Navigating the oceans of tech can be a tedious, troublesome chore. Luckily for you, ShortList's experienced gadget junky Tom Bailey is on hand to do the hard work for you.
Here's his rolling selection of the latest gadgets:
If you’ve ever fancied driving a Formula 1 car but barely know which way up the helmet goes, then we have good news. The VRX-Z180 racing simulator has just landed in Harrods’ wondrous new Gaming Room, which houses everything from a pair of 7.1 Surround Sound headphones for yourPS4 to bespoke arcade machines. It’s fair to say this caught our attention, though. Combining a seamless, 4.5-metre eyeball-hugging screen with a motorised carbon platform to simulate the vibrations of a real F1 engine, it’s one hell of a ride. You can enter the Gaming Room on the third floor. Good luck finding the exit.
The days when your hi-fi would Rofl at your pathetic PC speakers are long gone. Denon’s CEOL Carino hooks up to your desktop wirelessly, dramatically improving audio quality.
You have an electric toothbrush, so why not an electric fork? The Aromafork’s liquid capsules emit a whiff of 21 flavours – from barbecue smoke to wasabi – to suit your food. Actually, that is quite weird.
It’s annoying when you show your friends a YouTube video, but nobody can hear it. Cue the Speck CandyShell Amped, with a horn design to amplify your iPhone’s speaker while saving battery life.
Combining two great things – or ‘gangbanging’ – yields great results. Aimed at DJs, the SoundSight headphones feature a live-streaming video camera.
Place Nokia’s new Lumia 930 superphone on its accompanying charging plate and watch the battery creep mysteriously back to full strength. No need to plug anything in – it charges wirelessly using ‘induction’ tech. This is clearly impressive in its own right, but just think what this means: we’ll soon be able to charge gadgets by putting them in our pockets. To prove it, Nokia has commissioned the A Sauvage Wireless Charging Trousers, which are available to buy now though Amazon UK for a mere £899. Simply slip the Lumia 930 into the pocket to magically replenish its battery. Next week: spray-on shoes.
Swedish chisel-jockey Love Hultèn has created the R-KAID-R portable console.
It supports Snes and Sega games, and comes with a mono speaker for 8-bit LOLs.
The Steak Locker is the world’s first gadget for dry-aging beef at home, tenderising the meat until it’s that buttery texture. You can also use an iPhone app to check progress – just try not to drool on the screen.
Designed for today’s pokey living spaces, Mipow’s space-saving screw-in LED bulb doubles as a wireless Bluetooth speaker. Control both light and music from any iOS/Android device. Take that, Edison.
Sharks eat their babies but are still photogenic. Shoot them with Canon’s PowerShot D30, which is waterproof to a depth of 75ft. Note: it’s shockproof, not sharkproof.
Like X-ray specs, the hoverboard has become a vague byword for ‘The Future.’ But now ‘The Future’ has a name, a price and a release date. And it’s more like Luke Skywalker’s landspeeder. Aerofex’s Aero-X 2012 prototype has been perfected and – a bit like a supercar – orders are now being taken for delivery in two years’ time. At almost 15ft long, it hovers up to 12ft above the surface, powers forward at 45mph and has a patented stabilising technology so it can be ridden as an ‘aerial quad bike’ (past hoverboards failed because you needed to be a chopper pilot to use them). One thing to remember: it does generate quite a lot of thrust. For some reason, Star Wars never portrayed Luke accidentally running over a cat...
Water and electricty don’t tend to mix but you won’t have to worry about that here. Insert your USB cable into the Power Tap and it glows blue when charging and red on standby.
You’ve heard of the Fitbit? Well this is Quitbit. Instead of tracking fitness, the Bluetooth lighter ignites your cigarettes with a heating element – but tracks how much you smoke.
Garmin’s Approach S6 touchscreen GPS golf watch provides the layout and distance of each hole, while a PinPointer arrow helps you nail blind bunker shots.
Why ‘feel’ the pain when you can see it? Adidas’ new Fit Smart watch has a heart rate monitor and a ‘light pipe’ that glows red, amber or green depending on the intensity of the workout.
£179 (due 15 Aug)
If you like the idea of owning a smartphone, but feel that a piece of rubber with a screen doesn’t make much of a statement, then consider the Withings Activité. It looks like a luxury Swiss watch, but hides a modern activity and sleep tracker. One reflexive glance and the inset dial provides a visualisation of your daily fitness goals, while its gently vibrating alarm can be set with two taps of the glass. No need for a winder, either. The watch sets itself (of course) by synching with your phone. So put a big, fat red circle around August in your diary – wearable tech will get a whole lot more wearable.
£320 (due Aug)
With one spray, WineSave preserves a half-drunk bottle of wine with a blanket of argon, which – as you’ll know from science – is an inert gas that’s heavier than air. Stops the wine oxidising, you see.
Knomo, has created a shockproof Filofax for the iGeneration. The Knomad Mini Power even has a built-in slimline battery to charge iPhones and iPads.
A mere football? How dare you. The Adidas miCoach Smart Ball is a personal training tool. Sensors inside (the ball charges wirelessly) measure speed and trajectory to help improve your free-kicks.
With Richard Branson’s backing, Audiowings are set to replace your Beats. The first 4G-enabled ’phones, built-in Spotify means smartphone-free music streaming.
Mix one part terrifying with two parts exciting, and you get the Helico AirDog. The airborne drone is the first to boast ‘auto follow’ mode. Simply slip on the wrist-worn tracking device, and the 3D-printed aircraft will hover above you, going wherever you go, shooting ‘personal videos’ of your life with its built-in GoPro HD camera. Really cool if you’re surfing, not so cool when you find yourself musing out loud, ‘Why’s it following me? I’ve taken the wristband off…’ Ah, the future. Just as Hollywood predicted.
How are your eco-credentials looking? Boost them with the Soulra Rugged Rukus, a solar-powered Bluetooth speaker. Five hours of sunlight equals eight hours’ partying.
You can now become a ‘Glasshole’. Google’s (prototype) camera-toting goggles have gone on sale at its London ‘Basecamp’. Or ‘shop’, as it’s often known.
If you’re 4G-curious, and have £14 a month spare, then we urge you to buy the EE Kestrel. The 4.5in mobile streams Netflix smoothly and has a really badass, falcon-based name.
A few reasons we love the new Motorola Moto 360 smartwatch: you can select from a range of face designs, it runs Google’s new Android Wear OS and it doesn’t even look like a smartwatch.
Are you concerned that society is becoming increasingly stratified, and that a new techno-elite will dominate the future? Best not read about this handcrafted smartphone for billionaires, then. Vertu’s undeniably-impressive Signature Touch comes with Dolby surround sound speakers, tuned by audio god Bang & Olufsen, and a 13-megapixel camera created with world-renowned photography expert Hasselblad. What more do you want? A personal slave (concierge service) available on live chat 24/7 to take care of all your dog-sitting/yacht-hiring needs? Oh, well it actually has that as well…
The Bang Bang Fool On The Hill tent won’t merely keep you dry/sane at Glasto, it’ll also charge your dying phone using its 5-watt solar panel. Plugging a phone into a tent? That’s now a thing.
The first ‘intelligent cup’, Vessyl recognises the drink you pour into it, displays its nutritional content, then complains when you drink too much coffee/cola. The impertinent (amazing) little bastard.
Monster’s machine-washable iSport Strive in-ear ’phones are made for urban cyclists. They allow just enough ambient noise in to stop you getting hit by a van.
Slot your iPhone into Razer’s Junglecat Controller to turn your mobile into a mini console, complete with D-pad. Those who take Doodle Jump seriously can customise button sensitivity.
If you’ve always fancied being a world-class cocktail barman but weren’t sure about the bow tie or the funny metal sleeve clips, then allow us to introduce you to The Perfect Drink. An app-controlled digital scale, it transforms the average man into a pipette-wielding, moustache-twirling mixology god. As you pour each measure of alcohol, a virtual glass on the iPad’s screen fills up, thus allowing you to nail the proportions of any drink from the app’s (extensive) recipe library. One Marmageddon (tequila and Marmite) coming up, sir…
Valentino is the latest fashion designer to swap stitches for silicon, and venture into the world of tech. His Limited Edition Rouge Absolute Mophie Powerstation 4000 recharges your phone up to 2.5 times.
If you have a ‘small’ TV (under 50in) then boost the sound with the compact Orbitsound M9 Bluetooth Sound Bar, which has a hide-able wireless digital subwoofer.
The $15 cup of coffee is now a thing (in Manhattan, anyway). But for the price of seven, you could buy this ultra-slim espresso machine; Lavazza’s classy Espria slots into the smallest of kitchens.
Billed as a platform for the world’s most talented ‘makers’ (self-taught designers), Milkster crowdfunds cool stuff such as Sitting Lamp, whose ingenious bendy wooden legs double as book ends.
We’re not against bunting-heavy, British street parties, but it’s fair to say that the ones thrown in Jamaica (‘jump ups’) are just a tad livelier. They provided the inspiration for KitSound’s new Kingston PA portable speaker. Easy to cart about, the device has a three-channel mixer and five-hour battery life, meaning you can throw an impromptu festival anywhere. Booty-clapping is strictly at your own discretion.
