Mood-enhancing, forehead-pulsing wearables, giant screens you can touch, and replacing your drummer with a robot: cyberpunk consumer technology here today.
Pop-up tents thus far have been mainly for festivals - easy to get up, cramped and poor quality construction, and many even get left on-site afterwards (shamefully). Cinch aims to combine the convenience of pop-up tents with the quality of traditional camping tents. They come in 2-4 person sizing, each the largest in their class; are double-skinned with 4000HH waterproof fabric and bathtub style groundsheet, and come with LED lanterns and tentpegs, phone charging point and reflective guylines, plus an optional solar-power pack. Roomy, easy to put up and take down and properly outdoors-rugged, but with smart extra touches that'll appeal to happy campers.
Lomography Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens
Quirky camera company Lomography has smashed another Kickstarter for its new lens - the Petval 58. This mounts onto standard Canon or Nikon dSLRs with 58mm focal length and f/1.9-16. It's designed with a special control ring specifically for snazzy 'bokeh' effects. Bokeh is "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light" - those sparkly, blobby, artfully out-of-focus backgrounds, twinkling with lights that look like rain, in other words. The control ring lets you set how swirly and blurry you want your bokeh shots to be. Lomography promise bokeh "in ways it has never been possible before". Lenses will go to backers in December.
A ‘pico projector’ with a unique difference. This palm-sized device will project an up to 80in picture onto a nearby wall. You can then interact with that big screen as if it was touch-sensitive. The projector can detect where two special styli are on the screen and when they're in contact with the surface. The result is you can draw, tap and multi-touch (you need to make sure your shadow or body doesn't obscure the pens). The Pond runs Android 4.4 and works with standard apps, or you can use the screen to create and control a big-screen version of your Android tablet or phone screen.
DS Audio DS-W1
Optical cartridges have been tried for vinyl before in an attempt to remove any contact or damage from the process of listening to a record, but they didn't work. This is an entirely different kettle of fish - the DS-W1 uses a conventional stylus and cantilever. What it does differently is replace the moving magnet or coil cartridge, which works on electromagnetic induction, with an optical signal that measures stylus movement and converts that to audio. This removes the friction introduced by Lenz's law - and delivers a purer audio signal. The eye-watering price includes dedicated phono equaliser and power supply, no phono stage needed.
Not just a guitar pedal, but a 'band in a box'. You click once to teach the Trio your chords and rhythm, then click again and it'll come in with a full band, creating drum and bass parts to back you. The Trio is programmable to generate one of seven music styles (alt-rock, blues, country, jazz, pop, R&B and rock) and each genre has 12 song styles. Each song is also made of three sections - verse, chorus and bridge - that can be triggered at any point. Perfect for buskers and egotist guitarists who view drummers as one step down from chimpanzees.
Welcome to the cyberfuture. Thync is a consumer product that stimulates "nerves on your head and face using low-level electrical pulses to signal specific areas of the brain". You choose 'calm' or 'energy' via the app, and stick the rather Seven of Nine Thync pad to your head for five minutes. It then shifts your mood towards a calmer or buzzier state. In tests on "thousands of subjects", Thync has beaten the placebo effect. Whether you want to pay nearly $300 for a wearable that claims it replicates the effect of drinking coffee or camomile tea, of course, is the big question.