Innovation Lab: The Biggest Ideas in Tech This Week

If youve been to one of Dot Medias events, youll know that our Innovation Lab hosts companies presenting cutting-edge technology thats poised to transform the market with groundbreaking ideas and solutions.

In that spirit, weve taken a step beyond the world of apps, ads and handsets with slightly bigger screens, in order to share some of the tech worlds most innovative ideas. They might be interesting, disruptive or just outright strange, but these are the stories that have caught our eye over the past week.


TC Debuts RE, a periscope-like action camera

htc reHTC this week announced a new camera that takes aim at the market currently dominated by the GoPro. With a focus on simple design, the RE is a standalone device that sends images to a synced iOS or Android app, with the phone acting as a viewfinder if needed.

However, the camera is primarily intended for use without the phone, on the go at events, where it can be held aloft without blocking views, or even used underwater (it has a waterproof rating of IPX7). While it hasnt been released yet, there are already a vast selection of add-ons and mounts proposed, including helmet fixes and tripod attachments.

Google maps the Liwa Desert with a Street View camel

Googles Street View cars have been on the road for years, producing street-level views of the worlds cities, towns, villages and highways. Google has even taken taken its 360-degree cameras inside to mapped the interior of museums and galleries. But mapping a desert in the same way presents a unique challenge, which Google met with a camel named Raffia. The camel and his guide took a journey across Abu Dhabis Liwa Desert, including a stop at the Liwa Oasis, which you can now recreate digitally.

Bionic hand in competition for Intel wearable prize

handsBritish company Open Bionics are hoping to create a budget bionic hand for amputees, replacing current offerings that can cost up to £60,000 with a £600 version. Using cutting-edge 3D scanning and printing, the design is based on x-rays of the human hand and powered using actuators.

The team are hoping the hand will eventually be able to support someone doing a pull-up, although are currently working on more everyday tasks like carrying shopping. The hand connects to a smartphone with preset grip patterns, enabling it to perform tasks like clicking a mouse, gripping keys and even shaking hands.

Digital pop star performs on US chat show

US chat show host David Letterman was joined by a very different sort of musical guest this week – Hatsune Miku, a piece of vocal synthesiser software given holographic form.

Miku is not the only singer created by the software called Vocaloid, but she is by far the most popular, boasting a dedicated fan base and having supported Lady Gaga during her tour of Japan.

While holographic performances are not unknown in the US, with Gorillaz using holograms to project cartoons while performing, and recreations of deceased stars like Tupac and Michael Jackson appearing at festivals in recent years, Miku is different in that she does not and has never represented a human.

Digital Dudz uses smartphones to create animated masks

wandering-eye-cyclops-mask-1Costume company Morphsuits launched its Digital Dudz range last year with t-shirts featuring built-in velcro pockets where a smartphone could be inserted, bringing the t-shirts designs to life. However, this year it has taken a leap forward, with rubber Halloween masks with animated features created using its free app.

The company has even partnered with Marvel Entertainment to create t-shirt designs based on its characters, including Iron Man and Captain America.