Light Start – Weather Poster, a Fitbit you can’t have, Google Maps AR, and 3D printed rocket engines


A smart home needs a smart… poster? Meet the Weather Poster

Kickstarter has always been a place for weird and wonderful ideas but there’s a balance to be struck. Too weird and people won’t back it, too wonderful and you’re setting yourself up for failure if something goes even slightly wrong. The Weather Poster, a fairly limited but pretty stylish single-use piece of smart home tech, looks to balance those two factors. As the name suggests, the Weather Poster shows you the weather. And only the weather, on an internet-connected screen-printed posted that hangs on your wall. It’s not very detailed, just a few icons that give you an idea what’s coming up during the course of the day. Want one? It’ll set you back about R1,850, and your weather reports will be free for two years before requiring an annual subscription. Seems fair.

Source: Kickstarter

The newest (and cheapest) Fitbit is one you can’t buy in stores

Fitness trackers are nearly a must-have but the price is often the main obstacle. Fitbit’s newest (and apparently cheapest) trackers, the Inspire and the Inspire HR, could have been just what the doctor ordered but unfortunately you’re going to have your work cut out finding one. The Inspire and Inspire HR share a set of features: basic tracking and notifications, battery capacity and water-resistant rating. In addition, the Inspire HR tracks heart rate (obvs.), sleep, and GPS data, using your phone’s GPS. Pretty basic stuff. They also share one other thing: They’re only available through Fitbit’s Fitbit Health Solutions arm, meaning that workplaces and insurance companies can dole them out. You’re not going to be able to purchase one off the shelf, at least for the time being. Pity.

Source: Fitbit

Some users have access to the AR versions of Google Maps already

The future is here. For some people, anyway. Certain Google users (Local Guides, at first) are getting access to a new sort of Google Maps: Google Maps AR. The new mode means that users will be able to see directions overlaid in the real world while looking at it through a smartphone camera lens — which could be a handy feature for the terminally-lost. However, there are some safety features built in to what is basically just an extended test (don’t expect it to appear for everyone all that soon). The phone will pester users to only use the feature for a short time, and eventually turn its own screen dark so you’re not blundering around watching a screen and not the oncoming traffic you’re about to wander into. This sort of implementation is something that we expected to come to Google Glass but apparently that’s not happening any more so… we’ll take what we can get.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Orbex has a 3D-printed rocket that it wants to show you

Rockets have become highly popular in recent years, something that we’re attributing to the presence of the First Emperor of Mars, Elon Musk. This means other folks are getting in on the act, like UK company Orbex. They’re showing off their newest engine, one that they claim is the world’s largest 3D-printed rocket engine. It’s also designed to be a highly efficient smallsat launcher, one that hopes to lift off from Scotland for the first in 2021. We’ll be keeping an eye on this one, it’s not all that often that rockets travel upwards from that part of the world.

Source: Orbex (Twitter)


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