There are a lot more topics served in reboot that whet my appetite, but I will share those musings another time. Here’s some lighter stuff that help me reboot on a daily basis:
• There’s a game console designed for active playing indoors and outdoors
• Crowds naming products and getting paid for it
• And my personal fave — a 2.8 inch karaoke machine (w00t!)
Sometimre ago, I read about Locomatrix, a UK-based company that develops location-based games. Locomatrix creators, Richard Vahrman and Moira Nangle, who described themselves as ‘keen walkers’, wanted to make game that would encourage kids to play outdoors. Now, there’s ‘Swinxs’, a game console designed to encourage active and social play among children. It’s created by Swinxs B.V., a Dutch games developer.
How it works: You’ve got Swinxs, the game console. which talks, cheers and explains the games, referees and keeps score. Then there are the XS tags, wristbands with microchips that communicate with the console. It starts the games, retrieves player profiles and measures performance. Up to 10 individual players can join in a game.
Players can connect Swinxs to the computer through a USB cable to download new games (for free) and upload performance data at swinxs.com. They can also issue challenges, share experiences. The games are grouped by age and category and are mostly educational and adventure games. A software development kit (SDK) is also available that lets players or third parties create their own games for the system. I haven’t tried it myself, but it looks like the kids are having fun.
Then there’s ‘NameThis’, an online site where community members submit names for products and services requested by innovators. Their selling point is that why settle for the ideas of the few when you can get the ideas of the crowd. People requesting names pay $99 and within 48 hours are guaranteed to have three ‘world-validated’ names for their ‘thingamajig’. The site is powered by Kluster, which claims to use complex algorithms that let the brightest ideas surface, not just the loudest ones.
They take $80 out of each naming fee and distribute it to the members who create/influence the top three names:
1st Place: $40 to Namer, $10 Shared Amongst Influencers
2nd Place: $16 to Namer, $4 Shared Amongst Influencers
3rd Place: $8 to Namer, $2 Shared Amongst Influencers
Check out the names being bounced around – some are quite witty and right on target, while some can make your hair stand.
Last, but definitely not the least, is the world’s smallest karaoke! Created by a Japanese toy-maker (Tomy Co. Ltd), it’s a seven centimetre (2.8 inches), on-the-go, must-have gadget for the young pop-star wanna-be. It targets elementary school kids, girls in particular, who adore pop stars.
This so-called ‘Hi-kara machine’ comes with headsets, but can also be used with a second set of headphones or put on speaker mode. Apparently, the invention of the Hi-kara machine follows the trail of an emerging trend in Japan, called ‘hitokara’ — or “lone karaoke” — which means going out to sing karaoke alone.
I can imagine myself doing karaoke alone in the house, but it’s much more fun to do it with your friends (and lots of beer and lots more food ;-p ). I think I’d use the Hi-kara not to go on a solo karaoke trip, though, but I love the idea of mobile karaoke! But then again I’m Filipino so I think that’s hard-wired in my genes. ;-p