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August 12, 2013updated 22 Sep 2016 1:11pm

Top 5 tech gadgets & devices designed by celebrities

You may know them from radio and television, but these celebrities are also technological innovators.

By Claire Vanner

Not all inventors are frazzled scientists who spend all their time cooped up in a lab. These inventors and designers we are more used to seeing gracing our cinema screens or giving a glamorous performance on stage while singing their greatest hits.

It may surprise you to know that an American pop star with three number one singles is creative director at Polaroid and an actress of the 30s was responsible for the plans that laid the foundation for WiFi and Bluetooth. Read on to find out who these innovators are…

Beats headphones – Dr Dre

Dr Dre Beats

Dr Dre is now almost more famous for his premium headphones that he is for his music. The rapper’s range of speakers and headphones have become a common sight, particularly the chunky Beats Solos headphones.

He set up the business in 2006 and with the help of fellow music stars such as Justin Bieber, P Diddy and Nicki Minaj endorsing the products, sales have boomed, with Dr Dre pocketing $100m in 2012.

In 2011, HTC paid $300m for a 51% stake in the headphones operations, but sales of the headphones, priced between $150 and $400, were so successful that Dr Dre bought back half of HTC’s stake.

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The Beats Solos have an impressive build quality for durability, including a thick replaceable cable and are made commuter-friendly with their padded folding earcups. The Pro model provide an upgrade to better sound quality, though all models have a rumbling bass quality.

Also available are the in-ear Diddybeats and the new Beats Pill speaker.

Polaroid photo glasses – Lady Gaga

Gaga goggles

As well as being creative with her catchy pop music and flamboyant outfits, Lady Gaga is also creative director at camera company, Polaroid. She used her position to fuse eyeware with cameras, resulting in photo goggles.

Before Google glass, Gaga was already capturing photos from glasses. The suite of products called Grey Label was launched in 2011. A set of camera sunglasses with two embedded 1.5inch LCD displays take photos at the touch of a button and can also be pre-loaded with slideshows for real-time photo sharing.

"She takes it very personally–she really feels this stuff is a representation of her. She has ideas coming from her ethos and perspective," says Robert Brunner, creative director of Ammunition, the design firm who worked with Lady Gaga on the project.

"With the effect of the oversize lens, they look to the person on the other side like your eyes," says Brunner. "That really came from Gaga–from her video for ‘Poker Face,’ with the glasses that say ‘pop culture.’ She wanted to build that into a product."

Nacent WiFi – Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr

Known to most as a beautiful actress from Hollywood’s golden age, Hedy Lamarr also planned a secret communication system with radio frequency hopping that the Navy could use to fire torpedoes during the 1940s.

While the concept was not employed by the Navy at the time, US military ships used the technology in 1962 during a blockade of Cuba. Then in 1998, a wireless technology developed, Wi-LAN, acquired a 49% claim to Lamarr’s patent.

The patent now serves as a basis Bluetooth, WiFi and CDMA used in some cordless and wireless telephones.

House of Marley Speakers – Bob Marley

Marley speakers

While not strictly designed by Bob Marley himself, House of Marley’s speakers and headphones channel the late Rastafarian in every aspect of their design and manufacturing process.

It’s products, and packaging, are made from environmentally-friendly materials such as FSC-certified woods, organic cotton and recyclable aluminium. It uses reggae as the benchmark for their audio testing to attain a rich bass sound that won’t distort or lose quality at higher volumes. A portion of the profits also go to charity through 1love.org, the Marley Family charity.

House of Marley’s audio products include the Chant Bluetooth, a portable wireless speaker, which are smaller than a can of drink, Bag of Riddim portable audio system, a convenient dual speaker system that can be thrown over your shoulder with it’s strap and Legend, the flagship in-ear headphones.

i.am+ foto.socho – Will.i.am

Will.i.am fotosocho

Despite the overly-complicated name, this invention by the Black Eyed Peas frontman is just an iPhone camera accessory. When Will.i.am isn’t rapping, he is working on his technological inventions.

Hi i.am+ company launched the foto.sosho iPhone accessory in the UK in December 2012. It clips onto an iPhone and turns it into a high-powered camera, featuring a keyboard, interchangeable lenses, a built-in flash, photo editing and filters.

It comes either in the black C.4 model (£199) or the glitzier white V.4 model (£299) with gold trim, a vintage look and vocal detractors.

He is working on the iPhone 5 version, which will be available in the US by summer, with the iPad mini model available for Christmas.

Will.i.am enjoys immersing himself in technology. He acts as director of creative innovation for Intel, his song "Reach for the Stars" was the first song to be played on another planet after is was played from Mars to mark the successful landing of NASA’s Curiosity rover. He is also working on a range of robotic music pets and has designed his own car.

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