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The Wrap: 29 January

Of pins and recipes

Pinterest has some good news for would-be chefs with some fine tuning of its recipe search functionality. Users can now see the results of their foodie searches in recipes only instead of viewing all Pinterest content, and by particular dietary requirements. Among those filters are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and paleo meal ideas.

The recipe search is also a chance for food brands and bloggers to get more traction via Rich Pins, adding details and extra content to attract eyeballs.

Fat fingers

Sausage-fingered consumers who struggle to send texts on virtual smartphone keyboards may not be first in line to buy smartwatches. That’s just as well because they’d be horrified at the sight of the Minuum smartwatch keyboard.

It’s billed as perfect for these small screens because it saves space, with a minimalist row of icons for fast text entry and auto-correct that learns as you type.

It looks like it would be incredibly fiddly on first use, though. Maybe stick to using your smartwatch for reading the time and making calls.

In robot news this week…

Last week we told you about NASA’s heroic Robosimian, capable of lifting debris to rescue survivors. This week the hero is uArm, a miniature robot arm you can use on your office desktop.

By customising uArm with components, you can turn it into an LED lamp, pick up and move lightweight objects and hold a pen. Since it can be controlled by a range of devices from a smartphone to a mouse, the possibilities are wide-ranging.

C’mon guys, get fire shoe wise

Sweden’s KTH royal technology has a new weapon in firefighting safety which gets past the shortcomings of GPS-based products. It’s a shoe that could even be more useful than the shoephone.

The sole of this potentially life-saving shoe apparently has an antenna, a processor, memory, an accelerometer and gyroscope — and can withstand high temperatures and shock. That means location data can be sent to emergency coordinators to make operations safer.

Image: KTH

Amanda Sachtleben is an Auckland writer and social media type, who's also Idealog's former tech editor and business journalist.

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