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The Wrap: 30 April

Talk to the hand

We’re used to chunky smartwatches, but it seems the price you pay for greater functionality with these devices is more use of your arm real estate. The Rufus Cuff has beaten its fundraising target on Indiegogo and the developers say it’s not just a smartwatch, it’s a ‘wrist communicator’.

With a three-inch screen, you can make voice and video calls, browse the net, manage your fitness, run the full Android OS, and connect via Bluetooth and wi-fi. Since it’ll be hard to miss, it’s just as well there are swappable colour silicone cuffs.

Riffing on the Rift

If you’re a fan of the Oculus Rift, you might not appreciate seeing it taken apart. But that what YouTube user VSauce3 has done and the clip will actually teach you a lot about the gaming headset.

You might know it raised $2.4 million on Kickstarter and now belongs to Facebook, but did you know its field of view is three times that of a desktop monitor, it weighs 379 grams and that Team Fortress 2 was the first game to add support for the device?

Crowdsourcers power up

The Lights Out isn’t fully finished yet, but when it is it’s bound to be useful in the quest for energy efficiency. It’s designed to put the power (if you’ll excuse the pun) in the hands of tattletales who find out where lights are on needlessly and want to report such waste.

Symbiosis in the machine

Designer Ivan Henriques’ Symbiotic machine, on show at Amsterdam’s Glazen Huis seems to do what those algae sucking fish at the bottom of family tank used to do. But the robot doesn’t just clean water by breaking down algae cells, it also uses the waste water to create a rudimentary battery. In a nutshell, it’s self propelling. We have to wonder what robots will do next.

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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