Tech Universe: Monday 03 March

By Miraz Jordan

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

QUICK CHAT: Communications are always a problem in a disaster, but the Instant Network Mini should help. The 11 Kg backpack takes only a few minutes to set up as a network provider. Its secure 2G GSM network can provide up to 5 concurrent calls within a radius of 100 metres and enable text messages to be sent to thousands of people. The GSM base transceiver station connects to a host network over a satellite connection. That's the kind of equipment any NGO or aid office could keep on standby, next to their regular emergency kit.

SWEET SPOT: A device from GSMA can monitor blood sugar levels continuously without needing constant pin pricks to draw blood. The device attaches to the body and send signals via short range wireless to a small handheld monitor. The data is then sent on to a cloud-based app. Users can then download data with their smartphone or a computer. This means that people with diabetes can tell at any time what their blood sugar levels are.

This system could allow people with diabetes to participate more easily in activities such as endurance sports. That should be a huge relief for some.

FUN IN THE SUN: If you live in Europe you may have bought yourself an Xkuty One electric scooter. The 42 Kg machine has a 1200 W motor and can travel between 40 and 100 Km depending on battery, at up to 35 Kph. With the Spark parking unit the scooter can be recharged with solar energy too. The Spark is a small shelter with solar panels on the roof. Drive the scooter in, plug it in and leave the batteries to charge. That's a nice pairing.

SQUEALING KEYS: With a Nokia phone and some Treasure Tags you need never lose your keys, bag or wallet again. Each tag is about the size of a box of matches and weighs only 13 grams. Pair the tag to the app on the phone and attach it to the item you want to keep track of, then if the two are separated both will emit a loud tone. One phone can be paired with up to 4 tags. The coin cell battery in the tag should last up to 6 months. A customisable spoken message could be much more fun than a simple tone.

FIT FOR SKIING: Rented ski boots may not fit just how you'd like them to, but custom 3D printed insoles could make your feet more comfortable. ALPrint let you download and print off a simple calibration mat. Stand on the sheet of paper, take a photo of your feet with the cellphone app and add some data about your weight, then their service calculates the correct dimensions for your insole. They print the insole with thermoplastic material on their 3D printer and send out the finished item. Now when you rent ski boots you could just slot in your own insole and head for the slopes.

Miraz Jordan, knowit.co.nz

- NZ Herald

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