An all-terrain electric bike, Microsoft's bid for the mouse market, and a new glasses-free 3D handheld console from Nintendo.
Nintendo's new handheld console, launching 25 March, features a unique glasses-free 3D screen. Using a 'parallax barrier' overlay, the 3DS's top screen delivers extra immersive depth to games. The console also features gyroscopic and motion sensors – so you can tilt the console to control games. There are several catches, though. The 3D only works well if viewed straight on (difficult with games using tilt or motion control). On trains and buses, the natural playgrounds for handheld consoles, this could make the 3DS difficult and even queasy to use. Worse, at a very high price, the 3DS is up against the Sony PSP2 (launching end 2011) and Apple iPhone.
Dyson Digital Slim DC35
The DC35 is the 'most powerful lightweight cordless vacuum cleaner'. It's also possibly the most odd-looking – essentially a stick with a motor on, this has the tube of a traditional vacuum, but the body of one of those tiny handheld dust-zappers. It features the Dyson 'Digital Motor' that spins a neodymium magnet at 104,000 rpm is constantly (well, up to 3,300 times a second) to deliver best airflow. That's where the power comes from. As to the cordless – the lithium-ion battery lasts up to 15 minutes. There are also carbon fibre brushes that reduce static, for better dust suck.
Hanebrink Electric ATV
An all-terrain electric bicycle – originally designed for ice riding, by an aerospace engineer. The Hanebrink's designed not so much for lazy mountain biking as riding on surfaces most other bikes bog down in – sand, snow etc. Eight-inch wide tyres float rather than sink into such surfaces; there's 14 gears and the battery rack runs for up to 5 hours and/or 100 miles of assisted pedalling, at up to 20mph, with the rear rack alone capable of carrying 100 pounds of cargo. An expedition bike, then.
At this price, you'd hope this pair of L'Ocean stereo speakers are a touch more than pretty living room furniture. The 1.2m high speakers pump out a massive 2,250 Watts of output – meaning 117db of sound pressure levels without distortion – but that's not all. The fully active, digitally-amped speakers come with microphone and software to automatically adjust frequency response, time delay and crossover to match whatever room you plonk them in – using digital signal processing derived partly from parent company Canon. In other words, these should sound their best from penthouse to garden shed.
As seen on Dragons' Den, the latest version of the Power8 is a toolbox that unpacks to provide pretty much all of the cordless toolery you could ask for – with a modular power system. The POWERhandle is basically a handle combining trigger and battery that you plug into whatever you want from the box: circular saw, jigsaw, hammer drill, torch. Combined with the box the kit packs into, that allows you to add on scroll saw, drill press, table saw etc. The end result certainly packs smaller than the equivalent bought separately. But costs about as much as the entire lot, put together.
Microsoft Touch Mouse
Microsoft, with Windows 7, are playing catch-up to Apple's slicker and more user-friendly interfaces. And with the Touch (launching June) they're even playing catch-up with their hardware. The Touch Mouse is a no-button gesture-control mouse – not unlike, perhaps, Apple's MagicMouse. Here, one-finger swipes control scrolling, two-finger gestures (steady on) control window switching and management and three fingers brings up Windows 7's desktop features – to control all the apps you have running. While it'll no doubt be welcome for Windows 7 users who're secretly a bit Mac-envious, multi-touch mice are hardly a reason to choose an operating system.