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Updated by Dean Parker on May 06, 2014
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Dean Parker Dean Parker
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20 lesser known applications of creative technology

I’ve created a list of some lesser known applications of creative technology to illustrate the range of products or services that are either being developed currently, or could theoretically be in the near future.

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1. Tinke Fitness and Wellbeing Device

1. Tinke Fitness and Wellbeing Device

While most people will have come across the Nike+ Fuelband, Fitbit and Jawbone UP, there are many lesser known health and fitness devices. Tinke measures three things that are important to your health and fitness – heart rate, respiratory rate and blood oxygen levels.

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2. VTech KidiZoom Smart Watch

2. VTech KidiZoom Smart Watch

Again, while smart watches like them Samsung Galaxy Gear and Pebble are relatively well known and everyone waits to see what Apple come up with, new offerings like this one from Vtech target specific markets. In this case, children.

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3. Cuff Personal Security Device

3. Cuff Personal Security Device

‘Smart fashion wear’ is all the range, with many companies scrambling to create devices that look as good as they work – from smart eyelashes to LED mood sweaters and even high-tech bras from Microsoft! The range being developed by Cuff looks like normal jewellery but will alert your loved ones when you need them.

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4. PaperDude VR Game

4. PaperDude VR Game

There’s currently a lot of movement in the VR (Virtual Reality) space but this is what happens when you combine an Oculus Rift VR headset, Microsoft Kinect and KickR bike trainer. If you’re old enough (like me) to remember the game Paperboy you’re going to love this. Via the very talented team at Globalcore.

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5. Nissan 3E Smart Glasses

5. Nissan 3E Smart Glasses

While Google Glass has stolen all the media coverage, other companies are looking at alternative versions that work specifically for their own markets. Still only a concept, the Nissan 3E, a glasses-type wearable device that would connect a driver to their car so they could get real-time vehicle telemetry and communicate with others. Oh, and by the way, they have also created a [smart watch]...

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6. SLXTREME 5 iPhone Case

6. SLXTREME 5 iPhone Case

Head or body-mounted cameras like GoPro are great. But what about extending the use of the increasingly powerful cameras we all have in our phones? This iPhone 5 case from Snow Lizard should do the trick for underwater photography. Oh, and it’s got a solar panel on the back!

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7. meMINI Wearable Life-logging Camera

7. meMINI Wearable Life-logging Camera

Never miss those special moments with a life-logging camera like this one from meMINI. It has a clever recall function so you can retrospectively capture special moments without capturing hours of unwanted footage

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8. Razer Eideolon Wearble Drone

8. Razer Eideolon Wearble Drone

Drones are cool but what about one you can wear and comes equipped with contact lens display? OK, this was an April Fool's joke but we can dream...!

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9. Ibis Hotels Sleep Art Robot

9. Ibis Hotels Sleep Art Robot

So robots are going to take over the world, yeah? Maybe they can create some nice art along the way, as demonstrated by this robot that transforms your sleeping patterns into a nice picture ready for you to wake up to!

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10. Bare Conductive Electronic Paint

10. Bare Conductive Electronic Paint

Printed electronics are all the range, especially in the digital ‘maker community’. Bare Conductive is a UK company offering kits that let you design and create your own electronic circuits and apply them to cards or pictures etc.

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11. 3D Printed Hand

11. 3D Printed Hand

There’s been much talk about how 3D printing can change the face of manufacturing for good, but what about making a difference to. Here’s a nice story about how 3D printing has helped a guy born without much of one hand.

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12. Heineken Ignite Interactive Beer Bottle

12. Heineken Ignite Interactive Beer Bottle

Naturally consumer product companies are always looking for new and innovative ways to use technology to ‘enhance’ the customer experience. Or just provide gimmicks! Heineken created an interactive beer bottle that, sing LEDs and motion sensors, lit up when you knock bottles and could be synchronised with music.

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13. Air Quality Egg

13. Air Quality Egg

From smart street signs to personal weather stations, there are many new devices monitor out physical environment and provide that data that can be used to provide useful services. This one, called the Air Quality Egg, monitors the air quality outside your home or office and then sends it to an open data service which can be accessed through the internet by anyone.

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14. Ninja Sphere Smart Home Hub

14. Ninja Sphere Smart Home Hub

There are a whole raft of smart objects for the home – ranging from home lighting, security, and heating systems to smart toothbrushes that keeps tabs on your daily brushing habits. At the forefront of the ‘home automation’ movement is Ninja Sphere - a central intelligent home hub that, with a little bit of logic, will connect and control the different devices in your home without you needing to do much work.

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15. The Listening Cloud

15. The Listening Cloud

Independent ad agency RPA have created The Listening Cloud – a great example of what you can achieve when you combine social data with physical objects. Installed in their office the ‘cloud’ is a data-driven light sculpture that captures social-media conversations and visualises them in real time.

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16. BUPA FoodSwitch App

16. BUPA FoodSwitch App

Apps that help us use the physical environment around us are cropping up all the time – from those that enhance the experience of visiting a museum to those that let us do our shopping on the underground. The BUPA FoodSwitch app allows you to scan products on the supermarket shelves to see what’s in the food and make better food choices based on your family’s needs.

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17. Airwalk Invisible Pop-up Store

17. Airwalk Invisible Pop-up Store

While relatively new technologies like NFC and iBeacon are helping designers to improve the way we interact with the physical environment around us, Airwalk used GPS and AR (Augmented Reality) to create an invisible pop-up store that people could use to buy some limited edition sneakers if they downloaded the app and went to a pre-determined location on a certain day.

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18. Stella Artois Cidre Weather Activated Ad

18. Stella Artois Cidre Weather Activated Ad

Many of you will have seen the brilliant BA interactive billboard ad that was seemingly activated by planes flying close by, but what about this weather activated ad for Stella Artois Cidre? It used sensors to detect changes in temperature so it would only show the ad when it was relatively warm outside

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19. The Guardian ‘In Flight’ Experience

19. The Guardian ‘In Flight’ Experience

“How can we bring all this data to life?!” How about creating a beautiful visualisation that uses live flight data to show every commercial plane currently in the air in order to mark 100 years of passenger air travel?

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20. Text Message-based Nutrition-monitoring Programme

20. Text Message-based Nutrition-monitoring Programme

With all the talk of ‘big data’ - to help fight crime, understand why bees are committing suicide on a vast scale, learn how people drive their cars so you can reward them with a better insurance product – we often overlook some of the simplest and most common technologies. Like this example where SMS text messages to help curb the lasting effects of malnutrition in Malawi