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WOW Stay safe with high-tech locks and sensors








HOT TECH UPGRADES Cutting-edge gear to stay

7 Projects to get you started



ahead of your friends



Prepare to be amazed!

Discover a new way to watch movies from page 48

When was the last time you were truly wowed? Well, prepare your face to be stunned because this month’s issue is about to dazzle you. We have cars that fly, a wristband that shoots fireballs, a cinema screen that you wear on your face, speakers that only you can hear, and more! But here at Gadget, we get as much of a kick from knowing how mind-blowing tech ticks, so we’ve torn them apart to reveal their secrets. Prepare to be amazed from page 14. As well as taking tech apart, we like to show you how to get the most from your gadgets. This year will see the BBC’s Micro:bit computer used in schools for the first time, after they were sent out to a million UK students in March. However, there’s nothing to stop you ordering your own Micro:bit and learning to code for yourself. From page 78, we’ll guide you through getting started with it, from programming its LEDs to turning it into a fitness tracker. Many of the gadgets we look at start out on crowdfunding sites. You can save a lot of money and ensure you get early access to cuttingedge kit in return for backing fledging startups, but is it worth the risk? We ask the experts and weigh up the pros and cons from page 70. Jack Parsons Editor



What’s the last gadget that made you go ‘wow’? Dan Hutchinson Editor In Chief Turtle Beach’s new Hypersound directional speakers, which are made out of glass, look great (page 22).

Drew Sleep Production Editor When I previewed the prototype Oculus I played EVE Valkyrie and had to be physically torn away from it.

Stephen Williams Senior Art Editor I’m new to Gadget, so right now everything makes me go, ‘Wow’. In particular, I love the Helix lamp (page 77).

Harriet Knight Designer Any of the robots coming out of Boston Dynamics makes my jaw drop with a mix of awe and fear.














Seen something you like? Let us know online with the hashtag #GetThisGadget TWITTER @GADGET_MAGAZINE





It A Car? Is It A 006 IsPlane? No, It’s the Aero Mobil 3.0!

Nintendo’s New 012 Console Is A Classic

Mini console comes with 30 free retro-gaming favourites

Flying cars are set to take off

All The Colours Get More Room With 008 Draw 013 Ori’s of The Rainbow Robotic Furniture High-tech pen can replicate 16 million colours

Make the most of little space with ‘robotic architecture’

v2 Is More Than 010 Homido 014 Kickstarter 10 A CardBoard Clone Daring designs

Low-cost VR headset updated and adds new peripherals

FEATURES 018 Wow Tech

Incredible secrets of mindblowing tech revealed

Your 028 Secure Smart Home

Stay safe with high-tech cameras and sensors

036 Upgrade Your Tech

Stay ahead of your friends with these next-gen toys

Pokémon go Gear

Retro-Style Mixer 062 This Still Talks The Torque This ten-speed mixer is whipping up a foodie frenzy

ProtecT Your Eyes From 064 Your Phone’s Glare



Zeiss Digital Lenses come with built-in blue shade tech

Make Your Phone Float 066 With This Scanner Risk your phone’s warranty with this office accessory

046 Multi-Talented Tools Are Video Headphones: 068 052 The future? Should you Back 070 Kickstarter? This £35,000 Wearable 057 comes With a Free Jag Tech we Love 076 The Burn In 060 Feel Just 14 Minutes 078 Make With MicroBit The best kit to catch ’em all

Cutting-edge Swiss army knives and multi-tools

Meet iWear, the all-in-one entertainment solution

All you need to know about crowdfunding

Discover all the tech packed into the new Jaguar F-Pace

The best new gadgets on our radar this month

Bowflex’s new all-in-one trainer will take your workout to the next level

First projects for the pocketsize computer





018 Your 088 Upgrade Macbook Pro’s RAM

Put a spring into your laptop’s step with more memory

090 Put Up A Tent Properly Simple Way To Fit 092 The A Ceiling Speaker Make camping less stressful

Don’t waste time with wires

The Perfect 094 Make DIY SLushy

Enjoy instant refreshment using household ingredients

096 Record A Hit Single

Become a chart-topper with these GarageBand tips




SAVE 50%

Never miss an issue with our special subscription offer on page 86

What ever 098 happened to… Apple Macintosh




Rotax 912 engine The engine gets the plane to 90 mph so it can take off successfully, then can push it up to 124 mph while it’s in the air

Lightweight materials To keep the AeroMobil as light as possible, the aircraft is built from advanced composite materials and a steel frame, weighing 450 kg or 992 lbs in total

Adjustable wings The pilot can adjust the angle of the wings to make it more efficient at taking off, landing and gliding through the air


Imagine leaving home, stepping into your car and then emerging a few hours later in Paris, Berlin or Amsterdam without ever having left the vehicle. This is the futuristic idea behind the AeroMobil flying car. Though it sounds like science fiction, the AeroMobil 3.0 prototype is the culmination of 25 years of work by the Slovakian company. If all goes to plan, it could be on sale to customers by 2018, once all the regulatory hurdles have been passed.

It can hit 124mph in the air, fly for 500 miles, and runs on regular petrol. There’s room for two and when you’re on the road the retractable wings fold down the vehicle’s sides to avoid slicing any double-decker buses in half, as well as fit a standard parking space. The only potential stumbling block is that you’re going to need both a driver’s and a pilot’s licence to be able to use one. Still, if you can save up the money (the price is said to be several hundred thousand

You’ll need a pilot’s licence to fly the AeroMobil 3.0

pounds), learning to fly may appeal if it means you never have to enter a departure lounge again. You’ll have to use an airport – but you’ll be able to drive straight onto the runway. Though its on course to be the first to go on sale, AeroMobil is not only company working on a flying car. It was recently revealed that Google cofounder Larry Page has pumped $100 million into Zee.Aero since 2010, while Moller International has been developing the Skycar since 1974.

Aeromobil 3.0


Emergency parachute If something goes wrong in the air, the car is fitted with a parachute that’ll allow it to drift slowly back down to the ground, safe and relatively sound

Compact size Despite being able to, you know, fly, the AeroMobil 3.0 is still small enough to fit inside a normal parking space and is six metres long



Terrafugia TF-X

The TF-X isn’t quite as far down the development road as the AeroMobil 3.0, with production not expected until the Twenties. But it has some impressive specs and smooth lines working in its favour.


Martin Aircraft Jetpack


You can’t drive the Martin Aircraft Jetpack but you can shoot through the open skies with it, if you can afford the estimated $250,000+ (£190,000+) asking price. Dubai recently bought 20 of them to be used by its firefighters.

Ehang 184


Quite simply, a self-flying drone that’s big and powerful enough to carry a person, which means you can hop from skyscraper to skyscraper without knowing how to fly. It’s scheduled to be tested in Nevada in the near future.


Moller M400 Skycar

Paul Moller has been trying to build flying cars for 50 years, so you can’t fault his effort, and the M400 is the closest he’s got yet. It’s currently at the prototype stage and is able to take off vertically.


The Cronzy Pen has built-in scanner that works like a real-life eyedropper tool, enabling you to detect the exact shade of an object’s colour. However, Cronzy also claims it can synthesis these colours using ink cartridges built into the pen, so you can doodle in any of 16 million different shades! Colour scanners are nothing new in themselves, with Pantone’s handheld Capsure device able to accurately match over 11,000 shades against its famous colour chart. But it’s larger than a smartphone and retails

for a hefty £495/$650. Cronzy, which is currently on Indiegogo, says its pen will be a conventional size and will retail for around $180 (about £140). “We want our pen to become the essential tool for every designer and digital artist, and to be found on the desk of every creative agency across the globe,” explains Alex Leonets, Cronzy’s CEO. It’s Cronzy’s ability to mix its own coloured inks that is truly extraordinary. If you’re getting a whiff of vapourware, we don’t blame you

for being sceptical, but the manufacturer has shown off a fully-working prototype of its device. It utilises solenoid valves and a computer algorithm to replicate colours by mixing CMYKW ink. Not sure what that means? The letters stand for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key (black) and White, which are the base colours that have been blended to make every other hue in the spectrum by traditional printers for years. It’s early days for the Cronzy, with a lot of unanswered questions, but colour us curious.

Cronzy Pen

Interchangeable tips The Cronzy Pen comes with five interchangeable tips, each with a different diameter, so you can draw with different line weights

Print cartridges The Cronzy Pen is able to produce custom colours by mixing ink cartridges. These are also replaceable and each pen will come with a spare

Draw on anything As well as doodling in your notebook, the Cronzy Pen will be able to draw on fabric and even skin

Smart scanner The Cronzy Pen’s scanner is built into the tip of the drawing tool and can detect 16 million colours

Companion app The Pen will come with an app for iOS, Android and even Windows phones, allowing the user to select from a colour wheel and save their favourite shades


Face contact foam A thin layer of interchangeable foam acts as a cushion between the headset and your head. It can be removed and reshaped to get the perfect fit

Adjust for your eyes Also available in the Homido V1, you’re able to adjust the IPD (interpupillary distance) as it helps to improve the immersiveness of the VR experience


VR headsets tend to fall into one of two camps. There are those that are recognised household names, and those that provide a cheaper entry point into the world of VR. The Homido V2 falls very much into the second category. But while the original Homido VR was basically a plastic version of Google Cardboard, the second iteration looks to forge its own identity.

The new headset is smaller than the original, with increased ventilation and added padding for a comfier experience when wearing it. However, its also now compatible with more phones, including larger devices with five-inch screens. Where Homido looks to really stand out from the competition, though, is through its new ecosystem of virtual reality accessories. While the V2 headset is out now, a Bluetooth gamepad and a 360° camera are set to arrive next year, and Homido even has a Kinect-like motion sensor in development. The Homido Center app has also undergone a makeover, as it looks to build a central hub for VR content. Movies and games are plentiful and Homido is said to be investing heavily in getting developers to work on exclusive titles for its V2 system. But perhaps the best news of all, is that despite the improvements and modifications made throughout, the price hasn’t leapt up. The Homido V2 headset will have a price tag of around £65. Sure, it’s more expensive than Google Cardboard, but compared to the wallet-busting HTC Vive, it’s a no-brainer.

A NEW VR ECOSYSTEM 360° camera

This shoots panoramic 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second. A free app will convert the movies for sharing on Facebook and YouTube. The price is TBC, but expected to be very competitive.

Bluetooth gamepads Field of view The 100° field of view that the Homido V2 sports is comparable to many of the leading headsets currently on the market

Improved compatibility A larger, thinner fixed space at the front of the headset means Homido will now work with bigger phones like the iPhone 6S Plus

While less remarkable than the camera, wireless controllers for iOS and Android devices show a greater commitment to interactive virtual reality experiences.

Output upgrade One of the biggest and most obvious upgrades is the addition of an HDMI port, so you can play those 8-bit classics in high definition on your modern TV set

Controller ports One authenticlooking NES controller is the box, and extra ones cost £8 extra; you can also use the NES Classic Mini controllers with your Wii U, if you want

30 free games Many games are included in the system itself – no cartridge swapping necessary. Nintendo has said it won’t be making any more available for future purchase

NINTENDO’S NEW CONSOLE IS ALREADY A CLASSIC ETA NOV 2016 From Ghostbusters to Pokémon, nostalgia for the Eighties and Nineties is bigger than ever, and Nintendo is making the most of it with the NES Classic Mini (or NES Classic Edition in the US), which is exactly what it sounds like: a smaller, rebooted replica of the iconic Nintendo Entertainment System first launched back in 1985, albeit with high definition capabilities and built-in games.

Love Nintendo? Discover Pokemon Go gear on page 46 Saved data Another upgrade for the 21st century: each game has been fitted with support for multiple suspend points or ‘save states’, so you can walk away and resume games at will

It lets gamers relive their glorious 8-bit youth with 30 games, including Metroid and, of course, the Super Mario Bros. trilogy of titles (you can’t buy extra games, unfortunately). It’s getting a few modern upgrades too – like an HDMI output. Based on the buzz that this mini NES has created so far, it looks like this is going to be a major Christmas hit for Nintendo. Just

about enough time has passed for graphics and gameplay to suddenly seem cool again, and even if it’s no match for the new PS4 Neo, you can at least remember the good old days before you had to worry about a mortgage and pension. Everything you need is in the box and it can be yours for £50/$60, so make room for one in your Christmas stocking.

FIRST GAMES TO PLAY Super Mario Bros. 1985

Sega has Sonic, Nintendo has Super Mario. This trilogy of NES platformers seem simple by today’s standards, but they helped to define console gaming.

The Legend Of Zelda 1986

Not only one of the most iconic videogames ever, this was the first home console title that let you save data to the cartridge, thanks to the help of an internal battery.

Pac-Man 1984

Like Donkey Kong, Pac-Man made the leap from arcade cabinets to the NES, and is one of the most recognisable games of all time. A new Pac-Man game is coming this September.

Final Fantasy

1987 Thought to be a swan song for its developer, Square, Final Fantasy became one of the most ironic franchise titles in history, and it all began on the NES.



SAVE SPACE WITH ORI’S ROBOTIC FURNITURE ETA JAN 2017 When you’re living in a tiny inner city apartment you need to make the most of every inch. Ori, run by MIT engineers, wants to help you to do that. At a push of a wall-mounted button, a bed appears (or disappears); with the swipe of a smartphone app, a desk emerges from your wardrobe. It’s all powered by intelligent robotics and it means you can reconfigure the smallest of living spaces depending on the time of day and what you’re up to. Ori itself calls these pieces of furniture “architectural robotics” and it’s looking for partnerships with apartment builders to get

Touch to move A control panel built into the side of Ori’s furniture lets you easily switch between different layouts at the touch of a button

its kit installed before you even move in. The company also has a pilot programme scheduled to begin early next year. The name Ori is based on ‘origami,’ which gives you some idea of what to expect. Cupboards and wardrobes almost seem to fold in and out of one another, though we stress your furniture isn’t actually made of lightweight paper. Eventually, Ori wants its creations to connect up to other types of smart home tech, so they can work with the lights or security system you’ve got at home, depending on the configurations you need.

Smartphone control Ori is also developing a smartphone app, so you’ll be able to control furniture positions from the other side of the world, or your sofa

Smart home integration The system will be integrated with other smart kit, so your alarm clock could roll your bed away, for example

Walking wardrobe The whole unit is motorised and so it can move to different positions along the wall, depending on what you need

Origami furniture Time to sleep or time to work? Bed and desk units can slide in and out of the main Ori unit

Shelf space You can configure the drawers and shelves of an Ori unit in a variety of ways to maximise your use of space







02 03



Kickstarter 10


01 Floating Record

Ensure everyone can see your vinyl with this high-performance, vintage-style turntable that not only plays records vertically, but outputs through its dynamic full-range stereo speakers. £305 | $400 |

02 Zungle

This amazing sunglasses/headphones hybrid set sounds as good as it looks, since it comes with built-in bone conduction speakers that can beam your favourite beats straight into your bonce.

£115 | £150 |

03 Epiqual

With a modern, sleek design spin on the humble toothbrush – complete with removable heads – dental hygiene can now be as stylish and ‘chic’ as your mobile phone. £10 | $10 |


04 Orison

Who could fail to love tech that saves energy and cash? This sleek-looking device stores energy when the utility rates are low and lets you use it during peak times.

£1,185 | $1,550 |

05 Done watch

Designed to have a timeless aesthetic, this hand-wound swiss watch has been precisioncrafted and assembled by hand. What it lacks in functionality, it makes up for in desirable looks.

£425 | $575 |

06 HiddenRadio2

It appears to be an upside-down bin but tap the top of the touch-sensitive cap and a speaker capable of streaming 360° sound is suddenly revealed. It doubles as a phone speaker, too.

£150 | $200 |

09 10

07 Fluxo

Is the light on your ceiling causing glare in places it shouldn’t? This amazing-looking pendant lamp lets you direct light in any direction using gestures on the phone app. £375 | $495 |

08 Miito

Rather than waste water and energy heating up a kettle of water, Miito just pops directly into your drink. With its simple, futuristic and cool design, it looks fab in the kitchen.

£100 | $135 |

09 Moon

‘Moonshots’ take on a whole new meaning when you feast your eyes on this gorgeous lunar globe. Ringed by illuminating LED lights, it features the craters and ridges of Earth’s natural satellite.

£600 | $790 |

10 Prepd

As well as a cool lunchbox case and magnetic cutlery, Prepd has an app which offers recipes and allows you to make just enough food to fill each of the neat containers.

£40 | $55 |




New portable over-ears are designed for ‘Music Maniacs’ If you’re looking for headphones that you can wear on the go and still enjoy a rich sound quality, check out Denon’s new AH-MM200s. Described as having a ‘European design,’ there’s no denying they look swish. Available in black or white for just £100, they have ellipsoid cups for comfort and fold inwards for added portability. They are made from glass fibre and ceramic, so they are lightweight and scratch resistant, while having the high rigidity for resonance-free audio quality. Designed for die-hard audiophiles that like to listen to their music loud and often, you should know the ‘MM’ in the headphones’ name stands for ‘Music Maniac’. These over-ears have Denon’s exclusive Triple Layer diaphragms which help to deliver a wide frequency response and high dynamic sound, along with 30mm drivers. They’ve also been professionally tuned for a flat EQ, so their sound output has a natural tonal balance and greater accuracy for your ears.




Enter today at TERMS AND CONDITIONS The closing date for entries is 23 September 2016. Please be aware that answers must be submitted to the above website only. This competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom and Ireland only. Imagine Publishing has the right to substitute the prize for a similar item of equal or higher value. Employees of Imagine Publishing (including freelancers), their relatives or any agents are not eligible to enter. The Editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Prizes cannot be exchanged for cash. Full terms and conditions are available upon request. From time to time, Imagine Publishing or its agents may send you related material or special offers. If you do not want to receive this, please state it clearly on your competition entry.



