Sneak, Swackett, & Cycloramic
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Sneak is an imaginative game for kids. When you leave your phone in an empty room, it challenges them to tip toe and sneak up on it without being detected. The phone will use its microphone to “listen” for their approach and if they are quiet enough to actually get to and touch your phone’s screen, it will snap a picture of them in the act as proof of their success.
Adding to the game is the use of cartoon creatures. When you first leave your phone in the empty room, kids must select a bait item for the screen to display. The tasty morsel is designed to attract hidden animals and when one appears that’s the cue for kids to start their approach. If they make a noise as they try to sneak, the creature will react, lifting its head and looking around, wiggling a nose suspiciously. Kids must remain perfectly still in the hopes the creature will go back to eating and they can keep sneaking forward.
With different levels of difficulty and many cartoon creatures to play the game with, Sneak is a wildly rewarding and captivating experience.
iPhone Free/iPhone Paid/Android
Swackett is a fun weather app that offers clothing recommendations alongside detailed five-day forecasts. The opening screen offers stick figures dressed appropriately in jackets, hats, pants and footwear that match the forecast. If it’s going to rain they will carry an umbrella, if it’s going to be sunny they will carry sunscreen lotion.
You can dive deeper into the weather with charts that list forecasts for the days of the week or the hours of the day. Statistics include temperature, humidity, and dew point along with wind direction and speed. Satellite radar imagery joins in to help give this whimsical forecast some serious data.
After a fun launch in 2011 for the iPhone it’s nice to see Swackett arrive this year for Android users too.
Cycloramic uses the vibrate feature in your iPhone 5 to make it slowly spin in place. You have to stand your phone up on its end and choose a flat surface like a table. Once activated, the phone will vibrate, cycling between different speeds that induce it to jitter and rotate, slowly spinning all the way around until it’s facing the original direction.
The idea is to record a 360 degree video, which the phone does reasonably well. There’s no sound and obviously it’s a bit mechanical in motion, but it works as a novel way to capture a view of a room you might want to share. You can set it to use the front-facing or rear cameras and to rotate up to 1080 degrees, which might be handy if you’re recording an environment that changes.
It’s a shame that it only works with an iPhone 5. For some it will be handy, to others it’ll merely be a novelty. Either way it’s a clever idea to see in action.
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