Line 6 is a musical instrument and audio equipment manufacturer that’s been a real industry innovator for nearly two decades. I bought my first Line 6 guitar amp back in 2001 and have been hooked on the company’s products ever since. At this point, it’d be a neck-and-neck battle between Line 6 and Apple as far as which company has made a bigger dent in my overall net worth.
One thing that Line 6 has done recently that’s really intriguing is the development of “remote” apps that work wirelessly with its various products. The first of these connected-app lines is the Amplifi guitar amp/smart speaker system. Amplifi was designed to bridge the gap between practicing at home and jamming with other musicians. At home, the Amplifi could be used as a speaker for entertainment systems. At the rehearsal space, Amplifi also works as a full-power electric guitar amp.
Amplifi is also the first Line 6 product to use a remote app to control different features of the device. The app originally launched for Android and iOS, running both on iPhone and iPad. Now, Line 6 has brought its Amplifi Remote app to Apple Watch:
The new AMPLIFi Remote v2.11 update enables guitar players to control and access guitar tones via Apple Watch. Guitarists can now access tones, control levels, search the Line 6 Tone Cloud, and use the tuner, right from their wrist. AMPLIFi Remote works with the entire AMPLIFi family, and provides guitarists with unprecedented control over every aspect of their guitar tone and effects.
Amplifi Remote features such as Tuner, MyTones and master/instrument level controls will be accessibly directly on the Apple Watch version of the app. Users will also be able to do a “dictation search” of Line 6’s Tone Cloud service, which will allow them to use vocal requests to search thru guitar tones saved to Line 6’s cloud service. Tones can then be quickly loaded onto an Amplifi device for immediate use.
It’s great to see Line 6’s continued development of things like the Amplifi Remote App. The company has also started rolling out other products that work with similar apps. I’m definitely excited to see what else Line 6 comes up with this year.
This interview from Gadget Show Live comes with a warning. If you think that rats are cute cuddly animals with every right to life, you should probably stop reading now. If on the other hand, you believe that they’re plague-ridden rodents that should be wiped from the face of the planet, read on.
The inventor and founder of the PutDown Trap is Mark Sheahan, the British Library’s first ever Inventor in Residence. Mark took on the challenge of every inventor of building a better mouse trap, or in this case a rat trap. The Putdown Trap is poison-free, self-rearming and needs no power.
The Putdown trap uses the motion of the rat in and out of the trap to inject air into the rat’s brain causing an embolism and subsequent death. The needle is sprung-loaded so the trap re-arms itself and there’s no poison to either refresh or be eaten by another animal accidentally. There’s a second needle to spear the heart.
The photo below shows the internals of the trap – the rat moves in from left to right.
These days it’s not unusual for a household to be consume considerable amounts of bandwidth. Someone can be gaming, someone can be streaming an HD movie and and someone else can be on a video call. Who’s hogging the broadband? Who takes priority? The Netduma R1 router answers these questions and takes control back with easy-to-use software for gamers and demanding families.
On show at the Gadget Show Live as part of the British Inventors’ Project, the Netduma R1 sits between the cable modem and the rest of the network. It provides a raft of features for gamers including geo-filtering, anti-flood, player & server denial and ping stats. For bandwidth hogging households, there’s graphical network monitoring and device prioritisation. Everything can be done via web-based interface and no technical knowledge is needed; to prioritise one device over another, simply drag the device out.
Speaking to the Netduma team after the interview, I was impressed at what they have managed to achieve. I’m not a gamer but some of their plans for family-friendly enhancements sounded really interesting. Priced at £149 / $199 it’s not cheap but for gamers it’s definitely worth having a look.
The Tegstove is a portable gas stove that cooks food, powers gadgets and recharges its battery. Displayed at Gadget Show Live as part of the British Inventors’ Project, the Tegstove uses thermoelectric generator technology to generate energy from widely available clean burning butane gas.
The Tegstove is the perfect solution for campers and hikers who are well off the beaten track and want to keep their GPS charged or power LED lights at night. As its primary function the Tegstove burns butane gas to cook food or heat water. As a secondary function, electrical energy is generated from the difference in temperature between the hot of the burner and the cold of the gas cylinder. The electricity can be used either to power a device plugged into the USB port or to charge the Tegstove’s internal battery.
Up close this is a beautifully designed product with great attention detail which I sincerely hope will carry through into the retail product.
