The most adventurous gadgets (2010 edition)

Plenty of firms make evolutionary products – they take something and make it slightly better. Most of the time, it’s dull. Revolutionary products, however, merge humans and technology in new, perturbing, and sometimes ridiculous ways. One need only look at the Tweetle – the twittering kettle.

Looxcie

We see a lot of gadgets, and below is my list of outstanding contributions to the furthering of human and technological relations:

Notion Ink Adam

The little known Indian developer Notion Ink captured my heart back in January. It was originally defined by its Pixel Qi display – an LCD screen that turns into an eInk-rival at the flip of a switch. After another year of development, it’s ready to hit our stores as a more powerful, more useful version of the iPad. With 3G, Skype (with video calling), a 10ish hour battery life, two cameras, powerful media playback and a eInk-like screen, this could be the tablet to end all other mobile devices. It could be the One. It could be everything the iPad wasn’t.

LiveView

LiveView – or future versions – have the potential to end the wristwatch. Mounted on your wrist, it provides you with wireless access to your smartphone’s functions. An awesome idea with a slightly flawed execution. Hopefully, there will be evolution to this revolution.

Looxcie

The Looxcie lets you record 30 seconds into the past. No, it’s not some kind of unrealistic Deja Vu time-viewer. It simply records all the time, and when you push a button it saves the previous 30 seconds. A bit heavy, slightly gawky and with just too small a memory and too short a battery life. Next year, maybe?

BlackPad

Another tablet that isn’t the iPad. The reason that the BlackPad makes the list is due to its innovative, ingrained smartphone integration. It uses the best features of your Blackberry and combines them with the form and power of a tablet. It’s a whole lot more interesting than Apple’s product, which just multiplied the size of the iPhone and subtracted its camera.

Nintendo 3DS

The first 3D handheld was announced. It may not be out yet, but it’ll hopefully send a stark message to everyone else in the 3D market: we want the third dimension without glasses. Hurry up.

Sony Ericsson LiveView: Keeping you constantly in the loop

People carry phones. People wear watches. What if, thought Sony Ericsson, people’s watches could interact with their mobile phones? And so was born the LiveView.

The LiveView is a small (3.5 x 3.5x 1.1cm) touchscreen device that slips on the wrist and mirrors the activities of your Android mobile phone. If you get a text message, you can read it. If someone’s calling you, it’ll say who. If you use Twitter, Facebook or RSS, updates will be piped to the wrist-ware.

liveview

The idea is that in our always-on and communication-saturated world, you’ll be able to instantly receive all your updates, but only have to bother with your phone when you need to reply.

While removing a phone from a pocket isn’t an enormous task, just think how many times a day a Facebook-tag steals your attention from something you were engrossed in.

As well as keeping you updated, the LiveView also keeps you in control. For music playback, it works as a remote to stop the music, change the track or adjust the volume level. Perfect for plugging your phone into a stereo and controlling the sounds from your sofa.

It’s also got a “find your phone” option, as well as a calendar reminder and, like any good wrist-device, the date and time.
The most interesting feature, however, is the full Android support.Third-parties will be able to develop for the device. It could be used as a remote for a SNES emulator, or an instant-update button for Facebook places. Even a panic button, dialling 999 when pressed. The possibilities are limited only by the small screen and limited number of buttons.
Full Android support also means that it is not restricted to Sony Ericsson mobiles, either. Any smartphone running Android 2.0 or above can benefit from the LiveView.

The device has a 10m Bluetooth range, a battery-life of around four days per charge and boasts a 1.3″ OLED display (128 x 128). It also comes with a clip for taking it off the wrist-strap and wearing it elsewhere (although where else you’d want it, we’re not too sure). It’ll be available from Q4 2010.

Although a unique idea, if they’d only made it work as a Bluetooth headset we’d be sold. Oh, and if it looked nicer. Brushed steel, anyone?