Wow tech


MIND-BLOWING GEAR REVEALED Some gadgets cannot fail to astound you. They drip with desirability, leave you openmouthed and drooling at their mere existence and have you reaching into your wallet for your credit card in the heavenheld hope that there’s enough left on your limit for the sale to go through. The devices on these pages are among those that will have you screaming, “Take my money now!” at whatever vendor happens to be selling them. They’re innovative and good-looking for the most part, but unanimously astounding in what they’re capable of. As well as taking a look at what wonders these amazing pieces of kit can perform, we’re also going to get under their chassis and explain how they work. One thing’s for sure: they’re only the top of a large gadget iceberg. It’s an exciting time to be alive.

Wow Tech




Through the ear

The Batband contains three transducers on the inside of the device. These vibrate on the temporal bones either side of the skull and the occipital bone at the back

When the vibrations make contact with a small bone called the malleus, they transfer to the incus: another small ear bone, which passes the vibrations over to the stapes

Listen up music aficionados. These gorgeously-sleek headphones not only look as beautiful as they sound, they turn those stickyout things jutting from your ears into mere obsolete cranial decorations. For not only does the ingenious Batband send tunes through your skull and straight into your inner ear, it straps across the back of your head and works its musical magic without covering up your lugholes. It’s the kind of brilliant gadget you’d imagine Bruce Wayne using, only this concept actually dates back to the 18th century when the almost-deaf composer Beethoven discovered he could ‘hear’ by biting on a rod attached to his piano.

Inner ear From there, the vibrations continue to the stapes which is another middle ear bone and then transferred to the inner ear

Into the bone The sound waves vibrate and travel down to the base of the skull and across, bypassing the entire ear canal and the eardrum

Free ear Since the ear is left free and ‘open’, it is able to take in sounds as normal up through the ear canal without any obstruction

It works by transforming sound waves into vibrations and sending them through the temporal bone above your ear, bypassing the drum in your inner ear, while still filling your brain with amazing sounds. A third transducer then stimulates the occipital bone, giving the songs some extra oomph. Since this frees up your ears, then, it allows you hear conversations without lifting your cans off your ears or frantically tugging on your earbuds. Even better, you should also be able to cross a road without needing to scramble off it later when you’ve failed to hear the rumble of a lorry.

Batband £130 | $200 |

Using the Batband Music is beamed from a phone via Bluetooth. A left-side button on the Batband lets you make and take phone calls. A slider on the right adjusts the volume


Wow tech

Detachable strap The Pyro hooks onto the strap and it can be easily removed without having to unfasten the whole band

USB charging The device needs power and it has a built-in lithium battery that can be charged via USB. Each full charge allows for 600 uses

Small size The small size of the device makes it very versatile. You can hide it under playing cards as well as discreetly place it on your wrist

SHOOT FIREBALLS FROM YOUR WRIST Being able to emulate the blazing-hot feats of a fiery supervillain is like finding a box full of unpopped bubble wrap: the potential for fun is huge but just where will you begin? By strapping this awesome device to your wrist, you can perform some amazingly hot tricks, from shooting fireballs 40 feet into the air, to igniting a couple of soaring flames at once via the blistering burst mode. It’s more than enough to make Marvel’s Pyro happy, and while it’s intention is to allow magicians to amaze audiences, it should satiate your burning desire to impress, too. Of course, as with all magic, you’ll want to know how the trick works and here’s the reveal: the device (also called Pyro) uses flash paper which is a special paper used in pyrotechnics that burns instantly. Packed into the two barrels of the small device, it is ignited by a heater coil which is activated when you press a trigger on a remote control or on the device itself. This sends it shooting out as a ball of flame. You need to remember you’re not a superhuman, though. The manufacturer says it has done everything it can to make Pyro safe, but you should definitely read the manual first.

Pyro Mini £115 | $150 |

Triggering the heat Once the trigger has been activated, the heater coil warms and the flash paper is ignited. Since it burns so rapidly, you view it as a fireball

Antenna range You can use the remote control from up to 30 feet away, thanks to the longrange antenna, which allows it to be activated from afar

Flammable material Flash paper – or nitrocellulose – is inserted into the barrels. It’s made by treating briefly soaked tissue paper with nitric acid and concentrated sulfuric acid

Wow Tech



Sure, tech bubbles tend to burst from time to time, but if one of these delicious, transparent air balls exploded in your face, you surely wouldn’t complain. Said to have been perfected over many months, BubbleLick allows you to turn your favourite beverages into floating cocktails of refreshment, and it works with virtually any kind of drink from cola to champagne. Each bottle contains 25ml of concentrate made to a secret bubble-producing formula and the idea is that you top it up to 50ml with your own drink using a red line as a guide, give it a shake, dip in the wand and blow gently – you don’t want it all over your hands, after all. The array of delicious edible bubbles should pop on the tongue to great satisfaction and since this is sure to be a perfect accompaniment for an amazing party, you get six bottles in a pack.

BubbleLick £15 | $20 |

THE SECURITY CAM THAT CAN SURVIVE A TORNADO Possibly the world’s most rugged security camera, the Panasonic Aero PTZ looks set to become the most fearsome foe of any thief in town. Built to withstand pretty much anything Mother Nature could ever hope to throw at it, the Aero PTZ films at 60fps and 1080p HD making it ready to catch even the most weather-beaten of criminals. Aside from a 360° view, 30x optical zoom capabilities and wide dynamic range, the camera stabilises its images, allowing it to cope perfectly well in the highest of winds and most shuddering of earthquakes. It also withstands the most extreme of temperatures while operating even after being submerged in water. But it has beauty on its side too, with picture-perfect styling to match its impressive armour. It almost looks like a friendly, saluting robot, only with a fearsome, powerful stare.

Panasonic Aero PTZ TBC |

Top aerodynamic design Since the camera is spherical and has rounded surfaces, the wind drag is minimised, allowing it to withstand gusts of up to 134mph

Built-in wiper A wiper keeps the lens clear of rain and snow while a defroster ensures it doesn’t become obscured by ice when the temperature drops

Cosy internal heater When it gets very cold, an internal heater ensures that the electronics don’t freeze and that means it can operate at a chilly -50°C

A Fibreglass body The camera’s non-corrosive fibreglass body is lightweight and it is not only able to withstand dust but sprays of saltwater if it’s used at sea


Wow tech

MORE AWESOME FLOATING TECH Air Bonsai Impress coworkers with this desk accessory. It’s a real tree, so you’ll need to trim it over time to stay afloat. £225 | $300 |

OvR Charge Watch any phone or tablet charge without wires while rotating in midair with this magnetic attachment and wooden base. TBC |

Flyte Turns out the lamp industry is an elaborate con, lightbulbs are quite capable of hanging in the air all by themselves. £270 | $350 |

ICE Orb Floating speakers kicked off the levitating tech boom and there’s now dozens of them available to buy. £45 | $150 |


The Fifties wasn’t all about post-war rationing and polio. It also brought some cool tech to the table including the first microchip, modems and credit cards to buy stuff on the drip. The decade also saw Nixie tubes being used to display numerals using glow discharge and this process has made a return. This Nixie clock by Lasermad is a good example of how old tech is being spun for a new audience. The makers could have simply displayed the time on the stacked bent wire inside each of the five glass tubes, but they have gone that little further, pulling off a trick magic men such as David Copperfield and David Blaine would be intrigued by: levitation.

Touch-sensitive switches The clock can be set using an Android app (no iOS version appears on the cards yet) or by tapping the touch-sensitive switches on either side of the base

Rare earth magnets will let it hover while electromagnets will keep the display stablised. It gains its power by popping copper induction wires in to the two halves of the overall unit which means it will keep going as long as electricity is running into the base. But that’s not all: adding to the Wow Factor of this clock is the ability to even set the time via a companion app, available for Android devices. You can also buy a single digit clock which displays the numerals sequentially that has been made from a modern, speciallycommissioned Nixie tube.

Levitating Nixie Clock £350 | $465 |

Levitation magnets The middle of the base has a circular levitation magnet which acts repulsively against the magnet of the clock to keep it in the air

Central power The electromagnets in the centre of the base stabilise the levitating clock while four stabiliser magnets around it provide extra support

Copper coil A copper coil runs around the outside of the levitation magnet and transfers power from the base to the clock to keep it ticking along nicely

Wow Tech


BOUNCING BOOTS THAT SHED THE CALORIES Okay, so you may feel self-conscious as you leap into action with a pair of Kangoo Jumps on your feet, but power-assisted pogoing will blitz the calories faster than a Hummer guzzles gas. The bouncing boots are astounding minitrampolines with spring-loaded soles that not only transform you into a human kangaroo, but help reduce pressure on your joints by up to 80 per cent. When your foot hits the floor, the springs absorb the impact and your knee is forced back upwards. It makes you run flat-footed rather than pushing forward with your toes, but the extra effort involved in battling against gravity burns more calories. Surprisingly easy to use, they give your legs and glutes a good workout. They also go a long way in preventing injury. One bold claim is they also help you keep a youthful visage: apparently, the constant rebounding puts skin cells under stress and make their membranes firmer and their elasticity over time.

Kangoo Jumps £225 | $300 |

Reduction of impact to the ground

Extra calories that you’ll burn

Number of study subjects injured when running

Chance of looking ridiculous

WAKING UP HAS NEVER SMELT SO GOOD Imagine stirring from your slumber to the spiriting smell of the sea, an appetising hot croissant, fresh green grass or a melting bar of rich, dark chocolate. Sure beats a jarring alarm, doesn’t it? With the Sensorwake alarm clock, that’s exactly what you get: an awesome awakening to the scent of whatever capsule you place into its top (followed by a melody after three minutes). Each capsule uses dry air diffusion - similar to plug-in air fresheners – and there’s enough scent in every one for a month’s worth of perfume goodness.

Sensorwake £80 | $110 |

ZAP AWAY YOUR BAD HABITS IN JUST ONE WEEK From smoking to splurging into your overdraft, some bad habits are hard to break. But by strapping a Pavlok to your wrist and pressing a button when you’re indulging in something you shouldn’t, you can send an electric shock through your skin – jolting your brain into associating what you thought were the best things in life with pain. It sounds masochistic but it’s a case of classic conditioning which draws on Ivan Pavlov’s psychological experiments with his unfortunate pooch. With set courses and enough capacity for 150 jolts per charge, it won’t take too long for you to see the error of your ways.

Pavlok £135 | $180 |


Wow tech

DISCOVER EXACTLY WHAT’S IN YOUR NEXT MEAL So you’ve ordered something to eat and it’s arrived, do you take a Instagram it, or do you grab the brilliant DietSensor and zap it with a beam of light for a couple of seconds? If the latter is your answer, then you’ll discover your meal’s nutritional breakdown in an instant. As the light bounces around, it can distinguish the different food molecules. The results are then sent to an app on your phone.

YOU CAN’T LOSE THIS WEATHERFORECASTING UMBRELLA Over the last few years, new twists on the umbrella have rained down upon us. The Oombrella stands out, though. It lets you know if it’s going to rain in the next 30 minutes. It pulls data from a real-time weather app, Wezzoo, and uses sensors to record light, humidity and temperature.

Thanks to GPS, the brolly also notifies you if you leave it behind. But that’s not all: it has a buzzer in the handle that lets you know of calls to your phone and you can pop a Go Pro camera on top.

Oombrella £55 | $70 |

DietSensor £200 | $250 |

CONTROL DRONES WITH A WAVE OF YOUR HAND We could make a comparison here with the movie Minority Report but we’ll cruise right past that. For as much as Myo lets you type using move and hold gestures while letting you open menus by making a fist, it’s also a top gun when it comes to taking your Parrot drone for a spin. With the band slipped snugly over your arm, a quick spread of your fingers gets the flier on its way, and movements of the arm allow you to navigate. It works via three stainless steel electromyography sensors that measure the electrical impulses from your

muscles, translating them into one of five different gestures. Meanwhile, a nine-axis inertial measurement unit is able to detect the motion, rotation and orientation of your forearm. By beaming this data to your drone via Bluetooth, you get a true taste of the gesture control future. To be continued, as they say in showbiz.

Myo Gesture Control Armand

Send the data The instruction is beamed across to whatever device is being used via Bluetooth and is then carried out. All of this happens within a split second

£200 | $200 |

Move your hand When you move your fingers and hands, tiny electrical signals are produced within the cell muscles. This acts as a signal which can be picked up by Myo’s EMG sensors

Reading you loud and clear Processing the signal Myo recognises five gestures which makes it easier to distinguish what the user intends to do. The gesture will be turned into an instruction for a movement

Getting a clean reading from EMG sensors is not easy and there are many false positives. But Once the EMG sensors have their input the signals are amplified

Wow Tech

LISTEN ONLY TO THE THINGS YOU WANT If you only ever buy one set of smart earbuds, then make sure they are Here Ones. Not only can they play music via Bluetooth, they offer what Doppler Labs calls ‘Adaptive Listening’, which means you can use them to tune out specific frequencies in day-to-day life while retaining everything else as normal. It’s like the Gods Of Noise have descended upon Earth and given you a way of muting the world’s naggers, crying babies and those rustlers of sweets at the cinema. Only they have also given you the power of tuning into the noises you want to hear: the boss’ conversation across the room, perhaps, or what the waiter is saying over the chatter of the busy dining room.


04 03

01 Listening for sounds As the sound waves of your environment filter through the air to your ears, the buds’ mic detects and processes them digitally

02 Altering the noise Multiple processors look at your app settings, altering the digital signal in real time so that the wanted sounds are amplified and the unwanted are replaced by waves

03 Into the ear The resulting mixed sound is sent straight to the ear canal which means you’ll only get to hear the filtered and enhanced signal

04 Final check made Before it does, a second mic listens to the modified sound and picks up on any errors that the digital signal processor can correct


Each bud acts like a live audio remixer and offers layered listening. But while a previous Hear product would remove entire frequency ranges, One is sensitive and it’s able to finetune specific sounds without affecting the others within the same banding. There are also microphones which let you tell the buds where the sounds you hate are coming from. Everything is controlled via an app, as you’d expect, and you can set up a personal Listening Profile which puts your ears through their paces to figure how good your hearing is and adapts the incoming sounds to suit. It’s due to be released in November.

Here One

£226 | $300 |



Wow tech

LISTEN VIA SPEAKERS MADE OF GLASS Annie Lennox once sang about walking on broken glass and if these fantastic transparent directional speakers ever shattered across your living room floor, you’ll certainly sob like you’re never going cry again. Made by Turtle Beach, Hypersound Glass is still a prototype right now but its see-through panes are a major breakthrough. By layering the glass with multiple transparent films, the speakers can generate a narrow and effective beam of highly directional audio that targets listeners in a specific spot. Only if you are in that space will the ultrasound beam become entirely audible to your ears. So as well as helping you avoid disturbing others with your sounds, it allows the technology to produce an audio experience that is akin to three-dimensional sound, just for you. It’s also digitally processed so the resulting music is crisp and it maintains its clarity over longer distances. You can think of it as a beam of light, if you like – if you step away from the beam, it’s never going to be as bright. But if you’re in the right spot, you’ll see it in all its glory. Turtle Beach is toying with the many possibilities the panes open up, including integrating the tech into televisions, desktop monitors and even the dashboard glass of cars to deliver information directly to the driver.

Hypersound Glass TBC |

An integrated setup Turtle Beach is looking to license the tech to third-parties to integrate into their own products but it will also be compatible with any system able to produce audio

The targeted beam You have to turn the speakers so that they are directed at you in order to get the full experience. You’ll hear ambient sound if you move out of the target zone

Generating the beam The processor places audio on to the ultrasound beam that is being emitted from the panel and, because it’s targeted, it doesn’t readily degrade like traditional audio

Crisp sound waves When the targeted beam of ultrasound carries the audio to your ears, you will think you’re wearing surround-sound cans as the quality is that good

The first 360° VR Action Cam in 4K #explorein360



Secure your smart home

STAY SAFE WITH HIGH-TECH CAMERAS AND SENSORS The smart home is more than just colourchanging lightbulbs and Wi-Fi-connected thermostats. It can also be the frontline defence for protecting your home, thanks to a growing trend for consumer-friendly security cameras, smart smoke detectors, and motion sensors that will alert you when anything is wrong. It’s still a jumbled market, with lots of competing products of varied quality and working across different platforms. To help you cut through the noise, we’ve rounded up the very best tech for all price points and

compared the leading surveillance cameras out right now. We’ll also show how to make your smart security kit work together using IFTTT. Many of the gadgets featured here, including the August and Kwikset Kevo smart locks, Ring door bell and Canary security camera, are all Apple HomeKit certified. This means that will be amongst the first that you will be able to control using just the one app, simply called Home, which will be coming to your iPhone with the iOS 10 update in September. There has never been a better time to set up your smart home.









Secure your smart home

No new wiring

Answer from anywhere

Connecting August is easy, as it’s an extension of your existing doorbell system. It shares the same required house current of 16 or 24 volts

Use the microphone feed on your smartphone and August camera to communicate directly with the people at your door

£150 | $200

August Doorbell Cam The August Doorbell connects to your smartphone, offering you a live video feed of anyone who arrives at your door, where you can then see and speak to them.

THROW AWAY YOUR KEYS At the forefront of any home’s security is its front door lock, naturally. While the traditional deadbolt lock has long been the staple product for most front doors, they aren’t impervious to a thief’s nimble fingers. One of the great things about smart home locks is that they get rid of your key altogether; instead, they tend to rely on the use of your smartphone or your unique thumbprint for recognition. These locks are heavily encrypted, so there’s little chance for hackers to get access to the wireless signal, and you’ll be instantly informed via text if someone does try and break in to your home. But we shouldn’t forget the trusted doorbell, which has also been given a smart home makeover. A new wave of doorbells now have integrated cameras, which can be accessed from your smartphone and viewed instantly when someone is at your door. It’s a great tool to have around if you want to see who’s knocking at your door. Your door is the first line of defence in your home, and it’s these products that you need to pay close attention to.

