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The Wrap: 4 June

A well-rounded diet

Just when we thought we’d seen it all in the world of 3D printing, Dovetailed in the UK is pushing fruit (of sorts) that’s pushed out of a 3D printer. It won’t actually print you a whole banana, pineapple or anything else. Instead it uses spherification, a molecular gastronomy technique, to produce and combine droplets of different flavours. The point, apparently, is to tempt chefs who want to create new dining experiences.

Electric wheels

Last week we found out about Vanmoof’s Electrified bike designed for urban commuting. Now Boosted has come up with the latest in clever skateboards. The Boosted board boasts adjustable power settings to control speed and torque and suit your skill level, a Bluetooth-enabled thumbwheel to control the brakes, sensors and processors to control power delivery and smooth speed reduction, during which time the batteries are recharged.

Five steps to text

Swift Key, Swype, Fleksy, Minuum and Google Keyboard are among the offerings that have sprung up in response to the challenge small screens have created for keyboards. Five Tiles has joined the lineup and like the others it caters for users of touchscreen devices, smartwatches and other wearables. As the name suggests, 5-Tiles has five keys representing the most frequently occuring letters in the alphabet, with users typing sequences across each using taps and gestures. That means numbers and characters can join the mix and the tiles can still take up what the makers say is 70 percent less screen real estate than some other keyboards.

Smart meets analogue 

Speaking of smartwatches, Kairos has released a timepiece that’s part traditional and part smart. The line of hybrid devices looks like a flash dress watch at first glance, with, hands, markings and dials. But smartwatch activity surfaces over the top, whether it’s fitness tracking, a text, an email or a call, or push notifications from your social accounts. The Kairos Watch can even act as a remote for your smartphone or tablet, a music controller when you’re out and about and grab a photo from a distance. Plus the digital display will warn you of diminishing battery life.

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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