Your computer can now smell

The new Smell Inspector is launching on Kickstarter. The developers call it an "E-Nose Developer's Kit and End-User Gadget".

It's based on a 16 multichannel chip based on nano technology called the IX16 and there are 4 mounted on the Smell board giving 64 channels which reads data every 1.8 seconds. The output is in ASCII and be be used by any type of computer like Arduino or Raspberry Pi.

The actual IX16 chips is very low power using less than 1uW and uses 16 chemiresistor-type nanomaterial based gas detectors, Kapton foil, particle filter. It has a high sensitivity to various gases and VOCs (<80 ppb for NH3, PH3, H2S).

Software is available for Linux and Windows and will be for Android and iOS though your own applications can be developed too.

Super Early Bird pricing is finished, but Early Bird is available for €269


Don't want to use your card, K-pay

K-Pay is a wearable with an embedded NFC chip that allows you to pay for things using contactless payment, like taping you credit card. The limit is the same as using a credit card too.

There are several options including a bracelet as below, other types of bracelet and pendants.

K=Pay bracelet

 The side are metal and there's a carbon effect middle piece with the NFC chip behind.

K-Pay bracelet

The box that they come in is well built and looks like there's a quality product inside.

K-Pay box

Paying for things is just a matter of placing the NFC part of the bracelet over the card reader. If worn like a watch, it makes it really easy to do touchless payments and it will work through, say a jacket.

The actual payment service is provided by Pingit and it's necessary to sign-up for a Pingit account via their mobile apps (both iOS and Android). Pingit is the evolution of B-Pay and the previous incarnation of Pingit, both provided by Barclays and now a single app. As well as K-Pay, Pingit also sell hardware devices.

The K-Pay device has a tag attached which is it's serial number / ID. Don't lose it.

In the Pingit app set-up a JAR and then it's possible to add the device (using the number on the tag) to that jar. It's then necessary to top-up. This can be a single top-up, scheduled top-up or low balance top-up. They are reasonably self explanatory i.e. single just add funds to the jar, scheduled allows setting the 1st to  28th day of every month, or Mon-Sun weekly. Low balance will top-up with a specified amount when the balance falls below a specified amount (both in multiples of £5).

Pingit will ONLY allow debit cards to be used for top-ups (money can be BACS transferred into the Pingit account), Of course Pingit allows other functions such as paying other people using Pingit, businesses who've set-up a "bank pay" code and various others as well as playing the National Lottery.

It's also possible to request money from others using various methods, including a payment link set-up through the app.

Assuming there's credit in the jar that the K-Pay device is associated with, then it will just work like a contactless card. It can also be frozen and reported as lost/stolen through the app.

The only thing that's not possible is disassociating the K-Pay device from Pingit. Once added, that's it forever. It's not possible to resell or give to a friend if no longer in use. K-Pay NFC chips may also have an expire time built-in (it's not clear, but there's a buy another and return your old one offer on the K-Pay site).

The K-Pay Monaco bracelet costs £86 (others cost £75 or £120) and other bracelets up to £135.

Pendants are £103 and key fobs (a pendant without the necklace but a key ring) £65. A strap tag (just a silicon strip with the NFC in it and loops at the end) is £17.

They are very easy to use once set-up, but annoying that they can only be attached to debit and not credit cards and once activated can't be given to anyone else (well without charging to your account).

There are other solutions to there such as the K Ring which is a pre-pay MasterCard but allows topping-up via credit or debit card (as well as BACS etc).