The sharper, more eagle-eyed of our readers will probably have noticed that we tend to talk a lot about Android on here; some may even consider it a bit of an unhealthy obsession. But whereas we mostly concentrate on bringing you the hottest news and app reviews, with the latest iteration of the über-popular, competition killing, open source OS, Jelly Bean 4.1, scheduled to start roll out across devices from tomorrow, this week we thought we’d take time out to look at all the other uses of Android beyond the expected…
Possibly the first of the ‘highly novel’ uses of the Android platform, March saw the story of deranged Dutch engineer, Jarno Smeets, follow his boyhood ambition by building a Da Vinci-inspired, man-powered flying machine. Using a design combining a kite, windsurf masts, and an Android phone programmed to send Bluetooth commands to motors, Jarno flapped his way into the record books taking off under arm-power, flying for some 100m and, perhaps most amazingly of all, landing safely at a park in The Hague.
Cooking up more unconventional innovation with Android is Indian tech experts SectorQube Technologies, a company who have succeeded in delivering the world’s first Android microwave. Named the Microwave Android Integrated Device, or MAID, the online oven can auto-cook practically any dish devised, allow users to download recipes and video guides and, best of all, can even be retro-fitted to help unconnected cooks get creative.
Android powered in-car audio-visual navigation, complete with 6.5-inch screen, full Bluetooth connectivity and USB and SD card connectors, built by Cambridge-based top-end tech company Plextek in conjunction with In Car Entertainment top-dogs Clarion? Yes, welcome to: the Mirage. Delivering satnav, full AV from many sources and capable of being app-addled, this could well be the most advanced auto system ever.
Due out later this year, stay tuned for further info on in-car Angry Birds…
Wonderous Wrist Action
The notion of the smart-watch has been knocking around for ages, but only the May arrival of the Meta Watch seemed to bring the realisation of an all-singing all-dancing arm-enhancer that bit closer. Using Bluetooth to hook up wirelessly with your Android, the Meta allows access to all your apps without having to fumble with your phone, letting you check emails, texts, weather reports etc with a single wrist glance.
You may already have got wind of Google’s incredibly exciting Project Glass and its promises of wearable Android augmented reality for all. Slated to be appearing on the market this very year, the smart-specs will let users send and receive messages via voice command, take and send photos and videos and even bring up online maps, local information and let you interact with the AR world. Expect a dramatic rise in unpleasant human-vehicle interaction to follow.