With so many tablets adrift on a sea of saminess, we loved Lenovo’s 10.1in Yoga HD+. A laser-etched aluminium beauty, it’s wafer-thin with an ingenious flip-out kickstand.
Boost your popularity – be ‘that guy’ who always has a spare iPhone 5 charger. The Charge Key, a keyring-sized Lightning adapter, allows you to pilfer power from USB ports.
The secret to crowdfunding? Invent something bacon-flavoured or a smartwatch. Rufus Labs’ Cuff, has a 3in touchscreen and looks like a smartphone gaffer’d to your wrist.
The hunt for the ultimate wireless sports headphones is over. The Plantronics Backbeat FITs are wireless, waterproof, reflective and provide eight hours’ playback.
Even if you only take the odd selfie, you’ll know nobody looks good in them. There’s a scientific reason: humans just aren’t used to seeing unsymmetrical faces tilted at weird angles. That’s where LG’s bell/whistle-laden G3 superphone comes in. Designed to boost your selfie-taking chops, it has a 13-megapixel camera (with laser-guided autofocus) and a selfie timer activated when you make a fist. Shoot the perfect selfie and view it on the 5.5in 538 pixels-per-inch display – so sharp it challenges the limit of what the human eye can handle. Not sold on selfies? It’s also great for watching Netflix.
£550 (due June)
No bigger than your thumb, the surprisingly-loud X-mini WE speaker can be hung on a keyring. Which is handy for a small, impromptu party – in the corner of a large party with a terrible DJ.
Like the sound of a printer that never runs out of ink? HP’s Envy 5530 e-AiO comes with HP’s Instant Ink service (from £1.99 a month), which sees your printer order new ink cartridges before they run dry.
Fans of instant cameras will like the nostalgia-tinged Lomo’Instant, a film camera that comes with a range of coloured gels. It’s a more rewarding (but laborious) analogue Instagram.
With his waistcoat and whiskers, Neil Young isn’t your typical tech entrepreneur. But the musician’s Pono audio player is set to revolutionise HD music downloads.
Having invented ‘premium’ headphones, Dr Dre is now reported to be cashing in his stake in Beats for a lot of Benjamins. Filling the gap, British fashion designer Ted Baker presents headphones aimed at adults. Design? Inspired by a Supermarine Spitfire cockpit. Acoustics? Superior; developed with a hi-fi heritage brand with cups as soft as parachute silk. The acid test? If you cut the Ted Baker label off, we’d still choose these over lime-green Beats.
The spirit of Quadrophenia is alive and well, and compatible with smartphones. Plug your mobile into Vespa’s GTS 300 Super scooter to display speed, fuel consumption and tyre wear.
As well as making Bentley car stereos, Naim has a rival to the Sonos wireless speaker. The Muso has AirPlay, six 75w amps and volume that goes to 11. All frightfully un-Bentley-like.
£895 (due Sept)
Once your phone’s 100 per cent charged, it continues to draw half as much power again. To prevent such ‘vampire leak’, PowerSlayer shuts off once your phone’s charged, saving you money.
The year 2001 just called; cameraphones are back. Samsung’s 20-megapixel Galaxy K Zoom features a 10x zoom and Selfie Alarm for perfect portraits.
Described as an “unrestrained attempt” to create the world’s finest loudspeakers, the Magico Ultimates are 8ft tall and weigh 800lbs. Stand next to one and it’d likely tower over you by a terrifying 2ft. Each has four Japanese, custom-made, horn-loaded compression drivers plus a 15in bass driver powered by 4,000 watts of amplification. In short, they’d reduce the Palace Of Versailles to dust in seconds. If you can get them in the door...
The Sony Xperia Z2 is great; 4K and waterproof with noise-cancelling tech. Which you can test using Jacko’s new (pre-loaded) album.
£42 a month
You don’t need to wet your finger and hold it in the air to know fitness watches are all the rage. But meet the world’s first GPS Surf Watch. Made by Rip Curl, it tracks wave count, paddle patterns and speed.
£239 (Due Sept)
If you love Instagram, why not bathe your life in a warm filter? Where most sunglasses desaturate colour, the Tens ‘Instagram’ sunglasses make it look like a Seventies Polaroid snap.
The Sage Smart Scoop is what happens when Heston designs an ice cream maker. It auto-senses the thickness of your ice cream and plays ice cream van music when ready.
Along with eating artisanal tofu popsicles and writing “screenplays”, the LifeSpan treadmill desk is Silicon Valley’s latest obsession. The answer to today’s sedentary lifestyles (the average man sits down 8.9 hours a day), you can walk the equivalent of a marathon and burn 1,000 calories without even noticing. We hope they crop up in British offices soon, primarily to see what happens when you increase the speed while someone’s
on the phone…
Exclusive to Harrods, this white Canon EOS 100D is the finest SLR known to man. It’s the smallest and lightest of the mini SLRs with a 12,800 ISO for shooting in near-darkness.
Press the ‘heart’ icon and the Withings Pulse O2 activity tracker reads out your blood oxygen level. Handy, whether you’re climbing K2 or merely want to check that you’re still alive.
You can make an omelette without breaking eggs: the Golden Goose ‘centrifuge’ scrambles them in the shell. Why? Because it can. And ’cos it raised £100k on Kickstarter.
Denon has 100 years of hi-fi know-how, so its new Envaya wireless speaker adds a dose of ‘epic’ to your iTunes library. Available in Indigo, Lunar and Fandango (AKA blue, grey or pink).
The nerd kings of Silicon Valley have spoken: virtual-reality glasses are the future. But while Facebook’s $2bn Oculus Rift gaming goggles and Google’s Ray-Ban techno-glasses are exciting prospects, they’re yet to go on sale. Unlike Sony’s HMZ-T3W personal 3D viewer, which is currently strapped to our head. What’s it like in here? Surprisingly comfortable. The dual OLED screens simulate watching a 750in cinema screen from 20 rows back, while the earphones supply 5.1 surround sound. It’s the 21st-century equivalent of a man retreating to his shed.
Bell & Ross’s head-turning B-Rocket ‘aeroplane-motorcycle’ has side-mounted jet turbines to achieve higher speeds. Basically, it’s one big ‘lol’ to the world’s traffic lights…
Want to invest in tech? Forget start-ups; how about this 1984 Apple Mac? A rare item in its own right – but this one is signed by Steve Jobs. Now, where do we buy a floppy disk?
For ‘shadowy government agencies’, Boeing’s Black smartphone self-destructs when tampered with. Your Papa Johns’ app use can stay secret...
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better TV box than the Freesat+ HD with Freetime 1TB. Aside from 200 channels and On Demand players galore, it helpfully records TV episodes into box sets.
London’s Leica store is photography’s equivalent of a supercar showroom. Staff offer you a ‘curated’ espresso. to ease you round to the idea of dropping a month’s wages on a beauty such as this. Designed with Audi, the 16-megapixel Leica T is the company’s first touchscreen snapper and is milled from a block of aluminium. Expect SLR performance, the ability to use an iPad as a viewfinder and newfound disdain for blurry Facebook party pics.
£1,350 (without lens)
Behold, the latest crowdfunded success story. Geek Out’s DAC headphone amp is 10 times more powerful than the amp typically found in laptops, thus providing a hi-fi quality upgrade.
If your keys have a habit of hiding in freezer drawers and errant shoes, the Nokia Treasure Tag is here to help. Attach it to belongings to locate them via a map on your phone.
Aimed at power-hungry festival-goers, this four-man tent draws electricity from a panel on its roof. Thus, you can juice up your mobile and continue your very own festival (of selfies).
Ah, drones. If you like the cut of their enjoyably sinister jib, you’ll like DJI’s Phantom 2 Vision+ quadcopter. It soars 300ft, beaming back live HD footage. Anyone need us to shoot an overblown R&B music video?
If you haven’t seen the commercial for the HTC One M8 superphone, we should explain. Gary Oldman says ‘Blah blah blah’ for 20 seconds, the punchline being that ‘It doesn’t matter what I say, this phone is for people who form their own opinions’. Well Gary, here’s ours: we love the 5in touchscreen, which is bigger than some provincial ice-rinks. We love the unique built-in amps that isolate and boost specific parts of a song to improve playback. We love that you can tap the screen to switch it on. But most of all, we love advanced UltraPixel cameras, which measure depth and allow you to tilt and pan what should be a flat picture. There’s only one thing we don’t love: the crazy-strong seasickness we got from those aforementioned tilting images....
As wireless iPod speakers go, this one surely takes the (dog) biscuit. Jarre’s AeroBull floods your room with 100 watts of HD sound, courtesy of a pair of speakers in the sunglasses.
While some smartwatches are the size of Sticklebricks, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear 2 actually fits under your cuff.
It also comes complete with a heart-rate monitor and a (socially questionable) camera.
While Apple’s TV remains the tech equivalent of the Yeti, Google’s Chromecast is very much real. It wirelessly ‘casts’ Netflix or BBC iPlayer from your phone or laptop to a TV.
You could barbecue in a gas mask – or your could purchase a Lotus Grill, the
first smokeless charcoal barbecue. Its battery-powered fan blows the carcinogenic fumes away from you.
