Hong Kong Demands Efficiency—So Here's How to Gear Up
Keep it easy and convenient with these new devices and apps available now.
There’s a good chance that your lunch today was a greasy plate of noodles or a way-too-much plate of average-tasting carbs. But now you can change that with a little bit of tech. Hong Kong designer Chris Place and product developer Will Matters are just about to wrap up a Kickstarter campaign for their Prepd Pack, which promises a new approach to boring old Tupperware. The campaign has so far raised a ludicrous US$1 million in funding—that’s 40 times the original goal.
The pack is a gorgeous-looking lunchbox which contains a set of modular containers, which you can swap around and change up to suit your meal. There’s also integrated magnetic cutlery and a built-in placemat. But it’s more than just a physical box: There’s a partner app to be used alongside it, which offers up customized recipes, meal plans and calorie counting for the week ahead. Best of all, it’s so beautifully designed that hipsters will flock to your Sheung Wan dining nook like moths to an incredibly cool flame.
If you’re really quick you should be able to snap up a preorder on Kickstarter for US$50 ($388)—the campaign finishes at 1am on Saturday. If not, head to the site to grab one for US$70 ($543). Shipping begins in June. www.getprepd.com
Over the last few weeks in the HK Magazine offices we’ve been testing out a speaker that’s new to Hong Kong: the Vifa Copenhagen by Danish brand Vifa. This brand is all about Scandinavian cool, and it’s all in evidence in this minimalist speaker, right down to the woven fabric finish covering the whole thing. With five hours of battery life, this wireless speaker’s been pumping out tunes whenever HK Mag staffers can agree on a song—or whenever I override them all to play what I want.
The Cophenhagen is really well constructed—too well, in some ways. For an ostensibly “portable” speaker, this thing is HEAVY—4.65kg, which is more than anyone wants to drag around with them. That said, with six bright and colorful colors it’s exactly the type of thing that would look amazing on a bookcase, while lots of sound clarity in the higher ranges makes it ideal for music that doesn’t need lots of bass to get by. Skrillex fans, look elsewhere. The main issue? The price. A Copenhagen will set you back a hefty $8,490—but for the design-minded, it might just be worth it. Available at HMV and Lane Crawford. www.vifa.dk.
Earlier in the month the city hosted the Launch Summit, the first conference in Hong Kong dedicated to the Internet of Things, or IoT. (If you don't know what it is, it's a buzzwordy term for physical objects which are able to talk to other objects—smart security cameras, intelligent thermostats, and so on). Part of the conference was the Global IoT Startup contest, in which different startups from around the world pitched their ideas to a panel of judges. The winner? The Hipo by Dubai-based Mosaikx, which bills itself as the world’s first wearable smart recorder.
The idea is that you wear the device on a wristband, necklace or anywhere else. You have a thought, want to make a note or keep track of an idea, and the Hipo will record your verbal ramblings, turn it into text, then parse it and categorize it depending on the subject matter—and if it turns out to be able to do it with interviews, then our jobs as journalists just got a whole lot easier too.
The physical product is still under development, but you can get a taste of the future today: the Hipo app is available for free download right now on Apple and Android devices. It didn’t quite understand “Dinner at Din Tai Fung” but it was surprisingly smart with most other notes and reminders. www.mosaikx.com.
There’s a school of thought that says that genuine achievement comes from doing one small thing very well. Enter PokeGuide, an app that exists to guarantee you the quickest possible exit from an MTR station. You simply load up the app, tell it which exit you want to leave from, and the app will tell you which MTR car to board and which door to get off from in order to guarantee yourself minimal walking time to the escalator or lift. The app also contains location-based deals and discounts based on your exit. Does it really save you that much time? Well—in a city this busy, can you afford to take the risk? Free on iOS and Android.