New things to try in 2014

I wouldn’t call myself a first mover or early adopter but I do like to try new things, from gadgets to apps and especially things that are truly unique or quirky.

Here’s a few things I’m keen to get stuck into this year:

1. Cubify
I’ve been following the 3D printing craze ever since I saw this video. It was a while back and something that I thought would take a long time before it became something that you could use at home. Thanks to Cubify, you can 3D print at home! So far it seems there’s a lot of people printing phone cases and jewellery which are fun up to a point so it would be interesting to see a lot more real world applications with this thing. Pricing and their website seems to have changed considerably since I last checked this out so it may be a while before I work with Cubify.

2. Pencil
I love the Paper app on iPad. It’s even won some awards. So it’s fitting that the team behind this app have come up with a stylus on steroids, aptly called Pencil. Their video does more justice than I ever could with this write-up. It’s only compatible with iPad 3+ which sucks because I have an iPad 2. It’s awesome and almost warrants buying a new iPad just to use it! Soon….

3. 3Doodler
Continuing along the 3D printing root is the 3Doodler which is a 3D printing pen, of sorts. Again, their videos explain things better but think of a soldering iron with hot plastic coming out of it which you can use to make anything you like. The plastic cools almost instantly so you can rapidly create whatever you like. Again, seems like jewellery is the main thing people are coming up with but I’m sure there’s plenty more wonderful applications waiting to be unleashed.

4. Leap Motion
I remember seeing this years ago and when we decided to use Trello and a big LCD tv at work to manage our daily catchups, we could barely contain ourselves with excitement at the prospect of using Leap Motion to move tabs around and essentially replicate Minority Report. Early word from people who have used it is that it’s great for games but can be very tricky with more intricate things that you could easily just do with a mouse. It was for sale at Gitex in Dubai for 500AED but I could actually get it cheaper from their official website for 450 AED. Yet to buy it but will have a more detailed writeup when I do get my hands on it.

5. 23andme
Not a gadget or toy, it’s something I’ve waited too long to try. It’s DNA testing at its finest and easiest. The company sends you a DNA sample kit, you send in your saliva and they analyse it. They give you all sorts of genetic and hereditary data that is simply incredible. My old mate Dan did it and it confirmed what he had always been told about his heritage. They used to give medical data too (e.g based on your DNA, what sort of ailments you are likely to suffer etc) but they’re currently being reviewed for this in the USA so this data is temporarily unavailable. I’m not so worried about that as such (although it would be good to know!), right now, I’m more interested in my heritage. It’s hard enough trying to explain my current identity to people but to learn where I’ve come from exactly would be unreal. I thought about getting my grandparents to give it a shot since the data would go back even further and would give an even more detailed insight so will have to get this sorted.


If there’s something else you think would be worth checking out, let me know. I’m not exactly big on making the first move on things but I’m keen to try out new things.