Johnny Five is not merely alive – he now has wheels. At least that’s what it looks like from this picture. What you’re looking at is MiP, the world’s first self-balancing robot (like a miniature Segway). Capable of carrying his own bodyweight, the tiny robot Sherpa can be controlled by hand gestures or by tracing a path on your smartphone’s screen. Essentially, he’s the ideal way to bring you lagers, artisanal Korean beef jerky and other essential snacks during, say, the month of June. When something called the World Cup is happening…
More robo-slave action: Grillbot cleans your barbecue. Three whirring steel brushes battle fatty residue while you crack open another beer.
We like Bose. And we especially like the new, on-ear SoundTrues, which combine ambient noise isolation with peerless audio and amint/purple style upgrade.
TomTom’s Runner Cardio GPS sport watch shines a light through your skin to monitor blood flow, so you can train in one of five ‘optimal heart rate zones’ – you know the ones, right?
Having raised $2.3m through Kickstarter, the 3Doodler is now real, with a heated nib that pipes plastic. Our Eiffel Tower model should be finished in late Nevertember.
We may have 99 first world problems, but a smartphone is not currently one. There’re three new iPhone-killers out this month: HTC’s aluminium One M8, Sony’s waterproof Xperia Z2 and this – the gorgeous Samsung Galaxy S5. The follow up to the most successful Android phone ever, the S5 is faster, waterproof and has a fingerprint reader (for wantonly approving PayPal transactions), a touch-sensitive heart-rate monitor to track fitness and a cinema-quality 4K video camera. One thing it – sadly – doesn’t do: 3D-print $100 bills. #FirstWorldProblems, eh?
£550 (out 11 April)
Created by the band of the same name, who feature The Verve’s guitarist, the waterproof Black Submarine wireless speaker suckers onto phones and shower screens.
In a bid to help you master The Selfie, Samsung’s ultra-slim NX mini camera takes a shot two seconds after you wink at it. Now, how do we do that ‘ducklips’ thing?
The Sen.se Mother tracks your routine via tiny, sticky motion sensors that attach to anything from a biscuit tin to a toothbrush. Watch your life ‘happening’ in the Storybook app.
We love these headphones. Not just because they’re rose gold, but because Monster’s DiamondZ have been personally tuned for purity by audio god Noel Lee.
The pyramids, the Large Hadron Collider and the Chunnel; when it comes to great feats of engineering, it seems those on a grand scale get all the glory. Which is why we’re happy to champion Sony’s wonderous (fully waterproof) Xperia Z2. The world’s thinnest, lightest and sharpest tablet, it’s basically the size of a placemat. Which is astonishing given that it costs the same as an iPad Air but weighs 30g less, and has a 10.1in quad-core display. In short, you’re all set for stutter-free Netflix binges in the bath. How will Apple respond to such impertinence? Fit tiny iPads into our contact lenses, we hope.
If you’re not convinced it’s time to spend your ISA on an Ultra HDTV, Sharp is hoping to tempt you with its Quattron Pro 60in. It’s not ‘Ultra’ but its upscaling will fool your eyes.
Fans of high-end Danish hi-fi will doubtless admire the Dali Kubik, a 100-watt Bluetooth speaker with a 5in wood fibre cone for ‘natural-sounding’ bass. Fans of spelling, on the other hand, probably won’t.
If you follow catwalk trends, you’ll be aware that ‘Celosia’ (a shade of orange) is all the rage. Hence Denon’s Pantone-matched AH-W150 wireless earphones. On trend, lightweight and sweatproof.
Billed as the ‘ultimate smartphone power charger’, Monster’s credit card-sized Powercard fits in a wallet and provides a five-hour stay of execution for a smartphone’s fast-fading battery.
The Walkman – the Eighties cassette player that shut out parents and made you feel like Marty McFly – was a true stroke of genius. The headphones? Yeah, rubbish. Hence why, 30 years ago, Bang & Olufsen began offering an upgrade in the shape of the Form 2s. They’ve stood the test of time (a pair now resides
in New York’s Museum Of Modern Art), but since the Walkman is history, B&O has relaunched them for the iPhone generation in the shape of the 2is, complete with inline mic. For the full Eighties experience, sling a pair round your neck and fail to ask a string of popular girls to the prom.
Lots of gadgets have fingerprint readers, but what if someone chops your finger off? Fujitsu’s Lifebook U904 laptop reads your whole palm and scans for blood flowing through your veins.
The FLIR ONE iPhone case has a thermal-imaging camera that gives your mobile Predator-like vision. It picks up residual heat – handy for checking if the dog’s been napping in your bed.
It’s not often you find a tent with its own ‘vestibule’. But Heimplanet’s The Cave is no ordinary tent – as its geosidic design, fast-pitching inflatable poles and gear loft will demonstrate.
Not all Bluetooth speakers sound tinny. Sony’s 154-watt, bi-amped SRS-X9 specialises in playing high-resolution audio tracks. Expensive but, to be fair, it does have gold-plated tweeters.
Sony’s SmartBand looks a bit like Nike’s FuelBand, FitBit’s Flex or Jawbone’s Up trackers, but does more than offer a neurosis-inducing ‘calories burnt’ read-out. It also tracks the music you’ve listened to on your phone, how long you spent (let’s be honest: wasted) on Twitter, which news articles you read and so forth. It then works in tandem with Sony’s LifeLog Android app to plot all the data on a colourful graph. Basically, it’s an infographic – all about you. Only time will tell whether this becomes the next cult lifestyle accessory, but thank god Guy Pearce didn’t have one in Memento. The film would have been over in about three seconds...
Sure to please up-cycling fans, The BoomCase proves vintage suitcases can sound as good as they look. At least, once they’re fitted with a 200 watt amp and 12in subwoofer.
Think your camera looks too unassuming? Fujifilm has the answer: its new X Signature custom range. Select from outre finishes including blue lizardskin leather.
The definition of suave? That’ll be L’Atelier du Vin’s Electronic Cocktail Shaker. Tap the button and the tiny stirring rotors whip up a liquid cyclone, leaving you time to carve a swan out of ice.
Everyone and his dog has a wearable activity tracker these days. Quite literally. This iPhone-connected Whistle collar monitors your dog’s fitness, sets goals and GPS tracks his sniffing adventures.
This is the world’s first one-wheeled electric motorbike. Billed as ‘half bike, half unicycle, half Segway’ by someone who didn’t pay attention in maths, the Rynocycle aims to become the city transport of the future. Top speed is limited to 10mph for legal reasons, and so that you can ride it in the park or (possibly) up the aisle of Marks & Spencer. We like the idea. Just don’t stop us to ask where the other half is…
£3,160 (due summer)
Elijah Wood plays Dylan Thomas’s agent in a new biopic of the booze-addled poet. Which (kind of) explains why he’s designed these Bushmills x Grado Labs cans, crafted from old whiskey casks.
The 360 Fly is no ordinary waterproof action camera. As you’ve probably guessed, it shoots 360-degree video – catching all the stuff your pathetic, analogue eyeballs miss. It’s out this summer.
Team Sky use this Wahoo Fitness Kickr Power Trainer. The accompanying iPhone app controls the resistance, allowing you to pit your burning calves against famous Tour de France climbs.
Does ‘almond toast’ go with ‘atomic tangerine’? Given our deficient interior-decorating skills, we couldn’t tell you. But that’s where People People’s Transparent Speaker comes in. It’s see-through; it matches any living room. It’s also a work of art, air-sealed for superior audio quality and capable of saving the world. Its Swedish designer, who got the idea off the ground with a Kickstarter campaign, engineered it from tempered glass and high-quality components that are easily replaceable or recyclable. In short, this speaker – which also comes in kit form for those of you who enjoy spending time with a screwdriver – should last forever. Well, assuming you don’t spill any atomic tangerine all over it.
Ovens aren’t hot enough to cook proper pizza, so most taste like damp plasterboard. The Chadwick Oven heats on the hob and cooks crisp pizza in four minutes – 15 an hour.
The Epson Moverio BT-200 glasses are what we imagined the future would be like in the Eighties. Inside: a translucent screen in front of your eyes. Outside: Terminator chic.
Barely bigger than a pack of cigarettes, Aiptek’s MobileCinema i55 turns your iPhone 5/S into a pocket projector. It also beams your dreams on to the ceiling. Maybe.
Meet the ThumbsUp Flying F*ck RC Helicopter. It’s a foam ‘F*CK’ that can – contrary to popular belief – be given. Lily is convinced it’s the funniest thing ever…
The ZX Spectrum – an Eighties computer now considered a video-gaming icon – was a lot of fun. The device sold by the millions and is now plotting a comeback. Built using the original blueprints, it looks the part but works as a Bluetooth keyboard that connects to an iPad or iPhone. An iOS app helps you discover the 8-bit charms of games such as Jet Set Willy and Elite. Without waiting for a cassette to fail to load.
Although it has a name plucked from the lexicon of evil geniuses, the MyKronoz ZeWatch smartwatch is worth buying. It’s Swiss-made and stylish (in a Casio-cool way).
The Nutribullet – or Superfood Nutrition Extractor to be precise – is no mere blender. Using a cyclonic action it pulverises your food, breaking it down to preserve burger-offsetting nutrients.
