Vaux Amazon Echo Dot speaker
The Amazon Echo Dot is a very neat bit of kit when it comes to inviting Alexa into different rooms of the house, but it is by no means the booming behemoth that its bigger sibling is without plugging it into a stereo. The Vaux is a battery-powered speaker in which you slot your Dot into the top making it fully portable, meaning for about six hours (that’s the battery life) you can carry your personal assistant around the house with you wherever you want. Plus a Dot and the Vaux combo are cheaper than the full fat Amazon Echo.
Kano Pixel Kit
Coding is cool, we’re not ashamed to say that, especially when you get groovy little gadgets like the Kano Pixel Kit to code on. This adorable piece of kit has 128 RGB pixels capable of over 16 million colours, which you can program to do all sorts of wonderous things, like weather forecasting, games and sport scoreboards through the Kano app. Kano have a good track record when it makes coding easy and accessible to kids (and code-shy adults like us) but anything that can make fabulous rainbows flutter across the screen on command is good in our books.
Nest Cam IQ
Nest’s latest home security camera offers enhanced night vision, an 8MP sensor and a 130-degree field of view. It will automatically zoom in on areas where movement is detected, and is equipped with Google’s FaceNet face recognition technology.
We’re still sitting on the fence as to whether an electric bike can ever actually be considered cool, but the Copenhagen Wheel looks like it could help us get away with one without having to ditch our hipster-friendly single speed (oh we wish we were as hip as the couple in the photo).
The Copenhagen Wheel slots into where your back wheel normally sits and uses a combination of sensors, computers, a battery and motor that works out what grunt it needs to provide to get you up that hill. With the help of an app you can control the level of assistance and it’ll track speed, location, distance and calories burnt at the same time. Good for 50km on a single charge, the battery will also regenerate if you pedal backwards. But in our eyes, what makes it genuinely cool is that it was made by a bunch of boffins from MIT, so smart indeed, this wheel is.
Gladius underwater drone
This tethered underwater drone is small enough to pack in a suitcase and comes with either a 1080p still camera or a 4K video camera. It is submersible to 100m for up to three hours, with a horizontal range of 30-500m, depending on the model.
$1,400-$2,275 (£1,085-£1,765 approx), indiegogo.com
Leica TL2 camera
If you were in the market for a mirrorless camera with a 24MP sensor, 49 point AF, an ISO range of 100 to 50,000 and 4K video, you’d be spoilt for choice. But then none of them would be the new Leica TL2, which just screams “hey, check out my amazingly engineered and too-cool-for-school snapper”. The new Leica TL is and update of its predecessor in almost every spec, bar the design, so you know you’re going to get a quality piece of kit, which is good news because it being a Leica it’ll cost you the same as the deposit on a reasonably priced car.
Around £1,700, leica-camera.com
The 5cm-long SleepPeanut sits on top of your mattress and uses motion and body heat sensors to monitor your sleep cycles during the night. It then sends that data via Bluetooth to an accompanying app, and it also has a built-in alarm clock function.
€29 (£25 approx), sen.se
Volterman Smart Wallet
You’d think that, for the most part, wallets don’t need to be that smart – hold some money, a couple of bank cards and a small pile of half-filled loyalty card and Bob’s your uncle. But this is the 21st Century and the thought of carrying something that has only one function seems prehistoric.
Volterman’s solution is to pack in a powerpack for charging your phone, WiFi Hotspot, distance alarm and global GPS if you lose it. On that note, it also has a camera built in so that if you do, erm, mislay it and someone looks inside, you’ll be able to capture their mug so you know who to look out for to politely ask for it back. It smashed its target on indiegogo, although we can’t imagine this intensely awkward promo video helped especially…
Nuvitron Bluetooth Sound Machine Marconi
Nuvitron’s Bluetooth speaker combines 21st-Century streaming technology with a wooden body, an internal wooden waveguide and a vintage-style steel soundhorn. Differently shaped Edison and Bell models are also available.
$299 (£230 approx), nuvitron.com
Mighty audio player for Spotify
Let’s get this straight right off the bat – this is not an iPod Shuffle, nor is it second coming of the much anticipated Pebble Core (sadly no longer with us). No, this is the Mighty, which is a teeny weeny audio player that stores your Spotify playlists offline so you run, snowboard, cycle or just generally meander around listening to banging choons without taking your phone.
It comes in three colours, holds more than 1,000 songs, is water and drop resistant and will last five hours, but you do need a Spotify Premium account to use it.
Waylens Secure360 dashcam
Dashcams are all very well and good for recording unfortunate events that happen on the road ahead, but pretty useless if anything happens inside. Obviously what you decide to do in your car is up to you, but the problem comes when it is someone else, especially if they are an uninvited guest.
The Waylens Secure360 is, in a nutshell, a 360-degree dashcam for your car that will record anything that happens both outside and in, and because it is connected to 4G and packed with a 3D radar, 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyro, it’ll alert you immediately if something unusual is happening and record video directly to the cloud. It even has GPS for helping you track it. Unfortunately it’s available only in the US, but next time you’re over you could pick up the non-4G version and just have a fancy 360 dashcam, though we fail to see how being able to see you face as you curse the driver for pulling out in front of you helps in any way.
Fujifilm Square SQ10
This new camera from Fujifilm is a hybrid digital/instant camera that uses a 1/4-inch CMOS sensor to take pictures, but then prints them out for you there and then. Images can be stored on a microSD card for uploading to the internet later.
The Smacircle S1 is being touted as the world’s lightest and most portable electric bike. It weighs less than 7kg and will fit into a backpack when folded up. Its handlebars feature a dock for your smartphone, which will then act both as a speedometer and as a digital ‘key’, preventing anyone but you from riding the bike. Boasting a top speed of 20km/h (12mph), the carbon-fibre bike can travel up to 20km (12 miles) on a single two-hour charge, and is able to carry passengers weighing up to 100kg. It’s already exceeded its Indiegogo funding target nearly five times over, and will start shipping in October.
Tovala smart oven
Just because it looks like a microwave doesn’t mean it has to cook like one. The Tovala smart oven proudly sticks to the more traditional steam, bake and grill when it comes to cooking your tea, but does it in a, well, smarter way. Using a smartphone app (obviously) you can download or add your own recipes and the Tovala will flick between modes cooking your food “perfectly”. Of course if you’re truly pressed for time you can use one of their pre-prepared meals, where you just scan the barcode on the lid, pop it in and just wait for a notification on your phone when it’s done. Just don’t call it a science oven.
Radical MOOV hoverboard
It’s fair to say hoverboards have had something of a bad rep recently, but there is hope. Unless we suddenly decide to reverse the 1835 Highways Act currently making them illegal we’re out of luck in the UK, but at least the Radical MOOV has gone a long way to sorting out the issue of them blowing up on us.
As well as having bigger wheels and a high-grade aluminium body, the fixed deck is lower and more stable than other hoverboards making it easier to stand and pull epic tricks on. Most importantly though Radical have gone out of their way to make the MOOV as safe as possible so that it won’t, you know, blow up – probably the most reassuring feature.
From $1,099, radicalmoov.us