vol 8, issue 8

Gadgets

7 August 2013
By Simon Munk
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Sage by Heston Blumenthal

Michelin-starred chef Blumenthal’s new range

GameStick console

“The world’s most portable TV games console”, due in August, puts Android games on TVs

Bose QuietComfort QC20

Bose’s first in-ear noise-cancelling headphones join the range of sound-squashing gadgets

Samsung Galaxy NX

The NX features a 20.3MP APS-C sensor and Android 4.2 OS with major app compatibility

Wahoo Fitness KICKR Power Trainer

The world’s first iPhone-powered bike trainer

Sony Xperia Z Ultra

The “slimmest and largest full-HD smartphone display”

Viewsonic monitor

ViewSonic TD2420, part of the company's range of touch-enabled desktop displays

Related stories

Books

Gadgets

Scientific chef’s gadgets, app-connected fitness kit and Android cameras and games consoles - the future is connected gadgets.

Sage by Heston Blumenthal range

From £80

The Michelin-starred, boffin-chef hybrid Heston Blumenthal has sprinkled foodie magic over 16 small appliances. The cheapest, the Soft Open Kettle, doesn’t seem bristling with cutting-edge culinary science. But the Multi Cooker (£100) with risotto temperature settings and saute/sear function seems to offer more of the attention to detail you’d expect from Blumenthal.

The molecular gastronomy-loving, Michelin-starred, boffin-chef hybrid Heston Blumenthal sprinkles his foodie magic over a range of 16 small appliances. The cheapest, the Soft Open Kettle, doesn’t seem exactly bristling with cutting-edge culinary science. But items such as the Multi Cooker (£100) with risotto temperature settings and saute/sear functions seem to offer something closer to the attention to detail you’d expect from Blumenthal. As does the Smart Scoop ice cream maker (£350) which auto-senses mixture hardness and Tea Maker (£200) that features customisable and preset time/temperature settings. That said, the range still look a lot like most similar appliances, only with a celebrity chef pricetag.

www.johnlewis.com

 

GameStick

£80

“The world’s most portable TV games console”, due in August, puts Android games on TVs. The console looks like a USB stick (it actually slots into a TV HDMI socket and runs games at Full HD) and fits inside its own controller. But it only plays Android games modified to work with it.

“The world’s most portable TV games console” is both a massive Kickstarter success, due to start delivering in August, and another attempt to deliver Android games to your TV. It is indeed highly portable - the entire console fits on what looks like a USB stick (it actually slots into a TV HDMI socket and runs games at Full HD), that fits inside the controller body. But, like the rival Ouya, it doesn’t play all Android games - just ones modified to work with it. Between Android consoles, Valve’s Steambox PC-console hybrid project and a rumoured Apple TV with games, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo need to worry.

www.gamestick.tv

 

Bose QuietComfort QC20

£260

The first ever in-ear noise cancelling headphones from Bose. The company’s other noise cancelling cans are already highly respected for both comfort and noise cancelling technology. These new ones incorporate more US patents than any other Bose headphones - with an exclusive digital chip embedded in the headphone cord’s control module one of the key innovations.

The first ever in-ear noise cancelling headphones from Bose. The company’s on-ear and over-the-ear noise cancelling cans are already highly respected for both comfort and noise cancelling technology. These new ones incorporate more US patents than any other Bose headphones - with an exclusive digital chip embedded in the headphone cord’s control module one of the key innovations. The QC20s run for about 16 hours, feature an “Aware” mode that lets surroundings be heard more clearly for situations where you would previously have wanted to remove headphones and come in two models for Apple devices or other smartphones etc.

www.bose.com

 

Samsung Galaxy NX

£TBA

The world’s first 4G interchangeable lens compact system camera. As well as sharing high-res photos and Full HD videos on the move, the NX features a 20.3MP APS-C sensor and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS, which means tens of thousands of apps from the Google Play store will run on the camera.

Samsung’s range of Galaxy products expands even further with this, the world’s first 4G interchangeable lens compact system camera. As well as being able to share high-res photos and Full HD videos on the move, the NX features a 20.3MP APS-C sensor, NX lens compatibility and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS - that means that tens of thousands of apps from the Google Play store will run on the camera, allowing you to modify its capabilities on the go. The result is unlikely to be cheap, but between lenses, processor/sensor capabilities and Android features, it’s a serious bit of kit.

www.samsung.com

 

Wahoo Fitness KICKR Power Trainer

£1,000

The world’s first iPhone-powered bike trainer. No, your phone won’t put in the miles for you - an app lets you set resistance levels, track data and structure workouts. The trainer fits to your current bike and wirelessly connects to your device via Bluetooth, with ANT+ sensors measuring power, speed, distance data etc.

The world’s first iPhone-powered bike trainer. No, your phone won’t put in the miles for you - the KICKR’s iOS app lets you set resistance levels, measure power and structure workouts. The high-end trainer fits to your current bike (with a wheel off) and uses Bluetooth 4.0 to connect to your device, with ANT+ sensors measuring your power, speed, distance data etc. It’s also, according to Wahoo, one of the quietest trainers on the market. The KICKR and app also connect wirelessly to modern heartrate monitors and other ANT+ devices. The result is an app-set cycle session, at a cost.

www.wahoofitness.com

 

Sony Xperia Z Ultra

£TBA

The world’s “slimmest and largest Full HD smartphone display” tops the list of impressive features for Sony’s top-of-the-range Android smartphone, due out in autumn. As well as that 6.4” 1080p screen and 6.5mm thick body weighing 212g, there’s also dust and waterproofing, 2.2GHz quadcore processing and 8MP camera, as well as 4G.

The world’s “slimmest and largest Full HD smartphone display” tops the list of impressive features for Sony’s top-of-the-range smartphone, due out in autumn. As well as that 6.4” 1080p screen and 6.5mm thick body weighing 212g, there’s also IP55/58 dust and waterproofing, 2.2GHz quadcore Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processing and 8MP camera, as well as 4G of course, and all running on Android 4.2. Sony are yet to announce the pricing, but it’s going to be top-end. Sony also announced a matching smartwatch to partner with the Z Ultra - handy, as this thing’s too big to fit in many pockets.

www.sonymobile.com

 

ViewSonic TD2420

£227

ViewSonic now has a range of touch-enabled desktop displays. Reach out and tap links or file icons to open them, or take a closer look with pinch and zoom. It’s not essential when you have a mouse to hand but a fun feature for demonstrating something on the screen to others.  It’s intended for healthcare, education and information desks that need touch functionality, as well as consumers that want it, so this bright, glossy display is built to last.

www.viewsonic.com

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