Here at One Beyond, we love exploring new technology – especially when it comes in the form of cool gadgets. While some new innovations may seem like a waste of a perfectly good circuit board, we sometimes do spot some really interesting, useful devices that can make not only our lives easier but also our businesses more profitable. And with the never-ending possibilities of Internet of Things, there’s often an additional level of huge potential to be realised.

The coolest gadgets this year

We may only be in the first quarter of 2018, but we have already seen some very interesting innovations on the technology horizon! These are our favourite picks of the gadgets crop.

  • FIXD
    FIXD is a little car health check device that plugs into your on-board diagnostics port and allows you to check your car’s status directly on your smartphone. This gadget was designed to prevent car owners from being duped by dishonest mechanics, by providing health status reports and simple explanations to the various faults behind the car’s generic engine light.
  • Upspring 911
    Upspring 911 is a crowd-sourced portable energy generator. We predict that more gadgets like these will soon become part of the standard toolkit for travellers everywhere. No more searching for a power outlet to charge our phones and tablets – this device offers an endless USB charge supply with the help of a hand crank and solar panels. (And camping enthusiasts will be pleased to know it also has a built-in radio and flashlight!)
  • HTC Vive Pro
    The world of VR headsets is moving at a rapid pace. The new, critically-acclaimed HTC Vive has already announced they will release a Pro version in 2018, which claims to provide ‘unprecedented presence’ with ultra-high resolution and 3d spatial audio. It will even have a wireless adapter, allowing the user to move around freely. Now, while this does sound like a dream gadget for gamers and professionals alike, it’s bound to arrive with an eye-watering pricetag.
  • UV Sense
    L’Oreal recently launched a ground-breaking innovation in skin cancer prevention, in the shape of a UV ray detector It is a tiny disc, small enough to fit on a fingernail or a sunglass lens, which links to a smartphone using NFC connectivity. The device monitors your exposure to damaging sunlight and scores your risk of sun damage – helping the wearer stay safe.
  • LinkSquare
    This small, handheld device is a portable near-infrared spectrometer that allows you to scan and analyse pretty much anything on a molecular level. The practical, everyday uses of a device like this include checking the freshness or nutritional value of food, analysing plant health, checking the purity of gold or gemstones, detecting counterfeit money, and more. It’s easy to imagine gadgets like these becoming a bigger part of our lives in the future, allowing us to do tests at home that were previously only available in commercial laboratories.
  • 3dRudder
    This new foot controller takes a unique approach to the gaming and virtual reality experience. By allowing you to navigate around the game using only your feet, the 3dRudder lets your hands focus on using tools, items and weapons. As a result, it creates a more ‘immersive and engaging’ game. As an added bonus, this is also of course a great accessibility device for users who are unable to use hand-operated controls like keyboards or joysticks.
  • Gatekeeper Halberd
    The Halberd security device was funded through a kickstarter project last year, and is now a commercial product. This car-key-sized gadget uses Bluetooth to adapt to your movements and protect your computer when you’re not using it. It automatically logs you out when you walk away from your workstation, and logs you back in when you approach it again. It helps address the common issue of users forgetting to log themselves out when their computer is unattended, exposing their data to security risks.
  • SmartSleep
    SmartSleep from Philips is the latest in wearable sleep gadgets. Sleep is an area of much research at the moment, as many people are waking up to the fact that their health and overall performance is affected by poor sleep. This device, which is due to be released in Spring 2018, improves the wearer’s rest by enhancing the ‘slow waves’ the brain produces in a state of deep sleep. It enhances and extends the deep sleep cycles, allowing you to – allegedly – wake up feeling fully refreshed.

Using gadgets in your business

A couple of decades ago, electronic gadgets were often just one-trick ponies that we used for a while and then lost interest in. Nothing was ‘smart’ or ‘integrated’. These days, however, it’s possible to take more or less any digital device and connect it to the internet – adding a whole new chapter of possibilities for businesses to provide added value to clients using IoT.

We live in exciting times!