The week in gadgets: Treasure Tags, CuffLincs and a smart watch for kids

24 Feb 2014

VTech KidiZoom Smart Watch

A look at gadget happenings, as VTech introduces a smart watch imitator for kids, Nokia uncovers its Treasure Tag, Cuff introduces enviable wearables with a security twist and HP reveals its flexible Pavilion 360.

Smart watches get childish

VTech revealed the KidiZoom Smart Watch at the 2014 International Toy Fair in New York City last week. While the toy-maker claims this is the world’s first smart watch for kids, with no internet connectivity, ‘smart’ is not really the case.

What the KidiZoom Smart Watch can do, though is play three built-in games, take pictures, shoot video and, of course, tell time. Young users can switch from digital to analogue clock faces on the 1.4-inch touchscreen device and customise their wallpaper.

Targeting kids aged from three to nine, the watch also features a rechargeable battery, alarm clock, timer, stopwatch and voice recorder with effects.

The child-sized wearable also includes a built-in memory card and USB port for transferring files. The KidiZoom Smart Watch is expected to cost US$50 when it drops this autumn in blue and pink versions, with more designs to follow.

Nokia helps users find lost Treasures

First tipped back in July 2013, Nokia has finally unveiled its Treasure Tag proximity sensor. This tiny device uses Bluetooth and NFC, enabling it to act as a location sensor.

Treasure Tags can be paired with Nokia’s Lumia range of smartphones and, using a Windows Phone app, users can manage the sensor and locate it when lost misplaced. The device’s location will appear on a map using Nokia HERE.

Nokia Treasure Tag

The sensor also works in reverse and holding down a key on the dinky device will trigger a notification sound on the phone – if it’s in range.

The Treasure Tag has a replaceable battery that will last about six months in one go. While only compatible with Nokia’s Lumia range at the moment, third-party apps to support Android and iOS devices are coming.

The device starts shipping in April in a range of colours priced at €24.90.

Fashionable wearables for user safety

Cuff is a new company created by husband-and-wife team Sandeep and Deepa Sood who intend to inject some style into wearable technology. The company is now taking pre-orders for a range of metal and leather bracelets, keycahins, necklaces that each include an iOS-compatible Bluetooth CuffLinc to smarten up their accessories.

Cuff accessory range

Built for the wearer’s safety, a long press on the small black insert will send an SOS message to designated contacts, while a simple double tap lets people in your circle know you’re trying to reach them.

Cuff has rasied US$400,000 from Tandem Capital to fund the project so far and the plan is to add eatures like activity and sleep tracking in the long run.

Pre-orders of the current accessories range can be made now and shipping starts this autumn. The CuffLinc itself is valued at US$30, and prices rise from there depending on which stylish accessory you choose.

HP’s new Pavilion x360 bends over backwards

HP has introduced a an affordable touch convertible with a 360-degree hinge to adapt to its users’ needs. The HP Pavilion x360 can switch from laptop to tablet in just about any orientation and its price is similar to that of an entry-level notebook starting at US$400.

Available in red or silver, the Pavilion x360 packs Beats Audio and dual speakers, an Intel Pentium processor, HP TrueVision HD webcam, three USB ports (one of which is a sleeping-charge port), HDMI port, SD card reader and a 500GB HDD in a package that weights about 1.4kg. The 11.6-inch HD SVA display is optimised for 10-point capacitive multitouch.

HP Pavilion x360

Availability starts in the US on 26 February, rolling out to other regions thereafter.

LG’s new lines

South Korean smartphone-maker LG laid its cards on the table ahead of Mobile World Congress (MWC), which kicked off in Barcelona today. Last week, LG announced two new G-series smartphones as well as the third generation of its L-series and some new UX features.

The G Pro 2 follows in the footsteps of the G Pro, winner of Best Smartphone at last year’s MWC. The Android 4.4 smartphone features a 5.9-inch full-HD IPS display, 13MP camera with Optical Image Stabiliser Plus (OIS+) technology and advanced picture and video editing functions.

In the G Pro 2, users will be able to power on and unlock phone with a custom sequence of taps on the screen using Kcock Code, part of LG’s effort to offer a unique user experience. Previous models are also set to receive Knock Code firmware updates.

The G2 Mini is LG’s first ‘compact’, following the original G2 but in a 4.7-inch package with an IPS display, 2,440mAh battery and quad-core processor.

Finally, LG continues the L series momentum in emerging markets with new Android 4.4-powered 3G smartphones in metallic colours with narrow bezels, the L40, L70 and L90.

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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.