This article titled “Powered picnicking to colour-coding robots” was written by Emily Hughes, for The Observer on Saturday 11th July 2015 09.00 UTC
This summer ditch the wicker basket and embrace picnic 2.0. Updating alfresco dining for an urban setting, Atelier Teratoma have created the technopicnic, kitting out this portable case (actually a foldable table) with solar panels, bluetooth-connected screen, speakers, silver pillows, lights and even USB ports so you can plug in your phone for a power boost. Commercial versions are in the pipeline, but until they’re available adventurous readers can embark on their own exploratory mission to the Sala Amadis Youth Institute in Madrid, where the technopicnic prototype is on display this month.
If the night before the morning after is something of a blur, SipSup could be the answer. Aiming to hook up your party shots with an astonishingly chunky aide-memoire, the SipSup comes with an app that allows you to upload photos to the glass when you tap your phone on its logo. When the sight of your gleaming drinking companion jogs your memory next morning, simply reverse the process to view those hilarious snaps – because, apparently, you wouldn’t think to do that anyway. Prices start at (£14) on Kickstarter and with shipping starting in November you could get one just in time for the festive festivities.
Luggage needn’t be a drag – the Coolpeds Briefcase has a foldable motorised scooter built in.
Small enough to be a carry-on when it’s not carrying you, and allegedly able to reach speeds of 20km/h thanks to its battery powered wheels, this could save the day when time at the terminal is tight.
It also comes with location tracking should you suffer the nightmare of lost luggage and can even charge your phone. With pledges starting at 9 (£222) on Indiegogo, you can travel into the future as early as August when deliveries are slated to begin.
Nostalgia meets cutting-edge in the V4 pogo stick. Optimistically described by its makers as “the most advanced pogo stick ever created”, the V4 uses an adjustable air spring rather than heavy traditional springs to put a bounce in your day. Allegedly suitable for a multitude of terrains, its creators boast it can lift users up to 10ft with each jump – just make sure you have a soft landing should your wild hops go awry. And with prices starting at 0 (£248) on Indiegogo, the V4’s makers are hoping to elevate the pogo stick from one-jump wonder to the transport of the future.
Low-tech meets hi-tech with the Ozobot – a jaunty little robot that can be controlled with coloured pens. Draw a line with a felt tip and the robot will follow it, matching its colour to the line in a built-in LED. And there’s more. It’s makers claim that specific sequences of colours, dubbed “ozocodes”, trigger particular responses, from U-turns to zigzags, while an accompanying app offers yet more games on your tablet, making this little gadget a fun way to teach the basics of coding. Zip along to Firebox to get yours for £39.99. Emily Hughes
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Tags: Article, Features, Five things we love, Gadgets, Observer Tech Monthly, Photography, Robots, Technology, The Observer
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