The size of a 20p coin, the Fuel holds the title, ‘World’s Smallest Phone Charger.’ Its tiny battery delivers 20-30 minutes of emergency power via Micro USB.
The Blaze Laserlight projects an eye-searingly bright image of a green bike on to the road ahead – warning heavy vehicles and eliminating life-threatening blind spots.
Sure, a pen that never needs refilling defies the very laws of science, but evidently that hasn’t stopped Pininfarina from making one. The Italian design house – known for styling Ferraris – recently unveiled its 4.EVER Pininfarina Cambiano, an ‘inkless’ pen that lasts forever, thanks to an ‘ethergraph’ metal alloy tip. It lays down a grey line on paper – as precise as pencil, yet with the added benefits that it doesn’t smudge and won’t leak in your suit pocket. To go with it, Pininfarina is bringing out a similarly eco-friendly ‘stone notebook’, which is filled with paper made from stone powder. Oh, and if you’re curious as to the nature of that ‘alloy tip’, it’s a secret. Probably best not to lick it, though.
Samsung’s super-sized, 12.2in Samsung Note Pro tablet and pen sounded ridiculous. Then we picked it up, split the giant display into four windows, began using four apps at once, and admitted we were wrong.
Lost in the Papua New Guinea jungle? Chronically thirsty in Clapham? Fill the Lifestraw Go water bottle from a pond or pub toilet and the purifying core will remove 99.9999 per cent of waterborne bacteria.
Designed to impress hi-fi snobs as well as the average Spotify user, the British-made, i-Box Max supports high-def audio streaming and boasts two phone-charging ports.
If you have a gob, prepare for it to be smacked. Garmin’s Vivofit waterproof fitness tracker is ‘always on’ and lasts up to a year on one charge. Your turn, Apple iWatch...
£99 (due March)
“Oh how kind, you’ve bought me a futuristic new dressing table,” is probably what your girlfriend would say if she saw this.
Unfortunately (for her), the Geneva Sound System Model XXL is actually a powerful home theatre and high-fidelity music system in one. It contains seven Class-D digital amps (a ridiculous 589 watts in total) in addition to Bluetooth and Apple Airplay technology for music streaming.
It is, in short, what happens when Swiss engineers cross an iPod dock with a grand piano. The ingenious swines. £2,499
This is what we imagined running shoes would be like in the future. Adidas’s Springblades feature 16 forward-leaning, elastic blades like tiny pole vault poles.
Stumped by Valentine’s? The USB Mix Tape hits the right note by inducing pangs of Nineties nostalgia. In the case is a 1GB stick with room for 900 minutes of Oasis/Blur/Aqua.
Billed as ‘the world’s smallest drone’, this Nano Quad measures a mere 6.4cm from rotor tip to rotor tip. It won’t be delivering any Amazon parcels, but it will fly so fast that you can barely see it.
Smartphones now control everything, including this electric bike. Slot your
iPhone into the Xkuty One’s handlebars to tweak its acceleration patterns and monitor battery performance.
It’s been a good week for innovation. The US invented alcoholic doughnuts (‘Drunkin’ Donuts’) and Samsung created a new range of Ultra High-Definition TVs. Created with the World Cup in mind, the UHD flatscreens (48in to 110in) have a ‘Football Mode’ that automatically optimises picture and sound quality for the beautiful game. It can also zoom in on suspicious German ‘goals’ that don’t actually cross the line and select the best scenes from the match (by tracking the crowd’s oohs and ahhs) to create highlights. It’ll feel like you’re sitting next to the commentator in the stadium. Except you’ll be at home eating a martini doughnut.
It’s 15 per cent lighter, it’s 20 per cent slimmer and it has big name games and indie titles ready to download. The new PS Vita is enticing. Have a PS4? Then you can also play those games via home Wi-Fi.
Want to document a band before they get famous? Sony’s HDR-MV1 is made for shooting live music, with a 3D mic that makes sweaty little gigs sound like BBC-quality Jools Holland sessions.
Eagle-eyed Sherlock viewers may have spotted the DataTraveler HyperX Predator USB stick in the recent series finale. Its jaw-dropping 1TB capacity can hold 1,500 HD films.
Urgh, washing. Samsung’s WW9000 is here to save us. It has a UV sensor to measure how dirty your clothes are; simply load it up and hit ‘start’ on the accompanying smartphone app.
£1,599 (Due April)
The last time we bought a Motorola, mobile phones had calculator buttons – not to mention graphics to rival the opening credits of Saved By The Bell. But this isn’t really a Motorola – the company’s now owned by Google, and the Moto X is the fully Google-fied result. Billed as the world’s first ‘touchless’ phone, the Moto X contains the same voice-recognition tech as Google’s glasses. (Imagine Siri – but taken to a terrifying level of intelligence.) Instead of picking up the phone you simply say “OK, Google now…” to get emails, find directions or book a restaurant. It’s out on Saturday, after which you can expect to see men slurring into their Moto X at closing time: “OK, Google… I love you… I need pizza. Google, fetch! Size of truck wheel. Urgent, Google…”
Think of this robot as Johnny Five without the caterpillar tracks. ‘Keecker’ is a helpful little guy, he can project Netflix films on to any wall in your house and keep a beady eye on your home’s CO2 levels.
More comfortable than Alpaca earmuffs, these B&W P5 Maserati Edition ’phones contain the finest noise-isolation tech and a quilted carry case.
The Audi Quattro Laserlight shines bright. Its lights do the job of normal headlamps, but are more powerful – though sadly they won’t vapourise traffic wardens.
£TBC (due 2015)
Smallfoot’s inflatable snow shoes are so light it’s possible to run across snow. But don’t forget there’s a $10m bounty for the first sasquatch. And a lot of trigger-happy hunters…
You’ve almost certainly heard the hoopla about Ultra HD. But it’s not just your eyeballs that’ll need to buck up their ideas – 2014 will see your ears introduced to High-Resolution Audio. The music downloads are 24-bit (six times better quality than CDs and current downloads), and the Astell & Kern AK240 is one of the most impressive new devices to play HRA files. It’s hewn from aircraft-grade Duralumin, has a dual DAC (swanky digital amp) and downloads tracks wirelessly.
Well, one very large rock, to be precise. Thanks to space-age technology, the Matterhorn whisky tumbler has a scale replica of the Swiss icon in its base. It tricks your brain into thinking its contents taste purer.
If you haven’t succumbed to smartwatch fever, then perhaps the Pebble Steel will tempt you. On sale this week, it has a certain Casio-chic and plays nice with both Apple and Android phones.
We can’t believe we’re saying this, but the biggest tech news of 2014 is… a bendy TV. Unveiled last week in Las Vegas by Samsung, the 85in ‘world first’ is quite a gogglebox. One moment it’s flat, the next a hidden motor curls up the edges of the screen. But what Hollywood director and autocue-phobe Michael Bay failed to point out during the unveiling was that the TV can be voice-controlled. Say “movie mode” and the lights dim, the hum of 5.1 surround sound rises up and the TV screen gently mutates into an Imax-style wonder. We’d literally never leave the house. £TBC
A tiny cyclone in a fishbowl? It’s actually one of the most beautiful wireless speakers ever. Harman Kardon’s Aura emits 360-degree sound, eliminating ‘dead spots’ in the room.
Two great things about these magnetic bike lights by Italian design house Palomar: they can be stripped off your bike in seconds; secondly, they have a wide-angle beam.
Bored of activity wristbands? New ‘wearables’ include Pininfarina’s £115,000 VIP club-access bracelet and Reebok’s Checklight skullcap, which monitors the severity of sporting impacts.
Last year’s trend for gigantic smartphones has (mercifully) petered out. Instead, we can look forward to pocketable 4G beauties such as Sony’s Z1 Compact.
If the Selfie Olympics isn’t a real thing by the end of the year, we’ll eat our Bluetooth-enabled trilby. The new Canon PowerShot N100 is one of a new crop of shooters with rear-facing ‘selfie cams’.
Damson’s Headbones feature two pads that rest against your temporal lobes, meaning that you don’t just hear music – you feel it.
It’s been a big week for electric vehicles. A man in the US built a golf cart tribute to Batman’s Tumbler (well worth internetting), while French firm Voxan unveiled something a little more serious. Meet the 200hp Wattman – the world’s fastest electric motorbike. It roars (well, whispers) from 0-60mph in 3.4 seconds and has a built-in charger. So, much like a vacuum cleaner, you extend the cable and plug it into a household socket. The Wattman’s set for release next year; place your orders now. The Batman golf cart? Already sold on eBay, sadly.
It’s nice when someone clever applies Formula 1 tech to a lesser sport. Cool stuff happens, like this Killerspin Stilo7 SVR table tennis bat. It’s made from carbon fibre and comes in a piano-finish box.
These look like a nice pair of Urbanears Plattans. But, bought through music discovery site ilikemusic.com, they come with 200 tunes to stream including hipster-pleasing Nineties R&B.
Heavy night out? It’s possible you’ll be over the drink-driving limit the next morning. Blow into AlcoSense’s pocket-sized Digital Breathalyser to reveal the extent of your post-party inebriation.
Still get misty-eyed about the indestructible Nokia phones of the late Nineties? You’ll like the company’s new 10in 2520 HD Windows tablet. It’s solid, basic and can edit Word and Excel files.
