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Computex isn’t just about big product launches from Asus or announcements from AMD. As well as having a floor dedicated to smaller, established companies (who mainly, I must admit, appear to have an RGB fixation), it also runs a spin-off show for startups. And that’s InnoVEX.
Here are five ideas in various stages of development.
Our InnoVEX pick: Luckey Nums
This is a great idea: overlay your normal keypad with a number pad, and then use it for entering numbers. Obviously, it still functions as a touchpad most of the time.
It effectively turns your touchpad into a touch-sensitive 4×4 grid. Using Luckey’s app, you can programme 16 shortcuts for apps and favoured websites. Or swipe from the left to launch the calculator and then tap in the numbers directly.
Note that Luckey tailors Nums for the shape and size of your touchpad, and is only currently available for MacBooks and Surface laptops. Also, it doesn’t yet ship to the UK – it’s looking for a distributor at InnoVEX – but the products sell for around $40.
I’m keeping my cynical hat on until I’ve tried this for myself, but the Xround Sonar claims to use artificial intelligence to teach its earphones how best to deliver sound to you. It beams the sound into your ear canal, works out what reflects back and uses that information to tailor the signal it sends.
Here’s a much simpler idea for anyone who’s running out of storage on their iPhone or iPad. The Qubii Pro slots into the USB slot on your charger; you slip a microSD card into the slot (it supports up to 1TB cards) and start charging your phone/tablet.
The Qubii Pro will automatically back up your photos, videos, music, podcasts, contacts and more. And if you need to free up space on your device, you can delete it from there and still view it when you’re plugged into the Qubii Pro.
Maktar, the company behind Qubii, is already shipping the older, slower version (the plain Qubii) for around $40, but reckons the Pro will cost around $50.
Trimode wireless mechanical keyboard
Other wireless mechanical keyboards are available (such as this one from Logitech), but they tend to be aimed at gamers. I was drawn to the Trimode wireless mechanical keyboard due to its complete lack of glitz, but then fell just a little in love when I started typing on it.
The excellent feel is due to Cherry’s MX low profile switches, and with the promise of three months of life – it takes two AAA batteries – this product would be on my wishlist, if it was available to buy. Sadly, we’ll have to wait for a UK distributor to take up the offer, and with trade prices of $57 (before VAT) you can expect the price to be around £80/£90 if it does hit our shelves.
X Coin Sleep/ECG tricoder
Still in the prototype stage, this clever wearable monitors you in your sleep for problems such as sleep apnea. The idea is that it won’t just be for consumers, but for medical use too.
It also promises to track your heart rate, ECG, blood pressure, activities, steps, calories and stress state. And it can even generate reports for health professionals. Or so it promises.
There’s no pricing or availability date yet. Sorry.