter the Samsung Gear 360. No prizes for guessing that this one shoots 360-degree photos and videos. It does a pretty good job, is very easy to handle, can be used very creatively and uploads video directly on to YouTube and Facebook. Imagine a few of these in the Indian Parliament. We could see all the ‘action’ from all around as it happens.
Notebook Of The Year
Easily the notebook of the year at MWC, this isn’t an Apple Macbook killer – it’s a serial murderer of brutal proportions. Thinner than the MacBook, with an incredible screen that can go all the way up to 4K, the HP EliteBook Folio has a 10-hour-long battery, all the ports you need and a starting price of USD999. MacBook, you need to be afraid, very afraid!
Designed To Deliver
This absolutely wins the quirkiest gadget at the MWC, Barcelona. It is a robot with a singular mission: deliver your online order to you. The Pack Robot will slowly plod down streets and roads with your package and make sure it hands it over directly to you. So that it doesn’t knock you over, its maximum speed is around seven kilometres per hour. It has a very laidback manner and a slightly creepy smile – which may well be the perfect thing to stop you from over-ordering online just because you’re bored at home!
One For Foodies
Three-dimensional food printers have been rearing their delicious heads up for a while. But this is one printer you can bring home now. Feed the Foodini food printer the right ingredients and it creates treats such as pasta, chocolate, ravioli, chicken nuggets and hamburgers. It connects to the Internet and downloads recipes and then commands you to put in the right ingredients to make it for you. I imagine these will become as common as microwaves in the next few years.
Your Personal Dentist
The Oral-B Genius takes the idea of a powered toothbrush and then goes into serious 1984 Big Brother mode. It connects to an app, asks you to set up your phone while you brush your teeth (it comes with a mirror attachment) and then uses sensors built into the brush and the camera from your phone to analyse speed, pressure, coverage of mouth, regularity of brushing and gives you a gamified report of how well you did. It even ticks you off if you’re not being good with your dental hygiene. Think about it as bringing a dentist home and having him sit in your bathroom at all times.
Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3
From HT Brunch, March 13, 2016
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