As rap beefs go, it’s hardly Biggie and Tupac. But it’s fair to say Kanye West (who recently let rip at Louis Vuitton for “refusing to meet him”) probably won’t be too thrilled that Dr Dre – who wears nothing but black T-shirts – is collaborating with one of the world’s best fashion designers. This limited-edition collection sees Alexander Wang add a very welcome flourish of matte black and pale gold, plus stingray skin cases, to the Beats Studio headphones (£274, pictured), Pill speaker (£183) and Urbeats earbuds (£91). They launch this week. Just take our money now. Take all of it.
The Warhol-esque JBL Spark Bluetooth speaker can be hung from the ceiling light. It’s good for streaming, and punches out sound with twin drivers. Mind your head, though...
The Sage by Heston Blumenthal Dual Boiler coffee machine extracts an espresso shot to within a degree’s accuracy, thus preventing bitterness. Pricey, but a man in white gloves will rock up at your house to install it.
It was inevitable that a William Shatner-designed watch would be as ‘out there’ as him. The design for his Egard Passages ticker has a case dusted with asteroid particles. So you can ‘carry the universe on your wrist’.
Whoever runs Lucasfilm’s merchandise department must have been feeling generous when they OK’d the Darth Vader Mood Light. We’re pleased they did – it emits a, er, ‘soothing’ glow.
Meet the world’s first double-sided smartphone. On the front, the Russian-made Yota has a 3.4in LCD touchscreen. On the back, a Kindle-style black-and-white e-ink screen with gesture controls. E-ink screens don’t have to go dark to save battery, so they’re always on, which means you can see anything from a route on a map to an email or a boarding pass – without having to unlock it. Oh, and for those who think the Yota is a little eccentric: in other news, Sony recently unveiled a Wi-Fi-capable wig…
After a gruelling hike, the last thing you want to do is grapple with a tent. Hence Kelty’s AirPitch Mach 4, with rigid inflatable poles. Stomp on the floor pump and it pitches in under a minute. Time to leave? Just pull the plug out.
We can all go home: the wireless kettle is going on sale. Quite smart when you think about it: wake up, fire up the iKettle using its smartphone app, and it will have boiled by the time you pad downstairs.
A modern take on a classic 17th-century design, the Proporta Stephenson Satchel features a removable iPad sleeve, space for a keyboard and an aperture for a charger cable.
The Jabra Solemate is one of the toughest – and loudest – wireless speakers. The second-generation version adds a super-fast NFC connection and Jabra Sound
App with Dolby Digital Plus.
As the evenings draw in, those of us running home will reluctantly don some kind of comedy tabard. Not because we like tabards, but to make us visible on the sunlight-deprived pavements. But here’s some good news, in a tech world first (we like them), Monster has combined life-saving fluorescence and fashion in one pair of premium wireless headphones. The sporty reflective strips bless the wearer with a dazzling halo, while luxury tech, including advanced aptX Bluetooth for streaming music and calls, means there’s no comprise when it comes to sound quality. Heck, you don’t even have to worry about them getting sweaty: the anti-microbial ear-cups repel bacteria.
Worryingly, 90 per cent of us have one leg shorter than the other – causing a tipped pelvis. The FreedMan is the first chair to take this into account and, thus, the comfiest office perch ever.
Cooking Christmas dinner? Relax, the Waring Pro TF200 Professional Turkey Fryer can cook an 18lb bird in one hour. The turkey’s skin seals instantly, allowing the meat to steam in its own juices.
Fond memories of LA Gear? You’ll like Nike’s snowboarding boots. The LunarENDOR QS boots are blessed with an LED ‘Swoosh’ that would blow Marty McFly’s mind, plus quick-tying Flywire laces and stiffness adjustment.
Tag Heuer’s Swiss-made Meridiist II is built like a fine watch, complete with calf-skin back, unscratchable sapphire crystal screen and built-in concierge button. It’s very much not free on contract.
If you’ve ever visited Apple’s Genius Bar, where in-store savants can fix your iPad or phone in minutes, you’ll know it is a helpful service. But now Amazon has built a ‘Genius Bar’ into its new Kindle tablet. Problems downloading a film or making the tablet do what you want? Hit the ‘Mayday’ button and a guru pops up on a video link. The guru can see your screen, circle where you’re going wrong or scribble a message. Owners of the 8.9in Kindle Fire HDX – out this week – can hit ‘Mayday’ 24/7, 365 days a year. Which is quite brave given the number of people who ring 999 when their pizza takes 45 minutes to arrive…
We’ve made up an award. It’s called Most Impressive Use Of A 3D Printer, and we’re handing it to the Gramohorn II. This doubled-coned beauty naturally amplifies music from the HTC One.
£999 (resin); £5,000 (milled aluminium)
The monocle was once the preserve of the upper crust – we’re thinking of Lord Charles – but French firm Native Union has re-invented it. Clamp it to your ear for calls, or use it as a speaker.
If you’re looking for a case for your iPhone 5S, the Proporta Carbon-Fibre Lined Leather Case takes some beating. It can withstand a blast from a 12-bore shotgun – watch the YouTube vid.
The no-fuss BURG Hong Kong Smart Watch is a simple version of the Dick Tracy watches we’ll all soon use. Insert your Sim card, leave your mobile at home and prepare to attract gawps galore.
Behold, the latest doughnut-shaped madness from agreeably self-aware French DJ and composer Jean-Michel Jarre. Made from rare metals, the AeroTwist wireless speaker comes in a range of neon finishes, and funnels out exceptional sound. You’re looking at it ‘unlinked’ but, it can fold back into a doughnut. Oh, and it only plays tracks by Jarre. Just kidding.
This Tron-like beauty is Google’s new flagship Android phone, the Nexus 5. Aside from the 5in HD screen, it has Google’s Hangout app (like Skype) and has similar voice command wizardry to the Google Glass.
The iPhone 5S’ camera is much improved. But using an Olloclip lens boosts magnification by 15x and can shoot 180-degree fisheye videos. Warning: it’ll make your subjects look like they’re in a Flight Of The Conchords pop video parody.
Struggle to keep a tub of cress alive? Technology can bridge the gap between your ambition and ability. Poke the Parrot Flower Power sensor into soil and it’ll tell you – via an app – when to water your plant.
The Nikon DF takes retro styling to its zenith. The 16.2-megapixel DSLR body features carved metal mechanical dials that click into position, plus an optional trigger wire for the shutter. And it powers up in 1/10th of a second.
Dancing around in a cape pretending to be a superhero is fun, but it’s not the same if you don’t have a superpower. We can’t help there. But, if you buy an LG G Flex, at least your smartphone will have one. The back has a nanotechnology coating that self-heals. (Science bit: the material is filled with bubbles of mending agent, triggered by tiny scratches.) And the curved 6in OLED touchscreen? By following your facial contours, the person at the other end can hear you 3dB louder. A slightly-louder-than-normal phone voice? Yeah, that’s not a superpower...
£TBC (due 2014)
The Elliot Brown Bloxworth is the watch that Action Man (the Navy Seal edition, mind) would choose. It features a carbon-fibre dial-damped shock-absorbing movement and a case made from marine-grade steel.
As you can see, the Carphone Warehouse Brick is a rebooted Eighties mobile. Insert your Sim card, slip your hand through the carry strap, enjoy playing Snake between calls – and wonder if it was worth the money...
Behold, the new world best – and smallest – micro four-thirds digital camera. Paired with the tiny body of the 16-megapixel Panasonic Lumix GM1 is a 12-32mm retractable zoom lens and one-touch auto exposure.
The latest in wearable ski tech, Oakley’s Wi-Fi-equipped Airwave 1.5 goggles have a head-up display. Control your music, analyse your speed, ‘ROFL’ as Facebook updates ping in – and try not to absentmindedly ski off a cliff.
Lighter, Better, Faster, Thinner – the mantra for Apple’s new iPad Air resonates like the misheard lyrics of a Daft Punk song. It has the latest A7 processor (recently seen appearing in the iPhone 5) and MIMO – a technology that allows for multiple Wi-Fi antennas, dramatically increasing your download speeds. And who doesn’t want that?
Wearable tech’s come a long way since Flavor Flav slung an alarm clock round his neck. The adidas miCoach SMART Run is a stand-alone smart watch for runners, with GPS and a wrist-based heart-rate monitor built in.
Want to take your food-blogging to the next level? Use this Canon LEGRIA mini camcorder – with Wi-Fi and a 12.8-megapixel HD ultra-wide-angle lens – to stream live video of the latest premium burger shack launch.
It’s easy to make big speakers sound ‘big’, but the terrific and tiny Mini Jambox uses a unibody aluminium chassis as the airtight key to filling a room with sound. But please, just don’t use it on public transport.
You know Spotify, right? It’s the £9.99 a month music-streaming service that’s slowly killing downloads – just as downloads killed CDs, CDs killed cassettes and… well, let’s not go there. And now here’s the Revo SuperConnect Hybrid, the first DAB radio built for Spotify. It has a Dieter Rams-inspired vintage design, a walnut case, Class-D 15-watt amp and streams 16 million stations. But it’s also the first radio compatible with Spotify’s new Connect feature. In short, when you walk into your house, just hit play on the radio to carry on listening from where you left off on your smartphone. Seamless. Effortless. And several other words ending in ‘less’.
