HK Magazine Archive

Smartphone-Controlled VR Paper Planes, an Alternative to Uber, and Kickstarter Launches in Hong Kong

The newest tech in town.

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 September, 2016, 2:34pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 5:26pm

Fly High

Something to get excited about: the PowerUp FPV paper plane. Sure, it has a silly name, but it’s more than just a regular fold-and-throw. The kit consists of a camera and a couple of propellers, which you strap to your own paper plane, then hook up to your smartphone. Slot your phone into the provided Google Cardboard VR headset, and the PowerUp gives you a first-person view from the plane in flight—which you then control with movements of your head. How awesome is that?

And of course, every time you get bored of your plane’s design—just scrap it and fold another. The PowerUp FPV is available for pre-order now for US$200 ($1,551), and will start shipping in November.

Just Kickin’ It

Crowdfunding platform Kickstarter has officially launched in Hong Kong. That means it’s easier than ever for Hongkongers to get their ideas funded, without having to get around annoying restrictions like getting their projects registered overseas. And it seems to be taking off, with Hongkongers leaping in to sign up and get things moving. What’s top of the Hong Kong Kickstarter? One thing worth looking out for is a cookbook from longstanding arts group Para Site. The gallery is aiming to raise $80,000 for “The Unappropriated Recipes,“ a collection of creative, mostly inedible Hong Kong-specific recipes. Ever wanted to learn how to fry egg whites and yolks separately, “One Country, Two Systems”-style? Now you can. The book is $200, with estimated delivery in March 2017.

Alternatively, check out the URI LED lightbulbs, a collection of awesome-looking bulbs which trace thin lines of lights around the glass. They’re eco-friendly and look great, with an average lifetime of 15,000 hours. Prices start at $380, with estimated delivery this December.

Lux Fix

Uber has just announced that it’s stopping its taxi and van services to concentrate on its core ride-sharing services—a bit annoying if you’re just trying to catch a ride in the rain. But here’s an alternative if you’re looking to travel in style: Go Lux, a Hong Kong ride-share service that’s all about keeping things classy. You can book a ride online or via app, and unlike Uber you can book ahead of time, instead of having to wait for an available car as and when you need it. The cars are Teslas, Mercs or BMWs—or, if you want to roll full tycoon-style, Toyota Alphards. There’s no surge pricing, and rates are about the same as an UberBlack. Prices start at $120. There’s also a pretty good deal on airport transfers: prices start at $525 to Hong Kong Island.



I Get Around

If you’ve spent any time on Facebook of late, you’ll know that 360-degree shots are all the rage. But it’s hard to pull off: those panoramas on your phone never work out that well. Enter Shenzhen company Insta 360. Their Nano (pictured, right) and Air models, for iPhone and Android devices respectively, will solve all your problems. This little camera plugs straight into your phone’s charging port and then serves up lovely 360-degree photos and video. The Nano costs $1,699 with a built-in battery pack. Meanwhile the much smaller Air lacks a battery but will cost less, and will be available from November.