Haven This is a Bluetoothconnected barricade that keeps your door completely shut until you wirelessly unlock it. £165 | $220 |

Friday Smart Lock Friday is Europeandesigned, so better suits regional locks. Also comes in a range of colours. £150 | $200 |

Kwikset Kevo Created by locksmith Kwikset, the Kevo unlocks via Bluetooth. £150 | $185 |



WHO IS IN YOUR HOUSE? If someone manages to break into your home, then a motion sensor can prove to be a valuable asset to have around. Smart sensors can track the whereabouts of an intruder, down to the room they’re in and the direction they’re facing, and send this as an alert to your phone. This should give you enough time to call the relevant authorities and catch the thieves in the act. Alternatively, you could also connect the sensors to a siren, which will go off and alert your neighbours. Better still, get

an alert before they even break in by attaching a sensor, such as a Samsung Smart Thing, so that it’s looking out of your window. But, of course, not everyone who enters your house is a danger. Some of the more advanced motion sensors on the market include onboard facial recognition (like the Netatmo Welcome over the page), which can be set up to only alert you about faces that it hasn’t seen before. No matter your budget, there’s a motion sensor that will work for you.

CONTROL YOUR HOME WITH IFTTT Samsung SmartThings This kit lets you remotely monitor and control your smart home through its router-connected hub. £200 | $200

£90 | $100

Netatmo Tags These door and window sensors are waterproof so can be used either inside or out. Get an alert whenever they sense movement. Tags can also work in tandem with the Welcome camera.

Scout Acting as a system of sensors that communicate with one another to protect every inch of your home, Scout is far better than a guard dog. £150 | $275

Smanos Home Security W100 A dual-network alarm system that connects to your phone line and can be controlled via app commands. £160 | $200

IFTTT is a free automation app that can make some of your gadgets work together to secure your home. Here’s five ideas to get you started.

01Always lock the door

When Samsung SmartThings deects movmenet and your phone’s GPS says you’ve left the house, IFTTT will instantly lock your door.

02Turn on the lights

If your motion sensor detects movement at the door, your Philips Hue lightbulb will light up, giving the impression that you’re at home.

03Ask for help

If your Nest thermostat detects smoke, automatically text a neighbour to double check or call the fire brigade.

04Shut your garage If you have a Garageio smart garage door, you can have IFTTT automatically close it at a set time every night.

04Log your lock

Automatically record every time your August smart lock is unlocked in a Google Drive spreadsheet. For more IFTTT smart home ideas, visit


Secure your smart home


Monitor your home on the go with smart CCTV



While it provides a good motion-tracking system, the Withings Home is one of the few security devices that also offers a noise alert. When it detects a loud, unusual sound, it’ll send a notification your way. It’s powerful enough to pick up the sounds throughout your home, not just the room the camera is in. As well as night vision, the Withings Home offers an impressive digital zoom option, which is perfect for picking up on the smallest of details.

Withings Home £170 | $200 |

» Camera

» Connectivity

» Sensors

» Dimensions

RESOLUTION: 1080p FIELD OF VIEW: 135° NIGHT VISION: Yes Air quality, Accelerometer Ambient light

WI-FI: 2.4GHz BLUETOOTH: Yes WIRED: Ethernet

HEIGHT: 87mm DIAMETER: 75mm WEIGHT: 226g

» Audio

Two microphones 2W speaker


Netatmo Welcome’s camera uses facial recognition so when placed next to your front door, it can tell you which of your family members have come and gone, sending an alert to your phone, PC or smartwatch. Crucially, it will also alert you when it sees a stranger it doesn’t know. It also has a built-in microphone that will automatically detect sounds, such as a smoke alarm siren or a smashed window, and alert you. All video is stored on a built-in SD card.

» Camera


» Sensors

Facial recognition Sound

» Audio


» Connectivity WIFI: 2.4GHz (802.11 b/g/n) BLUETOOTH: No WIRED: Ethernet

» Dimensions HEIGHT: 155mm DIAMETER: 45mm WEIGHT: 399g

03 MORE CAMERAS, MORE OPTIONS While the Arlo Q is impressive by itself, thanks to its 1080p video and instant alert system, it’s best used with other Arlo units. With other units dotted around your home, the Arlo Q becomes the ‘hub’, whereby alerts are processed through it before you’re notified. With two-way audio, it’s possible to talk and listen to anyone in your home – just make sure to equip your smartphone with the Arlo app, where you see each camera’s viewpoint simultaneously.

Netatmo Welcome

Netgear Arlo Q

£200 | $220 |

£160 | $250 |

» Camera


» Sensors

Motion Sound alerts

» Audio

Two-way audio Microphone

» Connectivity WI-FI: 2.4, 5GHZ (b/g/n) BLUETOOTH: No WIRED: No

» Dimensions

HEIGHT: 114.3mm DIAMETER: 69.85mm WEIGHT: 168g



04 03 05


This is one of the more advanced security cameras out there. Not only is the Canary capable of automatically switching between different security modes when you leave and enter your property, it can send video feeds to the authorities as soon as a burglar is detected. It also has an ear-splitting 90dB siren. If you’re wondering about its name, the device also monitors your home’s air quality, kind of like a canary down a mineshaft.

Canary £155 | $200 |

» Camera


» Sensors

Motion Air quality Humidity Temperature Accelerometer

» Audio

Microphone Built-in speaker 90+ dB siren

» Connectivity WI-FI: 2.4GHz (802.11 b/g/n) BLUETOOTH: No WIRED: Ethernet

» Dimensions

HEIGHT: 152.40mm DIAMETER: 76.20mm WEIGHT: 396g


While most home security cameras are fixed in place, so they can point in one direction, you can remotely rotate Motorola’s Focus 85 to point anywhere you want it to. This is a big plus because otherwise the camera would be limited to just a 40° field of view, but with the option to pan from side to side this works out as a 300° view – the broadest in this head-to-head. Unfortunately, motion-triggered recording requires a paid subscription.

Motorola Focus 85 £90 | $130 |

» Camera


» Sensors

Motion Sound Temperature

» Audio

Two-way communication Polyphonic melodies

» Connectivity WI-FI: Wi-Fi 2.1GHz (802.11b/g/n) BLUETOOTH: No WIRED: No

» Dimensions HEIGHT: 115mm DIAMETER: 100m WEIGHT: 370g

034 Think before speaking Nest Protect uses a human voice to send out an early warning. It’s a handy way to make you aware of the seriousness of the smoke threat

Secure your smart home

Steam, not smoke Thanks to its built-in humidity sensor, the Nest Protect is capable of distinguishing between smoke and steam, allowing you to shower in peace

£90 | $100

Nest Protect This smart smoke detector also sends alerts directly to your smartphone in case you’re not home. It’s also the first fire alarm that you can silence with a swipe of your phone as well.

YOU NEED TO UPGRADE YOUR SMOKE DETECTORS We’ve all seen adverts alerting us of the potential danger we face when our smoke detectors aren’t working properly; especially if you don’t test them regularly. While, for many, a bog-standard smoke detector will be enough, we implore you to check out one of the new wave of smart smoke detectors on the market for some extra piece of mind. For the most part, these smart smoke detectors carry the same smoke sensors as their basic counterparts, but it’s the other tech involved that makes them stand out. Many can be controlled via your phone, so in the case of a faulty alarm, you can quickly silence it through an app. Similarly, some go a bit deeper than just detecting smoke, with many devices evaluating the air quality in your home and providing you with information about the potentially deadly carbon monoxide levels in your home. And if you are worried that you will have to pay extra cash for the installation of these smart smoke detectors, you don’t need to. They all fit in the same vein as standard smoke detectors, enabling you install them yourself in any room you see fit.

THE WORLD’S TOUGHEST PADLOCK Birdi As well as alerting you to fires, Birdi also issues severe weather warnings and can monitor your home’s air quality. £90 | $120 |

Roost Smart Smoke Alarm Faster fire detection and remote alerts are just two of Roost’s features. £60 | $80 |

While it’s all well and good to make sure your home is safe, it’s also imperative to take the necessary precaution to lock up your shed. The Master Lock is the world’s toughest padlock, doing away with keys and instead using a wireless pattern system for entry, primarily activated by your smartphone. All of that smart technology is coated in reinforced steel, so not only will it stand up to the elements, but it’s also safe from potential thieves. £60 | $90

Master Lock Outdoor Bluetooth Smart Padlock




Tracking devices like Tile and TrackR are designed to be put on the end of your keys, but can also use them to protect valuables in your home. Intended to help you find your phone or keys if you lose them when out and about, you can also use this tech to track the location of stolen goods. For instance, to protect our priceless vase that has been passed down through generations of tech reporters (or something like that), we placed our Tile tracker inside it where no one would notice it, sticking it in place with Blu-tack. The device has a Bluetooth sensor that connects it to our phone to tell us where it is. This obviously only has a limited range, but Tile can also piggyback off the Bluetooth signal of other Tile devices it may come into contact with, instantly alerting us of its location anywhere in the world. We can then go to that location, and once we’re within range, we can make the Tile alert a 90dB melody to help us find it.

Tile Tile is a tiny Bluetooth tracker that helps you locate lost or stolen items in seconds. £20 | $25 | thetileapp. com

TrackR The coin-sized TrackR attaches to any object, which can be tracked via its app when lost. £25 | $30|

WARNING: YOUR SECURITY TECH CAN BE HACKED While smart home tech might help protect your phone from conventional criminals like burglers, they might put you at risk of another threat: hackers. In a recent study by market research firm Park Associates, it found that one third of broadband households in Europe have security concerns about smart home products. Scare stories about hackers being able to control your smart home and Internet Of Things devices are more prevalent than ever before. Earlier this year, it was uncovered that cyber criminals had managed to hack a wide number of smart home devices, adapted and implanted the malicious LizardStresser code on them, and used them to help take down banks and government agencies. Security researchers TrapX, also showed how hacking the Nest thermostat could be used to control other devices in your home. By wirelessly jailbreaking the device and installing custom software on it, all data would stop being sent back to Nest servers. Instead, the hacker could then begin receiving data from the other Wi-Fi-

connected devices in its vicinity. It’s then a relatively simple task to gain access to the Wi-Fi network and block the user from accessing it. But this sort of attack is easier than you might think to pull off. “The biggest flaw with these devices is people don’t set them up properly. There are numerous cases where hackers access the wireless cameras inside someone’s house and can view everything inside in minutes,” says Ben Levitan, a legal counsel specialising in telecommunications. “Digital encryption is fairly inexpensive now and easier for users to implement into their products. It’s easy to secure anything from hackers with 128-bit encryption. By this I mean a password that is so long that’s it’s practically impossible to break. This means only you can access your water meter, air conditioner and refrigerator. Use common sense when setting up your smart products, and make sure you stay away from the default settings. The reality is that many people who buy these products do not change the default password and it offers no challenge for a hacker to gain access.”


upgrade Your tech


There are two conflicting issues when upgrading personal devices and getting the balance right will make a huge difference to how much you get to enjoy your hard-earned purchases. If you upgrade too often, the costs can be high and you will fail to take full advantage of the features the devices include and the lifespan they are designed to be used for. If, however, you stick with a device for too long, you will miss out on newer features and remain stuck with a product that does not do everything you need. Here, we will highlight some of the best products available and explain why they make good upgrade choices, and will also attempt to offer more detail concerning some of the best phones available. It is never easy making an upgrade choice for any product, but a little bit of knowledge may help you to make the right decision, and, hopefully, one that you will be happy with for a long time to come. If you remember why you bought a product and what you wanted it to do, it will be much easier for you to decide which is the best upgrade choice for your needs.

Upgrade Your Car



FUTUREPROOF YOUR The TomTom Go 6100 gives you the opportunity to upgrade your satnav safe in the knowledge that you will not have to do so again for a long time. It is more expensive than most other satnav devices and, indeed, the rest of the TomTom range, but you do get a lifetime’s supply of world maps, speed cameras and traffic monitoring via a built-in SIM card. This, of course, means that you will never need to buy updates and can drive safe in the knowledge that everything you need to make long journeys more bearable is there for you. The six-inch screen gives you the best possible view of surrounding roads and any traffic incidents, and you can even plan routes on the TomTom MyDrive app and then synchronise the Go 6100 with your phone. A magnetic ‘Click And Go’ mount also lets you install it anywhere in your car, giving you one of most practical and flexible solutions available today. TomTom’s traffic monitoring alone could make all of your money back over time because it will save you time, fuel and a whole lot of frustration during busy times. You can now drive without the expected hassle or worries.

TomTom Go 6100

£300 | $390 |

PIONEER SPH-DA120 Car stereos can now offer much more than just music playback and radio, which is evidenced well by the Pioneer SPH-DA120. It, of course, does the basics very well, but also offers full Apple CarPlay integration meaning you can make calls, use Apple Maps and access messages with your voice. You can also use Android phones with it and the 6.2-inch capacitive touchscreen means that every part of the experience is upgraded and much more usable than before. This is not just a car stereo, but a device that offers a full entertainment experience and more flexibility when it comes to using other devices in your car. £355 | $460 |

NEXTBASE INCAR CAM DUO The In-Car Cam Duo will capture everything that happens in front of and behind your car, thanks to the twin-720p high-definition cameras. The 50m zoom lens rear camera will visualise everything that is happening behind you, including number plates, and the G-sensor data protection will sense a crash while ensuring that the resultant videos files are secure and that they cannot be overwritten. When you consider that one crash that is someone else’s fault can be recorded and save you many times the price of this product, it pays to upgrade to a dash cam that will cover every eventuality. £200 | $260 |



Electric cars are becoming more common, so why not consider an electric bike? A 1.3-kWh lithiumion battery powers a 2kW motor on the Brinco and together they offer a range of up to 50 miles per charge. There are various models to choose from which should cater for any arduous task you want to throw at it.

The Fobo Tire Plus is an advanced Bluetooth device which communicates with four wireless tyre sensors to give you constant pressure readings via a companion app. It is very easy to install, and when you consider that your tyres are the only part of your car always connected to the road, it could also save your life. A great upgrade for your car.

£4,960 | $5,340 |

£175| $230 |


upgrade Your tech


THE 4K HDTV The Nano Crystal Technology in this TV offers 64x more colours than normal TVs which makes a spectacular difference to the quality of the picture. Then there is the Peak Illuminator Pro feature which increases brightness by 1.5x and also saves energy at the same time. Add the Precision Black technology to make everything more vivid and dramatic and you have a product here that focuses entirely on ensuring the best possible picture quality at every step. It is much sharper than standard HD – four times so, in fact – and you also get access to Netflix, YouTube, a web browser, videogames and so much more, thanks to the integrated Smart TV menu. We could stop raving about it, but there’s more: the design and form factor ensure that it will stand out in any living space and the back is just as clever as the front with USB support, four HDMI ports, Ethernet, a digital audio output and so the list goes on and on. If you want to upgrade to a bigger screen which pushes the boundaries of what is possible today, this TV will be a very good choice. It’s hard to criticise it on any level.

Samsung 4K SUHD JS8000 8Series Flat Nano Crystal Smart TV £1,800 | $2,340 |

HYPERSOUND CLEAR 500P These smart speakers are designed to let everyone enjoy TV audio the same way, regardless of hearing loss. It sends an audio beam in a direction which improves recognition thanks to the higher frequencies that are used. Even better, anyone outside of the beam will hear the TV in the normal way. £1,290 | $1,675 |



The fact that the PlayStation VR uses all of the power of the already-brilliant PlayStation 4 and that it is practically plug-and-play makes it an alluring proposition. With so many new headsets entering the market now it can be difficult to know what to go for, but the Sony name alone, and the line-up of launch titles, should be a distinct advantage over its peers.

If sound quality is paramount above convenience, the Fiio X1 will be the ideal personal music player for you. With support for .APE, .FLAC, .ALAC, .WMA and .WAV formats you have all of the options you need plus the ability to carry up to 128GB of music with you everywhere. The components and build quality are excellent for the asking price.

£350 | $400 |

£100 | $110 |

Upgrade Your Entertainment



This pleasinglydesigned fridge offers chilled water on tap, an internal ice maker and some seriously smart temperature controls. It keeps your food in perfect condition and is very spacious.

DROP THE CABLES AND BE The latest QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones from Bose offer a huge range of features and added practicality which will make them feel like an upgrade no matter what headphones you are upgrading from. The noise cancellation not only makes the environment more pleasurable for those around you, but it also ensures that noise is kept to a minimum and that the music can shine through. Every instrument and crack of the vocals can be heard in supreme detail through a set of headphones that are so comfortable you will forget you are even wearing them. Bluetooth and NFC pairing are included so that you will not have any wires

getting in the way and the huge 20 hours of wireless listening per charge is extremely impressive. These are not the cheapest headphones on the market, but they are also far from the most expensive ones, meaning they represent extremely good value when you consider the quality and list of highend features included. Even better, for some devices, such as the iPhone and iPad, you can use an app to set up the headphones and to change settings with a couple of taps. The future of headphones has arrived.

Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones

ActiveSmart Fridge E522BLXFDU4 £1,600 | $2,080 |


This amazing TV lets you relax in the bathroom using the integrated Freeview radio and TV, it even acts as a condensation-free mirror when not in use.

Aquatic 26-inch Advanced Bathroom TV £800 | $1,055 |


This home theatre system has built-in Wi-Fi, 5.1 surround sound, 3D Blu-ray playback and multi-room connectivity. Your lounge can become a superb entertainment hub instantly.

LG Home Theater System LHB725

£290 | $350 |

£400 | $520 |


The Avea Bulb creates realistic moods around your entire bedroom and can be controlled with an iPhone or Apple Watch instantly.

Avea Bulb £35 | $45 |

PLAY AND RECORD ANYTHING If you are in the market for a set-top box that does almost everything, then look no further. This box from Panasonic offers a huge amount of flexibility, including the ability to watch TV shows on your phone using an associated app, a 1TB hard drive which is enough for close to 700 hours of high definition programme recording and the ability to stream Netflix,

YouTube and Amazon Instant Video. You can watch Freeview channels and go back in time up to seven days which should ensure that you do not miss a moment. This is a set-top box for the serious TV addict.

Panasonic DMR-HWT250EB Smart Network HDD Recorder £230 | $300 |


If you own a compatible garage door opener, this simple tool will let you open your garage door using your phone and an app. A flexible and good value solution.

