Will Dean's Ideas Factory: Taking a recce at Recce – a mobile map of beauty
In my 18 months using an iPhone, I can count with one finger the numbers of apps that have elicited an audible gasp. That finger represents Recce – a glorious-looking new real-time 3D mapping tool.
As you can see from the picture above, it brings a graphic Sim City-like quality to mobile mapping. Allowing users to float around checking out landmarks but, crucially, also hooking up to your GPS to help you find your way around, find places to eat nearby and there's live transport info too. Unfortunately, the dinky little cars hurtling around the streets don't represent actual traffic levels (though this is something the developers are working on). The interface is incredibly clean and (on wifi at least) very quick to navigate.
Recce's game-like appearance is no coincidence – its CEO is game-industry veteran Ian Hetherington (founder of Psygnosis) and Google grad Rian Liebenberg its COO. They'll be hoping Recce can compete with Google Maps and Apple's forthcoming iOS map system.
It's not flawless though. But it is free, so you can't complain too much. So far, the map only covers central London (though it takes in 340km²) but is soon coming to San Francisco with plans for further expansion. You also have to press a separate button to get street names which, to be fair, makes the whole thing look much cleaner. The possibilities of tying an expanded Recce with a 4G phone network, increased open transport data (Transport for London is brilliant at sharing, others aren't) are breathtaking.
Download here: bit.ly/recce
Boil in the bag coffee. Nicer (and smarter) than it sounds
How do you make your coffee? At home I have a filter machine, an espresso pot and (my favourite) a little Vietnamese filter which sits atop a cup as it brews. But perhaps I'm over-thinking my morning cup.
At least that's behind the genesis of the Grower's Cup Coffeebrewer, a disposable French press which takes boil-in-the-bag quite literally. Or at least makes the ol' pint of milk straight into the Corn Flakes bag trick look a little more classy.
The technology – made by a Norwegian firm – is fairly simple, it's a bag (made of "environmentally friendly" papers) with a filter on the inside. You pour in hot water, re-seal it and then pour into your cup. You can watch a video of the bag in action at Grower's Cup's (bit.ly/coffeebag).
I'm slightly dubious about the idea. There's no doubt a desire for a decent cup of coffee on, say, a camping holiday or somewhere where the only hot caffeinated option is a murky instant coffee, but throwing away or recyling an entire bag for the sake of three mugs' worth seems a bit excessive. Especially in comparison to my little Vietnamese gizmo which, in theory at least, will last forever. You also can't put your own favoured grounds in there.
Still, it's a neat tool in the coffee-lover's armoury.
Life & Style blogs
iPhone 6 will function as 'mobile wallet' following Apple deal with Visa - reports
Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
Is Apple's iCloud safe after leak of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities' nude photos?
David Sedaris: What I learnt from Fitbit about the world around me
Anal sex study reveals climate of 'coercion'
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
- 1 Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: It is only rape if the victim is conscious
- 5 Katie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge: ‘I hate fat people for making me do this’
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-Office D...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits, Training & Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# S...
£35000 - £36500 per annum: Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator (SharePoint) -...
£600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Derivatives Risk Commodities Business A...