Ever burnt the toast, jabbed ineffectually at a screaming fire alarm then ripped the battery out? You’ll like the motion-sensitive Nest Protect smoke alarm, then. It talks to you and can be hushed with a wave of a hand.
You might think strapping a ‘death clock’ watch to your wrist is a bit morbid. But as The Tikker counts down to your predicted ‘dirt nap’ (based on data from a questionnaire), it will encourage you to seize the day. Or drink more whisky.
Camera geeks are excited about this. The XSories Weye Feye allows you to remotely control a digital SLR camera from a tablet, twiddling manual settings, firing the shutter and looking remotely through the viewfinder up to 80m away.
The Tefal OptiGrill is the grill every George Foreman thought it was going to be. The world’s first appliance to automatically measure the thickness of a steak, its coloured LEDs denote when a steak is cooked to your liking.
Recently, Kanye West questioned Lady Gaga’s ability to design cameras (she’s the ‘creative director’ of Polaroid). Well, it seems that while Polaroid was stuffing that bacon bikini with cash, Fujifilm has re-invented the instant gratification snapper – and made it cool again. Meet the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic – a high-quality, retro (in a good way) masterpiece complete with high-performance lens and flash. You get eight sophisticated modes to play with, including Bulb (shoots those arty, long-exposure ‘light trail’ night shots) and Double Exposure (over-lays two images on one print). Seconds after pressing the shutter, a credit card-sized print slithers out of the camera. It probably won’t blow Yeezy’s mind – but it’ll almost certainly blow the collective minds of the Instagram generation. “But how do I share my photos?” Er, you pass them around…
LG’s flagship G2 smartphone has a lot of clever/weird features. The volume button is on the back (easier to use one-handed), you ‘knock’ on the screen twice to wake it, and the camera’s zoom automatically tracks its subject.
The Audio Technica AT-LP60 turntable plugs into a Mac or PC and digitises vinyl. Its software can even remove the little clicks and pops – though if you use it, we’ll have to get on our analogue high horse and condemn you.
Fed up with asking if “anyone has an iPhone 5 charger”? The Brunton Hydrogen Reactor Portable Power pack generates electricity using a hydrogen cell, never needs charging and emits only water vapour.
Currently collecting orders on Kickstarter, the Pet Cube is a pet webcam with a difference. It allows you to remotely play with/torment your furry friend from the other side of the world using a harmless, iPhone-controlled laser pointer.
Remember your first stereo system? If you’re anything like us, it was the most valued addition to your bedroom, even if those cumbersome speakers left little room on your bookshelf for weighty novels. How things have changed: now we all have phones containing more music than anyone could ever be bothered to listen to, and speakers such as the Libratone Loop: works of art in themselves, and more impressive than any novels you now have room for. It’s completely wireless, comes dressed in Italian wool and can be wall mounted or displayed on a duo stand. And, though it may be small, it works like an acoustic instrument, filling the room with sound. It’s basically like having Bob Dylan sat in the corner: in other words, quite impressive.
Breaking Bad is gone, and there’s nothing we can do about it. But one of these mouth-blown Boa Decanters can at least remind us of Walt’s earlier meth-cooking days. Please drink – or cook – responsibly.
Like a man who sticks to his gym schedule, tech is shrinking fast. Go-Pro’s Emmy Award-winning camera is no exception. The HERO3+ Black Edition is 20 per cent smaller than its predecessor, yet gives an equally impressive performance.
A year ago, mutton-chopped musician Neil Young appeared on The David Letterman Show and cried death to the MP3. Or rather, he bemoaned the format’s “compressed audio inferiority” and challenged “some rich guy” to invent an iPod for HD audio tracks. Well, here it is. Sony’s super-deluxe NWZ-F886 touchscreen Walkman – with S-Master HX Digital Amplifier. It doesn’t play cassettes and only grudgingly plays MP3s, but it loves to play HD audio (six times better than a CD). The good news is that the F886 is compatible with both Apple lossless files and music from hdtracks.com. The bad news is that you’ll have to download Rockin’ In The Free World for the zillionth time – in this new format. Or, just wait for “some rich guy” to invent a HD Spotify…
Valve is hatching a plan to take over your living room with its Steam Box console. Step one: redesign the controller. Its given thumb sticks the thumbs down, replacing them with track pads, and even squeezed in 16 buttons.
With the added bonus of looking like the plutonium canisters in Back To The Future, the Chillsner is the world’s first (very stylish) in-bottle, drink-through beer cooler. Simply stick it in, wait zero seconds and sip your ice-cold beverage.
The two Philips Fidelio E5 “sound towers” sit either side of your TV. Then, when you want to watch an epic film, simply detach the top part of each speaker and – bingo – you now have four-speaker surround sound.
A laser-guided beard trimmer? Yes, this is now science-fact. The Philips BeardTrimmer Series 9000 projects a red laser line on to your face for precision trimming, so your beard will be sharper than a Lego man’s in minutes.
The Kobo Arc 10 HD colour e-reader is a rival to the Kindle Fire HD. It’s a better design, the battery lasts 9.5 hours and its 10in screen is particularly good for reading magazines and comics. In fact, it’s almost wasted on books.
Along with the Walkman, the SodaStream is also back, with the carbonated drinks-maker luxed up by designer Yves Béhar. The cola syrup is actually drinkable now, and the tonic water is great.
So the big news is that fashion and technology are colliding. And, despite the Dutch, who came up with a dress that turns transparent when it senses the wearer is aroused, the wearable tech revolution is gathering pace. The one piece you might buy this year is a smartwatch. Samsung’s Galaxy Gear is most impressive: a watch that pairs with a Samsung phone, allowing you to see emails and texts at a glance. Genius – because it’s now even easier to casually ignore ‘bad’ emails and reply faster to the ‘good’ ones. Sure, it’s a little chunky but that’s partly because it contains a 1.9-megapixel ‘Memographer’ – camera – for life-blogging. Ultimately, buying a Galaxy Gear comes down to this: is it cool to have a camera in your watch’s wristband? Or just creepy?
The Sony Xperia Z1 5in smartphone broadcasts live video to Facebook, via its Social live function. Your friends can then watch your life unfold – and make comments – Truman Show-style.
Inside this sphere is a miniature Jurassic Park minus the ’raptors. Using an LED ‘sun’ and humidity misters, the biOrbAIR automated terrarium creates a micro-climate for growing tropical plants.
The BACtrack iPhone Breathalyser is like a fitness tracker but for bon viveurs.
It tracks intoxication (Blood Alcohol Content) via an app and constructs a graph of your weekly ‘performance’.
Bowers & Wilkins has launched its first over-ear hi-fi headphones. Portable, folding and luxurious, the P7s use a drive unit from a hi-fi speaker – ingeniously shrunk down – to improve the dynamics of the sound.
Yes, it does look like someone’s Photoshopped part of this picture out. But we can assure you, the Sony QX10 lens you see before you is the finished article. When clipped on to a smartphone – be it iPhone or Android – it turns your mobile into a high-quality 18-megapixel camera with a 10x optical zoom. You focus and operate the lens using your phone’s screen as a viewfinder. And, because the lens pairs with your phone over Wi-Fi, it can be controlled remotely using your phone. It’s weird, we can’t deny that. But it does bring the day that you won’t need to carry a camera and a phone a little closer.
Amazon scored a hit with its Paperwhite e-reader, so Mark Two is an ‘evolution’ rather than ‘revolution’. Now its screen is sharper and less reflective – ideal for e-book reading.
£109 (Wi-Fi only)
Made for tinkering with digital gadgets, the Cybertool Lite forgoes the traditional fish-scaler in favour of wire-strippers, a multi-bit screwdriver and an LED light. And a toothpick, of course.
When buying a jar of peanut butter is too much effort, there’s the Nostalgia Electrics Peanut Butter Maker. Pour in peanuts; await nut-butter; briefly consider starting a PB&J sandwich truck.
The Velleman K8200 3D Printer Kit prints out objects up to 20x20cm – such as iPhone cases – in 30 minutes. It’s basic, but half the price of other 3D printers. A whole chess set? That’ll take a while…
As ‘what-the-hell-is-that?’ moments go, this is a pretty good one. Say hello to the curved TV, which sounds bizarre but (kind of) makes sense. With the viewer’s eyeballs an equal distance from the screen at all times, the result is a perfect ‘wraparound’ viewing experience (we’d describe it as, ‘like looking into the Eye Of Sauron’). If you do fancy enjoying the super-cinematic, wallet-bleeding
thrills of Samsung’s 55in S9C OLED TV, the good news is that it’s just gone on sale in the UK. The bad news is that you’ll have to explain to guests that it
isn’t a telekinesis experiment gone wrong – it’s meant to be bent like that.
Problem: a public toilet is 50 times cleaner than your laptop. Or so we’re told. Solution: Danish brand AM’s special gadget-polishing fluid that kills bacteria and wipes away screen schmutz.
Proof that the Japanese have gone off the whole idea of miniaturisation, Sony’s 6.4in (Kindle-sized) Xperia Ultra Z smartphone is large, powerful and has a full-HD Triluminous screen.