Chamberlain MyQ Garage Universal Garage Door Controller £100 | $130 |


upgrade Your tech


PROTECT AND YOUR CAMERA EQUIPMENT Decent cameras are very expensive and so are most accessories, such as lenses, memory cards and flashes. These types of devices are obviously carried on longer trips, whether on holiday or for work, and so it makes sense to not draw attention to what you are carrying if at all possible. This is where the Airport Accelerator comes in because it looks like many other bags and at no point does it give away what is inside. With multiple compartments to carry two gripped DSLR cameras and spaces for every accessory, it will all fit in neatly and feel completely secure at all times

thanks to the careful sizing. It’s designed to meet most international and US carry-on requirements and can also carry a laptop or tablet with ease, giving you flexibility in a space which is smaller than could reasonably be expected. With full water repellency, nickelplated metal hardware and abrasion-resistant zippers, your equipment really will be in the best place and it all comes together to make it feel like good value for money. If you value your camera equipment and travel often, this will be the last (and only) camera bag you need to travel safely.

Airport Accelerator

£250 | $325 |

CAPTURE PROFESSIONAL QUALITY VIDEOS Camcorders tend to be seen as tools for capturing special memories, but it doesn’t take a huge amount of money to purchase a device that is capable of capturing clips that look as though they came from a high-end studio camera. The high-bitrate AVCHD 1080p video clips are super sharp and there is a range of features onboard that help you keep things stable and capture moments in tight spaces and from unusual angles. Wi-Fi is useful for remote shooting, and with Geotagging included, you really have the extras you need to supplement the brilliant video capture quality. A high-end camcorder at a mid-range price.

CANON LEGRIA HF G40 HD Camcorder £1,080 | $1,405 |



Now this is what we call an upgrade. The Typhoon H comes with the ability to avoid objects by building a 3D model of the world, it uses GPS to track targets and can capture ultra-stable 4K Ultra High Definition video. It’s not cheap, but this is a seriously impressive drone that beats most of the competition with ease. £1,410 | $1,900 |

With 4K video capture, an Exmor R CMOS sensor for low-light capture and SteadyShot technology, you are sure to capture extreme sporting events and lazy holidays in perfect quality. The size and form of the X1000V also makes it easy to carry anywhere, meaning that this camcorder is far from a device of the past. £320 | $400 |

LOMO INSTANT REYKJAVIK With included lenses, a retro style and a variety of shooting modes, the Lomo Instant Reykjavik offers all of the traditional photo-capturing qualities you want in an instant camera with many advanced and highly-useful features included. It is the perfect way to enjoy instant photography in an age where highly sophisticated digital cameras dominate so clearly. £140 | $185 |

Upgrade Your Fitness Wear


UPGRADE YOUR FITNESS WEAR JAWBONE UP3 The UP3 is capable of monitoring your heart-rate throughout the day and puts this to particularly good use when monitoring your sleep. It is able to track REM sleep as well as restlessness and deep sleep which means you can track, in finite detail, one of the most important aspects of your general health. It’s almost unnoticeable when worn. £130 | $130 |


MONITOR OF YOUR BODY You can track daily steps with ease and also your sleep with a fitness tracker, of which there are many varieties available. Did you know, however, that you can also track most parts of your body while doing a workout using the ATHOS Core and associated fitness clothing? The Core itself fits in the palm of your hand and talks to an app on your phone which offers a variety of deep insights into specific muscles. This lets you tone them while simultaneously tracking your progress, and, at the same time, you can see your heart-rate and use the ATHOS score as a guide to your improving muscle tone.

The smart clothing can be bought to cover the upper and lower part of your body or as a full kit to track everything at the same time, and with the added bonus that it looks very cool and ideal for anyone who is into stylish fitness wear. This is not a setup for casual exercise, but, thanks to the sensors built into the clothing and the clever Core product, you will be able to get fitter and understand exactly where you are improving more accurately than ever before. The future of fitness has arrived, and it looks stylish.


£155 | $200 |

CHECK YOUR OVERALL HEALTH It’s good to know your weight and to understand if you are losing the pounds as you wish to, but you can do so much more with scales now which is evidenced by the Body Cardio from Withings. Not only does it measure your weight, BMI, total body fat and water percentage plus bone and muscle mass, it even checks your overall cardiovascular health with heart-rate and ‘Pulse Wave Velocity’. It is super accurate and works with an app to display the results over time, and it really does have the potential to alert you to problems earlier than you would normally spot them. A brilliant innovation.

Withings Body Cardio £140 | $180 |

The Lifebeam Smart Hat measures your heart-rate, steps and calories burned without ever looking like a clever piece of fitness technology. It works with a variety of equipment to make precise measurements and looks like any other cap so it will never look out of place no matter what exercise you are doing. It’s clever and almost invisible. £75 | $100 |

PELOTON BIKE This exercise bike is highly futuristic and has an intriguing design, but it is the clever screen that sets it apart from the rest. It’s integrated with performance metric sensors and uses Wi-Fi to let you participate in live exercise classes and interact with other users. It’s like a virtual exercise class which is super convenient in every way. £1,500 | $1,950 |

WILSON X CONNECTED BASKETBALL As an example of where connectedness and tracking are going, the Wilson X offers a glimpse of what will soon be commonplace. It’s a technology-packed basketball which works with an app to help you perfect your accuracy, game speed and range. Wether you are playing with others or alone, this could improve your game more than any other product. £150 | $200 |


upgrade Your tech


IT’S THIN AND The Dell XPS 13 represents a laptop upgrade that is capable of offering more than just more powerful specifications. It is super thin at just 15mm and it weighs just 1.22kg which can only be appreciated when you pick it up. The UltraSharp QHD+ display makes it a pleasure to use and with up to 18 hours of battery life per charge you will be able to enjoy it for extended periods without worrying where the nearest plug is. Indeed, there are few areas where it does not shine, but we are comfortable in saying that this is one of the best all-round Windows laptops that we have seen in a long time. There are many different

models to choose from which will suit most budgets, which means you can opt for an entry-level model or deal with any task by aiming for the top-of-the-range version with borderless InfinityEdge touchscreen display in QHD+ resolution. No matter what type of laptop you need, you will find the ideal match in Dell’s XPS 13 range, and, with specs this good, you can also look upon it as a worthwhile long-term investment. Windows laptops just became cool again.

Dell XPS 13

£900 | $800 |

SENSEI WIRELESS AGAMING MOUSE This is the perfect accessory for gamers who have a wide range of interests. There is virtually no wireless lag, a form factor that will feel comfortable after many hours of play and preciseness that will ensure you are playing at the top of your game every single day. It also looks impressively slick for a mouse. £110 | $145 |


UPGRADE YOUR READING EXPERIENCE The legendary Kindle just got better and now comes with the option of an alluring white colour to complement the read-anywhere screen. Add in an even thinner and lighter design alongside speedier performance than ever before and you will have an eBook reader that you can use anywhere without needing to worry about charging. If books are your passion and if your current eBook reader is just doing its job, it is likely time to try the best budget reader on the market and upgrade to a better reading experience than ever before. Digital reading just got one step closer to the traditional paper form, but without the bulk.

All-New Kindle E-reader £60 | $80 |

The Yeti Pro is the first microphone that can capture 24-bit/192kHz digital recordings from your desktop and features top of the range specs in every department. It’s easy to set up, extremely well built and is perfect if you are considering creating a podcast or making professional level recordings at home. It also looks rather smart. £190 | $250 |

MICROSOFT SURFACE BOOK If you need laptop functionality, but prefer tablets, the Surface Book could be the perfect solution. It actually works well no matter what your preference is, which makes it a highly flexible solution for every single task you need to complete, but it comes at a price point rarely seen in this sector. £1,300 | $1,500 |

Upgrade Your Computer


THE ULTIMATE GAMING LAPTOP? The Origin EON15-X can be customised to work exactly as you need it to and it’ll suit the pretty much any type of game perfectly. This means that for serious players, the best experiences can be had and in the view of many PCs, this still offers the one of the best gaming experiences possible. With configurations of up to 64GB DDR4 Memory and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M 8GB graphics card, the sky is the limit in terms of the visuals and frame-rate. It’s far from cheap, but when a gaming laptop is pushing the boundaries like this one, that it is to expected. It is a beast.

Origin EON15-X

£1,425 | $1,670 |


It is often true that the keyboards bundled with computers are not always of the best quality and it is also true that we tend to prefer very distinct styles when writing. When you consider how long you are likely to use a keyboard for, it pays to find the perfect fit for you and for many the Cherry G80-3000 MX offers just the right specifications. The mechanical keys will take you back to a time when you could actually feel each letter and they also offer just the right amount of travel so that data entry never feels like a chore. The component quality is also quite wonderful.

Cherry G80-3000 MX

£70 | $90 |

ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY? Chances are if you’re sat at your desk, typing away at your computer, the answer to this question is probably, ‘No.’ So why not embrace the Next Big Thing in your office set up and get a standing desk? They’ve been proven to reduce back strain and other illnesses associated with sitting for long periods. If moving your furniture around sounds like a unwanted hassle, relax. The Variadesk sits on top of your existing desk and you can adjust it to work in either a sitting or a standing position, based on how you feel. It takes just the flick of a switch and three seconds to go from standing to sitting mode.

Variadesk Pro Plus 36 £335 | $395 |


upgrade Your tech

UPGRADE YOUR PHONE Do you take a lot of photos?

Do you like to tinker with how your phone works?

Do you like using the latest apps?


Are you prepared to spend a lot on a new phone?

Do you want a phone you can watch Netflix on?

Will you also use this device as your work phone?


Do you like to accessorise your phone?

Are you looking for a pocketsized device?

Are you likely to drop your phone in the bath?

Do you want to unlock your phone with your fingerprint?

Upgrade Your Phone

ONEPLUS 3 This is not a normal mid-range phone, thanks to the 16MP camera, Optic Amoled display and huge 6GB of RAM. It packs a punch in every area and easily rivals much of the competition which is often priced far higher. It’s also highly customisable and will keep working throughout the day on one charge. £310 | $420 |



The stock Apple Podcasts app is somewhat limited, but Pocket Casts offers a superior number of features, great visuals and excellent stability. It does everything you’d want from it. £2.99 | $3.99 | iPhone/Android

Awesome Note 2

iPHONE SE The iPhone SE packs almost all of the power and features you get in the larger iPhone 6S models into more pocket-friendly casing. The design is sublime and the end result is a device that belies its size when you push it to the limit. For many people, this is the most practical phone you can buy. £360 | $400 |

SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE S7 The brand new Galaxy Note 7 has imported technology from Samsung’s next-gen televisions to make it the first ever HDR smartphone, meaning you watch even higher-quality content on its 5.7-inch display. You can also unlock it using an iris-scanning camera, its S Pen stylus has been enhanced, and the whole thing is totally waterproof. The only concern is its battery size. £700 | $850 |

You can easily upgrade your calendar, note-taker and task manager appswith this allin-one. It is the perfect tool to manage everything you need, and you can use it on your Apple Watch. £3.99 | $3.99 | iPhone/ iPad

Ecoute – Beautiful Music Player

Sometimes an upgrade isn’t about new features, but about usability instead. Ecoute takes the unnecessarily complex process of playing music and makes it completely natural. £0.79 | $0.99 | iPhone

Weather HD - By Clear Day

Animated radar views, weather alerts, cloud cover maps, long-range forecasts and a myriad of other data make Weather HD the ultimate weather app upgrade around today. £2.99 | $3.99 | iPhone/ iPad

TomTom Go Mobile

MOTO Z This high-end phone sets itself apart with the use of Moto Mods. Using very strong magnets, you can add a projector, speaker or even a power pack to the phone in an instant. It’s an elegant solution that will highlight how flexibility is truly possible with some innovative thought when it launches in September. TBC |

Google Maps and Apple Maps have many brilliant features, but this superb navigation tool offers world-class traffic management in a clean interface. We’d expect nothing less from TomTom. Freemium | iPhone/Android


Pokémon Go Gear


We present the best kit to catch ‘em all It’s not easy being a Pokémon Go Trainer. Imagine seeing the silhouette of a Dratini in the ‘Nearby’ tab and sprinting over to its general direction in the hope you’ll run into it – all with only five per cent battery life left in your smartphone. Are you going to find the elusive dragon in time? Or will your phone die out on you first? Not only that, but trying to take over a seriously strong Gym will zap the juice from your device quickly. You could just miss out on taking up a free spot on a Gym after

spending all your time, taps and battery power vanquishing its defenders. To avoid such situations, it’s important to kit yourself out with fully-charged battery packs before heading out on Pokémon hunts. Beyond battery packs, there are plenty of others items Trainers should think about picking up – and we’re not just talking about PokéBalls and Potions from your nearest Pokéstop. Discover the official Pokémon Go Plus wearable and more.

pokÉmon go plus


STOP STARING AT YOUR PHONE If you’re starting to get neck ache from looking down at your phone screen to play Pokémon Go all the time, then this new wearable might be for you. The Pokémon Go Plus will alert you by flashing and mildly vibrating whenever a Pokémon or Pokéstop (the real world landmarks that allow you to collect Poké Balls, healing potions and more) is nearby. This isn’t all that different to what your phone does, except that you can also press a button on the Go Plus to automatically try and catch nearby monsters. This gives you a slight advantage over any other nearby players who have to reach into their pockets or bags and open the app to play.

Wearable design The Go Plus can be worn on a wristband or clipped to your lapel, so that you can stay connected to the game at all times

However, you can only catch a Pokémon with the Go Plus that you’ve already caught once before when playing the game normally on your phone. This is fine if you’re Pidgey stacking to raise your XP levels, but does mean the gadget’s no good if there’s an Articuno or other rare breed around. Secondly, you still need have your phone on you to play the game as the Go Plus works by pairing with your device. While it uses Low Energy Bluetooth, this may mean the Go Plus will make the game suck even in more of your phone’s battery power.

Pokémon Go Plus

£35 | $35 | poké

Bluetooth connectivity The Go Plus only works by Bluetoothing with your device, so you’ll still need to have your device on you and running the game to use it

Get Pokémon alerts As well as buzzing, the Go Plus has a built-in LED that will flash when a Pokémon shows up. It’ll also flash to confirm if you’ve caught something

Remote control As well as issuing alerts, the Go Plus has a button so that you can catch Pokémon without opening the app on your phone

Familiar look The eagle-eyed amongst you may notice the Go Plus looks like a cross between a Poke Ball and a Google Maps pin


Pokémon Go Gear


This Samsung power bank is super minimalistic in design, with only one blinking light that signals how much battery the 2,100mAh pack has left in it – green for full, orange for half and red for low. It’s light and effortless to use. For its price, the charge and build is great, too – a great purchase for those on a tighter budget. The only caveat really is its shape as it juts out of your pocket a fair bit, so it’s definitely better suited for bags. £10 | $15 |

Standard battery life when playing Pokémon Go (2.5 hours)



Number of hours gained from using battery pack



HOUR 1 Caught a rare Dratini that was almost maxed out on its Combat Power

HOUR 3 Caught three illusive Pikachus and got a special Medal for our hard work

+45 mins


HOUR 2 Saw a Graveler and a Magnemite on the beach – very confusing and uncommon

This thin 1,400mAh credit-card-shaped charger fits perfectly into your pocket or wallet. It’s small and an easily portable tool for catching those little monsters, but the charge isn’t brilliant. We also found that the four blue lights that should indicate when the Powercard has been fully charged weren’t always accurate, and runs out of juice faster than you’d expect. Great for an emergency or quick top-up, but don’t expect being able to solidly catch Pokémon for hours on end. £15 | $20 |

HOUR 3 Poached another Gym in the name of Team Mystic from another trainer – Mwhahaha!



HOUR 2 Hatched two eggs in a row. In typical Pokémon Go fashion, they were Drowzees…

At 4,200mAH, the Danbo Power Bank provides a respectable amount of charge. It’s lightweight, unexpectedly so, and Danbo’s cute design complements the more adorable Clefairys and Jigglypuffs you’re certain to catch. With only one LED light to indicate charge, though, it’s not the most helpful of battery packs – but it’s easy to carry around. Either way, the price point and 3.4A charge speeds absolutely makes up for this tiny bit of inefficiency. £20 | $26 |



Mophie has developed a winner here. For those who are serious in truly catching them all, this power bank is certainly a top choice for groups of trainers. Not only is it a 6,000mAh battery, it also charges at speeds of 2.4A. The sleek curved aluminium case diffuses real quality, while the dual USB ports can enable you and a hunting partner to share charge whilst on the go. £70 | $90 |

HOUR 3 We caught all four starter Pokémon in the same location! They were strong, too


Boasting a huge 8,400mAh, the Pebble Explorer is a force to be reckoned with. With dual-output ports to charge two phones at once. It’s bulky, for sure, so it won’t fit into any pockets, but it is satisfyingly rounded with its pleasing design and the informative LED display tells you exactly how much charge is left in the pack so you can prepare for final Gym battles. It’s a great device for hunting away from home over the weekend. £80 | $130 |


HOUR 2 Saw a silhouette of a Hitmonlee out in the sticks for the first time, but sadly we couldn’t find it...




Battery Packs









Surge is the super watch from wearable aficionados Fitbit. It tracks your GPS, the steps you take, active minutes as well as stationary time. You could easily cross-reference this with the data in your Pokémon Go Journal to track how healthy you are and integrate exercise into your routine alongside egg hatching.

Fitbit Surge £200 | $250 |

PERFECT YOUR WALKING POSTURE It’s not all about the exercise itself, though, maintaining good posture whilst you’re out and about tracking Pokémon is hugely important, too. The Lumo Lift fixes to your clothing and senses if you are slouching: sending a gentle reminder to stand up straight again. It can also track progress and send more reminders throughout the day.

Lumo Lift £60 | $80 |

CUSHION YOUR EARS You’ll never have to miss out on surprise Pokémon jumping out at you again with noise alerts from the Mi Headphones. These headphones will suit long walks, with comfortable ear cushions and button and cable lifespans lasting more than three times longer than the average headset. They’re easily foldable too, making them a durable fit for any Trainer’s backpack.

