What are your favourite gadgets?

What are your favourite gadgets (from the Gadget Show Live 2011, or ones that you use)? Do you think they could be developed to transform the lives of poor people across the world? If so, how? What could they be used for?

This discussion is now closed, but you can see see what other Geeks had to say:

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  • Reply

    Amy Sanders - Dynamix said:

    said:
    Oo - my favourite gadgets at the gadget show included the computer games you could control with your mind and the diy wackamole computer game controlled by eye movement. In terms of gadgets that could be used to transform the lives of people expereincing poverty across the world - Did you see all the cool electric vehicles - electric bikes, motorbikes and scooters. We also found the stall with the solar chargers for some phones but not all phones. Couldn't the technology be combined? Solar charged electric vehicles? Did anyone see the mini projectors? They were the size of a big remote control and they were just as good as a normal projector. If podcasts can be used to teach a little girl who is missing out on education, imagine the potential for this gadget for education. Then there was the glasses that when you put them on projected an image that looked like you were sitting your own private cinema. The most amazing material there was the sugra. The moldable goo that hardens in 24 hours and can be used to fix just about everything. They were lovely people too. They have an awesome website with the innovations that various people have used sugra for. A partnership between sugra and practical action would be an awesome thing!!!!!!! I also loved the software available for people with mobility diificulties to use e-mail, the internet, google, etc. It was voiced activited. So cool! It's probably incredibly expensive so may not be a solution for tackling poverty - but an awesome tool for inclusion. Hilarious gadgets that might not help to combat poverty: the robot lawnmower that knows the shape of your garden, does the mowing and knows when it needs to return to the charger to self charge. and the self cleaning litter tray that reused cat litter. We liked your 3 d glasses by the way which Ben's still wearing and I'm very proud of my ubergeek badge.
    on 4/5/11
    • Reply

      David J. Grimshaw said:

      said:
      Thanks Amy for your wide-ranging suggestions. Solar power has been mentioned by several people in the conversation today and I think the potential is very clear in countries like Nepal. Cost is one issue here but there are also some issues around the effectiveness and efficiencies of the current range of silicon based PV. There are many up-coming materials derived from nanotechnologies that promise large improvements. But we are also aware that taking "our" technology and simply transferring it does not work. People need to feel ownership of technology, which builds trust and a foundation for wider use. It is often these intangible aspects of technologies that present the largest challenges for us. As ever, the conversation is the first step to changing the world.
      on 4/5/11
    • Reply

      Andy Maybury said:

      said:
      Amy, The mouldable goo is called Sugru, it seems. It does look very useful although the shelf life of 6 months is somewhat limiting.
      on 5/5/11
  • Reply

    Amy Sanders - Dynamix said:

    said:
    BTW - finding my way to the geekclub discussion was tricky. If you go to the practical action website and click on discussions - there's a geek club discussion which shows no comments. Clicking on the link you e-mailed me brought me here but only once I'd spotted the red link on the page that said 'join the discussion'. I scanned the whole page looking for it. I couldn't work out how to find my way to this discussion page from your Practical Action home page. Maybe I'm being a bit dim?
    on 4/5/11
  • Reply

    @ndrea said:

    said:
    My favourite gadget that I absolutely cannot live without is my smart phone - I use it to watch vidoes, listen to podcasts, listen to music I've bought or the radio, play games, send e-mails, check websites, check the weather, take photo's, make films, send text messages and least of all make phone calls - I can see lots of benefits for this type of information provision and communication tool for developing countries. I know podcasts are already in use and would like to know more about this kind of work.
    on 4/5/11
  • Reply

    Julie Pollard said:

    said:
    I bought a small hybrid solar charger from SAAL at the show. Spent a few days moving it around the garden to get it fully charged up tehn used it to charge up my camera. In Zimbabwe the same technology is used to power MP3 players used to transfer knowledge amongst local people, new improved methods of looking after livestock for example. Go to http://www.practicalaction.org.uk/podcasting-3 to find out more.
    on 4/5/11
  • Reply

    Gemma Hume said:

    said:
    I was taken in by 3D at the Gadget Show and spent much of the day wearing a pair of 3D glasses. But it got me thinking about glasses and how much I depend on them as my sight is so bad. But for poor people across the world, a simple pair of glasses could be out of reach. I can't imagine what it would be like to have to live with such poor eyesight - I certainly couldn't do the job I do or drive. I’ve got an eye test next week and no doubt I’ll have to spend more money on getting ANOTHER pair of glasses with stronger lenses. Wouldn't it be great if people in developing countries could access something like self-refracting glasses that they can adjust themselves? Imagine the difference that would make to their lives!
    on 4/5/11
  • Reply

    Rachel said:

    said:
    I love the ipod/iphone - much as I sometimes resist modern technology - I do find this absolutely fantastic. It's so versatile, practical, and as Jayne says - everything is in one place. I know that in areas of Nepal that mobile phones are used to communicate from the top of a hill to the bottom so that villagers know when to send goods down using a Gravity Ropeway (they used to have to just bang on the cable to communicate the timings), and in Zimbabwe where Practical Action encourages the use of MP3 players to communicate the latest farming information to farmers far and wide. It's great to see technology that I sometimes take for granted being put to such good use.
    on 4/5/11
  • Reply

    Gemma Hume said:

    said:
    Hi Amy, great to see you on here! Sorry you couldn't find the discussion thread on 'discussions' - we relaunched the website recently with this new functionality and this is a technical issue our 'tech geeks' are working on! Will definitely be talking to the sugra guys - thanks for that, I missed them at the Gadget Show Live!
    on 4/5/11
  • Reply

    Gemma Hume said:

    said:
    @ndrea and rachel, I agree, I love smart phones - they're like the PCs of the developing world - they can be harnessed to help people in poorer countries do business, educate their children and even hold those in power to account. If you're looking for more information on how Practical Action uses podcasting to help poor people in developing countries you can go to http://www.practicalaction.org.uk/podcasting-3
    on 4/5/11

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