Tao Chair

Bizarre theories and pointless technologies

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Searching for Christmas presents in 2015 was a strange experience to say the least. Shopping online led me to find some quirky gifts that you can buy now, in plenty of time for Christmas 2016. Take a look and see if you agree.

Tao Chair

Dubbed ‘an invisible gym for your living room’, the Tao Chair seems to look like a normal décor lounging chair... a lounging chair from hell. I jest. It’s supposed to work your core, improve your posture, burn calories, reduce stress and strengthen muscles.

You can just sit quite comfortably in it if you don't move. To get active, you utilise the isometric-related exercises to give your body a workout without the need to leave the immediate area. When you push or pull against the Tao chair’s arms with your arms or legs in any direction, it resists your pressure. It also has built-in sensors, so it tracks how much work you’re doing.

Tech start-up Tao-Wellness unveiled the product in 2015 and it’s going to cost you at least $1000 (about £670). You can get a decent treadmill at that price, or buy a floor mat for Pilates, which uses the same science of applying pressure, for about £10.

Work up a sweat on the quality upholstery again and again, leaving stains and a strange smell over time. You’d best get out your cleaner and break a sweat wiping down the ruined fabric. Awkward.

The chair has a mobile app, so you can be coached through many ‘fun’ exercises that take you into battle against your expensive, moving seat.

The beauty of sitting in a chair is exactly that – sitting. And relaxing. What if you eventually become brainwashed and begin to see other chairs as some sort of enemy? What if a friend politely says you can sit down on one of their comfy sofas after a long day of January Sales shopping and you refuse, simply because you believe their squishy, soft armchair is an instrument of torture?

www.taochair.com

Petcube

What if you didn’t shut the living room door before you went off to work and now the dog’s roaming free, eating from the bread bin and your cat has declared mutiny and peed all up the curtains? This is where the handy Petcube comes in, which is a remote, wireless pet camera. Now you can spy on your pets and tell them off when they’re misbehaving through the additional app on your smartphone or tablet.

This means you can try to distract the cat with an in-built safe laser as it checks out your new furniture, or tell the dog to stop mounting your cushions. The feline may push the cube off the table with a careless paw. The pooch may chew up the gadget to free you from within. But your effort to keep your animals happy will be duly noted, if not by the $200 (£134) price tag. And the stares at your workplace as you speak to your phone in your baby voice. You can also play with other Petcube owners’ pets! How wonderfully creepy!

www.petcube.com

Budgee

Wouldn’t you just love your own robot servant that won’t talk back? Budgee, the $1,400 (about £940) slave, carries your shopping bags and follows you around like a lost puppy. You control him – sorry, it – on your smartphone or tablet and it can carry up to 50lb (23kg), so you can shop and not drop!

Budgee can also avoid obstacles so he won’t bump in to any freaked-out fellow shoppers. What if you could train it to shoplift for you? Great excuse for blaming your bot if you get caught!

www.5elementsrobotics.com

Quitbit

The Quitbit lighter is what every smoker needs when they want to quit, right? It costs $100 (about £65) and tracks how many cigarettes you’ve had, how long since your last one and you can see your progress by syncing it up with an app on your smartphone. You can even set a limit on the lighter so it won’t ignite a cigarette after a certain number. That definitely will stop a person who wants a nicotine hit to not smoke. There is no one else in the world that will have a lighter on their person. Nope. No one at all.

If you can’t count how many cigarettes you’ve had today, then you are not committed to cutting down. Pay over £60 for a lighter that annoys you so much, you’ll want to light up more.

www.quitbitlighter.com

The Ring

“You’re a wizard, Harry” quoted the half-giant, half-man called Hagrid from the famous Potter franchise. Now you can feel like you’re gifted with the art of magic as you flick your finger flamboyantly to turn your TV on and off using The Ring. Impressive? I think not. You can also make a phone call, take a photo, switch lights on and off or launch apps on your smartphone, all through varying gestures of your Ring finger. Techno wiz…ard.

www.logbar.jp/ring

Read more inspirational, confrontational and downright informational musings from Rebecca and the rest of the E&T editorial team at engtechmag.wordpress.com

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