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The Wrap: 13 August

On the charge

US company BioLite is best known for its camping and home stove that double as chargers for your electronic devices. Now it’s made the move with the humble household jug with Kettle Charge.

Shipping next month, it has a thermoelectric generator in its base that uses a difference in temperature between the hot side of the device (which is next to the flame) and the cold side (filled with water). Electricity is generated as water is boiled, providing 10 watts of power to charge things like your mobile phone, camera or tablet.

Smart stick

The traditional stick for the blind relies on connecting with a solid object to tell users they shouldn’t keep heading in a particular direction. But a Russian team in this year’s James Dyson Awards is dragging the aid into line with today’s tech trends by adding GPS. Its model has built in navigation and voice search, and an echolator with a one metre square range. The team has built a working 3D model and will soon try it in the real world.

Fashion forward

This Kickstarter campaign is everything geeky fashionistas could want – and saves the expense and effort of leaving the house to brave crowds of clothes shoppers. Fitle lets users virtually try on clothes in a cyberspace fitting room where they’re represented as a 3D avatar. The clothing is sourced from partner brands and clothes are saved to ‘connected wardrobe’, where items in the collection can be reviewed and shared with with friends.

The avatar is made from four smartphone images of themselves that users upload, with the avatar created in 30 seconds. The creators claim the 3D version of a user will be 99 percent accurate as a replica of body shape and measurements.

Now with extra GIFs

If you need to actually get stuff done, don’t read about animatedTabs. By installing this extension to your Chrome browser, you’ll be served up a GIF every time you open a tab. That’s all there is to it. You’ve been warned.

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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