Bizarre Tech: stupid shorts, body dysmorphia tool and sniffing phone

Here is a random selection of fresh gadgetry for you to feast your eyes on. This time, we have a look at some silly shorts, a self-esteem killer, and a smell-o-phone. Enjoy!

Colour-changing shorts

This is a thing now

No need to change your swimwear to match your mood – just dip into some water and feel like you’re wearing a brand new pair of funky-coloured shorts.

The material for Sea’sons shorts has been treated with heat-reactive microcapsules, so when they are exposed to warm or cold water they change colour. I’m not too sure of this one.

The company is asking for funding on Kickstarter. The more money they raise, the more ‘fun’ combinations they can try – deep purple to neon pink, deep green to neon yellow-green, and navy blue to soft neon-green. For the blue and green combo, though, they’ll need €70,000. Neat.

Made of 100 per cent polyester, one-third of the production is being done in the Netherlands. The rest is being done in Portugal. The company claims that its technology creates “the most unique and outstanding swim shorts in the world”. OK.

But do heed the warning – prolonged exposure to UV and fluorescent lights can lessen the intensity of the shorts’ colour. Oh, and more than several days of sunlight may harm the microcapsules so the colours won’t be as bright. Also, more than 600 hours in strong fluorescent light will probably cause colour loss.

I forgot this one: if you leave them to dry in the sun, it can cause serious damage.

Basically, don’t go outside, or do anything considered normal with these Sea’sons shorts.

The colour-changing swimshorts cost €40 ($50) on Kickstarter and, according to the company, are a first of their kind.

And hopefully the last.


Portrait Pro Body

And now I’m uncomfortable.

From Anthropics Technology comes the newest release of Portrait Pro Body, a standalone full-body retouching software and plugin for Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Elements. All of this to manipulate your images and make you feel better about yourself. In pictures, at least.

The software lets you professionally edit photos, correct posture, adjust build and height... basically change the person completely. You should check out their online results. Pretty ridiculous, actually.

Apparently the software has been trained with millions of images of shapes and bodies to ensure the most appropriate output. Its knowledge of ‘human beauty’ creates a fast workflow and precise results.

So you can catfish everyone into thinking you’re someone you’re not.

This whole retouching thing is ridiculous. Many people already think airbrushing is distasteful, warping the public view of what ‘beauty’ is, especially among girls and young women.

I believe the extreme results you can create with this software, using ‘normal’ people as examples, is a terrible way to advertise the product, and just puts the general public off.

Anthropics Technology says it worked with comments from photographers, so I suppose the industry will love it. It’s also cheap as chips, ranging from £49-£99. So you can alter your image to your self-conscious heart’s content.


Cat S61 smartphone

Can you smell what the Cat is cookin’?

Caterpillar Inc, the famous manufacturer that designs, develops and engineers machinery, has come out with its latest smartphone, which can actually ‘smell’. Strange.

The Cat S61 is packed with tools to ‘get the job done’. That means vehicle diagnostics, asphalt monitoring and higher temperature equipment monitoring. This is in addition to Cat’s usual package, including detecting heat loss around windows and doors, moisture and missing insulation, identifying overheating electrical appliances and overloaded circuitry, and seeing in complete darkness or through obscurants such as smoke.

The phone is also built to survive repeated drop tests onto concrete from 1.8m, so handy for us clumsy people.

It’s not exactly what it says on the tin – what with the company claiming the Cat S61 can ‘smell’ – but it’s pretty damn useful.

Basically, it’s an Inspector Gadget smartphone – an engineer’s dream, wouldn’t you say? It’ll cost you around £799 though.

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