Using your phone to control a mobile app is neat-o. Using your phone to control reality itself? Now that’s fun. These six items let you do just that. Now you can stop standing in front of automatic doors and pantomiming like you’re parting the doors with the power of your mind.
1. Stereo (Sonos)
Sonos is a wireless HiFi sound system, and with this app, you can control it from your phone. You can set up your playlist, control volume, and even configure and use separate controls for each room. Also, it works with the media already loaded up on your computer, so you don’t have to
steal acquire your entire library again through legal means and for good and valuable consideration. Many years ago, Macaulay Culkin showed us how much fun you can have with remote-controlled sound (“Keep the change, ya filthy animal”), so make him proud and be creative with Sonos!
2. DSLR Camera (DSLR Camera Remote Free)
“DSLR” stands for “Digital single-lens reflex” camera, or as I call it, a “nice” camera. With this app, you hook up your fancy-ass camera to your computer, and you can fire the shutter from anywhere with your mobile device. The creators of the app say it’s great for shots where the desired angle makes it difficult to see through the viewfinder. I think it should be used to put an end to the ubiquitous mirror self-shot.
3. Home Automation (Make It So)
The Make It So app lets you turn electronics on and off remotely, so that you can roleplay your lamest Picard fantasies: “Set a course for soft lighting in the living room ... Engage!” It’s not as fun as exploring the galaxy and delivering high flown speeches on morality, but it beats flipping switches. Also, if someone bombs the bathroom, how nice would it be to turn on the vent without having to wade into the Fog of War? The app costs ten bucks, and we’re guessing that the privilege of keeping your distance from the bathroom on some occasions will be worth quite a bit more than that, if your roommates are anything like ours.
4. RC Car (iW500)
To call the iW500 an “RC Car” is really a crime, but that’s the easiest way to describe it. The difference between this and the battery gobblers most of us grew up with is that it climbs walls and hugs the ceiling through use of a vacuum. Please don’t even try to pretend that doesn’t sound amazing. You plug the transmitter into your iPhone, and in just minutes you’re leaving hard-to-clean tire tracks on the ceiling that will puzzle your landlord for years to come.
5. AR Drone (Parrot)
The Parrot AR Drone is a multi-blade flying machine that you fly intuitively by tilting your iPhone using the app found here. It’s self-stabilizing and looks like a total blast. You can also max out your creep cred by flying it up to neighbors’ windows or even over fences and into private yards. Hell, you might even wind up landing a job with the Department of Homeland Security with the skills you gain that way!
6. Robot (Sphero)
Sphero looks like waaay too much fun. It’s a spherical robot that you can control through tilt, touch, or just by swinging your mobile device through the air (really). But it isn’t just a simple rollin’ robot; new apps are being created on a regular basis. You can pretend it’s a golf ball and hit it, you can draw shapes on the ground and it will trace them, or you can download an opera and it will sing it and perform the stage movements. The thing is amazing!
Alright, that last feature is BS. I just really want my grandmother to stop making me perform living room opera for her pleasure and would love for Sphero to take that over.
Are you listening, Sphero developers?
Comment special question: What do YOU want a robot to be able to do for you (that doesn’t involve anyone’s pants coming off)?
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