Washa simu yako

23 Jul 2013

I got two new gadgets in one day today.

One is my shiny new Leap Motion controller (about £77 delivered, mine was less because it was an early pre-order).

Waving your hands and waggling your fingers takes a bit of getting used to, and it doesn’t work flawlessly, but it adds a new dimension to things. Using Swish and a bit of AppleScript I can now sign in and go “online” in Skype with a two-finger mid-air gesture - and set my status to “away” with the opposite gesture.

Most promisingly, the controller has APIs which look as if they will open up all sorts of possibilities. I’m interested to see what others will make of it, and what ideas my brainy and creative friends will come up with.

I wish it recognised obscene gestures: that’d be fun. You’d be able to quit applications by swearing at them.

The other is not really a novel gadget. It’s a Nokia 105. Bought as a reaction to an iPhone-battery-irritation at the weekend, this little fella cost £18 including postage, and I think I paid over the odds because it’s a brand new model; I don’t think it’s officially released in the UK yet. It emphatically does not do 3G, or apps, but it is splash-proof, has a radio, lots of games, alarms, a flashlight and 35 days' standby time. Yep, over a month. Importantly, the games include Snake.

Together with a micro-SIM to SIM adapter, which will allow me to jump from iPhone to Nokia (must remember paperclip for SIM removal), this represents an ideal emergency back-up phone, or one I can take on week-long trips. I did consider a John’s phone, but the ability to send and receive texts is important to me.

Devices like this are important not because they represent innovation in a technological sense (although they probably do, in terms of production efficiency) but because they open up an important technology at a radically new price point. I’m not claiming this is a radical new insight - plenty of people are only too well aware of this - but it was fun to find the instructions for mine were in two languages: Swahili and English.

Tags: gadget