The Tegstove is on pre-order at CrowdShed for £69 if you get in quick, which I think is a bargain. I don’t even camp and I want one!
The TravelHug is a 3-in-1 travel pillow which provides a comfortable upright sleeping, transforms into a water-resistant cushion for the beach and finally converts into a soft flat pillow for sleeping.
TravelHug works by wrapping around your body to give adjustable support to your head and neck. By putting TravelHug into its own pillowcase, you then also have a water resistant cushion or soft flat pillow. TravelHug rolls away into a small stuff sack ready for convenient comfort anywhere.
With the Internet of Things and smart homes being all the rage, it’s inevitable that there would be at least one smart home system at Gadget Show Live taking part in the British Inventors Project. Here’s the Kibbi – homes just got smarter.
The Kibbi intelligent hub provides round the clock security combined with entertainment. The built-in HD wide angle security camera monitors 24×7 with motion detection and night vision, and saves video footage to either cloud servers or local USB storage. The keyfob-size Kibbi sensors are fixed to doors, windows, fridges and measure movement, vibrations and temperature. The speaker announces alerts and can wirelessly stream music too from smartphones.
The complementary Kibbi app works with Android, iOS and Windows – it’s good to see the Windows app here too.
The Kibbi previously raised nearly $57,000 on Indiegogo and pre-orders (£170) can be made through the Kibbi website with Deliveries expected from May 2015.
Regrettably car theft is a major problem worldwide and while car security has improved significantly over the past years, an increasing number of cars are being stolen using cloned keys or bypassing keyless security systems. Demonstrated at Gadget Show Live,My Smart Remote is an additional layer of security that prevents thieves from stealing a vehicle even if they have the key, whether physical or otherwise.
My Smart Remote consists of a small electronic unit and a smartphone app for both Android and iOS. The electronic unit is installed discreetly in the car and this can lock down the vehicle and stop the car from being started. The electronic unit communicates via Bluetooth with an app on the owner’s smartphone putting in extra security which is largely invisible and crucially unrelated to the vehicle itself. Consequently, even with a cloned key, the car is going nowhere. An enhanced version of My Smart Remote can also control internal features of the vehicle including the horn, air-conditioning and opening the boot (trunk). There’s an anti-carjacking feature too.
My Smart Remote is on pre-order at CrowdShed. £159 gets the standard security version and for additional internal control, the enhanced version costs £299.
One of the few “tech” products at the British Inventors Project, the Popcord is a short USB charging cable which loops back on itself to hang on a keyring. As it’s on your keyring, you never leave it behind so any time your phone needs a charge, the Popcord is on hand.
Elegantly made from metal to complement the latest mobile devices, it’s available in six colours and two variants, one USB to micro-USB and the other USB to Lightning for Apple owners.
It’s on pre-order at GB£29 or a little under US$42.50 and is expected to ship shortly.
Following British success in the sport, cycling has seen a resurgence in the UK and there are some very tasty bikes on the roads these days. Storage when off the road can be a problem though, especially in city apartments. Cycloc provides a solution to this with colourful wall-mounts which both store and show-off the bicycle. Perfect for the bijou town pad.
Cycloc’s range of products was on display at Gadget Show Live as part of the British Inventors’ Project. The latest product, Hero, cleverly uses the pedals to hold the bike to the wall. Fresh to the market, it costs a few pennies under £40. In the picture below, Hero is holding the upper bike, with Solo keeping up the lower one.
Parents, we’ve all been there. You’re as far away from home or car as possible and your toddler decides that he or she has had enough of walking. No amount of encouragement or cajoling will make him take another step and you have to carry your darling all the way back.
If you recognise this story then you’ll be interested in the OmniO Rider, a lightweight buggy (stroller) which collapses to a backpack. The production version is expected to weight less than 6 kg and that’s definitely lighter than a toddler! I tried on the prototype and even it was light enough.
In most other respects it looks much like an ordinary buggy with cupholders and nappy changing bag.
Aside from from the clever folding mechanism, the OmniO team developed a new wheel design that uses rollers for sideways motion. Called omni-wheels, they can go at the front or the back of the buggy depending on the driver’s preference. I liked these – lovely piece of engineering. Who says you can’t reinvent the wheel?
The OmniO Rider is currently an Indiegogo campaign where it’s trying to raise $50,000. With an expected retail price of $500, there are early bird offers at $350, so get in quick.
Taking all this into account, it wasn’t a total surprise when it won Gadget Show Live’s “British Invention of the Year Award”.