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CrowdGadget: Top 5 start-up gadgets

From heads-up display car assistants to smart mugs, BRYAN TURNER wraps the coolest gadgets to back on several start-up platforms.

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CrowdGadget is a wrap of the latest crowd-funded gadgets and tech concepts that have caught our attention. We have rounded up five technologies which have the potential to disrupt their respective industries, by presenting ideas which are either affordable or innovative, or both.

1. EyeDrive: Holographic car assistant

The latest luxury vehicles from marques like BMW and Volvo offer options for holographic-style heads-up displays, but what about the car you already have? Mostly, it’s either too dated, or not expensive enough.That’s where EyeDrive comes in. The aftermarket device sits in the middle of a car dashboard, and projects a display on the windscreen. 

Because it appears in the driver’s field of view, it increases safety by keeping one’s eyes on the road, as well as offering convenient voice control, and adding reverse camera functionality.

For safety reasons, the device doesn’t have buttons. Instead, it makes use of gesture controls, reducing the precision of operating physical buttons and reducing the distance from the steering wheel to controls, when compared to regular dashboard buttons. But it must feel great to control the display like a Jedi.

For voice control, the system uses the connected smartphone’s voice assistant: Google Assistant if it’s connected to Android, and Siri if it’s connected to iPhone. This allows one’s hands to remain on the steering wheel when controlling the system.

The backup camera sticks to the back of one’s car and provides a reverse camera for cars that don’t have the module fitted. This increases safety, especially in bigger cars with less reverse visibility. It adheres to the car with a sticker and lasts for 500 hours before requiring the removable battery to be changed.

The project is available for backing on IndieGoGo here.

Click here to read about a smartwatch that charges off body heat, a robotic arm that can do almost anything, a smart mug that tells you if your water is safe to drink, and a South African solar powered computer.

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Google announces its ‘Netflix for gaming’

The new gaming platform, Stadia, promises high-definition gaming on TVs, computers, and mobile devices, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Google has announced that it has moved into the gaming space, and it focuses on two big aspects of gaming: streaming of games for gamers, which will allow gamers to game anywhere with a fast, low-latency Internet connection; and audiences that watch gamers in-game.

This is a big move in making gaming accessible to more gamers, as it reduces hardware costs, by utilising the benefits of low-latency cloud computing. This will be achieved by using a globally connected network of Google data centres. Gamers who stream games are most likely already using a high-speed, low-latency Internet connection, so access to the Stadia platform will be an added expense.

Through the Stadia platform, gamers will be able to access a large library of games at all times, with no installation time, on virtually any screen. Scaling of hardware like CPU, GPU, memory, and storage is also possible, as one would for cloud server resources.

Google will be leveraging its other platforms, like YouTube, with Stadia streaming. It claims that 200-million people are watching game-related content daily on YouTube. This allows, for example, Stadia players to jump in with other Stadia players – no downloads, no updates, no patches, and no installs.

For console players, Google has designed a custom controller.

The controller was designed to establish a direct connection from the Stadia controller to Google’s data centre through Wi-Fi for the best possible gaming performance. The controller also includes a button for instant capture, saving, and sharing gameplay in 4K resolution. It sports a Google Assistant button and built-in microphone, as many Google products do, for voice control. 

The device is expected to be released later this year, pending FCC approval.

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Nintendo announces Stranger Things 3 game

The Netflix Original show is set to launch a retro-style game on the Nintendo Switch.

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In collaboration with Netflix, developer BonusXP has created Stranger Things 3: The Game. It is the official companion game to Season 3 of the hit original series. The game and latest season are expected to launch on US Independence Day, the 4th of July, a date that will, of course, stick in American gamers’ memories.

This adventure game blends a distinctively retro 16-bit art style, reminiscent of games from the time when the series was set. It is claimed to have modern gameplay mechanics to deliver nostalgic fun with a fresh new twist. Players will be able to experience their favourite show through a mix of exploration, puzzles, and combat.

Just ad in the show, teamwork is at the heart of Stranger Things 3: The Game. Players can team up in a two-player local co-operative, or in single player mode alongside an AI partner. Players can choose to play as one of twelve characters from the show, each with different abilities and attributes. Together, they’ll play through familiar events from the series, while also uncovering never-before-seen Stranger Things secrets, ensuring a fun experience for those new to the world of Stranger Things as well as for those familiar with the series.

Key Features:

  • Experience the show in a new way, exploring the eerie world of Hawkins to uncover new mysteries beyond what’s seen in Season 3.
  • Jump right into the action of this pick-up-and-play adventure: gameplay mechanics that allow players from beginner to advanced skill levels to get in on the fun.
  • Take your game to a higher level by trying out different character combinations and collecting all the secrets the expansive world of Hawkins has to offer.
  • Team up with a friend, leveraging drop-in/drop-out local co-op to take on the mysterious monsters of Hawkins together. While playing solo, use a collection of “buddy commands” to control both characters and still experience all the fun.
  • Choose from 12 playable characters, each with their own unique talents and stats.

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