The Orbitsound SB60 airSOUND BASE is a whole surround-sound system – complete with 5in down-firing subwoofer and speakers – all squeezed into one compact set-top box.
Putting vending machines to shame, the Nespresso Umilk makes an espresso in 25 seconds and has a separate milk tank capable of topping a coffee with ‘finely textured’ warm froth.
From the front, the Samsung Galaxy NX camera looks traditional and as groundbreaking as a Corby trouser press. But flip it round, and – wow – you didn’t expect that. With a 4.8in touchscreen for editing photos and HD video, you don’t need dials. In essence, Samsung has embedded an Android smartphone in the back, so you can share compositions on Facebook via Wi-Fi or 4G. The Photo Suggest app brings up the best shots taken by photographers in your location for inspiration. And if you’re not inspired? Well, you can always use it as a (very expensive) gadget for playing Angry Birds.
You wouldn’t think a gadget that snaps apart (intentionally, mind) would be much use. But simply slide either ends off Philips’ Fidelio Soundbar HTL9100 and you have two portable wireless speakers.
Billed as the ‘affordable 4G phone’, Nokia’s Lumia 625 offers up to 10x faster video streaming and a camera augmented by Nokia’s Cinemagraph app.
Dr Dre has re-designed his bestselling headphones. They’re now rechargeable and sound even more like entering a
Las Vegas nightclub.
The Sphero 2.0 is a robotic ball that zips about at 7ft per second to test your dexterity, as you pilot it through an augmented world only visible through your smartphone.
Welcome to life-blogging. It’s a 21st-century hobby – or should that be #HOBBY. You will need: 1) The Autographer digital camera, 2) A neck to wear it round, and 3) A flask of weak lemon squash (it’s a hobby thing). Periodically throughout the day, your matchbox-sized Autographer furtively snaps 5-megapixel photos through its 136-degree wide-angle lens. It’s not random; five sensors wait for the best light conditions. At the end of the day, your smartphone’s gallery will be filled with these fascinating ‘unseen’ images of your life. Works great when moshing or white water-rafting. A trip to Spar? Not so much.
When not building video goggles, Google has been working on the Android-powered Asus HD Memopad HD7 7in tablet. It’s marvellous – and a fraction of the price of an iPad mini.
Loewe’s Speaker 2go Bluetooth/NFC speaker is very loud (40 watts), sounds just as tight as a hi-fi worth £1,000 and measures longer than a foot-long Subway sandwich.
The Philips Hue Connected Bulbs are grown-up disco lights that can fade to any colour at the tap of your iPad. Plus, they’re 80 per cent more efficient than other bulbs.
The Marshall Fridge takes care of all your ale-chilling needs. It’s also huge and partly constructed from bits and pieces of a Marshall stack. Good luck sneaking it into the house.
Will unmanned aerial vehicles – or ‘drones’ – piloted from the ground herald the beginning of a terrifying, dystopian era of Prisoner-like surveillance? Yeah, probably. But they aren’t half fun to fly. Meet the insanely futuristic Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Power Edition. A hovering quadrocopter piloted via an iPhone app. To gasps from the ShortList office, it took off (automatically), hovers (automatically) and beams back a 720p HD video feed to the iPhone. Max altitude? 164m. High enough to spy into almost any penthouse. Scratch what we just said – sometimes technology scares the hell out of us.
Blasting out tunes is now easier than ever thanks to this portable Airwave speaker. It connects to a phone via Bluetooth or the latest tap-and-play NFC technology.
Although it was designed to showcase Sky’s streaming services (premium sports and film channels), the £10 Sky Now TV box also makes a super-cheap way of adding BBC iPlayer to your TV.
Ironically, the phone to have this summer is not a fancy Apple/Samsung superphone – but a cheap festival phone. Preferably an Alcatel One Touch T’Pop, with hipster-friendly two-megapixel camera.
Grey and neon orange. A strange combo, but one that works for the Covert Accessories Elmwood iPad mini case. It encases your tablet in a moulded gel interior, providing perfect protection.
If you’ve seen Big you’ll know that, while body-swapping makes for reliable comedy, placing an adult’s brain in a child’s body is not all it’s cracked up to be. Nevertheless, that’s exactly what HTC has done, pouring all the pace-setting tech from its HTC One superphone into a smaller, more pocket-friendly device. So say hello to the HTC One Mini, a manageable 4.3in superphone with 4G, Android Jelly Bean and a sharper screen than the one found on an iPhone 5. And we like the quick-fire camera, too: it hoses down your subject with 20 stills and a three-second video. Handy if, for example, you were to suddenly stumble upon a grown man doing a knee-slide along a giant piano mat…
Fujifilm’s X-M1 camera offers Leica-baiting performance, interchangeable lenses and Wi-Fi – meaning your images can be beamed straight to your phone.
Behold, the Star Wars Limited Edition Cases for iPhone 5. Aside from this fur-lined Chewbacca, they come in R2-D2, C-3PO and Vader varieties. Jar Jar Binks is, mercifully, not invited to this party.
The LG ND8630 speaker dock charges an iPhone and Android device at once. It also streams music via AirPlay and has a neon-illuminated bass tube. Everybody needs one of those, right?
The Lifestraw filters water as you sip. Poke it into a swamp/puddle and it removes 99.9999 per cent of water-borne bacteria. An open goal for sod’s law, if ever there was one...
There are two types of Swedish bar that we know of. One pipes aquavit into your bloodstream while the other... well, you’re looking at it. The good news about the Sandstrom Wireless Soundbar 3.1 is that it’s an impressive all-in-one solution to your surround-sound needs. The 200-watt ‘bar’ mounts under the TV while the wireless subwoofer (an extra 100 watts of ‘basso profundo’) can be placed discreetly against your annoying neighbour’s wall. The effect is to transform your TV’s timid audio into multiplex-quality chaos. And, with Bluetooth and tap-and-play NFC technology, the system doubles up as a wireless music streaming hi-fi. Oh, and the bad news? There isn’t any. Go buy one.
As used by fitness guru Joe Cross, who lived on nothing but juice for 60 days, the Sage By Heston Blumenthal Nutri Juicer has titanium blades to take 70 per cent of nutrients from fruit.
The Philips Fidelio S2 earphones feature 13.5mm neodymium drivers, are made from ultralight copper alloy and come with a choice of foam or silicone earbuds to ensure a perfect fit.
You generally don’t fiddle with something that’s been around since 1925. But Dutch jeans brand G-Star Raw has subtly upgraded the Leica D-Lux 6 with an effective ‘dot leather’ grip.
Named after the location of Jim Marshall’s first London shop, the Hanwell iPod dock comes in heritage colours, including racing green, purple and cream.
The Kickstarter-funded Ouya is a new breed of indie games console, designed to hark back to a golden age of Monster Munch-fuelled homework-avoidance. Photo-real graphics? Forget it. What you do get, however, is a heavily pixelated buffet (250-strong and growing) of ‘little’ games. Some weird (A Bit Of A Fist Of Awesome), some brilliant (The Amazing Frog) and mostly free – with a charge to access later levels. Its how video games used to be and, like waiting 30 minutes to load a Commodore 64 cassette, is inexplicably fun.
Proud as we are of Andy Murray, we wouldn’t want his high-achieving/sulky face on our iPhone 5. But Bill Murray rendered in oils? The Replaceface Case is what we call selling out in style.
If you’re sporty – and quite clumsy – then, boy, do we have a phone for you. The top-of-the-range Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is tough, waterproof and features an underwater camera.
Denim is back – hence why Selfridges is marking the opening of its Denim Studio by teaming up with Beats By Dr Dre to skin designer headphones in denim. They’re limited edition, mind.
Geeks have been raving about this camera for years. Now you can buy the Lytro. It takes ‘living pictures’, meaning you can change the focus after taking the shot.
Facing stiff competition from the likes of Apple and Google, Nokia has just dropped the smartphone equivalent of an atomic bomb. Its Nokia Lumia 1020 has a 41-megapixel camera that is capable of taking better pictures than Nasa’s Mars Curiosity Rover. Nokia’s gameplan is to build on the Instagram revolution by including a group of exclusive photo apps, including Panograph – inspired by David Hockney – and Hipstamatic Pro. You can also get your animated gif on next month – well, once the mushroom cloud has cleared.
£TBC (available in August)
The thing with earbuds is, you can’t try ‘em on in the shop. Hence why Sol Republic’s Jax – which are the best ‘deep bass’ earphones for under £50 – come with four sizes of ear tips for comfort.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is no iPad wannabe. It has a digital pen that writes fluidly on its 8in HD screen, plus 2GB of RAM for faster video streaming and epic Modern Combat 4 sessions.
Behold, our new (light-pilfering) weapon. Sony’s DSC-RX100II digital snapper has a super-sized Exmor 1in sensor that gobbles up great chunks of light and makes London look like Acapulco.
If your iPod is bored of novelty cases, why not try a Trumstand. It’s made from an aluminium block, weighs 4.3kg and is almost certainly the only iPod dock that H.G. Wells would approve of.
