8 Technologies to experiment with

8-technologies

Des Holmes, Creative Technical Director, London

These are exciting times. It seems like everyday there’s a shiny new piece of tech crawling out of the woodwork, offering brand new ways to engage with people and add real value to their lives. Here are the ones we’re most excited by…

Cubesats

Keep an eye out. A new class of miniature satellites were released into the Earth’s orbit back in February (28 of them, in fact) to capture up-to-date images of the final frontier. Recently, they’ve become popular with schools and governments due to their low price and easy assembly. Just a few years ago you needed a degree or millions to build a satellite (or both)… now all you need is a credit card and some elbow grease.

OS X Yosemite

Apple is trying a new look with the next iteration of its Mac operating system – a redesigned interface more inline with their iOS8 design. With other improvements, including better notifications and the new Spotlight search, it’s one that will definitely get people talking.

React

Facebook has released a new coding framework for building user interfaces – React. It changes the way we go about building these interfaces by breaking them into reusable components. Since they’re so encapsulated, these components make code reuse and testing easy, as well as giving the website great efficiency and ultra-high performance. Everyone’s a winner.

Oculus Rift

There’s no denying that 3D headsets have suffered a string of false starts over the last couple of decades. But Facebook’s high-profile acquisition of Oculus Rift has indicated that Virtual Reality could become more than just a gaming peripheral, and has the potential to provide a platform for a multitude of uses.

Scribble Pen

Parents rejoice! Tomorrow’s schoolchildren may never have to experience the classroom brawls over a newly-opened Crayola pack. Using an RGB colour sensor, the Scribble pen and stylus lets you pick any colour around you and transfer it directly to paper or a mobile device.

iBeacons

Using Apple-licensed iBeacon technology, these tiny USB devices broadcast a signal that can be heard by smart devices. The retail implications of technology like this are vast and, even better, they’re portable: iBeacons 1, Geo-fencing 0.

WebGL

3D has been a gimmick that’s been available for a number of years using plugins, but finally (!) WebGL makes it possible to display amazing real-time 3D graphics in your browser. With Microsoft’s Internet Explorer adopting the standard and Apple recently announcing support in the form of iOS8, a lot of 3D-based ideas Will become achievable in the coming months and years.

Ad Drones

Ever dreamt of flying? Now’s your chance. AR Drones let you fly a lightweight drone using a smartphone or tablet simply by tilting your device in the direction you want it to go. They’re also equipped with HD cameras, giving you the chance to capture great footage from the air, straight out of the box and for (relatively) cheap.

If only these were around when Macaulay Culkin was defending his home from the Wet Bandits…

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