The week in gadgets: Apple’s ‘iRing’ TV remote, a tiny fish eye and non-stop bubble wrap popping

8 Apr 2013

Concept design of iRing by Victor Soto

A look at gadget happenings, as Apple television set rumours now come with added bling, an Indiegogo project to produce the world’s smallest digital fish eye camera snaps our attention, and we discover the secret to eternal happiness: everlasting bubble wrap.

Is an iTV controlled by an iRing coming soon from Apple?

The latest from the Apple rumour mill – which never stops spinning – is that the tech giant is not only going to launch its practically mythical television set this year, but that it will be controlled by a wearable motion controller called the ‘iRing’. As you can guess from the name, the rumoured controller is a ring worn on the finger and, if real, I can see fanbois sporting the Apple-branded bling everywhere they go (along with their iWatch, of course).

The rumour comes from an analyst who says he spoke with suppliers of the technology in China and Taiwan. Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets revealed to AppleInsider his thoughts on an iTV coming in late 2013 and the iRing accessory. The ring would supposedly serve as a navigation tool, turning the user’s fingers into digital as well as physical pointers, and could replace the traditional remote control.

White also said the iTV will come with an additional iPad-sized display to serve as a second screen, which seems a more likely development. Meanwhile, price reductions to third-generation iPads at US retailers suggest a new Apple tablet is on the horizon

Indiegogo success for world’s smallest digital fish eye camera

This teeny-tiny digital camera that could easily fit on a keyring actually crams a 170-degree fish eye lens, removable battery, micro-SD slot and 2-12MP sensor into its miniature dimensions. Created by Greg Dash, who works and studies at Aberystwyth University in Wales, what the mini fish eye camera doesn’t have is a screen, so no more ‘Let me see’ or ‘Oh delete that I look AWFUL,’ after you’ve taken a shot and back to the days when we had to wait to see how our snaps turned out. And, this way, the process is fast and free.

World's smallest digital fish eye camera

While it’s a lo-fi camera, it’s capable of shooting HD video and there’s also a time lapse mode that can shoot from one photo per second to one photo per week. Image size can be adjusted whether users prioritise speed or quality and there’s a USB port for charging and transferring files.

Image shot using world's smallest digital fish eye camera

Image shot using world's smallest digital fish eye camera

Images shot using the wee fish eye camera

Dash is currently seeking funding on Indiegogo to mass produce the device, but has already far surpassed his stg£35,000 target with some days to spare and the first devices are expected to ship to backers this June.

Bubble-wrap iPhone case

When it comes to bubble wrap, once you pop you can’t stop – until you run out of air-filled plastic bubbles to burst, that is. But if you’re a bubble wrap-propping fiend (and who isn’t?) with an iPhone 5, you can encase your device in everlasting bubble wrap from Strapya for 2,100 Japanese yen (about €17) plus shipping.

Strapya bubble wrap iPhone case

The bubble wrap casing makes a satisfying snap that sounds just as good as the real stuff but also bounces back into shape, so you can go on popping to your heart’s content. You probably won’t enjoy it nearly as much as this guy, though.


Main image of iRing concept design by Victor Soto

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Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.