Posts Tagged ‘google play’

It is amazing the things you can do on a tablet nowadays. The games you can play and the uses are endless. From talking to your friend half way across the world for free to editing a hi-res photo with professional detail while on the sofa listening to music. It makes me think of what did we actually do when we were younger? How did we survive? How did our parents keep us entertained?!

As a parent myself, it worries me that my child uses the iPad far too much and sometimes we all rely on it far too often. I have even seen my son walk up to a digital photo frame and swipe to the right to see the next picture, but left feeling slightly confused as it doesn’t work.

The question is, are children nowadays too reliant on modern technology and is the imagination that I think we had, going to be lost to a processor? This question can only be answered as time goes by and we see what happens to the next generation.

All is not lost though…A company called Tangible Play (made up of old Google staff) have released Osmo, a new crowd funded app for kids that encourages ‘real world’ play. It allows the user to pick up things and build using their hands, thanks to a mirror attachment which turns the iPad’s camera to view the surface where your child is playing.

Recently I have looked around the App Store and failed to find anything that is different or breaks boundaries, but this app is very different and we should stand up and take notice.

All of the games to be used with this kit are optimised for ages 6-12 but each game has a varying range of difficulty. Take Newton, it’s a physics game, which uses the same concept as “Cut The Rope” where players can use any object, from lines on a piece of paper to a toy or even their own hands to control the stuff on screen. All you really need is a piece of paper and a pen to get started.

Tangram, is a game where puzzle pieces in the real world must be matched to the shapes on screen. The kit comes with an iPad stand and mirror connector and promotes your child’s creativity as suddenly the brain is thinking in many dimensions!

I do not only love this as a educational toy for my kids, but also as a concept in itself. It is not often you get something that comes along that breaks the mold and creates a whole new genre of games….this might just be that thing.

Available now on the Osmo Website for $49. This is a steal considering what you get and of course this will double once pre-orders have been fulfilled. The company is concentrating on developing the apps, but will eventually open this up to developers to create their own games….so watch this space.

Check out the Osmo video

 

 

This is a new games console, which underwent a massively successful funding campaign in 2012 and has just started shipping to eager pledgers.

The Ouya costs £99.99 and runs on the Google’s Android operating system allowing you to download games direct from Google Play to the console at a fraction of the cost of traditional console games.

The sleek console comes with a controller, which strangely gets its looks from the Xbox’s offering. Inside the cool little box it’s packing an NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, which is expandable via USB. You can choose from Ethernet or Wi-Fi for multiplayer options and it has a HDMI socket for full HD gaming at 1080p.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this is a superb piece of kit, but it will still only play games comparable to our mobile devices and tablets at the moment. But with games improving all the time for these devices and the big players in gaming joining the mobile parade, we may just see some serious titles on this console.

Ouya have partnered up with Twitch.tv, Crunchyroll, iheartradio, TuneIn, XBMC, Plex and Flixster so it will double up as a media centre also. Partners like these will allow you to stream shows, movies and music, which increases the appeal of this mini console.  The interesting thing is that Ouya promises that you will be able to download all games to test for free to see if you wish to purchase the full title.

Ouya will hit the stores here in the UK in the summer as Game have already started taking preorders. Extra controllers will set you back £40 each.

Ouya

The Jawbone UP is a wristband with connectable app for your phone which tracks how much you sleep, move and eat.

The UP can track how many hours you sleep, how many steps you take and tracks how you feel while eating certain foods during the day. As we all become more aware of sleep patterns, this wristband promises to learn when you are in light or deep sleep and wakes you closest to your alarm when you will feel most refreshed. The UP was released a couple of years ago solely on IOS, but due to weaknesses in the design the majority of them had to be recalled and have been redesigned to strengthen the band.

Jawbone announced today that they have released a free to download app for Android on Google Play to use with the wristband to increase the supported platforms, but have no plans to offer support for Blackberry or the Windows Phone. The move for Jawbone will see the band now being able to be used across all current Android devices.

Once again we see another company competing for the real estate of your wrist. Maybe we will see Samsung and Apple working this tech into the widely rumoured smart watches this year.

The Jawbone UP is available at £99.99 in a number of colours and sizes.

Jawbone UP

The magnificent Olive One connects all of your portable gadgets and music libraries without the need for connectors and adaptors. Combining beautiful design, open architecture and audiophile sound quality, this really is the all in one home network music player to show off in your home.

You can connect your iPhone or iPad via Bluetooth 4 viewing album art and info or via the dual band Wi-Fi connection for HD music quality. The Olive One will also connect wirelessly to your NAS or can have internal storage installed to those with limited storage.

Pandora is built-in, but you can also play Spotify and any other music services that you use on your smart phone. You can even queue music and videos from YouTube and stream music from your cloud service (iTunes Match, Amazon Locker and Google Play) and ONE is upgradeable through the internet, so future updates from new developers will be a breeze.

Hand-built in the US with a $40 international shipping charge, this player, which is currently being crowdsourced on Indiegogo, starts at $399 with a July shipping date. These guys seriously have thought about the perfect network music player and have opened it up to the public to make it even better.

The Tech Spy gives this the Thumbs up!

The Olive One