From stun guns to robotic vacuum cleaners to hydrophobic sprays, here are the quirkiest and most memorable gadgets to arrive at our test labs
The Digit Test Labs has witnessed so many gadgets over the years that if all of them were stacked upon one another, in theory this hypothetical gadget tower could reach the moon. Although we can’t prove this claim but nor can you disprove it, so haha. It won’t be a surprise if you walked into our labs and it smelled of charred metal, as some gadgets and components are subject to a high degree of brutal benchmarking. Amidst all the potentially life-threatening tests we conduct for you guys, the labs has also seen several unconventional products making their way. Some of these were memorable, some we wished we didn’t have to send back, and some were just downright absurd and made us wonder why they were sent us in the first place!
The following are some of the recent gadgets that have made a lasting impression in our minds, especially for a couple of innocent and unsuspecting interns, as we’ll be revealing secrets from our highly touted intern enrichment program (patent pending).
Interested candidates who show eagerness to join us are usually given the easier option to walk over burning charcoal but they opt to intern with us instead. Once inducted as an intern, they are subject to a series of initiation rituals where only the toughest have survived. And we’ve been able to strike fear into the hearts of our interns, courtesy of the Zoook Moto69. What appears to be a plain and rugged flashlight at first sight, it actually is a stun gun to protect yourself from attackers, capable of delivering a massive 9 million volts of electricity. There’s nothing to be shocked (see what I did there?) here since it’s not the voltage that kills, it’s the amps that do. Hence, inspite of the high voltage, the Moto69 isn’t lethal but powerful enough to stun (if struck with full force) or drive away your attacker, and in our experience, the noise created by the electric arc was enough to get people to back off.
There’s a safety switch on the bottom that ensures you don’t stun yourself accidentally because that would be extremely stupid but would certainly spark off (I did it again) a viral video. It takes about 6-8 hours to charge to full capacity, and it also has a long-range laser pointer. The body is made of a high-grade aluminium alloy material, and there are four prongs at the front, so even if it runs out of charge, you can use still use it to defend yourself. As an intern, it’s a basic requirement to experience the stun gun where we are humane enough to allow you to do it to yourself. To keep a level-playing field, we’ve already tried out the device on ourselves and we think it might have fused (okay last one) a couple of brains here. The Moto69 can be purchased online for under 1,000.
Our test labs have seen some amazing gadgets, and it takes an extra edge to be knighted as the most adored inanimate object in the lab. This is the first time we received such a product and literally everyone took turns to try their hand out, or rather feet. Osim sent us their high-end foot massager that de-stresses your legs using a combination of air pouches and a roller. The air pouches are distributed at three locations – calves, ankle/heel and the entire foot. There’s a roller at the bottom that rotates to massage your sole (read: soul). Five different modes or presets automatically take care of your legs, which feels like multiple hands pampering you, directed to different scenarios including Reflexology, Energise, High-heels, Relax and Sleep. The massager also includes manual control, so you’ll be able to individually operate the air pouches and/or roller. Both the air pouch and roller have a gentle and strong mode, where the gentle mode is intended for a comfortable massage while the strong mode goes Chuck Norris on your leg muscles to get rid of stress and tiredness. By routine, work at the labs now begin with a massage, the smiles evidently showing how effective they have been, Energise and Relax being our top favourites. You can get yourself one for Rs. 36,000.
With all the goodies and gadgets lying around the house, it behooves us to do something about it. What’s a geek that doesn’t go around continuously archiving his gadgets and gear? What’s a mom that doesn’t sit and label her jars? For such people, the Brother PT H105 is their white knight (in plastic armour). This portable thingamajig is powered by 6x AAA batteries and pumps out label after label for your every need. The labels are imprinted on a sort of sticky tape (fed via a replaceable cartridge) and can thus be easily attached to almost any surface that you can think off.
The device is surprisingly handy and it’s amazing the number of unlabeled item you’ll find that you’ll want to label when you first get your hands on this device. It’s an undeniably handy tool to have around the place. As with all Brother products, the PT-H105 is remarkably well-built and sturdy and very well-designed at the same time. It’s ergonomic and functional and if you’re a prolific labeler, you will not be disappointed by this device. Go crazy with labelling stuff at office or at home at a price of under Rs. 6,000.
