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DT Daily: iPhone tool for malaria, projector touchscreen, drone parachute

Today on DT Daily: Using iPhones to cure malaria, a new kind of video projector and a parachute for your runaway drone.

We’ve highlighted lots of cool and fun tech projects we found on Indiegogo, but we think using technology to cure illness is especially worthy of consideration.

While not a big problem in first world countries, malaria is a real danger to over 3 billion people around the globe, and sadly, due to the slowness and low accuracy in diagnosing it, too often it’s fatal, especially to children. Enter the Yang-Zen RAPID, an iPhone app for fast, accurate diagnoses of malaria. It’s being developed by David Mendels, who has decided he will use the tech to completely eradicate malaria from one Indonesian island.

And if successful, he’ll move on from there. He’s only trying to raise about 50 grand and the campaign is just beginning. The biggest perk? Knowing your pledge helped make a real difference in the lives of others.

Tiny video projectors are nothing new, but the little TouchPico projector adds an interesting twist, namely, it turns any surface into a touchscreen by incorporating a camera and a special stylus.

You can use the battery-powered projector to work with software, make Skype calls, teach the kiddos, and when all that hard work is done, you can just watch some Netflix or play some video games with it on up to an 80-inch screen. The TouchPico pairs wirelessly to your phone and it runs android apps on its own, plus it’s small enough to slip into your pocket. Cool! They’ve already hit their funding goal but you can get an early release unit for a $329 pledge.

Drones are revolutionizing aerial photography, but if your flying robot somehow gets away from you and can’t come back, you’re looking at some expensive repairs or worse, especially if it causes damage on the way down. Solution? A drone-sized parachute, of course, and drone make DJI is now working on just such a safety system.

Called the DropSafe, the mini-chute mounts on top of their popular line of multi-prop aircraft and can be deployed either manually or automatically for a soft landing if something goes amiss during a flight. So far, the DropSafe is not listed on the DJI site so we don’t know how much it costs, but suffice to say it’s likely going to be a lot cheaper than buying a new drone, a camera, and the sunroof for a Porsche.

Your host today is Greg Nibler.