The new wave of crazy gadgets

By Ruth Spencer

Ruth Spencer investigates the high-tech outlook for Auckland
Photo / Getty Images
Photo / Getty Images

Hold on to your Google Glass and reset your iWatch, because the new wave of gadgets is ready to make your current electronica look like a bunch of rocks you bang together. Here's a look at how these (real) trends will hit Auckland.


The OMbra is the Fitbit for boobs: it tracks your heart rate, breathing and calorie expenditure and sends that information to your smartphone. If a bra is boob jail, this is the prison exercise yard combined with the snitch that sent you there. Despite the name, there is no meditation involved, although if you're a bit of a Buddha and would rather look like Gandhi, you may benefit from owning one.

The OMbra hits Auckland:
After some initial confusion with the KimBra (which gives you back the body you used to know) the OMbra takes Auckland by storm. Pippa Wetzell finally gets the on-screen support she deserves.

In a hard-hitting exposé, John Campbell wraps one around the Mediaworks building to see if it still has any heart or is, in fact, in any way alive.

Penny Hulse tries to pull a Michelle Obama, advocating the OMbra as a solution to youth obesity but the plan backfires when she becomes popularly known as Henny Pulse.

Davek Alert umbrella

The Davek Alert is an umbrella containing a proximity chip, using Bluetooth to alert you when you leave it behind. The "virtual leash" lets you know when you've strayed more than 9m from your brolly, finally bringing parasol-searching to an end. Presumably it also keeps you dry.

The Davek Alert hits Auckland:
Tragically, Bluetooth technology can't tame Auckland's exciting weather. As soon as the Davek hits the market it also hits a gust of Queen St's finest and is blown inside-out. The city rings with plaintive alerts from abandoned umbrellas languishing in rubbish bins. Auckland struggles with the dilemma of what to do with something useless that cost a lot of money and won't stop texting you, but enough about your ex. Jay-Jay Harvey is caught contacting the manufacturers about the possibilities of a virtual leash for Dom, only to find TVNZ snapped up the prototype for Mike Hosking.

SCiO molecular sensor

How much sugar is in that apple? The SciO is a handheld scanner that can analyse the molecular components of whatever it looks at, using near-infrared spectroscopy. Like a cocktail party bore, it can tell you nit-picky details about the fabric you're wearing, the health of your plants, or the components of your jewellery. Somebody missed the chance to call it Wikipedant.

The SCiO hits Auckland
It's a tale of two cities, as the SCiO helps some flourish and others fail. The bottom drops out of the cubic zirconia market and quite a few celebrity engagements. Hip cuisine congeals on tiny plates as paleo people scan their steaks for errant molecules of carb and vegans scan their carbs for errant molecules of steak. Norrie Montgomery rejoices as more A-listers turn up to posh parties thanks to the guaranteed purity of certain substances, although there is a concurrent fall in the sale of baby powder.

Lucy: sunlight-bending robot

Bringing new meaning to the term mirrorball, Lucy is a mirror inside a ball. Designed to direct sunlight into your home, she is self-adjusting with an internal motor in the way your daughter's boyfriend isn't. Lucy's solar reflections allow you to grow plants, get a tan or even cultivate a melanoma in your own flat - and yes, she's solar-powered.

Lucy hits Auckland
The perfect solution to light-deprived apartments, Lucy inspires the Unitary Plan to heady new heights of urban density and the Apartment Cube is born. Mould becomes a thing of the past and cataracts a thing of the future. Buddle Findlay handles a landmark case of sunlight theft when Lucy is caught redirecting a sunbeam that legally belonged to Flat A into Flat B, leading to a severe case of rickets in Flat A's cat.

The Smart Ski Airbag vest

This pneumatic vest detects when you're about to fall and inflates in 0.1 of a second, instantly turning skiing into an unexpected zorbing adventure.

The Airbag Vest hits Auckland
Although developed for skiing, a vest that inflates before you hit the ground turns out to be just the ticket for a typically terrifying day out quaxing, and becomes de rigueur along the Magenta Mile. It's also a hit at Laneways, protecting personal space in queues and warding off handsy dudebros in the mosh pit. Perfect for faking an allergic reaction, it becomes the go-to device for escaping bad Tinder dates. Real Housewives draws record ratings when producers suggest Louise Wallace has one implanted in her lips, resulting in multiple casualties.

- Canvas

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