Skateboard over snow, protect your phone with a self-healing case, and drive a folding electric car - future technology that’s here today.
Pacific Cycles iF Mode
Not just a stylish full-size 26in-wheeled folding bike, but one with unique touches too. Its patented hinge fold automatically guides the wheels together - the makers claim a fold in three seconds, the "fastest folding bike currently available". The bike also features an internal chain system (so no oily smears on trousers), two-speed Schlumpf planetary gearing - changed by flicking the heel of your foot against the centre of the crank arm, and three-spoke wheels, as well as one-sided fork and rear stays. Of course, all this technological innovation comes at a cost when set against rivals such as Brompton, Mezzo and even full-sized folders from Dahon.
Nissan Scratch Shield
The "world's first self-healing iPhone case" comes courtesy of Nissan's Scratch Shield paint. The ABS plastic case is coated with a polyrotaxane paint that fills in scratches to its surface - small scratches "heal" in an hour, bigger ones take up to a week. Nissan also claim the case coating is "gel-like, [so] more scratch-resistant than conventional paint and provides a better grip". The design is with a select audience for testing, then may be made commercially available later in the year. It's based on a paint technology Nissan co-developed with Tokyo University and Advanced Softmaterials, which is used on several Nissan and Infinity models.
Dyson's first lightweight, compact cylinder vacuum, with a ball. Like some of Dyson's uprights, the DC38 uses a big ball wheel instead of traditional casters or wheels - resulting, Dyson claims, in less drifting and easier manoeuverability. As with other Dyson compact cylinder models, the DC38 features "Radial Root Cyclone" tech for bagless/filterless dirt suction and separation. How does Dyson cram so much tech into such a small model? Over 100 components, including 5m cable, motor and ducting are inside the ball itself. The only setback apart from the price? Not much room (0.54l) to hold the dirt means frequent trips to the bin.
This incredibly innovative electric vehicle sees Basque small firms running with a "citycar" concept that came out of MIT - Hiriko is set to go into production in 2013. The fully electric car is tiny at a mere 2.5m long. But when parked, it can be folded up so that three Hirikos fit in one traditional car parking space. Wheels are also indepedently controlled, allowing for sharp turns and easy parking into tight spaces. The Lithium-Ion battery lasts 120km on a charge. Initial estimates are that it will cost approximately €12-13,000 to buy, but city hire schemes (like bike schemes) might be considered also.
£139 (available 1 May)
Personal fitness tracking is very much the technology of the moment. We've had pods that slip into shoes, GPS-logging devices that strap around your arm, and now this: a wristband with accelerometers. The FuelBand tracks time, calories burnt, steps taken and "NikeFuel". This last feature is a track of how active the user says they want to be and their daily progress towards that goal - with a series of 20 LED lights that go from red to green as you approach, and then exceed, your goal. The FuelBand then syncs that data via Bluetooth to an iPhone or USB, and finally to a tracking website.
An all-terrain skateboard with traditional skate wheels replaced by four caterpillar treads ran on nine wheels each. The wheels are mounted onto traditional "trucks" so you lean to steer in the same way you do on a normal skateboard. And, unlike big-wheeled "mountain boards" that have been around a while, the Descender is designed to cope with snow, mud and rocks, according to its makers - so it's more of an all-year-round, as well as all-terrain skateboard. The board is designed to take riders up to 200lbs in weight. The Descender was unveiled at Toy Fair 2012 in New York. No word yet on release date or pricing.