Posted on Wednesday 21 June 2017 by Cruickshank Intellectual Property

Robert O’Connor is a typical 14-year-old who will be sitting his Junior Certificate next year. He is also very interested in technology and attends the Walton Club at Trinity College every Saturday afternoon during the school term to learn more about the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects . The grandson of well-known patent attorney Donal O’Connor and son of our Managing Partner Richard O’Connor, it is not surprising that he ended up with a summer job in our offices. We thought it would be interesting to get his views on what he thinks is ‘cool’ technology. His answers are below:


Virtual Reality:

Virtual Reality (VR), has been around as a concept since the 1800s but only recently has it been made into a publically marketed product. In 2010 the first prototype of the Oculus Rift was made, it was very laggy which hindered the quality of the viewing experience. This was fixed in 2013 with the introduction of better software. Since then apps have been developed that can take you anywhere in the world. What I would really like to get my hands on is the Sony VR aka Project Morpheus which is a VR headset that links to a Playstation 4 to allow you to play a game but be fully immersed in your environment. Unfortunately, a massive setback is a greater risk of people being sucked into the game and attempting to “act” it out in real life.

3D Printing:

What is cooler than a machine that can make tiny little things like Pokémon figurines, flowers, words, bow ties or even cars? NASA are now providing their space shuttles with 3D printers for all their new missions, to allow astronauts to construct and repair parts in space. As far as prices go they range from €120 to €1,100 (which is pretty cheap considering what they can do).

Noise Cancelling Headphones:

Everyone has been on that train, bus or plane where there is someone blissfully unaware of all the noise they are making. Be it a baby crying, someone beside you snoring or close-by a very loud phone call is taking place. It’s very hard to relax with all these people/relatives making noise on long trips so what better than headphones you can slip on and not here a single word, you could be in the middle of a warzone and not hear a thing. Prices can range from between €40 to €500.


A personal assistant that follows you in your pocket for zero cost. While being a very serious and handy tool, it is very easy to see the many humorous applications of Siri. My friend for instance has set it so Siri addresses him as Mr Boss Man, you can also get him/her to answer questions such as what is the weather like in Bora Bora or define perpendicular (unfortunately for the latter question I was given a UK house address). You can also set up particular responses to certain questions, for instance:

Me: “Hey Siri. What do you think of” (insert name)

Siri: “I think they are very” (insert adjective here)

As you can see it’s a fun program that can be used for serious work or hilarious jokes. It is also good for finding addresses, cinema times, and other useful information


 Amazon Echo:

Based on Siri the Amazon Echo is a cylinder that connects via Bluetooth to your phone and other devices in your home, it is operated vocally. It can be an alarm, play music, close and open blinds/shutters (if you are living in a smart house).


Razer Project Valerie:

Razer Project Valerie is a computer with two extra screens on the side.  The two foldable displays can be used independently of the main screen but also can make one big one (Finally you can catch up with all the Netflix shows you’re behind on or play 3 games at once). It was announced at CES expo on the 5th of January. The only real downside is the simple fact that it weighs 12 pounds or 5.5 kilos. All screens have 4k resolution.


Clip On 8X Optical Zoom:

Have you ever wished that your camera had a better focus at a longer range? Have you dismissed a proper camera because you don’t want to spend 1000 euro? Well thankfully some genius invented a Zoom Lenses that magnifies 8 times regular distance, that you can clip on to your phone. Finally you can take great quality photos at such a distance you would almost swear that you had been standing next to it.