Let’s face it: QR codes aren’t that cool. What’s cool about QR codes isn’t the ability they have to take us to a url or show us an image. The exciting part is interfacing between the real world and the digital. You take a photo of a physical product, the QR code, and it produces a digital reaction. That’s great and all, but a couple of exciting movers and shakers out there have asked the question “Why can’t it be the other way around?” Why not build a product that allows us to do something digitally that has a physical reaction? In other words, something that makes our mobile devices a remote control for our real lives. Here are a few new products from companies that are doing just that…
Little Printer from Berg
Little Printer is an exciting new product from the London-based company Berg. Little Printer is a thermal printer connected to the internet. The exciting thing about the little guy is his ability to generate visually appealing reports relevant to our online networks and personas. He can link up with your Nike+ data and give you tangible reports, provide Foursquare friend rankings, and do all sorts of awesome things with Google. Although Little Printer hasn’t officially launched yet, keep an eye out for him because he is going to be one very cool piece of technology.
Olly from Foundry
Olly is a cool new production from Foundry, a subset of Mint Digital, that answers the question, “What does the internet smell like?” Olly is a programmable piece of hardware that will let you know when you have an email, tweet, or other notification by releasing a scent of your choosing into the air. So, if you have ever found yourself in need of a refreshing new way to get your notifications, Olly looks to solve your problem.
Instaprint.me from BreakfastNY
Instagram is a hugely popular photo-sharing app with iPhone users. The brains over at BreakfastNY Headquarters decided that digital sharing was good, but that physically sharing these photos was better. So, they built Instaprint.me, a printer that uses an event hashtag (such as #140cuse) and all instagram photos using that hashtag are printed out in a very nostalgic polaroid style. To stay true to original polaroid prints, the photos use zero ink and the image comes from the paper itself. Snap a photo, slap on a hashtag and the next thing you know have a wonderful souvenir to take home with you.