The cool gadgets list - April 2017

The cool gadgets list – April 2017

April showers might be bringing the rains, but with it comes a deluge of gadgets and gizmos - check out the best new technology this April.

1

RIVER Mobile Power Station

What does new portable power generator that is apparently “unlike any other battery product on the market” look like? According EcoFlow it’s their behemoth mobile battery the RIVER, which houses 11 (!!!) different ports, which can all be used simultaneously for maximum convenience.

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You can plug almost anything you want into the RIVER and the lithium-ion battery has enough juice to power pretty much anything you can think of, for example a light can stay on for over 100 hours or you can fully charge your smartphone 30+ times for some al fresco mobile gaming.

That’s a lot of power, but then it is the size of a small toolbox and weighs five kilos – it’s not pocketable, but at the same time not too weighty for a short hike into the wilderness. For those who utilise the outdoors as their office or for the avid campers it can even be charged via solar power, so the River might soon become an essential bit of eco-friendly kit.

$459 (can be ordered with an international AC socket), ecoflowtech.com

2

Cosmo Connected

Cosmo Connected

Those on two wheels are one of the most at risk groups on the roads of the UK, with hundreds of accidents involving bikers every year. Campaigns such as ‘Think Bike’ have raised awareness but now a French company has created a new bike gadget that it hopes will make you more visible than ever before.

Cosmo Connected is a small 150g device that attaches magnetically to ANY helmet, and its 12 red LEDs illuminate whenever the built-in accelerometer senses deceleration and a flashing mode can be activated using the accompanying app – particularly useful in adverse and hazardous conditions.

For it’s party piece though, the Cosmo is able to detect collisions and automatically send location information and medical details to the emergency services. It’s a potentially life-saving addition that could have life-saving repercussions in the event that the unthinkable happens.

From €99, cosmoconnected.com

3

Microsoft Xbox Scorpio

Microsoft Xbox Scorpio
Microsoft Xbox Scorpio

The new Xbox is coming and details have been released of Microsoft’s beastly new gaming console, dubbed ‘Project Scorpio’.

At six teraflops per second, it sounds like a nightmare on the first date but in fact, it is 1.4 times more powerful than the Playstation 4 Pro and an impressive 4.5 times more powerful than the Xbox One.

With a processor reaching 2.3GHz, 12 GB of RAM and increased memory bandwidth, the newest addition to the console world will also have a 4K Blu-ray player – in your face PS4!

This next generation device is set to improve the gaming experience, and at E3 in June we should find out even more about Project Scorpio and maybe even some pricing details.

£TBC, www.xbox.com

4

Paqsule self-cleaning bag

Paqsule self-cleaning bag
Paqsule self-cleaning bag

Now that Easter is over and your belly is full of chocolate eggs it’s time to dig out the forgotten gym bag for the first time in a while. But as the zip opens, a wave of pungent odours assault the nostrils as sulphurous socks and damp T-shirts fester in the bottom.

For those who make a dirty dirty habit of leaving your kit to fester, Paqsule, a new self-cleaning bag, aims to make that a thing of the past, with a 35-minute cycle of UV-C and ozone treatments flooding the bag, killing or sterilising odour, bacteria and viruses.

It doesn’t need to be plugged in either to produce such olfactory delights, running off a rechargeable battery that doubles up as a power pack for you mobile. $229 might be a bit steep for a self-cleaning duffle bag of the future, but if you’re the sort of person who has an inverse relationship between stinky gym wear and sweaty gym time, this might help garner some much needed motivation.

Estimated shipping in August, $229, indiegogo.com

5

Mirabook

Mirabook

It seems companies are realising that there is a market out there for the successful merging of mobiles with PCs but none are yet able to fully crack the code. Who knows, it could be the Samsung DeX cradle, but the crowd-funded Mirabook looks like it is in with a shout and will work with more than just the Samsung Galaxy S8

The lightweight laptop has a 1080p 13.3-inch display and utilises the phone’s processing power and operating system. Compatible with a wide range of devices and operating systems, just connect your phone to the PC via USB and you’re good to go.