In case you hadn’t heard, 2013 is officially ‘The Year Of The Smart Watch’. And while previous efforts delivered little more excitement than a pair of ‘x-ray’ specs from the back of a comic, Apple and Samsung are poised to launch game-changers. But Sony has set the bar with its Smart Watch 2. The Android-powered ‘second screen’ for smartphones is waterproof, takes calls, displays emails, vibrates with tweets and has a four-day battery life. And it doesn’t look like it came out of a Frosties box. Nor is it sized for the wrist of a ’roid-popping Soviet powerlifter. We actually want to wear this…
£TBA (due Sep)
Magico S5s are made from 0.5in-thick aluminium. They sound epic and can be viewed ‘by appointment’. Feel free to bring your iPod, but whatever you do, don’t leave it on shuffle.
Jet-black and constructed from carbon fibre, the 13in Sony Vaio Pro is the thinnest touchscreen laptop around. Geek fact: its Intel Haswell chip runs apps in the blink of any eye.
Sennheiser’s luxurious new Momentum headphones come wrapped in Alcantara – the fancy, sweat-resistant upholstery used in racing cars. They sound tight, clear and skull-fracturingly loud.
Dropped your phone in a lake/pint of beer/toilet? Stick it straight in a RescueTec bag. The ultra-absorbent chemicals suck out the moisture 700 per cent more efficiently than a bag of rice.
You’ve no doubt noticed that the best TVs are described as ‘full HD’. Well, it seems there’s been a slight miscalculation. The square-eyed man can now buy himself an Ultra HDTV, in the shape of Sony’s magnificent 55in Bravia X9. It’s four times sharper than full HD and primed to kill off 3D. Profligate use of the letter ‘D’ aside, what can you watch in Ultra? How about Imax-quality films and next year’s World Cup. And by next year’s World Cup we mean the tiny, tortuous beads of sweat rolling down Roy’s forehead as England scrape through the group stage…
Android’s assault on your thumbs continues apace with the Moga Pro smartphone gaming controller. Its app syncs the device to any Android game.
Would the new Daft Punk album sound even better spun on the McIntosh MT5 turntable’s illuminated platter? If you’ve just saved up for a new car, maybe you could tell us.
Combine a coffee table with an iPad and you get Lenovo’s 27in Horizon touchscreen PC. Made for virtual gaming, it comes with air hockey mallets and wireless Monopoly dice.
When not playing with food, Heston Blumenthal has been developing the computerised Sage Tea Maker, which brews tea to three strengths: mild, medium and enamel-stripper.
Few gadgets inspire such adoration that someone sees fit to make a perfume in their honour. So if you haven’t sniffed ‘Eau de MacBook’ – yes, that happened – then you may be wondering what’s so special about Apple’s new 11in MacBook Air.
Looks like the old one, right? Yes, but this envelope-sized device is tricked out with next-gen upgrades including faster Wi-Fi (three times faster than any other laptop’s), ‘all-day’ nine-hour battery life and supersonic graphics. As one of Apple’s immaculately ‘smart casual’ executives shouted at the unveiling, “Can’t innovate any more, my ass!”
From £849; apple.com/uk
Why is this 35mm film camera so cheap? Maybe because you build Lomography’s Konstruktor yourself. It’s so satisfying that it may eclipse your desire to take snaps.
With an ‘understated to the point of invisible’ design brief, Cambridge Audio’s Minx Go wireless Bluetooth speaker kills it with sound quality and 18-hour battery life.
The Nokia Lumia 925 Windows phone has a Smart Camera app that tweaks group shots to make it look like everyone’s smiling, even when they weren’t.
Free (on contract); three.co.uk
Planning to watch next year’s World Cup? Don’t like Lee Dixon? Sony’s BDV-N7100W surround sound system has ‘Football Mode’, cutting out commentary and enhancing Brazilian stadium noises.
Giving to charity is a nice thing to do. But on a purely selfish note, it’s good to get something in return. Enter the Fairphone – the world’s first mobile from a transparent supply chain. Buyers can find out where the minerals and materials came from, who assembled the components and how much they were paid. The idea being to embarrass the firms, who turn a blind eye to Chinese Tiny Tims paid in gruel. On an even more selfish note, it’s a good Android phone: quadcore, 8-megapixel camera and dual Sim. Order one now – and form an orderly queue for the halos.
Neil Armstrong captured the first pictures of the moon’s surface with a Hasselblad camera – hence this 24.3-megapixel digital snapper. It comes in any finish: mahogany to meteorite.
We’ve seen a lot of a luxury TVs (mostly through shop windows), but the DesignLine is different. It leans – precariously – against a wall, showing off ‘gradient glass’, which fades into transparency.
It’s happened: you can control objects with the power of your mind. The Neurosky MindFlex’s headset picks up brainwaves, allowing users to guide a floating ball through a course of nine obstacles.
There’s no point undertaking an extreme adventure if you don’t have the ‘point of view’ footage to prove it, right? This mount saves buying an action camera – it affixes any digital snapper to a helmet.
It seems the world has gone mad for portable speakers, an antisocial breed of tech that’s beginning to show some real advancement. A drop-proof build quality and simple Bluetooth connectivity, the UE Boom is more than capable of supplying the soundtrack of your next barbeque.
Read our full review here
It’s fair to say Bang & Olufsen’s H6 headphones won’t win plaudits from vegetarians. The headband is made from cow hide while the earcups are swathed in lambskin, which is as soft as it sounds. One thing we can all agree on is that the sound quality is astonishingly good. That’s down to the solid aluminium frame and the 40mm neodymium drivers, which are set at the perfect angle (many years were spent analysing the curvature of ears). We can also agree they’re not cheap – but will inspire awe and other superlatives. Assuming you’re carnivorous, of course.
If you want a multi-room music system, Pure’s Jongo S3 is the first ‘totally wireless’ solution. It can be mains or battery powered, and placed anywhere you like.
The days of pumping iron are over. The smart way to get fit – without even noticing – is to buy an activity tracker such as the Fitbit Flex. The waterproof wristband records steps and calories burned.
The Danish have given the world two legendary pieces of technology you’ll never want the misfortune of standing on: Lego and the audio equipment of Bang & Olufsen. As with most B&O products, the H3 headphones will instantly improve anything you choose to pump through them.
Read our full review here
Ludicrously small and loaded with Instagram-style filters, the Canon Powershot N takes all the best bits of a smartphone camera and adds extras such as an ingenious touch-sensitive zoom lens.
The appropriately-named Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 is ‘The Worlds Biggest Smartphone’. It’s 6.3in display can be held in one large, rich hand, and features ‘eye movement’ web scrolling.
Are you one of those frightfully energetic types that takes sick pleasure in throwing yourself off, over and out of things? Then you'll want to strap on an iON Air Pro 2 to capture your final moments - your loved ones will want some footage to remember you by.
Read our full review here
Hey, you can’t see our trail of drool, can you? Good. Hopefully it’s just out of shot. So anyway, meet the Sony Xperia Tablet Z: the world’s thinnest and lightest tablet – and the iPad’s biggest competition yet.
A perfect Android-powered storm, the Z’s arsenal includes a superstong 10.1in HD touchscreen sporting Mobile Bravia Engine 2 picture-sharpening, a waterproof casing and PlayStation Mobile apps.
What does this tell us?
That, while the world’s lightest tablet is incredibly easy to pick up, it’s almost impossible to put down again.
Comfortingly, the Bose AE2w Bluetooth headphones will never be endorsed by a celebrity. It’s all about their ‘natural’ sound, from a Triport automatic equaliser.
Oregon Scientific’s Boombero iPhone speaker has no Bluetooth, dock or Wi-Fi. It uses Near Field Wireless technology: hit play and place the phone on the speaker.
From sci-fi film The Lawnmower Man, here’s Carl Zeiss’s Cinemizer 3D headset, with ‘headtracking’ that allows you to ‘look around’ a game.
£609 (Cinemizer), £179 (Headtracker)
How do you celebrate the Tour de France’s centenary? Why not buy Polar’s RC3 TdF Bike training watch, which comes dunked in yellow paint and dishes out a five-minute cycling fitness test?
The iconic radiograms of the Fifties and Sixties were beautiful, sideboard-sized music systems that contained a radio and a phonogram. Sure, they’d usually blow a valve every time Johnny Cash got to the chorus – but that’s why the Ruark Audio R7 caught our eye. A modern version of the radiogram, its handcrafted walnut case hides a CD player, DAB+/internet radio, aptX lossless Bluetooth, USB and Wi-Fi. Oh, and note that ‘RotoDial’ on the top: it’s detachable and can be used as remote handset. Want to own one? You’ll be able to worship at the R7’s retro altar from autumn.
A sad indictment of a lazy society or a stroke of genius? We’re in the latter camp when it comes to the iBed lap desk. The tea tray has a groove to prop up an iPad.
Need to up your Instagram game? The Kickstarter-funded iZZi Orbit improves the iPhone’s camera via a 180-degree fisheye, a 2x telephoto and a 67x wide angle.
Continuing its mission to put Britain’s personal trainers out
of business, Suunto’s Ambit2 GPS sports watch offers route navigation, multi-sport tracking for triathletes and a precise read-out.
Like scaled-down KEF Uni-Q loudspeakers, the M500 heaphones are carved from aluminium and are more comfortable than we just made out.