GITEX Technology Week ended last Thursday, and it left us reeling from the sheer breadth of possibilities technology affords us. Other than the much talked about robot cops, flying taxis and self-driving cars, a number of brands showcased technology that will change the way we live every day, as consumers. What we loved is that several of the most interesting developments came from GITEX Future Stars, a section of the event dedicated to start-ups, disruptors, movers and shakers.
So, what does the future hold? Here’s our pick of the best from GITEX 2017.
The Kagoo Smart Air Monitor
This nifty, mushroom-shaped gadget is not only small, stylish and unobtrusive, it does a whole lot! One device has a range of 50 sq.m, and can detect pollution, carbon dioxide, formaldehyde and even the humidity and temperature of the air. If the level exceeds a certain amount, a negative ion purifier will automatically switch on and clean the air. Kagoo can also be controlled and monitored through your smartphone, and change colours if you want to create a little more ambience.
If anything made us feel like we were in the Jetsons, it was probably this. The Perseus Mirror is interactive, fits into any home design, and provides you with completely customizable information from the day’s weather, to news to even showcasing texts from your friends. The mirror is also voice activated, so you can still use it while you’re busy putting on your makeup or fixing your tie.
It may look like a slightly futuristic outdoor umbrella, but ShadeCraft aims to enhance our lives through robotics. And it does it in so, so many ways. It acts as a wi-fi hotspot, speaker (that you can set to a timer), ambient light source, comes with a 360-degree camera for either extra security or to broadcast your fun afternoon out to friends and family across the world. Oh, it’s also voice-activated, follows the sun as it moves through the day and charges itself while it does!
day to day
Have you ever been heading for a meeting and realised that absolutely every parking spot has been taken? This app is for you! Simply log in, the app detects your location and shows you nearby parking spaces that are being rented out by private individuals. You access the parking spot using your smartphone, and pay for it that way too! If your building is Nester friendly, you can rent out your own parking spot while you’re not around as well.
It’s that time of day again – food delivery time. As nice as it would be to experiment with different cuisines and restaurants, it can be a bit hit and miss. Enter Mealr. A delicious looking app, Mealr lets you scroll through different photographs of actual dishes, recommended to you based on your profile, location and past behaviour. Once you’ve decided what looks good, it’s a few quick taps to have the food paid for and delivered to you. This app also integrates into your Health Kit on the iPhone, so that you can keep track of your meals and calorific intake too.
Wouldn’t it be nice to choose a hairstylist based on their CV and portfolio? Now you can! With HelloStylists, you can browse through the credentials of different hairstylists in the UAE, including photographs of their past work, choose the one that’s right for you and book your appointment. It’s that easy!
For the kids
Otomos Smartphone Case + Apps
It’s no secret that parents around the globe are worried that their little ones are spending way too much time on their smartphones…in fact, it’s like a third arm. With the Otomos smartphone case (that requires a special screwdriver to attach and detach, without harming the phone) and related app, parents can set time limits for how long the phone may be used for. The phone will automatically deactivate while the child is walking (no more banging into lampposts because you’re glued to the phone) and also sends a message if the phone senses a shock, indicating that the user has been in an accident.
You’ve reached the office and it suddenly hits you…you forgot to send little Timmy off to school with lunch. Now, you could rejig your entire morning so that you can squeeze in time to hit the supermarket, then swing by preschool and still make it back for the the 12 pm call with the head office…or you can log in to the Smart Lunchbox app, select some wholesome and healthy snacks to be delivered right to his preschool. Oh, and you can pay online too. Currently, this app is only available in Jordan, but we do hope it rolls out here soon!
This stylish water bottle is the perfect remedy for unhealthy and socially irresponsible city living. This water bottle not only filters but thanks to the way it’s been built, also ionises water. What makes this so socially conscious? Part of the proceeds are going to water-centric charities, to help bring clean, drinkable water to the people who unfortunately don’t have access to it.
The deaf and hard of hearing are often overlooked when it comes to regular, day to day life. But thanks to Mind Rockets, that will be a think of the past. This useful little app translates text and sound into both American and Arabic sign language, in real time.
As wonderful as your family and friends are at giving advice, let’s be honest. They’re not trained professionals. And you may not necessarily have the time to visit an actual trained professional. Enter Labayh. This app connects you with trained psychologists, legal, financial and family consultants (with more disciplines expected to be added soon), where you can anonymously and securely speak to trained professionals and get the help you need.
On The Go
Search engines can tell you where the nearest garage for your car is, but it can’t really tell you how good it is. And if there are reviews, how do you know that it’s not just by one disgruntled customer who happened to have been, well…one of those. With Gearfour, you can browse through over 2000 garages, find the best deals, compare ratings, save your car’s service history to your profile and even get rewards for leaving feedback and return visits. What makes this so trustworthy, is the fact that users can only provide feedback and rate a garage based on their invoice for a service.
We all remember the aesthetic hilarity of the Segway when it first launched. It’s managed to reinvent itself as a tourist’s go-to in several European cities, but you’re unlikely to see it being used by people in their daily lives. The Immotor GO doesn’t look like it will follow the same path. Effortlessly sleek and stylish, it’s a personal transportation device that you will want to be seen in! Compact and easy to use, the Immotor GO also functions as a caddy for your belongings, strolling beside you in cruise control.
Is there any other advancement or app that you think we need in Dubai, one that hasn’t been invented yet? Let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you can’t quite wait for the future and want to make a change to your lifestyle today, check out this article on ways to make your home healthy.