At Mobile Marketing we're proud to help tech companies showcase their cutting-edge solutions, whether it's on our website, in our magazine or at our Mobile Marketing Summits. Giving a platform to companies that are breaking new ground in their market brings audiences one step closer to the ideas and developments that will shape tomorrow.
In that spirit, our Innovation Lab feature takes a step beyond the world of apps, ads and handsets with slightly bigger screens, in order to share some of the tech world's innovative ideas. This week, we're focusing on devices and solutions unveiled at the world's biggest technology show, CES.
Fisher Price Reveals Connected Exercise Bike for Toddlers
Mattel-owned toy brand Fisher Price has relaunched its Smart Cycle range at CES with the Think and Learn Smart Cycle, a stationary bike for toddlers that includes a tablet holder, and accompanying apps that link to the bike.
The toy, aimed at three to six year-olds, enables children to progress through games by pedaling forwards or backwards and varying speed, as well as by interacting with the tablet's touch-screen in the usual way. The cycle includes Bluetooth so it can connect to an Apple TV or Android TV for a larger screen, and parents can monitor the apps being used via their own smartphone.
The $150 (£121) toy has split public opinion, however. Many have praised the company for integrating physical activity into children's play in an age when many kids are already glued to screens at younger and younger ages, and some children lack access to safe areas where they could ride bikes.
However, others have criticised the firm for adding unnecessary screens to the traditional activity of riding a bike, saying it promotes laziness in both children and parents, and even suggesting it breeds an unhealthy attitude towards exercise and body-image into children.
Black+Decker's Robovac Makes Dirt Frisbees
Home improvement brand Black+Decker has already embraced intelligent connected technology with its Smartech range of products, and the latest addition to the line goes one step further and eliminates one of the primary pain points associated with vacuuming.
While bagless technology has improved suction in vacuum cleaners, anyone who's had to empty one knows its a messy task that can leave you covered in all the dirt and dust you've spent time removing.
The Smartech Robotic Vacuum solves that problem by compressing the dirt it captures into small discs that can be easily disposed of, cutting down on both the size of the device and the mess associated with emptying it.
The device comes with a number of other innovations too, including programmable routes, auto-adjusting cleaning modes for carpet and hard flooring, and even customisable LEDs on top to give it some personality.
Tiny Thermal Printer Makes Sticky Notes from Screenshots
Design studio and Samsung spin-off Mangoslab has claimed a Best Innovation Award at this year's CES with a tiny thermal printer that can transform mobile screenshots into adhesive notes in under 10 seconds.
If you struggle to organise your day without sticky notes arranged around your desk and computer monitor, the Nemonic printer is for you. The compact device uses thermal technology, printing without ink or toner in around five seconds, and is aimed at both the consumer and enterprise market.
The device can print out messages, photos, screenshots and more from smartphones using a Bluetooth connection, and works with both iOS and Android devices through an accompany app.
Willow Promises a Smart Breast Pump for the Modern Mother
The Willow is hoping to revolutionise the process of breast-feeding for mothers, providing a mobile, discreet and hands-free pump that enables women to carry on with their lives while it quietly works.
There have been relatively few leaps forward in breast-feeding and pump technology, but the Willow aims to rectify that, bringing "humanity and dignity to the pumping experience, so women no longer need to be tethered to the wall and undressed while they pump."
The device is hands-free and works within a woman's normal bra, collecting milk in an enclosed leak-proof bag ready for later use. Women can even track the milk volume via an accompany app, which also monitors the user's milk production and timing, transitioning to different phases automatically.
Keep Your Pills Under Control with LinkSquare
Infrared vision tech firm Stratio Technology has been aiming to solve the issue of human error when it comes to issuing medication, and has created the LinkSquare device which can instantly identify pills through their unique 'optical fingerprint'.
While both hospital and consumer pharmacies check medication they issue, the globally aging population puts more pressure on medical care providers, and could lead to rises in potentially dangerous mistakes. The LinkSquare hopes to address this risk, while also easing the load for pharmacies and helping to identify counterfeit medications.
The device includes a spectrometer which links to an accompanying app, providing the user with verification of any pills contents in under five seconds, and providing patients, caregivers and medical professions with additional assurance.