Panasonic HX-A500


Smarter and more circular watches, the GoPro actioncam killer and hearing aids finally get a serious update. The latest in consumer technology.

Panasonic HX-A500


The "world's first 4K 25p wearable camcorder". Compared to the market leader's 4K at a barely usable 12 frames-per-second, that means GoPro has finaly been outspeced in the high-end actioncam market. The A500 also comes split into two parts, with a lightweight lens worn wherever, and the main body attached by a flexible cable - so you'll likely get less weight-induced camera wobble from the A500. As well as 4K "Ultra High Definition" video (4x the resolution of full-HD) at a usable framerate, the A500 is waterproof to 3m, has a 1.5in LCD in the main body and Wi-Fi with NFC.


Sony A6000

from £549

"The world's fastest autofocus" (among APS-C cameras in Single AF mode) trumpets Sony for this compact system camera - quicker than dSLRs they say, at 0.06 seconds before a shot. The impressive speed on the 24MP camera doesn't end there. Focus is handled by a mix of 25 areas of contrast and 179 phase detection points - with the result that burst shots and video track moving targets with precision, even at speed. With Sony E-mount lenses (of which there's a good range), a high-quality electronic viewfinder and TFT rear screen and small body, this is an ideal quickfire snapper's small camera.


ReSound LiNX

from approximately £3,500 per pair

The first "made for iPhone" hearing aid uses Bluetooth Smart to connect wirelessly to Apple iPhones. By using Bluetooth, rather than Airplay, the LiNX should also be able to connect to Android smartphones once an app is in place. By directly accessing the phone, the LiNX can do two things that other, similarly-priced high-end hearing aids can't: it eliminates the need for an extra device between phone and ear and allows instant sound profile switching to match the environment you are in, with a wide range of profiles creatable - geotagging means the hearing aid switches automatically to "restaurant" mode when you sit in your favourite cafe.


Elgato Smart Key

from £549

Connect this small device to your keyring, luggage, glasses case, purse or wallet and then link it to the companion smartphone app for Android and iOS and never lose your valuables every again. That’s the claim, anyway. This small token uses the low-energy Bluetooth Smart connectivity to send warnings via your smartphone, which some surveys suggest is the item you’re least likely to forget when leaving the house. It also warns you when you’re about to connect, which could be useful at the luggage carousel and you need to workout which black suitcase is yours. Alerts are audible and visual. It can be annoying when it occasionally loses connection due to bad reception, but the audible alerts are not too intrusive.


Google Android Wear


Google has finally thrown its hat into the wearables ring with Android Wear. Now it just needs Apple to unveil the iWatch and the smartwatch war is on. Google's offering features fairly familiar wearables ideas: notifications, voice control and health and fitness tracking. New to the pot is the way it integrates Google Now functionality - taking in location and habits to predict what you want to do and see; and the way Google's initial announce and the Motorola Moto 360 show Google's system doesn't just work for square watches (although you can have a square one also - see LG's G Watch).


TomTom Cardio GPS Watch

from £549

The new GPS smartwatch is an update to its existing line of sports and fitness watches, with a built-in optical heart rate tracker meaning there is no need for a separate chest strap. It’s lightweight, weather resistant, durable and surprisingly comfortable given the width of its strap and size of its face. It can connect to a range of fitness apps such as MapMyFitness or Runtastic. The main downside is that the watch face disappears when in cardio mode

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