HOUR 4 Despite not seeing one all weekend, we caught five Eevees in the space of five minutes!

Mi Headphones £65 | $85 |

TAKE A LOAD OFF The health benefits of Pokémon Go are very impressive, but after you’ve been traipsing around all day trying to hatch multiple 10K eggs, you need to give your feet a break. The Swegway Pro is pretty expensive for a hoverboard, but its made to a reassuringly high standard with heavyduty Samsung batteries.

HOUR 5 Maxed out on our Pokémon storage for the first time in a month of playing

Classic Swegway Hoverboard £285 | $375 |

The clever engineers at Osterhout Design Group have ported Pokémon Go over to their augmented reality R-7 Glasses, so you can get that bit closer to catching Pokémon in real life. There’s a strong chance this hack will be quashed in time, but these wireless 1080p smart glasses are very impressive in their own right.

HOUR 7 Hatched a 5K egg and it was a magnificent Lickitung!






R-7 Glasses 8+

£2,115| $2,750 |

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Video Headphones: The Future Of Entertainment?

Get even closer to the action

Complete immersion

For such a compact device, there’s a lot going on with the iWear’s exterior – buttons and switches surround the left speaker in particular, although there’s plenty of interesting and useful stuff going on all over the device as well. Take a look at the other annos for the iWear’s notable functions and features...

The optional clip-in light shield shuts down all peripheral vision for when you want total immersion. It can get quite warm in there, though, so be wary of the screens steaming up

Wire so serious Seeing is believing iWear employs twin-720p displays, housed in its frontal portion. Image quality is generally pretty good, but don’t expect it to completely fill your field of vision

A single cable runs from the device, branching into an HDMI connector, a USB cable and a power socket for charging. Extenders are recommended for both HDMI and USB, as the stock cables are extremely short

Vuzix iWear


Screw you, gravity £480 | $625

Vuzix iWear A plug-and-play headmounted display that offers virtual reality gaming, stereoscopic 3D capabilities and a personal viewing platform, all in one neat package.

This flexible and easily-adjustable strap helps keep the device steady during use. Between this, the headphones, and the forehead and nose rests, weight is distributed evenly, helping it feel lighter than it actually is

Bring the noise

You’re in control

Audio quality is one of the best features of the headset, especially impressive considering it’s an all-inone device. For gamers, there are built-in mics, too

The left earpiece houses all of the headset’s buttons. Power, brightness, volume, 3D type, EQ and mic mute can all be altered via this ring of power

THE FUTURE OF ENTERTAINMENT? Meet iWear, the all-in-one audiovisual solution The modern home cinema is not just one thing, but many. It’s the primary display, which could be anything from a small monitor to a gigantic 4K beast of a TV; it’s the audio system, whether that’s the usually awful built-in TV speakers or a booming woofer leading a 7.1 assault on the senses. It’s the 3D glasses you choose not to wear because they’re uncomfortable, the sofa you’re sitting on for the duration, the people around you. And from a gaming perspective, there are things like VR headsets and communication to consider as well. Or at least, that was the case, if we are to believe that devices like the iWear are going to become The Next Big Thing. An all-purpose head-mounted display that comes in markedly cheaper than the sum of all those individual components (all apart from the seating and company, in any case), Vuzix’s allin-one solution is certainly an interesting and exciting prospect and one that offers excellent

value for money for those who stand to make use of everything that it offers. But just who is that, exactly? The first thing to consider is that while a plug-and-play HDMI input is certainly welcome, it limits usability within a shared or family home without investing in an HDMI splitter or similar device, or having additional systems with HDMI outputs that other people aren’t using. To suggest that was the intended use for the product would be folly, however – seeing as it places the user in an audiovisual cocoon, it’s clearly designed for solo use, whether that’s a bedroom or office, in a single-person home or even on transport. We live in a world where people take Wii Us on flights in order to play via the GamePad’s screen on the go, so to suggest that headmounted displays could be the next logical step for on-the-move entertainment isn’t exactly a huge leap of logic.


Video Headphones: The Future Of Entertainment?



A passive activity like watching movies or shows usually means you can do other things at the same time, but being enclosed in the action can make this awkward and/or uncomfortable. Using iWear with the light shield attached (the best option for full immersion) means even things like eating or drinking during your chosen viewing are out... without risking getting food and drink everywhere, at least.


Console gaming with the headset feels a little redundant, in all honesty – modern games are usually made to be run at 1080p so dropping to the iWear’s 720p display noticeably hurts image quality. 3D-capable games fare a lot better – the illusion of depth distracts from the lower-thanusual resolution – but PC players get the best deal, as you can also use it as an entry-level virtual reality headset.


An extension of mobile usage, really – by using iWear with something like the Parrot drones’ AR.FreeFlight app, you’re able to soar in a captivating enclosed first-person mode. Given that FPV solutions for drones can be expensive and/or complicated, this could prove to be iWear’s trump card, although using on-screen controls without being able to see the actual screen will certainly take some practice.

“iWear’s headphones are surprisingly impressive, for an all-in-one device” Form factor might not particularly help the iWear in that regard, however. Its design is neat and it’s about as discrete as two headmounted TVs and a set of quality headphones combined could be realistically expected to be in 2016, but the bright, green stripe that runs across the whole headset just cheapens it a little. There’s a reason Oculus and HTC went with pure black for their headsets, and that reason certainly isn’t likely to have been a shortage of green strips in the factory. In solid black, you could mistake a flight passenger using iWear to be rocking headphones and an eye mask – the strip serves only to draw attention to the fact that face-mounted gadget action is in progress, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. There’s also the fact that the black-and-green motif has already been claimed by gaming accessory firm and eSports sponsor Razer – a connection it’s unclear whether Vuzix is attempting to piggyback or ignore but either way, you have to hope the creators look at the likes of Sennheiser and Bose headsets in order to make future designs a little more elegant and, for want of a better term, professional. Not that appearances really matter once you’re jacked in and beaming your media of choice directly into your eyeballs, of course. At that point, you become more concerned about the quality of the tech and while iWear might not quite match up to best-in

class equivalents in individual areas, it has versatility on its side. The display, while only 720p, is decent and perfectly serviceable for most media, with little trace of ‘screen door’ effect (where individual pixels can be seen, producing the sensation of looking through a gauze) and a generous viewing area. Add 3D into the mix and things improve further, the extra level of depth serving as a genuine and sometimes worthwhile distraction from the lower resolution, even if the non-filled field of view can cause some 3D effects to lose impact (a problem with any display that doesn’t completely fill field-of-vision, to be fair). Sound is a different story – integrated audio solutions don’t tend to be up to much

For best results, make sure you using the light shield attachment when you watch movies


You can connect iWear to your smartphone with an adapter. You’re limited to apps that work in landscape mode if you want the full experience, but this could be iWear’s strongest area otherwise. Pack your phone or tablet with stuff to watch or play and iWear becomes a travel-friendly cinema experience, provided you’re not too bothered about looking like a Star Trek’s Geordi La Forge on a coach or plane.

but iWear’s headphones are surprisingly impressive, especially so for an all-in-one device. VR and 3D support means it could stand to benefit from a true surroundsound option, sure, but the stereo sound offered is clear and rich, and even more impressive when you consider what an equivalent standalone set of cans would cost in comparison to the price of this onestop option. Integrated mics also allow it to compete with high-end gaming headsets (if not those of the 5.1/7.1 variety, perhaps) and for those that live or play alone, iWear certainly presents a viable and intriguing alternative to getting a new TV/headset/both. That said, occasional use probably better suits this product. While not what you might call ‘heavy’ – in fact, it’s well-weighted and comfortable for the most part – the idea of wearing it non-stop for more than the length of a movie isn’t one we’re entirely on board with. Its rechargeable battery delivers around three hours of use from a full charge and while you can use it while plugged in and charging, this is probably a fair indication of the maximum time you could realistically spend isolated within your entertainment before any discomfort set in and the admittedly modest weight and pressure of iWear took their toll. On that note, it’s also worth mentioning the insanely shot stock HDMI lead. Obviously designed this way to prevent having metres of trailing cable when used with mobile devices, it does still mean that home use is impractical without an HDMI extender – not the end of the world, sure, but worth noting to save you picking up the headset on a whim then having to stand right next to your console or Blu-ray player in order for the cable to reach.

Vuzix iWear


Wearing video headphones doesn’t have to be a solitary experience

Unlike some similar devices, iWear comes with an optional clip-in light shield. Without, there’s a fair area underneath the viewing area that can still be seen, which can be useful if you don’t want to end up covered in food and drink by the end of a movie or game. With the padded light shield on, though, you’re fully immersed – better for VR-type experiences and anything that benefits from complete audiovisual immersion, but expect it to get quite warm in there. Like the Avegant Glyph, Vuzix’s iWear is part of the first wave of commercially viable portable head-mounted displays. It’s good right now – especially comparing the cost against the sum of its parts and uses – but this kind of tech is only going to get better and cheaper over the next few years, just like 4K TVs have already tumbled in price in a similar time frame. If you think you’d use every facet of functionality, so personal viewing for video, gaming, 3D media, travel and VR, it’s a joy to mess around with and shutting yourself away inside of an experience really does feel futuristic. And that’s because it is… this is the first tentative step into a new way of enjoying media on your own terms, so those who want to experience this before anyone else can happily jack in today – the rest of us will be right behind you soon!





The Avegant Glyph offers something similar to the iWear, although each device has its strengths and weaknesses. iWear has functionality on its side, with the advantage of OSVR support on PC thanks to builtin motion tracking, alongside everything the Glyph does offer. Avegant’s headset, however, just wins out in terms of form

factor – it looks like a pair of headphones that you slip down over your eyes for video playback and the design is slightly sleeker. Given that the two are around the same price, it all comes down to what you want: VR support (whether now or down the line) and the choice for full immersion, or a more streamlined device without those options.


Available from all good newsagents and supermarkets TM

ON SALE NOW > Know your hammers > Olympic Games science > The Ice Age SCIENCE UP CLOSE






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Jaguar F-Pace


THIS COMES WITH A FREE JAGUAR This rubber-band-clad, contactless payment tech unlocks the F-Pace connected car The promo video for the F-Pace Activity Key shows a surf dude strutting off a beach, carrying water skis under one arm. He unlocks the boot of his F-Pace SUV with a touch of his wristband. We can’t help but think a better way to illustrate how much simpler the F-Pace Activity Key makes life would be if the male model hadn’t been so buff and struggling with his shopping in a rainswept supermarket car park, but that’s just us. The band contains an RFID sensor that identifies the user with a radio signal. It is supposedly more secure than a key with a remote-locking fob, as a thief would need to touch every Jaguar in a car park to find to the correct one to open (assuming there is more than one Jag), rather than just wandering

about pressing the button until they hear a beep. The band also assumes control of the car’s locking system, so if someone broke into your car, they wouldn’t be able to drive off. The Activity Key doesn’t require any form of power and it’s waterproof up to 420 metres and durable enough to fit into your adventurous, aspirational lifestyle (hence the waterskiing male model video), but it looks smart enough to also wear day-to-day, for instance, when you’re out grocery shopping.

£35,020 | $42,390

Jaguar F-Pace Jaguar’s latest luxury SUV is also its most high-tech with over a hundred sensors inside and out, an advanced infotainment system and a wearable key.


If you have an Android Wear or Apple Watch you can also use it to remotely control your F-Pace. Though none of its features are as cool as Tesla’s mobile app (which allows the car to open your garage door and park itself), they are still useful. As well as being able to remotely lock and unlock the doors, the app can start the engine, adjust the climate control temperature, check fuel levels and remind you where you parked it.


Is Jaguar’s Latest A Tesla Killer?

IS JAGUAR’S LATEST A TESLA KILLER? The F-Pace is stuffed with so much tech it produces 10 terabytes of data each month

Telsa continues to grab headlines with its selfdriving cars, but its still rare to see one of its vehicles on the road. Jaguar may be a luxury motor, but at least we’ve all seen one in real life. Perhaps as a competitor to Tesla’s own Model X, Jaguar has made its own high-tech crossover SUV: the F-Pace. At the heart of this next-gen Jaguar is its 10.2-inch touchscreen. With its own highspeed internet connection, it’s primarily used for giving you directions with on-screen maps. However, spread between each wheel and the inside of the F-Pace lies 100 different sensors, with each tailored to provide an array of vision sensors, accelerometers and gyro meters as well. These sensors would generate between five to 10 terabytes of data, if it was all logged and stored. Much of this information can also be viewed through the touchscreen, but as futuristic flourish the F-Pace can also study this data to spot minute changes in your driving style that may indicate that your tired, before prompting you to pay attention or take a break. Take that, Telsa.

Infrared HUD windscreen Users can choose to have their F-Pace fitted with an infrared reflective windscreen – at a cost, of course – which opens up the option of having a built-in HUD appear in front of them. The HUD projects key travelling information, relating to various cruise control options and traffic reports through a series of small, but powerful, laser beams. It saves you time looking down at your instrument cluster, and it looks pretty amazing too

Touchscreen controls Jaguar’s self-built infotainment system includes everything you need for an easy drive. There’s an array of mapping tools, which even work in full 3D, partnered with highspeed internet for you to stay connected at all times. It also closely works with the Activity Key wristband, letting you know if it can’t pick up the signal of the wristband and even indicating to you that you may have lost it

The need for speed One of the benefits of the F-Pace being built from aluminium, is that it enables the vehicle to still be agile and effective when cornering, despite it being a large SUV. The build also helps keep the weight down, meaning it can reach 0-60mph in just 5.1 seconds – again, impressive for a car of its size

Jaguar F-Pace

In-car beats


Parking made easy

The 380w Meridian Audio system provides high-quality sound through its series of speakers located at both the front and rear of the F-Pace. One of its better features is the Dynamic Volume Control option, which automatically balances out unwanted noises from your favourite tunes.

When it comes to parking, Jaguar’s InControl panel includes their revolutionary Reverse Traffic Detection system. You’ll receive audio warnings as you begin to park, alerting to the closeness of other vehicles, while the rear camera feed will help you view your blind spots to avoid potential collisions

Smarter stability control Jaguar’s Intelligent Driveline Dynamics show off the ability of the F-Pace’s rear-wheel drive. It uses a complex algorithm to transfer torque between the individual wheels in order to exploit their performance benefits and help gain extra traction on different ground surfaces in various weather conditions

Minimal drag

Stay connected In total, there are 100 sensors situated in different areas of the car; including the wheels, bonnet and rear seats. Many of them are used visually, helping you park better, avoid collisions and letting you know of upcoming obtrusions in your journey. They can all be monitored within the InControl panel

Using a complex computational fluid dynamics system, the F-Pace has a drag coefficient of just 0.34. For drivers, this means that the car has excellent balance throughout its body, resulting in better stability at higher speeds and a better steering experience that also offers superb feedback


Feel The Burn In Just14 Minutes

FEEL THE BURN IN JUST 14 MINUTES All-in-one fit kit offers intense interval training with smart tracking features £1,500 | $1,600

Bowflex Max Trainer M5 The M5 combines an elliptical machine and stair stepper into one fitness powerhouse that burns more calories than a standard treadmill.








Source: Bowflex. Figures based on a 30-minute workout.

Many of us may dream of achieving that beach body, but how many of us realistically put in the hours to make it a reality? One of the great things about a home workout, is that you can build it around your life, even more so if you’ve the right equipment to match. The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 aims to be the ultimate all-in-one fitness kit that is small enough to fit most homes and delivers a thorough workout in just 14 minutes. While it’s predominantly used as an elliptical fitness trainer, it also combines in the elements of a stair stepper, producing a low-impact workout that yields quick results. Thanks to its 16 resistance levels, Bowflex promises that it’s possible to burn up to 280 calories in just 14 minutes, which is over double what you’ll be able to do on a treadmill. There’s also an array of built-in workout regimes, depending on your needs and fitness levels. Beginners will feel right at home with the Fat Burn setting, while those wanting a rigorous workout can try the Max Interval mode. With the addition of a backlit screen, various tracking monitors and the ability to work your arms while focusing on cardio, the M5 is an essential tool to get that perfect body.

Bowflex Max Trainer M5


Monitor your heart As well as the chest strap that comes with the M5, users can also monitor their heart-rate using the builtin sensors on each set of handlebars

Sync your data Build muscle As well as building leg muscle, the M5 is great for sculpting your arms. You can move the handlebars as you walk to push your body more

To keep track of your workouts and fitness goals, partner up the M5 with the MaxTrainer app via Bluetooth. It’s handy for motivation when you need it

Go easy on your joints The continuous motion used when working out on the M5 is great for your joints, as it doesn’t require you to put force on any particular part of your body

Keep on stepping The basis of the M5 is the elliptical motion, which requires you to continuously step forward. Higher resistance levels demand you to work harder for the burn

Built-in workouts By using the backlit display, users can access an array of the M5’s workouts. Each caters for different fitness levels and needs


This Retro-Inspired Mixer Still Talks The Torque


While it looks like something out of Mad Men, this ten-speed mixer is whipping up a foodie frenzy Stand mixers often aren’t the most exciting things in the world, are they? Most of them tend to prefer just getting on with the job they’re made for, rather than actually trying to be look good or do anything interesting. So the Smeg SMF01 is a nice change of pace. The manufacturer went back to the drawing board when it made this mixer. There’s no previous model similar in the Smeg library of goods. It looks like something out of a classic movie, with its vintage Fifties design. However, the SMF01 isn’t all style and no substance. It has a powerful 800W directdrive motor, which works at ten different speeds to perfect different mixes. It also has a range of attachments, which makes it versatile, and a 4.8-litre capacity, so you can make an awful lot with it all at once. The downside of the fancy design? It’s almost impossible to store as it’s almost 40 centimetres tall and just as wide. Storing it would also mean lugging it around, which is difficult and it weighs in at eight kilograms, making it quite heavy. As it’s probably going to end up living permanently on your workshop, aren’t you glad it looks so lovely?

