Medisana range

Gadgets

The future is bigger tablets, smaller bike helmets and watching TV anywhere, even if you can’t see the screen.

Medisana range

From £60

Health-tracking technology is a "hot" trend. With a rapidly ageing, more-active population, that's hardly surprising. This trio of health gadgets use iPhone app controls to make tracking over time easier. The ThermoDock (£60) measures body temperature via infrared, the CardioDock (£100) monitors blood pressure monitor and TargetScale tracks weight, BMI, muscle mass etc.

Health-boosting and medical technology are very much the hot tech trends at the moment. With a rapidly ageing, yet more-active-than-ever, longer-than-ever, population, that's hardly surprising. This trio of health gadgets are a good example - they use iPhone app control to ensure that fitness and health tracking over time are easier. The ThermoDock (£60) measures body temperature via infrared and delivers a quickfire result via Medisana's VitaDock app, which tracks all sorts of body variables. The same app also works on Medisana's CardioDock (£100) blood pressure monitor and TargetScale (£130) - which tracks weight, BMI, muscle mass etc - and provides light-up rings that track fitness progress.

www.firebox.com

Elgato EyeTV Mobile

£100

Watch TV on your iPad and now, your iPhone too. Designed to work with iPad 2s (new iPads also), Elgato have updated the DVB-T tuner's app to support iPhone 4Ss too. Watch, record, pause etc. Freeview via extendible aerial or rod antenna, even browse a seven-day EPG like at home.

Watch TV on your iPad and, now, your iPhone too. The EyeTV Mobile was originally designed to work with iPad 2s (it works fine with new iPads also, naturally). But Elgato have announced that the DVB-T tuner now has an app that supports the iPhone 4S too. The device hooks directly to a dock connector, then the extendable aerial receives Freeview signals - with the app including a seven-day EPG (electronic programme guide) as well as pause, rewind and record for TV. For less mobile viewing, it comes with a rod antenna as well as the telescopic one.

www.elgato.com

Panasonic Viera "Voice Guidance" TVs

From £250 to £3,799

Panasonic's new Viera TVs talk to the blind. Panasonic has worked on text-to-speech for all menus on all 2012 Viera TVs, in association with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). On-screen programme guides, channel selection and other controls are easier for blind and partially-sighted people to use.

Panasonic's new Viera TVs talk to the blind - meaning menus that are easier to understand. Panasonic has worked on synthetic text-to-speech systems, for all TV menus on all 2012 Viera TVs, in association with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). That means on-screen programme guides, channel selection and other controls are far easier to use for both the blind and partially-sighted. This "Voice Guidance" feature can also be set to speed, volume and level of instruction given - so experienced users of the system need not spend ages listening to channel names.

www.panasonic.co.uk

Toshiba Excite 13

£TBA (from around $650 in US)

The largest Android tablet ever - the Excite 13 features a 13.3in screen. Weighing in at nearly a kilo, the Excite 13 is clearly not designed for portability in mind. Beyond size, there's quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processing, 2MP camera front/5MP rear, and 32GB+ storage/1GB memory. But resolution is a mere 1,600 x 900.

The largest Android tablet ever - the Excite 13 features a 13.3in screen. Weighing in at nearly a kilo, the Excite 13 is clearly not designed for portability in mind. But does that matter? Most tablet use is in the home - and this is the first one designed clearly for sharing (it will apparently come with a stand in the box). Beyond its size, there's quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processing, 2MP camera front/5MP rear, and 32GB+ storage/1GB memory. Apart from weight, any other downsides to such a big slab of screen? Its relatively low pixel density - resolution is a mere 1,600 x 900.

www.toshiba.co.uk

SolarFocus SolarKindle

$100 (incl. shipping)

The world's first solar-powered ereader cover. The SolarKindle adds a cover to your Kindle or Kindle Touch (not Kindle Keyboard) and also stretches the Kindle's already long battery life to three months ("under normal sunlight conditions"). Plus there's an in-built 800 lux LED reading lamp - handy for reading in the dark.

It's the world's first solar-powered ereader cover. The SolarKindle not only provides a nice cover for your Kindle or Kindle Touch (not Kindle Keyboard), but also stretches the Kindle's already long battery life to three months ("under normal sunlight conditions"). It also adds on a rather useful 800 lux LED reading lamp above the Kindle's screen - handy for reading in the dark, as the Kindle's e-ink screen doesn't have a backlight. Again, under normal conditions, the light won't eat into the Kindle battery for up to 50 hours of usage. The cover can, in mid-winter perhaps, also get charged via USB.

www.solarmio.com

BioLogic Pango

£88

A bike helmet that folds down. Ideal for fitting in a smaller bag and unfolding for short-hop commutes. But the Pango does weigh a whopping half kilo. In comparison, modern bike helmets can clock in under half that weight. So for longer rides, it's far from ideal.

A CE1078 certified bike helmet that also folds down. The good news: if you're looking for a bike helmet that can fit in a smaller bag easily, the Pango's ideal for short-hop commutes. It folds simply - with two catches letting the sides flip inward, and there's ventilation to keep your head cool enough. The bad news: the Pango weighs a whopping half kilo. In comparison, modern bike helmets can clock in under half that weight. So for longer rides, it's far from ideal. The weight is gained not just from the extra folding elements, but also the use of ABS instead of thinner polycarbonate - which at least does mean the helmet should survive bashing about with other stuff inside a bag.

www.thinkbiologic.com

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