TWIG:Robot arms, GEKKOLinks and Blackbox M10s

The Week In Gadgets

This week saw the launch of the Blackberry Torch 9800 and Blackberry 6 OS to a lukewarm press reaction. We also saw the release of the call-me-anywhere satellite phone – the iSatphone Pro and a cloud based music service from the Carphone Warehouse. There were also some guitars made from paper.

The good people at pointed me in the direction of the frankly amazing Remote Controlled Mechanical Arm – a build-your-own remote control robot arm.


I can’t believe I just typed “build-you-own remote control robot arm” but apparently they not only exist but can be yours for £39.99. Billed as an educational tool, the Remote Controlled Mechanical Arm lets you learn how machines work and it is a great insight into the basics of control systems. Get one from here. And get me one too.

Last week we looked at Blackbox’s i10 silencer earphones and this week they released their M10s which have the same Active Noise Rejection technology but in an overear cup style (which rotate so they are ideal for DJs). They also have a similar price to the i10 silencers, retailing at £89.99.

Travel bloggers should check out GEKKOLinks, a new service from the save@gekko people that automatically converts mentions of hotels on websites into affiliate links and makes a small box appear with relevant information including availability and prices from multiple booking engines.


In theory, the GEKKOLinks service should improve sites for readers – you could be reading a review of Hotel Yoruba, decide you like it and book a room without leaving the site. And publishers should get a cut of any bookings as well. You can sign up here.

Over the course of next week we should have reviews of some new and exciting iPod docks, a 3D camera for under £200 (well £199.99) and some spy cameras. Should be wild.

TWIG: Blackbox silencer headphones, SLURLs review, Sound Pillows and more

The Week In Gadgets

It’s been a busy week in technology with the demise of my favourite web app Google Wave, the unveiling of Amazon’s Kindle 3 and Apple’s “Magic Trackpad”… or as we like to call it “Trackpad”

Released 2 weeks ago, but only in my hands this week, Blackbox’s new i10 silencer headphones were also impressive. Self-powered and noise cancelling the i10s are for hardcore audio enthusiasts – especially as they only work via Apple’s unique 30 pin dock. They claim to cancel 92% of background noise using ANR technology and at £79.99 RRP are comfortably in the reach of most “high end” earphones – although the 30 pin dock connector does restrict what you can use these headphones with.


We were all excited about the release of Y-Cam’s Bullet, a weatherproof network camera, which allows you to view and hear footage in real-time, from anywhere in the world. Think of the possibilities. Keep an eye out for Naomi’s review which should be out some time next week.

We had a look at a range of fantastic pillows, travel pillows and headboards from Sound Asleep that came with built-in speakers. I was then pointed in the direction of Sound Pillow, who also make an integrated pillow speaker –designed for tinnitus sufferers but popular with festival goers, travellers and students. You can check out the £27.99 pillow here.

We mentioned SLURLs a while back and I was lucky enough to get my hands on a review copy. Initially I approached the slim volume with scepticism – how funny can a book about domain names be? Fortunately it turns out that the answer is “quite” and Chief SLURLer Andy Geldman managed to throw in some genuine laughs as well as a few interesting facts and a Nathan Barley reference along the way. SLURLs makes a great causal read or gift for anyone with even a passing interest in Internet culture. Make a nerd happy here.

Of course there were a slew of apps released. The Cineworld iPhone app caught my eye – it uses geodata to locate your nearest Cineworld, with films and screening times and compare with other Cineworlds. Best of all you can purchase tickets from the app, distinguishing it from other similar Movie apps.

Pinch recently launched a multiplatform app “Pinch – iMessenger, iContacts & iLocation Sense”. iDon’t know what this means but it appears to improve on standard SMS but including location data and social networking features. They have launched the Pinch iPad Global Contest where users can win iTunes gift cards, iPads and more prizes. Check it out for download details, support handsets and details on how to win an iPad.

And finally the fun and free iPhone and Android “Postcard” sends your holiday snaps to an FTP in Dorset and posts them the same day (there is a 4 pm cut off ) Simple yet effective. Check it out.