The Wrap: 23 July

The Wrap: 23 July

Bailing out 

Boring meetings and awkward dates are two common scenarios we can't extract ourselves from quickly enough and Tiyo  is the new device riding to the rescue.

An acryonym for This Is Your Out, it's a little black teardrop shaped item that sits on your keyring and looks like it might well be a garage door opener. Instead the button triggers a voice call with preset scripts so you can talk back as if there really was someone on the other end of the line bailing you out.

This isn't a new idea and there's already 'an app for that'. Alternatively you could ask your mate to call you at a certain time, but this eject button is a clever idea and with only one press will help preserve your innocent exterior.

The winding road

In an age when we're always rushing from A to B, most of us want our mapping services to give us the fastest and most direct route to our destination. But researchers at Cornell University in the US are working on a service that take you the nicest way, but which is hopefully also the shortest. According to a paper, they're pulling in data from a crowdsourcing platform where users vote on which of two street scenes look more beautiful and quiet. They then take the scene with the most votes and compare it to the shortest routes that add just a few minutes of walking time.

Doggone it

We're suckers for a cute dog pic, but the truth to the saying, you should never work with children or animals, comes from the fact it's so hard to get a good shot of them. There's a new iPhone app, Barkcam http://barkpost.com/barkcam/, that aims to make the process easier. The user can choose a sound that plays to grab their pooch's attention and make it look at their smartphone camera. Then it pretties up the snap with Instagram-style filters, and stickers and speech bubbles. This is strictly for crazy dog lovers.

Obsessed with Facebook

Italian street artist Mister Thoms recently posted this clip, a timelapse of him creating the work Like A Vision. The painting mocks all those who can't keep away from Facebook, reading status updates and being the first to like them. The final product shows a maniacal character with pop-out eyes who represents all that's bad about social network addictions.