A tech-sceptic’s guide to the latest gadgets

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

If your family spend their time mysteriously swiping tablet screens, sharing 'selfies' on social media or furiously downloading apps, you can get your own back by wowing them with your knowledge of the latest hi-tech gadgets and gizmos…

High tech specs

There are already several smart glasses available - and Oakley has recently announced it will 'change the market with disruptive technologies' - but Google Glass are, for now, the best known. Lightweight spectacles with an in-built computer, these display data on the glass in front of your eyeline. The specs respond to voice commands, as well as taps on the touch-sensitive bar on the side of the frame. You can surf the internet by saying the command "OK Glass…" and take photos with the in-built camera. And, instead of needing maps or a satnav, Google Maps pops up on the glass while you're driving, giving you hands-free directions in your line of vision. A-maze-ing.

> See for yourself how Glass works



If Mr Spock had had a watch, this would have been it. This clever piece of kit is a wristwatch and smartphone all in one, letting you tell the time, make calls, surf the internet and check your Facebook updates at a glance. It vibrates when a call or message comes through, meaning you'll never miss a call again!

> US reviewers check out the latest smartwatches at the international Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas


3D printers

A bit like a normal printer prints words on paper, a 3D printer prints layers of plastic to make a three-dimensional solid object ­- anything from eggcups to shoes - from a digital model designed on a computer. Although it sounds like a piece of kit from a sci-fi film, these are now available on the high street from as little as £200.

> PC Mag prints Star Trek USS Enterprise in 3D


Flexi phones

Electronics manufacturers are designing foldable screens, which can flex to fit in your pocket, but then fold out to the size of a computer tablet, such as an iPad. A real case of one size fits all!

>Folding Phone prototype revealed


If all this hi-tech hysteria is bringing you out in a cold sweat, you may need one of these…

The electronic doctor

Created by a group of engineers, doctors and designers, the Scanadu Scout is like a personal, electronic GP. Pressing the device to your temple gives a reading of pulse transit time, heart rate, electrical heart activity, temperature and blood oxygenation. It then interprets the data, and tells you if you need to go to a real doctor!

> Give it a check-up here