BTPT: #Bizarre, #pointless #technologies: #smart umbrella, electronic fly swatter, G+Didi washing machine, calming wristband

By Rebecca Northfield

With the wind and the rain beating down our summer happiness, I begin to reminisce on the beautiful, albeit brief, warm weather we had and the joy it brought me. When the winter months come knocking, I often think of what reminds me of summer to make me feel better, wishing that I didn’t have to get out my winter coat in preparation for the dismal weather to come.

Guard n Care Electronic Fly Swatter

So I ask you: what reminds you of summer?

The scent of sun lotion? The sand embedded in your toes? Smokey barbeques? Melted ice cream on your fingers? English summer rain? Squeals of delight from children playing in the sea?

Flies? Disgusting, nasty flies?

Not all flies are gross, but some do deserve electrical fury.
Not all flies are gross, but some do deserve electrical fury (I’m looking at you, bluebottle).

They are a symbol for everything revolting in this world. They spring up all over the place and everything is a target for their bacteria-ridden bodies. Including your home.

Like me, if a fly had been terrorising your personal space for longer than you can stand, you attempt to extinguish this infuriating tiny flying life. You swat, and miss. You’re a bad shot. You chase the winged demon around the room, cursing its hundreds of ever-seeing eyes.

You pick up your Guard n Care electronic fly swatter and become engrossed in your own mission impossible. You ignore the other person walking into the room and fly goes straight for him, hoping for shelter from the enraged giant beast with a swatter. You then hit your fellow human with the electrical execution device. Right in the face. You just killed the fly with a dose of electricity and the person you assaulted looks angry. Whoops. Great scenario, right?

I’ll just stick to my Mr Miyagi karate kid skills, thanks. Or use a newspaper, or a shoe. Household items are always good weapons to squish pests with.

Ever seen Karate Kid? Then catching a fly with chopsticks is no big deal
Ever seen Karate Kid? Then catching a fly with chopsticks is no big deal

Plus, I’ll always be a little bit tempted to touch the electronic swatter, which would probably end in disaster.

The Guard n Care electronic fly swatter is £8.65, which is a lot more than a rolled-up newspaper, unless it’s a weekend edition of the New York Times.

Kisha Umbrella

Summer rain is inevitable. One can become flustered when the pitter-patter sounds of the sky leaking hits the ground. However, you always keep your umbrella close at hand, because the unpredictability of the British weather makes you forever suspicious of the skies. If it’s sunny, there is always a chance of the ominous grey clouds looming over, ready to ruin the perfectly fine day. I have my weather app handy on my iPhone, so I know what it will (probably) be like when I trundle my way back home from work, brolly at the ready if the sky looks miserable. It’s just sensible to check the weather before you venture outside.

However, the makers of the Kisha – the world’s first smart umbrella – think differently, and is the answer to all of our rainy prayers. It looks like a normal umbrella, but it contains a Bluetooth coin-sized chip that can track its whereabouts via your phone, so you can ‘never’ lose it and will alert you if you’ve left it behind.

You can stand under my umbrella...ella...ella
You can stand under my umbrella…ella…ella

The downloadable app lets you know what will happen with the day’s weather, its precipitation levels and tells you whether you ought to take your umbrella. I check my normal weather app and get pretty much the same result. So paying £50 for a brolly is really worth it, right? It is 100 per cent windproof and can stand 120mph gales, naturally. I would expect that from a 50 quid umbrella though, wouldn’t you?

G+Didi washing machine

When it does rain, things can get a little messy. Dirt on your trousers, rain dampening your clothes, mud splattered on your back from riding your bicycle through the tough terrains. You’re exhausted and can barely press a button once you’ve loaded the washing machine. What do you do? You tell it to clean those clothes (link NSFW)!

Life was simpler in to 50's
Life was simpler in to 50’s

Galanz, a Chinese electrical manufacturer, introduced the G+Didi in July. It comes with voice APP control and is said to be a landmark in the washing machine industry. Pressing buttons is such a chore these days. You have to turn the washing machine on, switch to the appropriate temperature and mode, and press start! Phew! The machine also sends you a text when it’s finished.

This miraculous, time-saving piece of technology is on sale soon. However, you will have to speak Chinese. Bummer.

I’d rather have a washing machine that loads itself, as that seems to always be the more difficult part.

Doppel Wristband

After washing and packing all of the clothes that you need for your summer holiday, you check your itinerary. Where is the sun lotion? Did I remember the toothpaste? Is everything packed in appropriate bags? What about airport security? Will I be frisked? The airport will be busy! Did I pack the underwear? Did I pack enough? I’m going to have to check it again!

Let’s just say, you can get a little stressed. Why not try a Doppel, a wristband that uses your body’s natural biorhythms to sort out your mood, because a wristband will sort all of your body’s problems, surely?

It will pulse you to a sort of calm.

When you stroke it – you have to do this in an arc-like movement – it will pulse slowly to calm you down if you’re stressed. If you squeeze it when you’re tired it pulsates quickly to help you focus. Think of it like this: if someone lightly pokes me again and again, over and over, I may become slightly annoyed. If I’m tired and already cranky from a lack of sleep, my fuse would be just a wee bit shorter, and the Doppel would find a new home in the bin.

Now breathe, and calm.
Now breathe, and calm.

The theory of biorhythms led the Doppel team to create the device, which designer Neil Bennett says could especially help anxiety sufferers apparently.

The team raised over £111,000 from their Kickstarter campaign with the help of 820 backers, and they’re taking orders for their first batch now, if you’re interested in the most calming wristband you’ll ever wear.

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