Artificial intelligence

Life just got a whole lot easier thanks to these innovative gadgets that may even change your life


There was a time when the idea of having a phone that could ‘talk’ to you, allow you to access the internet and show you where to go on a map might have seemed the stuff of science fiction. Yet the advances in technology in the past decade have been so great that even flying cars don't seem so crazy any more. And as ever more innovative products are released onto the market there’s almost no limit to what we can expect.

Try these six clever gadgets on for size – they may be small, but they sure are mighty.

The Portable Library

Gone are the days of having to add a few kilos to your luggage just so you can lug the latest literary tome on holidays. Now? You can carry more then 3 million books in your handbag, which weigh a feather-light 180g. Amazon’s Kindle has revolutionised the way we consume our reading material and the Kindle Voyage e-reader comes with all sorts of nifty bells and whistles to give you the most rewarding page-turning experience. For starters, it’s the thinnest Kindle ever, at just 7.6mm, which means you can read with one hand, effortlessly.

The adaptive front light automatically adjusts the screen brightness according to the environment you’re in and the micro-etched glass screen reduces glare. It’s as slick and sleek as they come – but you pay for the luxury.


The Plant Saviour

If you’ve ever been on holiday, only to return to houseplants that are more dehydrated straw than luscious green leaves, this latest invention from French tech manufacturer, Parrot, is nothing short of genius. The Flower Power H20 completely alleviates the guilt commonly associated with greenery-ne­glect, by watering your plants autonomously, via a water bottle attached to sensors.

The sensors also measure and analyse the sunlight, air temperature, fertiliser and moisture levels of the soil, and, via the Flower Power app, send alerts to your smartphone, so you can ensure your leafy companions get the very best care. It’s so new that its release date hasn’t been set yet (though it will be available later this year) and will retail at around $79.95.

Your plants will thank you.


The Mini Projector

You’ll be able to relive your favourite memories, make your Skype calls seem larger than life and even watch mobile TV with this clever gadget which, at only 4.5cm square, fits in the palm of your hand. The INNOIO Innocube is one of the smallest projectors in the world and it’s more than a little bit nifty. It attaches to your smartphone to project images and video (of up to 2.5 metres) onto any white surface. Its LED light source will last an impressive 10,000 hours, which means you’ll probably never have to replace the lamp (that’s 27 years of projections if you use it for an hour per day). So all you have to do once you get one? Invite your family and friends round for a slideshow of your latest holiday snaps. Trust us – they’ll love it (though maybe not all 10,000 hours).


The Home Sensor

Imagine if your home could ‘talk’ to you; wake you up at the perfect moment in your sleep cycle, remind you to take your medication, tell you when the mail arrives and keep track of your coffee intake so you don’t end up over-caffeinated. Well, Mother and her family of adaptable activity-sensor Cookies can do that and so much more. They seamlessly blend into your life via a series of apps accessible through your smartphone, that allow you to remotely control, monitor and record aspects of your every day.


The Wonder Watch

There’s a certain level of hysteria reserved for the release of new Apple products and the heavily anticipated Apple Watch was no exception. When you think about it though, it’s a watch that not only tells the time, but also allows you to make calls, take photos, find your way on a virtual map and access your text messages – and that’s only the beginning. You can even access your emails and tap your wrist instead of whipping out your credit card. Whether or not you want to be that easily contactable – and attached, literally – to your emails is debatable, but it's a futuristic idea that’s now firmly entered reality – and it comes available in 20 swanky designs.


The Health Tracker

As far as wrist-based activity trackers go, the FitBit Charge HR is like your new best friend, helping you to stay on top of your health. It counts your steps, tells you how many calories you’ve burned and tracks your sleep patterns, giving you the option to wake up with a gentle, silent vibrating alarm. It even analyses your all-day and resting heart rate trends, so you can see how your fitness is shaping up. It wirelessly syncs your stats to your smartphone, and even tells you when you have incoming calls so you can stay connected on the go.