Been busy? Not to worry - here's a snapshot from yet another weird and wonderful week in tech...
Trainer Ball – A real-life Pokéball to help you catch ’em all
Pre-order for $45 (around £34) from Kickstarter
Made from soft rubberised foam and packing Bluetooth, an accelerometer and Snapchat’s face recognition tech, the Trainer Ball is a remote controller for Pokémon Go that you can throw just like a real life Pokéball. Now, instead of having to use a flick of the thumb on your smartphone screen to throw a virtual ball at a wild Pokémon, all you have to do is lob this ball – yes, really throw it – onto the ground to pick up a Pikachu. The Trainer Ball’s clever hidden tech will mimic your ball throw on the screen, making it really feel you’ve just caught a roaming monster with your bare hands. And to keep your phone juiced up nicely for a long day of Pokéhunting, there’s a built-in backup power bank that can charge almost any phone around 2 times over. If you’re ready to make the line between real life and fantasy monsters even more blurry, you can pre-order the Trainer Ball from its successful Kickstarter campaign for $45 (around £34).
GoBone – Give your dog a (robot) bone
Pre-order for $169 (around £127) from MyGoBone.com
A durable, totally pooch-proof dog bone with an IoT brain, GoBone connects to an app on your phone to let you dispense treats and play fetch wherever you are in the world. GoBone can roll about your house at your command, responding to motion control a little like Nintendo Wii Bowling.Want to incentivise exercise? Just pop a couple of treats in the bone’s treat dispenser, give GoBone a couple of taps and it will spring to life instantly. Train your dog to tap it twice, and you’ve got a canine genius on your hands. Of course, you’re going to want to capture some of that adorable puppy play on camera, so the GoBone app has thrown in a recording feature so you can film straight from the app while you play. If you want to share your dog’s footage and brag about its achievements, you can share it to social media straight from the app.
Doorbird – See when your favourite person is calling
Buy for €349 (around £296) from Doorbird.com
Doorbird is a smart doorbell that uses clever face recognition technology to remember the important faces who pass through your door, and sends a delightful alert to your phone every time they come back. Whether it’s gran popping round for a biscuit and a brew, your best mate with your birthday present, or that special someone with a bottle of wine and a film, Doorbird will use advanced video analytics to figure out who it is, and alert an app on you’re phone – wherever you are in the world. You then have the option to chat with them, depending on whether or not you can get to the door. Of course, if you get an alert when you’re actually at home, you’ll be able to head straight to the door knowing full well who’s at the other side. Along with ultra-clever face recognition, Doorbird comes with a 180˚ motion sensor to trigger alerts and an alarm, and infrared LEDs for night vision.
Here One – Design your own sound bubble
Sign up here to get a heads up they’re available
Here One are like an instant on/off switch for annoying noises. Designed to be worn constantly, they can either augment or filter out sounds depending on where you are and what you want to hear. With the companion app, just toggle to turn up your friend’s voice in that noisy club, or crank down that group of obnoxious guys on your morning commute. You can even use them to listen to music while removing all sounds around you, or choose to let some sound filter in – such as travel announcements or traffic noise. If the crowd at a concert or sporting match is too loud for you, you can lower their volume, while bringing up the performer or commentator. The earbuds carry three to five hours worth of charge, and the carry case doubles as a power bank to give you another two full charges.
easyFeed – Your middle class pet’s dietician, feeder and entertainer
Pre-order for $155 (around £118) from Kickstarter
Packing WiFi, a two-way camera and a smart weighing system, easyFeed lets you plan your pet’s entire feeding schedule from an app on your phone. With your phone in hand, you can customise every single meal – from how much easyFeed dispenses, when it dispenses it and how frequently without needing to fiddle with annoying timers – or, for that matter, rope the neighbour in to do the job while you’re on holiday. Its 2-way camera and microphone let you see and chat to your pet from anywhere in the world, giving you the unique opportunity for some long-distance bonding, as well as the ability to shout at Mr. Snuggles when he decides to start shredding the arm of the sofa in your absence. If he does as he’s told, you can reward him by tapping the app to dispense a single treat. What’s cool is that easyFeed knows when you’re about to run out of pet food, and connects to your Amazon account to automatically reorder more tasty grub before you’re caught short.