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Chinese tech innovations
November 9, 2014, 5:34 pm
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Qihoo 360 kids guard

China is often accused of not being innovative enough, but here are eight Chinese gadgets that put that myth to the sword

Qihoo 360 kids guard

According to the Chinese company Qihoo, more than 500,000 Chinese families already use the Kids Guard, a watch that allows parents to track their kids on their mobile phones.

Version two of the watch, a cute colorful silicon band designed not to irritate young skin, sold out instantly. As well as the GPS tracker, it also boasts an alert for when a child moves out of a pre-set range, and the ability to listen in for ten seconds to a microphone on the watch to hear where your child might have got to.

iKinLoop

China is aging rapidly, and more and more families are living apart. So here's a brushed aluminum tube to keep you in touch with your parents. Elderly parents can make video calls to their children's mobile phones simply by pressing the button on the top of the device. Children, meanwhile, can record messages to remind their parents to take their medication and the machine will play them as alarms.

Two add-ons offer a blood pressure monitor which transmits its data to a relative's phone and an air quality monitor that will take temperature, humidity and pollution readings and again transmit them out. The basic device costs US$110 and the company raised over $50,000 in funding on a Chinese crowd funding platform.

Meitu

Can your mobile phone make you more attractive? Chinese mobile phone maker Meitu (Beautiful Image) is selling a $300 to $475 Android smartphone for vain selfies. Armed with a twin flash and a 13 mega-pixel camera, the phone automatically processes pictures to remove freckles, soften lighting, improve skin color and add shine to the eyes.

Briefcase unicycle

Popping up all over China's big cities are these briefcase-sized unicycles. Stabilized with a gyroscope, commuters can carry their unicycle on the train or metro, then simply fold down the footrests on either side, step on and whiz the rest of the way to work. The top speed is around 12mph and cheap models cost around $285.

ACBird Smart Cooker

Bored of cooking? Simply call up a recipe on this cooker's app, put the ingredients in the pot and it will cook it for you, adjusting the temperature as it goes. Even better, you can do it from work, controlling the cooker using your smartphone. With the basic model priced at $60, the project has raised $60,000 on a Chinese crowd funding site.

Smart Plug 2

Why not put your electricity sockets to better use? Chinese companies are racing to make smart plugs, with this incarnation offering a dizzy array of add-ons. The plug can monitor batteries as they charge, cutting off electricity when they are full. It has USB sockets for charging phones. You can turn the socket on and off with your phone. You can connect it to a camera to monitor the house, and it has a sensor that can turn on a light for you if it detects you getting out of bed at night.

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