The week in gadgets: Jyrobike, ASUS Strix headset and the IoT gardener

9 Jun 2014

This week in gadgets, ASUS shows off its owl-like Strix gaming headset, Barnes & Noble to launch new Nook tablet and the Edyn IoT gardening device.


While the saying “it’s just like learning to ride a bike” is over-used in a number of different situations, a Northern Irish start-up is aiming to make this as redundant as saying something is “the best thing since sliced bread” with their Jyrobike.

Aimed at three to eight year olds and available in 12” and 16” wheels, the Jyrobike features a control hub in the front wheel that uses gyroscopic technology to keep riders upright, even when they tip or wobble preventing many, many scratched knees.

The complete Jyrobike will be made from a lightweight aluminium frame with a strong tri-frame tubing and a range of safety features with a range of different colours.

The team are aiming to raise US$100,000 through Kickstarter and want to have the first models shipped out by January/February 2015.

ASUS Strix gaming headset

The Taiwanese company ASUS has announced its new range of Strix gaming headsets which aside from featuring all the mod-cons needed for hardcore gamers, looks like a menacing set of owl eyes with its orange lights on each earpiece which light up when connected.

Compatible across all gaming devices, console, PC and even smartphone devices and tablets, the headphones claim to block out 90pc of environmental noise and a pair of 60mm neodymium-magnet drivers that will reportedly pack a serious audio punch and immersion.

It is expected to begin shipping online on their website for just under US$100 (€73).


Edyn smart gardening system

The internet of things (IoT) is only beginning to establish itself as the next big thing to take over the household and yet already things are moving out into the garden.

The latest development is Edyn, a smart gardening Wi-Fi controlled unit that doesn’t just make gardening seem rather lazy, but also increases efficiency and less waste of water.

Once the device is stuck in the ground, the solar-powered unit connects with the home to relay up-to-date information on the soil quality and whether it is at the right level for the plants to grow.


However, the beauty of the device is that once it’s connected with a smart watering system, it can turn on the system automatically so no real effort is needed whatsoever.

As with all things IoT, the app installed on the homeowner’s phone will relay the latest information directly too them as they sit on their couch in front of the TV, presumably.

Another Kickstarter project, the team have raised just over US$66,000 with a target of US$100,000 in their sights.

Lego to celebrate women in science

Lego will soon be taking the step of releasing its latest collection of the little yellow building toys featuring women in science acros various roles including astronomy, chemistry and even palaeontology.

The decision to release the new set – to be known as the Lego Research Institute – came down to the company’s policy of Lego Ideas whereby the general public can offer suggestions for the next Lego collection and if it receives over 10,000 votes, will be put to a Lego review board and if they’re lucky, will see it released in stores.

Writing in her original proposal for the set, Alatariel Elensar explained her reasoning for wanting the collection: “Although recently LEGO has started to design and add more female figures to their sets, they are still a minority. I have designed some professional female minifigures that also show that girls can become anything they want, including a paleontologist or an astronomer. The motto of these scientists is clear: explore the world and beyond!”

Lego women

Sony Xperia T3

Last week, Sony unveiled its latest Xperia handset, the T3 which it claims, at a weight of 148g, is the slimmest 5.3in smartphone to become available on the market today.

The handset featured in their release is a rather noticeable luminescent purple with a steel rim surrounding the phone which is designed to act as the phone’s booster antenna and a HD TriLuminos display, which Sony says will offer users “redder reds and bluer blues”.

Another feature included with the screen is called IPS which will allow the suer to see the screen particularly well regardless of what angle they are looking at and whatever angle the sun may be shining on it.

Xperia T3

In terms of connectivity, all the usual features apply for top-end smartphones such as 4G and runs off a 1.4 GHz quad-core processor and is powered a 2500 mAh battery.

The phone’s camera is considered an important feature this time around as the 8MP front-facing camera with several camera apps as standard, including Portrait Retouch which lets you mess around with the different shadings, colourings and features that we are used to seeing with modern phones.

It’s expected to be released this July but Sony have yet to confirm a price for their latest handset.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic