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Top tech: five of the coolest gadgets this week


By Henry Winchester


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Date Added: 8th August 2014

This week's top tech includes some photo- and video-gadgetry for the iPhone, Amazon's new 3D printing store and a virtual car windscreen...


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‘Gamification' refers to the ongoing merging of videogames and the real world, rewarding everyday acts with game-style points. Jaguar's Virtual Windscreen is a great example of this, taking racing games' ghost cars and suggested routes and overlaying them on the real world. We can only hope that the next iteration of the technology turns mundane tasks – such as picking up the milk – into a GTA-style virtual bank heist.

In other slightly less exciting tech this week we've got a 3D printer, a steadicam for your iPhone and a fairly neat way to authentically print your retro snaps.

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Solidoodle Press
© Solidoodle

Solidoodle's 3D printer is appealing on many levels. At $599 it hits that sub-$1,000 sweetspot, and early adopters can purchase one for just $399 at the moment. It's also truly plug-and-play, so there's no fiddly calibration, and its auto-levelling system means that your models won't end up all wonky. Unlike some other 3D printers, it doesn't look like something you'd find on a car production line, and its small size means it'll look perfect next to your desktop mini fridge.

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Jaguar Virtual Windscreen
© Jaguar

Unless you're putting the pedal to the metal around Silverstone, driving can be a pretty dull experience. Posho car manufacturer Jaguar is aiming to liven regular driving up, though, with its ‘Virtual Windscreen', which projects racing lines and virtual cars onto the racetrack for professional drivers. Normal drivers get to see an array of virtual instruments and real-time warnings.

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The Impossible Project Instant Lab
© The Impossible Project

We honestly thought this was a joke when it first landed in the 3dtotal inbox, but it appears to be a genuine thing. The Impossible Project invites you to take some snaps on your iPhone, process them with your retro photography app of choice, and then use its Instant Lab to project the images onto authentic Polaroid film. It's either a clever merging of digital and analogue photographic technologies or the most pointless thing ever created.

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Elephant Steady
© Adplus

The iPhone's amazing optics and HD resolution image sensor make it ideal for capturing snippets of video, but ye olde shakey hand syndrome is still a big issue. Enter Adplus' Elephant Steady, a handle which connects to your Apple phone and uses its built-in gyro sensor to keep video level and steady. It's just gone beyond its Kickstarter target, and for a $79 pledge you can receive an Elephant Steady when it launches in February.

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Amazon 3D Printing Store
© Amazon

Gargatuan online retailer Amazon has – somewhat predictably – jumped on the 3D printing bandwagon. Its 3D Printing Store has lots of paraphernalia for sale, including 3D printers and filaments, how-to guides and CAD software. It also hosts a vast array of customisable 3D printed objects, such as bobble heads and iPhone cases.

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