Gadgets news: Invizbox Go and a folding laundry machine

12 Oct 2015

This week in gadgets news, Irish start-up Invizbox tries to complete funding for its Invizbox Go and a Japanese company has created a machine that will do all your laundry, including folding it.

Things were looking rather curvy in gadgets news last week with the launch of HP’s new enormous curved 32in Envy Windows PC which has been described as an ‘all-in-one’ because it combines the monitor, audio, camera and computer into one package.

It also comes in the smaller screen sizes of it comes in 24in and 27in if the largest one is too curvy for you, starting from US$999 and up to US$1,799.

Elsewhere, Microsoft’s new MacBook competitor, the Surface Book, was given its debut among many other new Microsoft devices, including a release period of the HoloLens.

When it is released, the tablet-cum-laptop will be Microsoft’s most expensive laptop coming in at an eye-watering US$1,499.

But with that you get a 6th-Gen Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, and also comes with an i5/i7 NVIDIA GPU.

Not wanting to feel left out, Apple also revealed it is to launch its new 21.5in 4K iMac with its more advanced graphic card compared with its predecessor.

Invizbox Go

The Irish start-up Invizbox is in the midst of the last few days of its Kickstarter funding campaign to raise the €100,000 it’s looking for to develop its new product, the Invizbox Go.

The core concept of the small, black box is to keep the owner safe from tracking and profiling by people, governments, companies and hackers.

The start-up says that the InvizBox Go uses either a VPN connection or a connection to the anonymous browser Tor to fully protect a person’s local network.

From a more consumer point of view though, the Invizbox GO also allows someone to view country-restricted content from wherever they are in the world while also acting as a large power bank for charging a phone.

While still in its prototype development stage, the cheapest reward price for the black box is €79 which isn’t too shabby for such a device.

Invizbox Go

The Laundroid

Doing the laundry could be about to get lazier with the help of a new Japanese washing machine called the Laundroid.

What makes the washing machine stand out from others, the Laundroid people say, is that rather than just washing and drying the clothes, it will use technology within to sort and fold the clothes as well.

Just think of the amount of time this will save a person with each wash? Whole minutes, even.

While the actual details of the machine have only been given the equivalent of a teaser trailer for a movie, the Laundroid is a joint effort between the housing firm Daiwa House, the electronics company Panasonic and Seven Dreamers

We might be waiting a while though as while it was demonstrated behind a curtain at its demonstration, we’re unlikely to see a commercial model unti, sigh, 2019.

Garageeks’ outdoor wireless charging station

Another entry this week from an Irish start-up, this time in the form of Garageeks based in Dublin who has developed their first outdoor wireless charging station for devices using the Qi standard.

According to their website, phones that use this charging standard, like the Samsung Galaxy S6, will be able to get one hour’s worth of use out of a 10 minute charge.

The solar-powered stand also support fast USB charging and has an integrated remote management system that allows someone to monitor critical parameters in real-time.

From a business point of view, the wireless charging stations they have developed is geared towards advertisers who could use them to promote a product while people wait there for their phones to charge. Certainly an interesting concept.

Garageeks charging station

L16 DSLR-like camera

This week just can’t seem to get enough of start-ups as another company, Light, is attempting to make a dent in the high-resolution camera market with a 52MP camera that looks similar in shape and size to a smartphone.

Called the L16, the camera promises to squeeze in 16 camera modules of three different focal lengths, each of which will have a 13MP image sensor.

Of the 16 modules, the focal lengths include five 35mm ones, five 70mm ones, and six 150mm ones.

Each of the lenses takes its own photos which is then combined using its internal software that replicates what would be seen in a high-powered DSLR camera for more than half the price.

Shipping late summer 2016, the camera is still not a throwaway item expecting to cost in the region of US$1,699.

Evapolar, the personal air conditioner

Well here’s something that looks particularly ‘cool’. Not content with having a large air conditioner in a room using vast quantities of energy, a Russian Indiegogo campaign wants to create a personal air conditioner.

The desktop personal air conditioner obviously offers cool air for the user, but also humidifies and purifies the air, supposedly.

Raising a few eyebrows, they developed special evaporative nanomaterial that was supposedly based off part of Russian military tech and is 12 times more energy efficient than traditional split systems.

From the reward price, the Evopolar will set you back at least US$179.


Woman using public Wi-Fi image via Shutterstock

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic