PCR rounds up the crowdfunded tech to keep in mind...

FUTURE TECH FRIDAY: Turn plants into music, objects into toys and more…

Every Friday, PCR rounds up the hottest crowdfunded tech to keep in mind for future retail opportunities.

Let’s take a look at this week’s selection of up-and-comers…

MIDI Sprout: Turn plants into synthesizers

Ever wanted to turn your shrubs into synthesizers? With the MIDI Spout, that’s exactly what you can do.

The $60 (£36) kit includes two probes, which measure electrical currents across the surface of a plant’s leaf. The readings are converted into MIDI notes, which can then be turned into music using a synthesizer or computer.

In simple terms, the kit allows planets to play music.

Unsure whether you would enjoy the musical stylings of your azaleas or snowdrops? Backers who pledge $5 (£3) or more grab a two-hour album of music generated by the tropical planets at The Philadelphia Museum of Art, to provide an idea of how plants get down.

Four Realz: 3D photographs

Providing so-called ‘Wigglegrams’ in ‘four dimensions’, Four Realz uses a Nimslo camera with four lenses to photograph shots from four different perspectives, providing an image that looks 3D and wiggles back and forth like a real-life hologram.

Backers of the project don’t get the 4D camera themselves, but can purchase a Wigglegram of their choosing, with $512 (£311) or more bagging a 10-inch digital photo frame complete with said image installed.

Take a look at a Wigglegram below:

Take a look at more of the available Wigglegrams on http://fourrealz.tumblr.com/

Moff: a smartband for kids that turns anything into a toy

We’ve seen a massive variety of wearable gadgets turn up in the past year, but rarely do we see a piece of wearable tech aimed directly at kids – despite children being one of the biggest audiences for gadgets and gizmos.

In steps the Moff band, a $49 (£30) wristband which turns any object into a toy.

The band can connect to a variety of iOS apps, which can be set to turn a certain object (eg. a banana or broom) into a certain toy (eg. alien ray gun or guitar). The band relays movements back to the app, which then provides fitting sound effects.

The slap band is made to be worn by kids, constructed from soft and durable silicon to survive playtimes.

Connectivity is provided by Bluetooth 4.0, and power by a replaceable coin battery.

Parents take note – why buy multiple toys, when you can just buy one band that becomes anything you like?

PiScreen: A budget touchscreen

This miniature 3.5-inch touchscreen is designed to directly attach to the Raspberry Pi to provide programmers with an easy and portable way of using the mini PC.

The screen, which has a 482×320 resolution and comes with a stylus, costs only $55 AUD (£30) – meaning that custom creations for the home (for instance, using the Pi as a hub for home automation devices) can be easily controlled on a budget.

At the time of writing, the PiScreen has raised over five times its target of $4,400 AUD.

Mi.Mu Glove: A handy glove that that turns your hands into musical instruments

Championed and envisioned by musician Imogen Heap, the Mi.Mu is a complex glove that senses the movement, position, direction and shape of a hand in order to control and create music.

Designed as a way to release musicians from standing behind mixing desks and laptops, the gloves can be set up to control a variety of factors – for instance, raising your arm might fade in a new beat, or pointing could relocate an audio mix to a new speaker.

The gloves, which cost £1,200 each (or £2,400 for a pair), are designed to be used alongside traditional instruments on-stage, with cut-off fingertips to allow the playing of other instruments and cut-out palms so handclaps won’t be muted.

Connectivity is provided over Wi-Fi.

Heap herself has been using the gloves since 2010, and you can take a look at the musician demonstrating the technology below:

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