£300 | $400

Smeg SMF01 Stand Mixer The mascot of a new range of appliances, it’s a fancy device with form and function that’s reminiscent of the ‘nuclear family’ iconography of the Fifties


Ten different settings might seem like overkill, but the SMF01 does have a practical use for them all… Speed









Knead bread dough

Mix pizza dough

Beat biscuit mixture

Mix dense batters

Beat heavy cake mix

Whisk cream

Combine eggs into mixes

Preparing egg yolks

Making cake premix












Whipping cream

Smeg SMF01 Stand Mixer


Motor-powered mixing The retro-inspired whisk is powered by a 800W direct-drive motor, meaning even the stickiest of mixes are no match for the machine

Changing the gearstick Contrary to popular belief, you can’t just mix everything together using the same speed: the SMF01 has ten unique speeds, making it perfect for everything from dough to pastry mixtures

More than just a mixer The SMF01 comes with a pasta roller and cutter, spaghetti cutter and meat grinder this is more than just a mixing machine

Practical design The machine’s attachments are all designed to look smart together, and leave enough room for the active baker or chef to add ingredients to the mix whilst the machine is in use

Weight and see Massive capacity The stainless steel 4.8 litre bowl is great for particularly sugary mixes: the stainless steel means nothing gets left behind or stuck to the rim when it’s all being combined

The machine weighs in at a whopping 8KG - which is pretty heavy, even for a kitchen appliance. Rubber, non-slip feet prevent this mixer from moving about during use


The mixer comes with three attachments - each of them suited to different speeds and with different uses. Let us break them down for you:


The whisk is best for mixing most ingredients together thanks to its solid design and global stirring action.

Works with speed: 1 - 10


Made from aluminium to make sure it’s in line with the rest of the machine, this is the best attachment to use for more hardgoing ingredients.

Works with speed: 1 - 10


A specific attachment for your pizza and bread doughs, this is shaped to make sure your dough proofs well and finishes the correct texture.

Works with speed: 1 - 3


protect your eyes from your DEVICE addiction


Reduce screen fatigue with new lenses There are more reasons than ever before to stay glued to our digital screens, but doing so comes at a hefty cost. Our eyes are particularly sensitive and the constant use of digital screens causes them to switch between far and near vision frequently. The end result could potentially be a simple case of neck strain, all the way up to permanent damage to your eyes, causing blurred vision. Zeiss Digital Lenses aim to put this problem in the past, providing a simple way to help you avoid straining your eyes. Each pair of Zeiss Digital Lenses includes an optimised lens design that supports close-up vision on

digital devices and the specialised nature of them, means that each optician will charge a different amount for each pair. Each lens is split into two layers, the top carries the full strength of a prescription lens, powerful enough to pick out objects in the distance, while the bottom uses a weaker prescription coating aimed at using digital devices close to you. What it means for users is that there’s no need to remove the glasses, as both layers cater for different things. The seamless integration of both also helps each eye to focus quicker and more easily, while not putting them under any sort of strain.

ÂŁ220 | $290

Zeiss Digital Lenses A new pair of cutting-edge lenses that are designed to help dramatically reduce eyestrain for digital device users. Thanks to their layered lenses, they allow you to focus easier.

Zeiss Digital Lenses



4 on 01Switch Night Mode

For the job they do, your eyes actually contain the strongest muscles in your body, but the more pressure they’re put under, the more likely problems will arise. Due to the required focus and constant switching between near and far vision when using digital screens, your eyes are likely to get visually fatigued. Commonly, this will lead to headaches and general discomfort in your eyes, but it can lead to permanent damage to your eyes and, ultimately, your vision.

What makes each lens on a pair of Zeiss Digital Lenses a perfect solution for this is that they combine visual aids for both near and faraway objects, helping the eye easily focus on an object and not have to strain over long periods. Due to this canny combination of lens layers, the Zeiss lenses don’t have to be removed throughout the day, meaning that your eyes won’t have to readjust to their surroundings on a frequent basis.


As well as straining your eyes, staring at your screen can keep you awake at night. However, both Apple and Amazon have introduced modes that dim the screen and filter out melatoninsuppressing blue light, they just need to be switched on in settings. The Android Nougat update is also expected to include a Night Mode.

an anti-glare 02Get screen sticker 03Exercise your eyes Everything from the glare on your walls to a reflection on the screen can cause eye strain. A simple solution to solving glare is to purchase an anti-glare screen that fixes to the front of your device. A more extreme solution would be to paint your walls a darker colour, as they aren’t as reflective as lighter surfaces.

Looking away from your screen every 20 minutes is a good way to help prevent your eyes from being tired. On top of this, you should try and gaze at an object in the distance (around 20 feet) for 20 seconds. Doctors call this the 20-20-20 rule. Looking away from your screen generally helps your eyes relax its focusing muscles.

frequent 04Take breaks

Breaks are essential and arguably the easiest way of protecting your eyes. Whether it’s putting your smartphone down, making yourself a drink or going for a walk, a break can help your eyes refocus and relax. Breaks are also good for helping neck strains, another negative of using digital screens for too long.


Make Your Phone Float With This ‘Nanotech’ Scanner


‘NANOTECH’ SCANNER It’s time to throw away your tired, old photocopier

Scanners are an unfortunate necessity. While the paperless trend continues to gather pace, there are some documents, photos or other bits of physical media that will always need to be digitised. For the most part, the humble desktop scanner has done this job just fine over the years, but its design has barely changed in decades. Enter ScanPad: a device that’s aiming to revolutionise the way this everyday task is done. The first thing to note about the ScanPad is that it’s not actually a scanner itself. Rather it’s a ‘scanning solution’ – a handsomely-designed aluminium frame that provides an optimal surface for documents to be photographed. Your smartphone, perched on the ScanPad’s overhanging arm, is what will be doing the actual ‘scanning’. While this obviously creates issues depending the quality of your phone’s camera and flash, not to mention the quality of light in your office or home, the ScanPad gets a few key things right. It’s simple and durable – the grippy microsuction-infused mat does its job extremely well – and it’s versatile – the mat can be flipped to provide a blue screen surface for smallscale photography. And if that’s not enough to convince you, there’s no denying it’s a really pretty looking piece of hardware.

1. Set the scene Start by laying out your documents on the ScanPad’s mat. Smooth them down out carefully and they’ll remain perfectly in place for scanning, thanks to the surface’s excellent grip

2. Place your camera Grab your smartphone and lay it on top of the ScanPad’s overhanging arm. Use the viewfinder to line it up – you should have a perfect overview of your subject

3. Scan away Use your smartphone camera to photograph your document perfectly. Make sure your desktop area is well lit, your camera is steady and that it’s correctly focused

£210 | $275

ScanPad A German-engineered device that aims to replace your ordinary office scanner with this sculpture-like phone accessory. The price is a bit steep, but the grip tech is something special.


Turn the ScanPad’s mat over to ‘blue screen’ mode and it becomes a compact studio that’s perfect for photographing products.



4. Share your image Your scanned photo can be shared however you wish, whether that’s via email, or any social network. Alternatively you can produce a physical copy by linking your phone to a wireless printer

ScanPad works with any scanner app, we used Scanbot, which is free on both iOS and Android



By streaming your phone’s display to a projector or screen, the ScanPad can become an ideal surface for giving visual demonstrations.


When not in use, the ScanPad works as a beautiful ‘floating’ phone dock, enabling you to watch videos and conduct calls without having to hold your device.

Questions about ScanPad’s suitability as an office device aside, there’s no denying that the device’s microsuction surface is genuinely impressive. Smartphones, pieces of paper and other objects all stick to it instantly and securely, and while they absolutely won’t slide around, lifting them off is effortless. There’s no hint of sticky residue to be found, either. The patent-pending nanotechnology consists of thousands of tiny suckers that work in concert to stabilise and grip anything that’s placed on them. The main surface is great for smoothing out wrinkled or folded documents for scanning, and while it’s difficult to say just how well it will hold up over months and years of use, we noticed no problems with grip degradation during our time with the device. Overall, ScanPad is an admirable effort at streamlining and modernising a device that could certainly use a rethink. But it’s the microsuction surface that has the potential to really transform desktop machines. For now, it’s the standout feature of an intriguing device, but the possibilities that it presents for future products are arguably even more exciting.


Multitalented tools

Hack all areas of your life with the latest multitools The Leatherman Signal includes detatchable parts, including a fire starter

3 1 Key Closed length (cm)


Weight (g)



Total tools Lockable

1 Leatherman Signal

£125 | $100 |

g 11.43 212.6 17 TOOLS Needlenose pliers, regular pliers, 154cm wire cutters, 154cm replaceable hard-wire cutters, wire stripper, 420HC combo knife, saw, hammer, awl with thread loop, can opener, bottle opener, 1/4-inch hex bit driver, carabiner, 3/16-inch box wrench, safety whistle, ferrocerium rod, diamond-coated sharpener.

2 Victorinox Pioneer X £35 | $45 |

g 9.3 94.5 9 TOOLS Blade, scissors, reamer, can opener, 3mm screwdriver, 5mm screwdriver, bottle opener, wire stripper, keyring.

3 Gerber Outdoor Crucial £35 | $30 |

g 14 142 9 TOOLS Needlenose pliers, regular pliers, pinch-cut wire cutters, fine/ serrated blade, Philips screwdriver, Large flat screwdriver, bottle opener, carabiner clip, pocket clip.

4 Nite Ize DoohicKey £5 | $5 |

g 6.48 12 5 TOOLS Box cutter, bottle opener, wrench, ruler, flat-head driver.



2 8

6 7

8 Leatherman Tread

£140 | $165 |


5 UST Survival Beast 0.5 £10 | $10 |

g 5 65 5.7 TOOLS Cutting blade, Philips head screwdriver, bottle opener, flathead screwdriver, LED light.

6 Leatherman Style CS

£30 | $25 |

g 6 41.1 7.5 TOOLS 420HC knife, spring-action scissors, flathead screwdriver, tweezers, nail file and bottle opener.

7 Nite Ize Financial Tool £10 | $15 |

g 8 91 9.5 TOOLS Money clip, scraper, bottle opener, wrench, flathead screwdriver, Phillips screwdriver, tape cutter, metric and imperial ruler.

25 168 3.05 TOOLS #1-2 Philips head, 1/4-inch box wrench, 6mm hex drive, 10mm box wrench, 5mm hex drive, 1/4-inch hex drive, oxygen tank wrench, 3/16inch hex drive, 1/8-inch hex drive, 3/16-inch box wrench, 3/32-inch hex drive, 1/8-inch flathead screwdriver, 4mm hex drive, 8mm box wrench, 3mm hex drive, 5/16-inch flathead screwdriver, 3/8-inch box wrench, 1/4-inch flathead screwdriver, 6mm box wrench, glass breaker, pick/sim card tool, hook, 1/4-inch socket drive, bottle opener, #2 square drive.


How Safe Is Crowdfunding, Really?




CROWDFUNDING GLOSSARY We dissect the jargon and give you the lowdown on all the key crowdfunding terminology CROWDFUNDED – the term to describe a project that is paid for by the public directly, where people can pay what they like towards a campaign BACKER – someone that has pledged money to a campaign (no matter the amount), who has a direct stake in the product on offer Oculus raised $2,437,429 for its original Rift headset back in 2012, igniting the current VR vogue


ack in 2013, a company called Kreyos raised $1.5 million on Indiegogo. It was a meteoric success for the startup – Kreyos simply uploaded video footage of an engineering test that it had done with one of its new smartwatches, and it caught the public’s imagination. It was designed to go head-to-head with the Pebble (Kickstarter’s most rampant success story), but alas, not everything went to plan. Instead, a fraction of the backers got their units – and the ones that did felt they had been deceived. The product, it seemed, was

“When we launched Indiegogo back in 2008, our goal was to democratise access to capital, allowing everyone with an idea to bring it to life,” explains Kate Drane, senior director of outreach, tech and hardware at Indiegogo. “So far, over 650,000 campaigns have raised over $950 million dollars from 232 countries and territories.” As a result, crowdfunding has quickly become a permanent part of the finance ecosystem. An increasing number of people are turning to crowdfunding as an alternative to traditional funding. But for every clickbaitfriendly, head-turning ‘groundbreaking’

“Over 650,000 campaigns have raised $950M dollars from 232 countries and territories” a pale imitation of what backers had seen on the various videos that promoted it – the few customers that did receive units claimed they were defective or broken. Kreyos filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2014. The showmanship and publicity campaign, it turns out, was misleading, to say the least. That was a campaign that started three years ago – near the beginning of this crowdfunding boom. Since then, other players have come to the fore, and Indiegogo has seen competition rise in the form of Kickstarter, Seedrs, Crowdcube and other platforms. But the trendsetter still stands strong, and in many ways is setting examples of how crowdfunding platforms can prevent cautionary tales, like that of Kreyos, from scaring the public away.

gadget that does the rounds on Facebook, another few fall by the wayside: forgotten. The average consumer can now vote with their wallet on what they want to see come out of Kickstater or Indiegogo… but that has its upsides and downsides.


Crowdsourcing began as a fairly utopian ideal back when it was introduced to the internetat-large, but since then, people have started taking advantage. Rogue traders often use the site to harvest money for a seemingly too-good-to-be-true project and evaporate when it’s time to deliver. It’s the internet’s response to dodgy late-night TV shopping,

EARLY BIRD REWARDS – a set of rewards that are reserved for early backers: they usually include customisation or limited edition versions of a product CAMPAIGN – the word used to describe the period to a project’s launch, where the product is shown off. It’s basically the sales pitch to potential backers. CROWDFUNDING PLATFORM – a website which facilitates crowdfunding by allowing people or companies seeking money to raise it from members of the public CROWDSOURCING – piecing together skills and tasks from many individuals to be put together for a larger project. REWARDS–BASED CROWDFUNDING – backers receive a reward in exchange for their financial gift. Reward types are often based on the amount given by investors. VENTURE CAPITALIST – an investor who either provides capital to startup ventures or supports small companies that wish to expand but do not have access to equities markets.


How Safe Is Crowdfunding, Really?




STAR CITIZEN An epic and ambitious space exploration game, this is the biggest amount raised via crowdfunding of any kind ever.









THE DAO This was raised via a virtual currency called Ether (think of it as something like Bitcoin) and is all still held in the network.









ELIO MOTORS Over 50,000 of these small, three-wheeled 84-miles-per-gallon cars have been reserved by backers around the world.




$25,615, 760




PEBBLE TIME The third generation of the Pebble Watch has received more attention than either of its predecessors, forecasting a bright future.









PRISON ARCHITECT A prison construction game that offered rewards that let backers create an in-game character.





Hexo+ raised over $1 million on Kickstarter in 2014 to get its self-flying drone off the ground

and in the years since crowdfunding was established, not an awful lot has changed to protect customers. In fact, the idea of crowdfunding benefitting the individual consumer and the lone businessperson has also evaporated. Some companies are using the capital afforded by the crowd-sourcing platforms alongside money gained from traditional sources – investors and venture capitalists, for example. Crowdfunding has moved beyond simply being a tool for smaller businesses and has become a method of capital acquisition for even heavy-hitting corporations. “In the handful of years since its inception, crowdfunding has primarily been used by startup businesses and entrepreneurs to provide access to capital,” explains Drane, “yet last February, General Electric’s FirstBuild launched its first of two successful crowdfunding campaigns, driving over $3 million in presales and acquiring nearly 10,000 customers. FirstBuild found in Indiegogo a place where they could put our products to a real market test.” Since General Electric tested the waters, some of the world’s largest brands (Heineken, Pfizer and Hasbro to name but a few) have jumped on the crowdfunding bandwagon, launching campaigns to either validate product concepts or source product ideas. While this may seem like unnatural behaviour for a large corporation, Drane explains it actually makes perfect business sense.

“Through crowdfunding, companies can test out new ideas by conducting a real-time market test before investing in manufacturing,” she explains. “Every interaction with customers on Indiegogo represents an opportunity to understand customer needs early. Every moment spent on marketing establishes a baseline for future product positioning and customer acquisition. Crowdfunding is a smart way for enterprises to build a brand.” Basically, then, it could be argued that Kickstarter and Indiegogo have evolved beyond platforms that let customers interact directly with the products they want, into a crowd-facing product-testing machine for corporations that don’t need the money that crowdsourcing affords. What does that mean for you as a consumer? Well, you could say that it just makes you a marketing guinea pig. Over on the Kickstarter side of things, you see the same thing happening, too. “I’ve seen campaigns hit [their target] and then get picked up by a publisher,” explains Luke Crane, Kickstarter’s head of games. “I’ve seen campaigns on track to hit their goal and then find a publisher, get a different offer and go with that instead of crowdfunding.” But neither Crane nor Drane think that’s a negative thing, for either smaller studios or businesses or you, the public, backing them: “I don’t think I’ve seen [that sort of movement done] cynically, though. You know, one of the great things about Kickstarter is that it’s this ecosystem. It’s not just us; there’s a lot of different ways to get money to make a game.


“Sometimes Kickstarter is not the best option out there, and we’re totally cool with that” Whether you’re doing it yourself or through a publisher, you’re raising venture or whatever, I think that’s good. It’s good for everyone that there are all these options. Each developer, each team, can really consider what the best option is for them. Sometimes Kickstarter is not the best option out there, and we’re totally cool with that.” The thing is, until recently, no matter what the eventual fate of a Kickstarter or Indiegogo project you decided to back was, you could at least rest assured that if you donated through Paypal, you’d have insurance on whatever you bought: that PayPal’s built-in protection would cover you from deceitful campaign makers. Well, as of June 2016, PayPal announced it would revoke protection for crowdfunded projects. What does this mean for you, as a crowdfunding investor? It means you’ve got to be a lot more careful about who and what you pledge to. Even PayPal is picking up on the dubious nature of these campaigns, but the platform holders are still being coy about it.