Stretch goals tantalise with the potential for a back-lit keyboard, a 24-hour battery life whilst still charging your phone and even touchscreen display. How successful this independent start-up will be remains to be seen, but surely he PC and mobile integration is only around the corner.

From $199 (although we have managed to get a cheeky discount)  miraxess.com

6

Urbanears Baggen and Stammen speakers

Urbanears Baggen and Stammen speakers

The new Baggen and Stammen from Urbanears are a pair of stylish speakers designed to provide a touch of individuality alongside the quality audio inherited from sister company, Marshall.

Wrapped in a thin layer of cloth and available in six different colours (including a glorious Goldfish Orange) the new speakers combine minimalist chic style with crisp, booming sound.

Even the technophobe can operate them as one of the two knobs is solely designed to flick between the six connection methods, including; Spotify Connect, Airplay, Chromecast, Bluetooth and a 3.5mm aux input. The other knob? Well, that’s the volume. Duh.

$350 and $450, urbanears.com

7

CowaRobot R1 suitcase

CowaRobot R1 suitcase

Nobody enjoys dragging a suitcase through an airport terminal or along a busy high street to the train station. Throw in a broken wheel and some cobbles and you’re starting to talk about the stuff of nightmares.

Thankfully, the motorised 33-litre CowaRobot R1 is an autonomous personal luggage assistant, which follows you around better than a loyal lab, assuming you’re still wearing the tracking bracelet. The same bracelet acts as a keyless remote to signal the case to return to you if one party has wandered off course.

A lithium-ion battery can hold 12-hours on a single charge and there’s a built in USB ports to ensure you’re not left powerless in the departures lounge. With an app to help locate any off track CowaRobots and advanced security features it looks to take some of the stress out of travel.

$449, cowarobot.com

8

Duo smart mirror

Duo smart mirror

Duo is an computer designed for your wall, and features an AI assistant called Albert, which incorporates much of the same stuff from others like Alexa and Google Assistant, but with a sci-fi twist sure to make you feel like the next Iron Man.

Albert can be called up via voice recognition or through the five-point multi-touch screen, and appears in full-HD 1080p glory on the 1.9 millimetre thick, 27-inch screen that masquerades as a mirror when not in use, and with a simple command springs to life as your very own Jarvis.

As an individual operating system there may be more development needed with other companies to make it truly integral, but for now we can keep our fingers crossed that we can all have our own bit of Tony Stark on our wall.

Pre-order $399, duo.computer

9

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin Vivosmart 3

In the latest edition of fitness bracelets Garmin have released an updated version of the Vivosmart, the Vivosmart 3 with an array of new features including breathing exercises and fitness level scores.

Thinner, lighter and more streamlined, the new version of the Vivosmart also includes brand-new rep counting software and can then recognise the activity and the amount of sets when synced with the Garmin Connect app.

With fitness levels designed to be easily understood from the estimated VO2 max, you can see how fit you are on a scale from “poor” to “superior” – no doubt some of us are in for  nasty surprise when we take to the treadmill next.

As well as all these swanky new features, the Vivosmart 3 still has the tried and tested favourites from the older version, including sleep monitoring, heart-rate monitoring and workout tracking. Plenty to square up to the new Fitbit Alta HR.

Available soon, £129.99, garmin.com

10

Bang and Olufsen BeoSound Shape

Bang and Olufsen BeoSound Shape

The Danes have always had a thing for design – do a quick search for Danish furniture on eBay for proof – and if you like your sounds with a little Scandinavian style then the new Bang and Olufsen “BeoSound Shape” tick both boxes.

With a sleek and striking modular appearance which create a wall of sound Phil Spector would be proud of, the high-end audio equipment base kit consists of four speakers, two acoustic dampeners, one amplifier and a concealed Beosound core.

However, the stunning appearance and indubitable quality do come at a cost – €4,000 to be precise. That’s a lot of cash for the base eight tile set, but can you put a price on quality? Seems Bang and Olufson have certainly tried.

Available TBC, bang-olufsen.com

11

Dadamachine

Dadamachine

If you’ve always liked the idea of playing a musical instrument, but never been blessed with the talent or time to become proficient, maybe take a look at a new gadget called Dadamachines.