Robots are taking over all our chores, even menial tasks such as cleaning the floor. Robotic vacuum cleaners sound amazing, but are they efficient enough? The iRobot Roomba 880, priced at an MRP of Rs. 69,900, made its way into our office and since then has been assigned a duty of the highest order, cleaning our office floors. The Roomba was able to navigate its way across the room full of furniture with the help of a suite of sensors on-board. The device doesn't have an extra-ordinary design nor is it attractive but it does what it's supposed to do pretty well. We mercilessly placed obstacles around the confused robot, and the Roomba took its time, eventually finding its way out. It supports scheduling so, during those nights we spend at office, the sneaky robot came back to life and diligently got his job done. It can operate up to two hours on battery and one interesting feature is that it automatically docks up when the battery reaches 10 percent and also when it feels (robots are people too!) that the entire room has been cleaned.
We wish that we could have used the Roomba with our cats, considering the frenzy it would ensue. One more worthy mention about the cleaner has to be its Cliff Detect sensor and being heartless we made the Roomba travel to a flight of stairs and it changed it's direction away from the stairs as soon as it neared the edge. Currently, you can get the upgraded Roomba 980 for about Rs. 65,900
It’s 2017 and we haven’t invented hoverboards yet, so let’s not call them one. IO Walk is a “self-balancing scooter” and being the first one to launch in India, how could we not get our hands on it? (feet actually). We tried the board for several days by taking turns where a few of us met the ground closely quite often. A couple of us were able to master the board (including me, yay!), so much we were able to switch feet by jumping and doing a 180-degree spin.
The board says that it’s capable of reaching speeds of up to 10 km/hr and even though it seems low, it gets really fast when you’re standing on the board. We had received the Elite version of IO Walk that housed a Samsung battery that lasted for six hours and also a remote control to lock the device. We were quite sceptical about charging the board considering incidents about these boards catching fire and hesitantly we put the device to charge, twice and nope, no explosion. It surely isn’t meant for long distance travels and only makes sense as a luxury to own. Priced at Rs. 50,000, IO Walk would be useful for staff at malls or big public places to whizz around. A true hipster must have already considered booking this device, otherwise you drastically lose out on hipster cred. Due to the fire incidents and negative publicity, the self-balancing boards are hardly seen nowadays, which are based on the same OEM. Their production has been probably discontinued.
Monsoons might be your favourite of all seasons, but one wrong step into a puddle and you start reconsidering for a new favourite. Shoes are a big no no when heading outside because even the thought of washing a mucky shoe every week already sounds tiring. Fortunately, there exists a solution, literally, and although it has been already available in industrial levels, we now have hydrophobic sprays commercially. A hydrophobic coating essentially repels water so it’s a boon for the monsoons. Through nanotechnology, the Vetro creates an invisible hydrophobic and a silicon dioxide coating to keep your shoes away from water and stain. According to their website, the coating should protect you from water, alcohol, oil, rain, mud, puddles, sauces etc.
Now, you must be wondering what’s a spray doing over here. We wondered the same when it had arrived at our labs but after looking at the water droplets rolling off, it made a special place in our monsoon essentials list.
Selling at an MRP of Rs. 1,500, the 100ml bottle is said to last for up to four times of usage. Given the luxury of having their shoe sprayed with a hydrophobic coating, almost everyone in our team brought their smelly shoes into the test lab. The least smelliest one was chosen and a quick spray was applied. They recommend to store the shoe after it has been sprayed for about 12 hours away from sunlight. In our first attempt, we realised that the coating wasn’t good enough to repel all the water and some of it was absorbed by the shoe. After an extensive spray, we were able to notice the difference and it fared well to keep our shoe dry. But, don’t expect to have a dry shoe if you happen to take a dip into a puddle of water.
Does the idea of reading your’s or someone else’s pulse rate excite you? Rather than placing the cold stethoscope on your volunteers, here’s a smart device that achieves more than just hearing the heartbeat. The Masimo iSpO2 pulse oximeter lets you monitor the blood saturation level (SpO2), pulse rate, and perfusion rate. It’s fairly a simple device where you insert and clip on the device to your finger while plugging the other end of the cable to your phone. The device is compatible with Android and iOS devices, available with a micro-USB pin, lightning connector and the older 30-pin connector as well for iOS devices. Once connected, the Masimo app will display live all the data regarding the above mentioned parameters.
Our test subjects were made (read: forced) to do several pushups in order to record accurate data, before and after. The app clearly showed the increased level of activity, which was also clearly visible on the subject’s face. As another experiment, we also hooked it up to another subject who was made to play an intensive competitive CS:GO match. And yet again, the high-level of activity was visible on the app during every last man standing situation. If you’re enthusiastic enough or actually need it for real work like doctors, then you should be able to get the device for under Rs.16,000 online.
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