But, to be honest, the scammers are outweighed by genuinely useful and intuitive products most of the time. A lot of crowdfunded projects get a bad rep because for every great idea there’s someone on the

FormLabs crowdfunded its popular Form1 3D printer back in 2012

peripheries of decency looking to undermine it. The boxouts around this feature point out some amazing and useful campaigns that have broken world records for the amount of people that want to be involved with them – for all its risks, crowdfunding has certainly given consumers and businesses alike exactly what they want, in a direct and unfussy way. “The future of crowdfunding platforms is to grow beyond simply being a way for people to fund amazing projects, but to provide support system for projects to go from research, design, funding and creation, right through to the marketplace,” Drane says to us when we ask if she thinks crowdfunding has radically altered how business works in 2016. Indiegogo has started pioneering this approach already, by putting manufacturing and engineering tools in the hands of companies that otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford them: “We started by partnering with Brookstone, a product developer and speciality retailer to help bring the most groundbreaking crowdfunded products to market quicker than ever before,” Drane says. “We’re now working with Arrow Electronics to allow our entrepreneurs access to industry-leading toolsets, engineers, discounted components and manufacturing, design and supply chain logistics – a package that is worth up to $500,000.” With time and success comes responsibility, and Kickstarter and Indiegogo are starting to be more critical of the projects they promote – one way of safeguarding customer security. Who knows – with a mentality like this in place, perhaps Kreyos wouldn’t have fallen at the last hurdle quite so badly. After all, according to the company’s CEO, the startup had admittedly no experience in the technical or manufacturing side of product development, which is probably why the company so brazenly over-promised and left so many backers in the cold. Still, despite everything the platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter do to mitigate the damage highwayman companies can do, there are still examples of it happening. Commonly referred to as ‘vapourware’, these projects dent people’s faith in crowdfunding. And when these (not all too uncommon) incidents are compounded with even successful projects mismanaging their promises, it can lead to speculation about the validity of letting companies take cash before handing over a project. The Pebble smartwatch – often





SKARP A razor that was pulled from Kickstarter when the platform learned that the product didn’t actually exist at all.









ZANO Kickstarter hired a journalist to uncover how this product took $3.4 million from backers and ended up not working.









CRYSTAL WASH 2.0 A device that claimed it could shrink water molecule clusters has not surfaced at all and there’s no news in sight.









COOLEST COOLER After asking for $97 on top of the $110 backers already had to pay, this campaign was ridiculed all over the internet.






TYPE Misc.


FISH ON WHEELS Frankly, we don’t understand how this ever even managed to raise as much as it did. It’s a fish tank… on wheels.




RAISED $6,500


How Safe Is Crowdfunding, Really?



Source: Indiegogo

“With crowdfunding, there are some inherent risks”

lauded as one of the most successful projects ever to have been funded via crowdfunding with over $10 million behind it at the end of its cycle – still managed to end up shipping incredibly late. “With crowdfunding, there are some inherent risks that backers must decide if they are willing to take,” admitted Drane. “If they decide that they want to withdraw a contribution, backers can request a refund from Indiegogo before the end of a ‘Fixed’ or ‘Flexible Funding’ campaign to which they have contributed. For campaigns that have

entered the ‘InDemand’ program, backers may request a refund from Indiegogo within ten days of the transaction.” So there are ways of protecting yourself from certain incidents, but a lot of companies can go silent for up to a year before backers hear anything from them. “Our Trust And Safety team regularly checks campaigns to ensure they comply with our terms of use, and we are always adding features to increase transparency for backers,” explains Drane. It’s reassuring, but as with basically anything you ever buy, it pays to keep your wits about

you: it’s a lot easier for a smaller company to disappear than it is for the likes of General Electric or Heineken. That said, we discuss around– the size of a company and how that correlates to success, but in her 20 months at Indiegogo, Drane has seen that it’s the quality of your campaign that often drives success or failure, not the size of your team. “Whilst there is no magic formula to guarantee crowdfunding success, there are some great guidelines which can help guide you through the process and help you achieve your goals, [and they] definitely require significant time and dedication. The important thing is not the size of the business but the product or service and the way the campaign is planned and executed.”






The creator likes to call this a ‘functional beard face mask’, designed to ‘give your face a hug’. 25 (presumably beardless) people funded it.

Launched in 2011, this bizarre project attracted 42 backers and aimed to produce soap made of animal byproducts and rendered fats with no preservatives.

This odd-looking pillow was designed to let people take power naps anywhere, by burying their head a cosy bunch of synthetic stuffing.

What started as a joke quickly went viral, and soon almost 7,000 backers had supported Zack ‘Danger’ Brown in making a single Potato Salad.


TARGET $3,000










Clothing Kickstarter



$1,500 $1,905


















So although Kickstarter and Indiegogo has changed the way both consumers and developers interact with the marketplaces that surround them, the change has brought on negative trends, too. Despite being overwhelmingly positive, there is a downside to crowdfunding that’s often a more entertaining read than the successful ones. But Kickstarter and Indiegogo aren’t immobile: they’re both incredibly active in protecting their customers on both sides of the equation One of the most impressive examples of this is when Kickstarter published its ‘Kickstarter Is Not A Store’ blog post back in 2012. The post was designed to distance the platform from the failed hardware projects that – for a while – plagued most crowdfunding outlets. It aimed to set out new rules that educated the public about the dangers of crowdfunding – that you shouldn’t always believe everything you see in a campaign from the off. But, like Indiegogo, it also began to tighten its quality control and do what it can to ensure scammers and conartists never slip through the net. But let’s not focus on the negatives: crowdfunding has brought us so much good stuff in the past eight years that we’d be remiss if we didn’t say it’s done more good than it has done harm. Consumers get direct access to exactly what they want, and they get a stake in the product, too – a lot of the Pebble has crowdfunded every iteration of its smartwatch through Kickstarter

Over 9,000 backers thought LIFX smart bulbs were a bright idea

time, designers and engineers will even look to their community to source ideas, to get straight to their niche and help the product match its exact market. It’s a far cry from the focus testing and ‘you’ll like what we tell you to like’ marketing campaigns of the past. Crowdsourcing is changing the world for the better. It’s allowing consumers to consume precisely what they want, to invest in ideas that speak to them. And it’s letting smaller businesses in every sector be more flexible than they’ve ever been before: from Bluetooth buttons that can be programmed

to do anything to unique instruments would likely have never left a musician’s bedroom, every niche can be catered for via crowdfunding, and it’s an excellent place for investors and venture capitalists (the people who can really make things move) to look where to invest next. And that really is the best thing about crowdfunding campaigns: when they’re done right, everyone wins. You’ve just got to think really hard about exactly what it is you want to invest in.


tech we love


Precision lighting

Extreme Upscaling

Sony’s Backlight Master Drive dims and boosts individual LEDs, rather than arrays of multiple LEDs, so bright images look crisp on a black background

As well as debuting Sony’s new X1 Extreme image processor, the ZD9 gives standard dynamic range content a HDR makeover scene by scene

Super-sized display

The best gadgets on our radar this month

£4,000 | $7,000

Sony Bravia KD65ZD9

The ZD9 range comes in three sizes with either a 65, 75, or 100-inch display. If its size that matters to you, be aware the top model costs an eye-watering £60,000!

ACTUALLY WATCH 4K CONTENT ON SONY’S NEW 4K SCREEN When you watch a quad-HD screen, more often you’re not watching 4K – broadcast TV, most Netflix shows, YouTube videos, and even Blu-rays are a long way off the top quality that a high-end TV can produce. But Sony’s new ZD9 range has 40 per cent more powerful image processing than the previous generation, so it will upscale lowerresolution content and even adjust the colour of individual on-screen objects.


Though geared towards pro athletes, we recently tried Nike Vision’s high-end running glasses. Made up of an aerodynamic onepiece ‘shield’ lens that wicks away sweat to reduce fogging, they offer a ‘clean’ view and protection against the elements. Nike Vision Vaporwing Elite £215 | $395 |

£20 | $30

Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster

LIGHT YOUR SMART HOME FOR 15 YEARS If you’ve been tempted by colourchanging smart bulbs, but put off by the price, check out this wallet-friendly option. Kasa Smart Light Bulbs are affordable and come with a 15-year life expectancy guarantee. Kasa Smart Light Bulbs £30 | $40 |

THIS NERF BLASTER IS YOUR DOG’S NEW BEST FRIEND Overarm throws are so last year. Hasbro, the maker of so many foam-firing Nerf guns, has come up with a solution to rest your weary arms and still keep Fido entertained. The Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster is capable of firing up to 50 feet (15 metres) in the air and has a simple reload mechanism. When your dog brings it back, stay in the game by placing the barrel on the tennis ball and pick it up ‘hands-free’. There are other tennis ball blasters out there, but Hasbro insists its bespoke firing mechanism is the safest option.



REMOTELY TURN OFF THIS CONCERTINA CAMP LIGHT So you’ve already zipped up your sleeping bag, but just realised you’ve left your lantern on outside the tent? No worries, with Helix’s 250-lumen lamp you can turn it off via Bluetooth. It also folds up to take up less room in your backpack. Helix Basecamp Bluetooth

£200 | $260

Beoplay H5

£120| $160 |


Bang and Olufsen’s H5’s are designed for an active lifestyle. As well as offering sweatproof earbuds, they are also connected by a string with inline controls, so you can more easily adjust the volume on the go. But, best of all, magnets are built into each earpiece, so that they stick together and you can wear them like a necklace. Clicking the magnets together also automatically powers down the earbuds in order to save battery.

£130 | $150

Spot Gen 3 GPS Messenger

Send messages As well as tracking your location and being able to alert emergency services, you can check-in or send a prepared message to up to ten contacts, even in a signal dead zone

Motion activated The Spot Gen 3 will automatically turn on when it senses movement and it switches off when you’ve stopped for an extended period to save power

ENJOY DIY DINING ANYWHERE What can be more macho than a toolbox that turns into a barbecue? More than just a balm for fragile masculinity, its design makes it easier to store and carry around. It even has a fold-out shelf for burger prep! BBQ Toolbox £70 | $90 |

Long lasting Though it’s only powered by four AAA batteries, it will still have enough power to send an SOS signal after 13 days of continuous use – if it has a clear view of the sky, that is

SEND A SPOT-ON SATELLITE SOS WITH A SINGLE TAP If you’re planning on hiking in the wilderness or climbing a mountain any time soon, make sure you have the Spot Gen 3 is in your backpack. This motion-activated GPS tracker will record your route and current location on an online map so friends know where you are, even when you’re out of phone signal range. You can send them a preprogrammed text message, or alert emergency services and send them your GPS position with a touch of a button, just in case events turn all 127 Hours on you.

FIX GADGETS WITH SUGRU’S SMART PASTE At first, Sugru mouldable, rubbery glue looks like silly putty and is just as malleable, but it quickly hardens. This makes it ideal for wrapping around broken cables or modding your games controller. The Rebel Tech Kit, which includes a booklet full of project ideas, goes on sale 5 October. Sugru Rebel Tech Kit £10 | $15 |


Make with Micro:bit


Get up close and personal with the BBC’s micro-computer The BBC Micro:bit is a pocket-sized, codeable system with a vast array of sensor capability including motion detection, a built-in compass and Bluetooth. It is the outcome of a collaboration between 29 organisations, with an ambition to inspire digital creativity in youngsters and usher in a new generation of coders, developers and tech enthusiasts. Although the Micro:bit was designed to be used in schools in order to develop core skills in science, technology and engineering, it is

equally exciting and fun for adults and families too. This year the BBC has given every Year Seven student in the UK a free Micro:bit to start them on their digital journey of discovery. The device has also been made available to the public to purchase, so now everyone can get in on the phenomenon. The device itself measures 4cm by 5cm, and is available in a range of colours. It is designed to be fun and easy to use. You can code something simple in a few seconds

with no prior knowledge of computing or programming. The Micro:bit has been designed to connect to a range of other devices, such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi and even smartphones, enabling you to create more complex projects. The Micro:bit also supports a range of programming languages, which are accessible via the Micro:bit website, and these languages will run on a computer, tablet and even a mobile phone, allowing you to devise a project on the go.

BBC Micro:bit


ARM processor At the heart of the Micro:bit’s processing power is a small, embedded ARM micro-controller which has 128KB of flash memory and 16KB of RAM

Magnetometer This sensor detects magnetic fields and uses the readings to calculate the direction that the Micro:bit is pointing. It can also be used to calculate magnetic North and create a simple compass

Motion sensor When moving, the Micro:bit this sensor measures how quickly the speed changes. This data is used to calculate its acceleration, which can be applied to track player directions in a game, create a motion alarm or bedroom door trap!

I/O pins Five input and output (I/O) pins allow you add extra wires and hardware components, such as a buzzer, motors or sensors, so that you can do more with the Micro:bit

ÂŁ15 | $20

BBC Micro:bit Starter Kit This pocket-sized computer has a range of programmable lights and sensors to help learn the building blocks of coding, including making apps and games.

LED matrix 25 single red LEDs are embedded into the Micro:bit. They can be used to display simple images, scroll messages and even create animations

Push buttons Control user interaction in games and programs using Button A or Button B. Both of these buttons can be combined and pressed together to give you a third input option


Make with Micro:bit


Code the Micro:bit to display a smiley face and more!

Set up a simple script

Add the button press

This project covers most of the basics that you will need for creating future scripts. Plug in your Micro:bit via the USB port and open it from ‘My Computer’ and then the ‘devices’ folder. Click the webpage link and select ‘Create Code’. You will be presented with the main programming languages. This project uses Touch Develop, select this. You will then be presented with the main coding window which contains a random script name and the placeholder for your script. This is where the main code sits. Rename the title to something more identifiable such as, ‘My First Script’.

Select the line that reads ‘Add Code Here’: this is where you will write your script. From the tiles at the bottom of the page, select the ‘Input’ block; note that the word ‘Input’ now automatically appears within your script. Each time you select a block it will build up the code within the function. Code button A, by selecting ‘On Button Pressed’, you will see it now is added to the function, too. The Touch Develop editor automatically adds the word ‘Do’ to the end of the line for you, so your code essentially now reads, ‘When button A is pressed, do something.’

Test your script Now it’s time to run your script and test that it works. At the top of the screen select the ‘Run’ button. This prepares your script for the Micro:bit emulator, which is located on the right of the screen. When it has finished loading, press the virtual button A and it will display the image you made in Step 3 on the LED matrix. The emulator can simulate all of the functions of the Micro:bit, including acceleration and physical movements. This means that you can test that the script works before transferring it to your Micro:bit. Basically, if it works on the emulator then it will work on your device.

Compile your script Now your program works and has been tested, the next step is to compile the script to run it on your Micro:bit. Compiling converts the script from a high-level programming language into machine code, making it compatible with the processor. The processor is the brain of the Micro:bit and prepares and carries out the instructions within your script. Click the compile button at the top of the screen, to the right of the Run button. This begins the compiling procedure, a splash screen will load and your complied file will be ready for download.

Code a face Next up, we need to tell the Micro:bit what happens when button A is pressed. In this script, we’ve written it so that button A triggers a face to be displayed on the device’s LED matrix. To create the face, move down one line and select the ‘Basic’ tile and ‘Show LEDs’. This loads the LED image creator, which you can select to build up a simple face or another image of your choice, in case you don’t like smiley faces. When done, click ‘OK’ and your image will be saved. The ‘400’ in the code refers to the length of time the image is displayed for. This is measured in milliseconds.

Transfer to your Micro:bit Depending on which web browser you are using, right-click the ‘Save As’ option at the bottom of the page and select your Micro:bit device. The compiled file will be written to it. Some browsers will require you to open the folder on the Micro:bit and drag and drop the compiled code into the folder – the code is normally saved straight to your Downloads folder. On the back of the Micro:bit the LED indicator will flash as the program is written to the device. Once it is completed the device will reset and your program is ready to be use. Press button A to begin!

BBC Micro:bit



The night is dark and full of terrors. You better use your Micro:bit as a torch, then… Connect the wires Take your micro:bit and remove it from any device that it may be attached to. Make sure also that the battery pack is also removed. Take two crocodile clip wires and attach one of them to the pin hole located above the number two. Rotate the clip so that it sits within the hole and is nice and secure. Now clip the second wire on the pin hole marked ‘GND’. This is the ground pin. Check that it is secured and in place.

Turning the LED on Click the tile ‘Pins’, which brings up the ‘Digital Write Pin’ option. Here, enter the number of the pin that is to be written to – change the value from P0 to P2. This selects Pin 2. The value after the pin number represents the state of the Pin, ‘0’ means ‘Off’ and ‘1’ means ‘On’. Changing the value to ‘1’ will trigger the current to turn on when button A is pressed.

Link the LED to the wires When connecting your LED to the wires, it is important to connect it the correct way round to ensure that it is not damaged. Take the long leg of the LED – this is also known as the ‘positive leg’ – attach this to the wire on Pin 2 using the crocodile clip to hold the leg in place. The shorter leg is connected to the GND Pin, completing the circuit. Now we need to create the script to control the LED.

Turning the LED off To turn the LED off, use the same code structure as Step 4, but replace the status value with ‘0’. First select the ‘input’ block and this time click “On Button Pressed B’. Now select the ‘Pins’ tile, which brings up the ‘Digital Write Pin’ option. Select this and you will be prompted to enter the pin to be written to. Change the value from P0 to P2, for Pin 2.

Create the code Start a new script in your browser and change the script name to something more suitable (and memorable) title. We want it so that button A is used to turn the LED on. When the button is pressed, it writes to the pin which, in turn, sends a small current through the attached wires. Select the ‘Input’ tile and ‘On Button Pressed’. With that done, it’s time to move down to the next line.

Compile and test Run the code in the emulator to check that everything is good. There is no LED indicator on the simulation, so you are checking for any error in your code. Then compile and download the code, plug your micro:bit into the computer and copy the downloaded file over. Once it is written to your device, press button A to see if your torch is working as expected.


Make with Micro:bit


You’ll never need to throw a dice again, thanks to the Micro:bit’s LED matrix Shake it This project utilises the accelerometer, which is used to measure the movement of your micro:bit. It focuses on identifying the action of shaking, and then responds by displaying a randomly-generated number on the LED screen. Create a new script and rename as appropriate. From the ‘Input’ tile select ‘On Shake’: this is the code to set up the Micro:bit to respond with an action when you shake it.