It’s a collection of tiny little machines that can be wired up to a central hub and controlled from there, allowing you to create your own orchestra from anything you fancy. Simply attach a Dadamachine to, well whatever, and through some simple button-pressing you can initiate a percussive masterpiece fit to rival Beethoven. It’s at its best when watching it in action.

From €99, dadamachines.com

12

Eye iPhone case

Eye iPhone case

Android and iOS are very different, and not meant to mix – chalk and cheese, if you will – but then why would you want to combine the two anyway? Whatever your reasoning, there is now a way of doing such a seemingly unnecessary task, not in some technologically savvy way but in a very much more physical approach. The Eye is a case designed to make your iPhone not only appear as an Android phone, but to basically be an Android phone.

Basically it’s like strapping another 5-inch phone on the back of your iPhone, with two SIM slots, its own battery and a headphone jack (aha, maybe that’s why you’d do it after all).

From $129, esti.me

13

Gameband

Gameband

Email notifications and weather alerts are all very well, but wouldn’t you rather be playing Pong? The makers of Gameband are certainly hoping so. It’s a smartwatch with a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor and a 1.63-inch AMOLED display that comes preloaded with 20 games. The Gameband itself runs on Android, but is compatible with both Android and iOS devices.

$199 (£160 approx), gameband.com

14

Logitech BRIO

Logitech BRIO

Whether you’re an avid vlogger or a serial Skyper, there are plenty of reasons to ditch the basic webcam built into your laptop for something higher-specced. And they don’t come any higher-specced than Logitech’s new 4K offering, which is the first commercial consumer webcam to offer ultra high-definition video with high dynamic resolution. Note, though, you’ll need a Windows PC with a Kaby Lake processor to get the full benefit.

£199, logitech.com

15

Lenovo Thinkpad P71

Lenovo Thinkpad P71

The flagship in Lenovo’s new laptop range is this 17-inch model that’s designed not just to handle virtual reality content, but to create it too.

Generating VR content requires lots of processing grunt and disk space, so you’ll find four drive slots for HD/SSD storage, support for up to 64GB of RAM, Thunderbolt 3 ports for connecting high-end peripherals and an optional 4K display, while its Xeon E3 processor is backed up by a 16GB Quadro P5000 graphics card. It is, in short, a beast – though if the price tag’s beyond you, Lenovo has also just released the Yoga A12, a hybrid Android tablet for a mere £240.

$1,849 (£1,485 approx), lenovo.com

16

Livia

Livia

Billed as “an off switch for menstrual pain”, Livia consists of the Livia device itself and two electrodes that you fix to your lower abdomen with gel stickers. Livia then directs a small electromagnetic current to the electrodes and sends pulses through the nerves, which its makers claim will block the signals that cause pain, without the use of drugs. There’s certainly a demand for it: Livia exceeded its Indiegogo funding target nearly 14 times over. It’s CE approved and currently awaiting FDA approval in the US.

$149 (£120 approx), mylivia.com

17

Jagger & Lewis smart dog collar

Jagger & Lewis smart dog collar

Like a Fitbit for Fido, this smart device from Jagger & Lewis will track your dog’s behaviour and provide analytics via an accompanying app. It clips onto your dog’s collar, then tracks their body temperature, how far they’re walking, how much they’re eating and drinking and how often they bark. This information is then correlated against your dog’s age and breed to alert you if something looks like it may be amiss.

£149, jagger-lewis.com

18

Ford Max Motor Dreams

Ford Max Motor Dreams

Some times the only way to get the little one off to sleep is a gentle car ride around town. It seems the folks at Ford Spain have had enough of sleepless nights centered around a wailing baby as they have now released a new prototype.

Not a car though, ‘Max Motor Dreams’ is a new crib which cleverly integrates all the subtle lighting, muffled noises and slight rocking of a car journey to accurately recreate the condition. Using the app you can even personalise the settings to represent your personal journey home.

