The week in gadgets: ‘Big screen’ masks, smart shoes, and Will.I.Am’s latest hardware

23 Mar 2015

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The Dashbon Mask. Photo via indiegogo.com

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This week in gadget happenings, headphones that provide big-screen cinema-like video, a beacon-enabled e-bike, and Will.I.Am’s latest hardware.

Dashbon Mask

Although smartphone screens have gotten large to the extent that if they were to grow any more your phone would hardly be considered 'mobile' anymore, they really aren't ideal for watching movies or other lengthy video content.

The makers of the Dashbon Mask want to all your phone to deliver a fully cinematic experience, so they've developed the all-in-one, wearable device that combines a pair of HD virtual projection near-eye displays with high-fidelity audio headphones. Users can plug the mask into any smartphone with its included HDMI cable.

I'm not sure it's suitable for wearing out in public just yet (unless that public place happens to be a Star Trek convention), but the Dashbon Mask can also work as a standard pair of headphones too, and it lasts for 4 hours on a single charge. 

JIVR | Bike

Not only do the JIVR | Bike's develops claim its the first folding, chain-less e-bike in the world, according to the company's modest founder Marcin Piatkowski, the product is the combination of "Apple, Tesla and Pebble all in one product".

Those are big words, but the bike is a pretty handsome looking product. It's powered by both the peddles, as you would expect, as well as an electric battery that can take it 20 miles on a 2 hour charge at speeds of around 15 mph.

In addition, the bike is fitted with Internet of Things (IoT) tech, meaning it can interact with any connected wireless device. And plus, you can mount your smartphone to its handle bars and wirelessly receive operating analytics, track travel data, and get GPS directions from the custom app.

The company is currently attempting to raise funds to launch their design via Kickstarter.

Gucci i.am plus

Having unveiled wearable mobile device the Puls cuff last October, Black Eyed Peas rapper and all-round dreamweaver Will.I.Am has now partnered with Gucci for a new line of fashion-focused smart watches that he says fall under a whole new heading: 'fashionology'.

The product was announced at the Baselworld World Watch fair, and the main point of interest is that it will operate independently of a phone.

“i.am+ and Gucci Timepieces are setting the pace with our vision for a wearable technology,” Will.I.Am said in a statement.

“In developing together a device that is both fashionable and technologically advanced, we will create something that is unique in the marketplace. From the very start, I coined the term ‘fashionology', a merging of the worlds of fashion and technology, which is exactly what this collaboration with Gucci represents.”

No details on price or a launch date have been announced.

Volvorii Smart Shoe

Clothing with the ability to change in response to its owner's needs is the stuff of science-fiction movies, and the Volvorii Smart Shoe may be one of the best products of its kind yet.

This colours and design patterns of this 'smart high heel' can be controlled via a smartphone app to match outfits, among its other hidden capabilities that Volvorii says can be unlocked.

"In the Volvorii smart shoe we hope to bring you a shoe that has unprecedented levels of being simultaneously versatile and elegant," wrote company CEO Wallen Mphepö on the product's Indiegogo page.

And despite the cutting-edge tech, they've not skimped on the design. The shows are actually as good looking as they are technologically impressive.

The Ampware Crankcase

The Crankcase is a phone cover that allows user to charge their phone via the old-fashioned method of generating power by cranking a handle around and around.

Developed by Ampware, the product essentially works like any other smartphone, but with a cable and charger that doesn't need an external power source to get some juice into your battery.

Available for iPhone 5, 5S and 6, the Crankcase includes a USB to Lightning cable that hides under the crank handle.

The company are currently seeking support via Indiegogo.

Dean is a freelance journalist and editor covering media.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com