5 great new tech innovations under £50 – including Tapp Fingerprint lock and Nonda ZUS smart car charger
Here we look at some of the latest handy gadgets that have been attracting attention and investment from crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Chris Price reports
Tapp Fingerprint Padlock from $39
Always forgetting the code for your padlock? Or maybe you’re worried about your lock being picked at the gym or when your leave your bike chained up to a cycle rack? Well, here’s a possible solution.
It’s the world’s first smart fingerprint padlock. Created by a Toronto-based firm, the Tapp Fingerprint lock comes in two versions, the $39 TappLite which is available in black and white and the more heavy duty $49 TappLock which comes in five colours (silver, white, grey, pink and black).
Both padlocks are waterproof with the TappLock featuring a Lithium Ion battery that can be used to charge your smartphone or to communicate with your phone via Bluetooth. One neat feature is that you can grant anyone access to your lock from anywhere in the world with the TappLock app. Up to 200 fingerprints can be stored, and you can customise the time, location, and duration of access.
At the time of writing, both products are looking for investment on crowdfunding website Indiegogo with over $150,000 having been raised so far (nearly four times more than its funding target).
UsBidi from $25
Billed as the most intelligent charger ever, the strangely named UsBidi is a charger that can two things very well. It can charge your phone very quickly when it’s connected to the USB port of your computer or your car (not an AC power adaptor).
And it can also save you a little bit of money and help the planet (albeit in a very small way) by automatically switching off when your device is fully charged.
It claims to charge twice as quickly as a standard charger because it stops data synching once connected so that all the power is used to boost charging speed instead. Magnetic connectors are provided for tidy hold of the lead and it’s available in different colours (black, blue, green) and in different lengths too (1ft, 3ft, 6ft).
CD slot mount from £14.99
Awarded British invention of the year, the CD Slot Mount is a simple device to hold products like sat navs, mobile phones and web tablets in place on your CD tray. It all came about when the inventor had his sat nav stolen because – he reckons – of the visible suction marks on the windscreen.
Simply place the piece of plastic in the CD tray and using the various attachments, including a sticky pad, you can easily hook up the devices via the protruding circular knobs. While the basic CD slot mount is £14.95, each of the holders for the various products are priced between £4.99 and £5.99.
Nonda ZUS smart car charger $33.99
Left your car in a large busy car park at a festival or sporting event and can’t find it? Previously you would have had to tie something distinctive to the antenna and hope to make it out in the distance. However, with the ZUS smart charger you can find your car via the Zus Android/iOS app on your smartphone (this can also be downloaded via www.zusapp.com).
Whenever you park your car, ZUS will automatically save your vehicle’s location using your phone’s GPS. It’s even possible to set a timer if you are parking on a meter so the app will remind you when you need to return to the car.
The smart car charger, which was funded on Indiegogo, can also be used to charge two devices (ie. tablet and phone) simultaneously via the two USBs at twice the speed of standard car chargers, claims Nonda.
You can see how the Nonda ZUS works in the YouTube video below:
Meem Memory Cable from £49.99
Here’s a clever little product, currently trying to raise funding on Kickstarter (at the time of writing it’s raised a little over £30,000 of the £50,000 target). Basically it’s phone charger cable that automatically backs up the personal data on your phone to the cable itself every time you charge the phone, whether that’s by Power Adaptor, Car Charger, PC port or Power Bank.
Rather than you having to worry about backing up your files to the cloud or your computer, all the data is stored on the cable. Two versions are available (32Gb or 64Gb) with data transfer speed approximately 3 to 4 Megabits per second which means it takes around six minutes to transfer 1Gb of data.
Compatible with Apple and Android smart phones, it’s currently available from Kickstarter from around £40.