Whilst a full eight hours may be ambitious, maybe everyone can enjoy the night a bit more with one of these. Though being a prototype little Jimmy might be all grown up by the time it’s released.

Not available (prototype) fordmaxmotordreams.com

19

Ikea TRÅDFRI smart lighting

Ikea TRÅDFRI smart lighting

The Swedish giants of home furnishings are taking a break from flat-pack drawers and have developed a nifty way to allow you to alter the lighting in your home.

Without the need for hard-wiring or complex electrical changes, the new TRÅDFRI LED bulb just plugs in like any other bulb and from there you can customise your lighting schedule from the comfort of your smartphone. It sounds a lot like the Philips Hue, but then you can’t pick that up at the same time as a chest of drawers you don’t need and some frozen meatballs.

From £15, ikea.com

20

Samsung DeX

Samsung DeX

New mobile phones can do almost it seems, with the need for multiple devices almost totally eradicated. However, if you need to do some real-life, unavoidable adult stuff (work, some may call it) with multiple programs and documents then the small screen just won’t cut it. You need a mouse, a keyboard, and a nice big screen.

Samsung have tackled this head on with their new Samsung DeX, a clever piece of kit that allows you to connect your shiny new Samsung Galaxy S8 to a monitor through a HDMI cable and connect to a mouse and keyboard via USB or Bluetooth. Enabling people to work almost anywhere with nothing more than their phone and the DeX cradle.

£129, samsung.com

21

Bose Soundlink Revolve speaker

Bose Soundlink Revolve speaker

With the new Soundlink Revolve it looks like Bose have yet again done what they do best, a high-tech speaker centered around quality and integrating the latest tech. The Revolve and the Revolve+ are designed to project flawless 360-degree sound whilst still maintaining a sleek appearance.

Water resistant and bump-proof, it is suitable for day-to-day life both inside and out. If your phone is left inside whilst you’re out at the BBQ, you can also use Siri and Google Now through the Bluetooth from the speaker.

£199.95 and £279.95, bose.co.uk

22

Atari PONG coffee table

Atari PONG coffee table

The classic game PONG is being reborn, repackaged will be ready for a spot in your living room by the end of the year.

Recreating the game using magnets there will be a fully functioning PONG within the table itself, just move the coffee cups, unfold the flaps and you can take a trip back into the history of gaming. With USB charging ports and Bluetooth streaming available alongside the LED clock and (optional) coin-operated system it covers all bases. And age groups.

$1,290, tablepongproject.com

23

Turing Phone Appassionato

Turing Phone Appassionato

Turing Robotics Industries have partnered with tech company TCL to bring out a pair of new smartphones under the name Turing Phone Appassionato.

Made of space age materials like liquidmorphium (us neither…), with diamond-like carbon coating a sapphire glass, the Apassionato is destined to be a big-ticket item. For the firs time customers will also get to meet Sir Alan, a new AI system which acts as a “dedicated enhanced-concierge service,” whatever that means.

Release TBC, PX8 $1,099, GX8 $1,599, turingphone.com

24

ZTE Quartz Smart Watch

ZTE Quartz Smart Watch

A smartwatch for the person who doesn’t want all the bells and whistles, the ZTE Quartz is a more affordable option to the all-singing, all-dancing options like the Apple, Samsung and LG options.

With no heart rate monitor or Android Pay compatibility, the appeal of the ZTE: Quartz is its 3G connectivity, prolonged battery life and the presence of Google Assistant. Although only available in the US, the cheap gadget is hoping to live up to the claim of being the “industry’s best introductory smartwatch”.

$192, zteusa.com/zte-quartz

25

Kniterate

Kniterate

The industrial revolution gave us the powered cotton loom and more recently we got 3D printing. Now, like a Northern industrialist Kniterate aims to be the modern fusion of the two. With the ability to create a vast range of custom products, you can put your knitting needles down as all the mittens and scarves you could ever want can be made for you with this new kit currently looking for funding on Kickstarter.

If you just can’t get enough of knitwear but never listened that closely to your gran as a youngster, this is the perfect way to stay cosy whilst creating your own wacky designs.

From $4,699, kniterate.com


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