Show a number On the line below select ‘Basic’ and ‘Show Number’. The code will default to showing the number zero on the LED matrix for 150 milliseconds. You can test that this works by clicking the Run button and using the emulator on the right-hand side of the screen.

A random number It needs to be able to select a random number between one and six. Click the number ‘0’ in the brackets, then from the blocks click ‘Maths’ and then ‘Random’. Assuming you are creating a standard six-sided die then enter the value ‘6’, (for other games where dice have more sides select the appropriate number). The value ‘0’ is left as a selection to mimic when a die falls off a table or does not land straight.

Run, test and compile When testing, you will notice that the option to ‘Shake’ the micro:bit is enabled. Use this to test that the code is working. Then, compile, download and drag the file across to your Micro:bit. Once loaded, shake the micro:bit to roll a number. Cool, eh?

BBC Micro:bit



YOUR MICRO:BIT Program the LEDS to flash in a set sequence

LEARN NEW LANGUAGES Microsoft Block Editor

Block editor is an advanced visual drag-and-drop interface where you snap code lines together. It introduces a wider range of functions and procedures than the Micro:bit’s Code Kingdoms. This enables you to create customised code and interact with devices and hardware. You can also convert the code into fully-compatible Touch Develop scripts.

Microsoft Touch Develop

Add some text Set up a new script as we did in the previous project, naming the function and selecting the third line down. Now from the code tiles select the ‘Input’ block and ‘On Button Pressed’. The default button A is shown. On the next line, select the ‘Basic’ block, this enables you to select the ‘Show String’ option. A string can consist of letters, numbers and symbols. Add your witty sentence, for example, ‘I can code a button’. Press Enter or select the tick symbol to close the edit box and add the string to your script. Click Run to test the script on the emulator.

Add the animation Now it’s time to add the button B function; this is essentially the same code structure as in Step 1 – however, before you start adding code to button B, you should make sure that the previous code line is closed, using the ‘End’ code. With that done, the simplest way to set this step up is to select the bottom plus symbol on the screen to add a new line of code. Click on the ‘Input’ block and ‘On Button Pressed’ except now choose the button B option. Then click ‘Basic’ and ‘Show Animation’ – this will open the LED animation window, ready for the next step.

This is both a text-based and ‘touch’ editor, designed specifically for touchscreens. It works across a range of devices including mobile phones and tablets. It also supports keyboard and mouse inputs and boasts a comprehensive range of functions and code lines. You can use Bluetooth to remotely control the volume of your music or trigger your phone’s camera to take a selfie.


MicroPython is a completely textbased editor designed for more confident coders – use it if you feel ready to push your coding skills further. There are a wide range of code ‘snippets’ and premade functions to support you in developing your project. Micro Python can also be downloaded and used as a standalone program editor without the need for an internet connection.

Code Kingdoms JavaScript

Create your animation Use the above interface to build up your animation by turning the LEDs on and off as you see fit. Select the ‘Add’ button on the right of the screen to add another frame of animation and then edit the LEDs. You will see the status of the LEDs from the previous frame displayed, and this is useful in plotting the next one. This is similar to film or a flick book where each frame builds up to give the final illusion of a moving image. The interface provides a preview of your animation in the top-right corner. Increase the value of the ‘Time’ to make the animation play slower or faster.

Run, test and download The final part of the project is to use the ‘Run’ feature to load your program onto the Micro:bit emulator. You can now press the buttons and ensure that they respond correctly. Then connect your Micro:bit to your computer using the Micro USB connection. Like before, this will load the device and open the folder on your Micro:bit; drag the compiled code into the folder – remember, the code is normally saved to your download folder. While the code is being written, check the LEDs on the Micro:bit to check that everything is going smoothly. Press button A or B to trigger one of the events.

A visual drag-and-drop editor where you select blocks of code and drag them into the script area, building up your program. You can switch between blocks and plain text and there are a number of example programs to get you started. This makes this editor the most suitable for beginners.


Make with Micro:bit


BUILD A Program the motion sensors to make a DIY pedometer

Create a variable With this step-by-step we will make a program which counts a step each time you take one. Start a new Touch Develop script and rename it to a more suitable title such as ‘Step Counter’. Then create a variable to store the number of steps you have taken. Select the ‘var’ tile and then make the variable equal to zero. When you start the program or restart it the total steps will always start from zero. Now, click the ‘X’ and then select the ‘Rename’ tile, rename the variable, calling it ‘Steps’. This makes it easier to refer to later on in the script.

Add a step Now we’re going to tell the Micro:bit what to do when it detects the shake. This is simply to add the value one to the value stored in ‘Steps’. To begin with this value is zero, then you take a step and the Micro:bit is ‘shaken’, adding one to the variable. The next time you take a step, one is again added to the variable, meaning that the value of the steps take is now, two. You get it? Select the ‘Steps’ variable from the left-hand side of the tiles, then select the equals sign followed by steps. Now click the plus sign, the forth tile, and type the value ‘1’.

Display the number of steps You have just created a variable that will store the number of steps you take, when you start the program you will not have taken any and we need to tell your Micro:bit to display this using its LEDs. Select the ‘Basic’ tile and then ‘Show Number’, this will add the code line and the number zero. Delete the ‘0’ using the backspace key, this will load a new set of tiles which includes the Steps variable which you just created. Click on that Steps variable to add this to the code line. This will now show the value zero when the program runs.

Show the number of steps and pause Now that you have taken a ‘step’ you need to update the display using the same method from step two. So, like before, on the next line down select the ‘Basic’ tile and then ‘Show Number’, this will add the code line and the number zero. Delete the ‘0’ and this will load a new set of tiles which includes the steps variable which you have created. Click the ‘steps’ tile to add this to the code line. On the next line of code, add a short pause by clicking the basic tile, then select the pause tile, adding the short delay.

On shake We want it so that when you walk and take a step, the Micro:bit’s accelerometer will register this as a movement. To get your Micro:bit to do this, in your script select the next line down and select the ‘Input’ tile. Now, select the second block of tiles by pressing the blue arrow, you will see the ‘On Shake’ tile. Press this and it will add the ‘On Shake’ code to your script. The line now reads ‘input – on shake do’ which means that the Micro:bit reads your leg movement as a shake and then will respond with an action.

Run, test and download Like the other projects, the final part is to use the ‘Run’ feature to test the program and load it onto the Micro:bit emulator. You can now press the buttons and ensure that they respond correctly. Connect your Micro:bit to your computer using the MicroUSB connection. This will load the device and open the folder on the Micro:bit, drag the compiled code from Step Five into the folder. Can’t find your code? Then it’ll likely be in your Downloads folder. Like all the other times, the LED indicator will flash as the program is written to the device.

BBC Micro:bit







Take some fruit or vegetables and combine them with the Micro:bit to create a musical instrument. Touch each piece of fruit to trigger a musical note, drum beat or sound. This uses the I/O pins and wires to create a simple circuit. Create a script that checks for a small current and when it detects one it plays a sound or a note. Take your piece of fruit and attach one of the wires. Hold the other wire in your hand and run your code. When you touch the fruit you complete the circuit and the current flows, the Micro:bit script responds to this.

The BBC has created a interactive tutorial which walks you through each of the stages and the code required to create the classic game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. The great feature of this tutorial is that it demonstrates what you need do and then you add the code before the tutorial moves on. Basically you create a variable which stores the three images of the rock, paper and scissors. Use a random number generator to select one of these images and display it on the LED matrix. The Micro:bit selects its choice and the game compares the two values to see which is the winner.

This project combines a few household items to create a goal, which, when hit, triggers a buzzer and displays a winning animation. Use the setup in this project to build a score board for a football game or any game of your choice. The accelerometer in the Micro:bit can detect movement on three axis, up and down, left and right and forward and backwards. Create a script which waits and checks for a ‘movement’. Place the Micro:bit in the goal and when the ball hits the back of the net, the Micro:bit moves and it triggers a score, animation or even music.

This project pretty much speaks for itself. Use the Bluetooth capability to pair your Micro:bit with your Samsung or Apple device. Install the required app to access extra features and interact with the device’s hardware. Then, create a simple script to trigger your camera or take a video when you press button A on the Micro:bit. Each of the stages are shown with the full code and diagrams making this project easy to follow. The Bluetooth pairing is tricky but there are lots of demonstration videos on YouTube or on the BBC’s website.



Makey Makey

Raspberry Pi Zero

Pocket Chip

£15 | $20 |

£40 | $50 |

£5 | $10 |

£35 | $50 |

This is a fun, engaging, entry-level introduction to coding and physical electronics. In just a few clicks you’ll program the versatile little CodeBug computer to display your own personal message.

It requires minimal programming and can be used straight out of the box. Control games with a knife and fork, make a musical banana piano or use food to trigger an alarm. The possibilities are endless.

The Pi Zero a revolutionary tiny computer with a fully functional desktop and a wide range of software. However, it also boasts a HATcompatible 40-pin header where extra hardware can be added.

Looking a bit like a classic Game Boy, just without the plastic casing, the Pocket Chip is a handheld Linux computer that you can use to build your own videogames and remix arcade classics.










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That gorgeous, shiny and worryinglyexpensive MacBook Pro you bought a couple of years ago has done you proud, but like anything, the ravages of time have taken their toll. Where once it would burst into life in a matter of seconds, now it takes a minute to boot up. Thankfully, there’s something you can do that’s guaranteed to perk up your MacBook, and it’s a lot cheaper than grabbing a new one. Where once upgrading RAM on a computer was a costly affair – and, in the cases of laptops, mostly impossible – now

it’s both simple to do and incredibly cheap. For example, an 8GB kit can cost around £35. The first thing you need to do is make sure you know exactly what model MacBook you have, and then make sure when shopping for the additional RAM that you enter the correct details. Finally, ensure that your work surface is clean and that you’ve got all the right tools. You may think that you don’t need an antistatic strap and a microfibre cloth, but it’s surprising how many computers have been fried by a static charge.

UPGRADE YOUR MACBOOK PRO’S RAM “There’s something you Put that spring back into your laptop’s step with extra memory

can do that’s guaranteed to perk up your MacBook” YOU WILL NEED RAM sticks Anti-Static Wrist Strap Size 0 Phillips Screwdriver Opening Tool Compressed Air Microfibre Cloth Several small bowls


Static electricity can be a killer for computers, so it definitely makes sense to use one of these inexpensive wrist straps before starting work on anything electrical. Put it on so that it’s not too tight, and earth it to something metal – which could even be the case of the Macbook.

£6 | $7.80

Mercury Anti-Static Wrist Strap

Upgrading the RAM for a Macbook Pro

01Preparation is everything

02Damage limitation

03Time for a spring clean

04Locating the chip board

05Chips on the side

06Check it, don’t wreck it

This next step is an optional one, but while you’ve got the case off, it’s a good idea to give everything a good wipe down. Your computer is pretty much a sealed unit, but that won’t stop the odd bit of dust coming in and clogging things up – especially around the fan exhaust area. Get yourself a good-quality microfibre cloth and gently dust over the aluminium cover and flat areas, like the battery and hard drive. You can also use a can of compressed air here to blow any bits of stubborn dust away.

Unpack the new RAM sticks and you’re ready to put them into the MacBook. It’s a good idea not to handle the actual chips on the boards too much, so whenever you pick the stick up, try to hold it by the sides if possible. Starting with the bottom socket, insert the first of your new RAM sticks – they need to go in on a slight angle, and then push down until it clicks into place. The stick has a cutout section on one side of the board so you know which side goes where. Now repeat this for the second stick.

There are many ways to prise open the case of a laptop, and also plenty of ways that we don’t recommend, too. The best way to do it, though, is to ensure that you don’t damage anything or scratch the casing of the device – so invest in a small, plastic opening tool. Make sure to double-check that you’ve removed all of the screws and then carefully insert the opening tool between the case and the body of the computer and gently leverage it. Work your way around the perimeter until the case comes away easily.

Now you need to locate the RAM board (or stick) in your computer. Luckily for you, Apple has made the job easy by placing it right in the middle of the computer for you. Each side of the RAM board has a plastic spring, so push outwards on them gently and the stick should just pop up. Remove the RAM stick and you’ll see another one underneath it, so repeat the process to get the second one out. Before you put the new boards in, though, it’s worth cleaning around the RAM sockets with the compressed air.

It’s a good idea to check everything’s worked okay before putting the back of the case on, and the only real way to do that is to put the computer on its side and boot it up. You’ll soon know if something’s wrong and the RAM wasn’t connected properly, but hopefully the computer will have accepted the new RAM and booted up properly. If not, shut the computer down and check the connections with the RAM sticks and try again. Now, finally, screw the bottom of the case back on and you’re finished.


Start by shutting down your computer completely and laying it upside down on a soft surface – for example, a towel or anti-static mat. You’ll need a small size 0 Phillips screwdriver to get the screws out of the casing, so make sure that you’ve got the correct size, as if the screwdriver is too large then you could end up stripping the threads. As the screws are different sizes, you don’t want to get them muddled up. One way to sort this is to have a few small bowls or ramekins and drop the screws into them as you take them out.





Camping isn’t so bad, right? A few nights away from it all, getting in touch with nature and living the simple life – does that sound nice? Well, yes, in theory it can be a lovely experience, but that small bag containing a baffling collection of fabric, loops, ties and telescopic poles may in fact be a temporary home for a while, but the stress of putting the tent up could make you wish that you had headed to a hotel instead. Fear not, though, for as long as you’ve packed this copy of Gadget magazine on your camping trip (and why wouldn’t

you?), you will have the tent up and the tea brewing in minutes, as we’ve done all the groundwork for you and added a smattering of patience and know-how to help make this process less like a nightmare. As with seemingly everything, a little bit of common sense goes a long way. As long as you’ve remembered all the kit (doublecheck everything is in your tent bag before you march off into the wilderness), pick the right spot and take your time then you’re guaranteed the perfect tenting holiday with no frustration whatsoever.

Top tips that will make sure you’ll always be a happy camper

location, 01 Location, location

The first thing to do is pick the perfect spot for your tent. If you’ve got an allocated plot on a campsite, then it should already be sheltered and flat, but if not, make sure you get a spot that’s as level as possible, sheltered from the wind – next to a hedge is always a good idea – and with no trees or power lines overhead. If the spot is exposed, try to make sure you have the wind behind you so that it doesn’t blow through the tent, and always pitch it at least ten metres away from any open fires or barbecues to avoid any stray sparks landing on the tent’s material.

02 Get yourself organised

So you’ve picked the perfect spot; now it’s time to get the tent up. Unpack everything and ensure everything you need is there before you start. Apart from the tent itself, you should also have a small rubber mallet (you can grab one for around £2 at Halfords) to knock in the tent pegs. Unless you have a particularly fancy or unusual tent, it’s safe to assume that you have a number of poles (probably of different sizes), an inner canvas and an outer one (or flysheet) to go over the top of it.

03 Lay out the poles

Now fix together all of the poles and then lay out the inner canvas on the spot you’d like to camp, taking care that the entrance is facing the correct way. Following the instructions that came with the tent (and don’t panic if you think you’ve lost them, as they’re often attached to the inside of the tent bag) begin to thread through the first of the poles. They usually go from corner to opposite corner, and there will be several small sleeves along the top of the inner canvas to feed the poles through.

The Right Way to Put up a Tent

04 Starting to take shape



With a pole already threaded through, connect each end of it to the eyelets in the corners and then you’re ready to insert the next one. This will be harder, as the bent shape of the first pole will do its best to get in your way. Take this stage slowly. Carefully thread the pole through the sleeves and try not to pull the pole at any point, or it’s likely to come apart under the sleeve – and it’s a nightmare to try and then connect it back up. Once through, insert the pole into the other two eyelets, and you should then have a basic tent shape.

Cinch Pop-up Tent

Possibly the coolest tent you’d ever own. It pops up in just a few seconds and comes with LED lighting and tent pegs, lightreflective guy ropes and even a solar pack to charge your phone or tablet. £150 | $195

£690 | $670

AirPad 2+

Take (some) of the stress out of camping with this ingenious air mattress. Thanks to a cleverly designed valve system, it’s possible to inflate the AirPad with just a few puffs of air. Sounds crazy, but it actually works.

The North Face VE 25 This three-person yurt has reflective guylines and glow-inthe-dark zippers to make it easy to find in the dark. Designed for the adventurous, it can even survive sub-zero Mount Everest conditions.

05 Off the peg

Throw the flysheet over the tent and make sure that the seams of both parts match up. You’ll need to attach the flysheet by either ties or clips – either will be attached to the inside of the flysheet, so go around each seam connecting the two parts of the tent. Now peg out the corners of the entire tent, pulling the peg loops tight so that the shape is rigid and the flysheet isn’t touching the inner tent – you’ll get condensation in the morning if you do. Pegs should be driven in at roughly 45° pointing in towards the tent in order to stop them becoming unhooked if there’s a wind.

£75 | $100

Scrubba Portable Washing Machine

Bet you didn’t think you’d be able to take a washing machine with you. Drop your clothes, water and detergent in and, using a neat internal washboard, your clothes could be clean in just 30 seconds. £35 | $55

IceMule Cooler

This ten-litre cooler will keep anything nice and chilled for you for up to 24 hours. Just drop in the ice and you can store anything from food to drinks – it’s handy for perishables. It’s a backpack, too, so you can easily take it out with you. £40 | $50


Finishing touches

Now, finish off by going around the tent pegging out any loops along the sides. When it comes to the door of the tent, make sure that the zips are all the way down, otherwise you might find that the fabric is too tight to close them afterwards if you don’t. The coloured guy lines are there for extra security in high winds, and you can adjust their length by moving the plastic runner up and down the ropes – if you start with it around one third of the way up from the ground, then that will help to avoid people tripping over them.

BioLite PowerLight Bundle

This bundle gives you a standard lantern or torch, but it can also be used to charge up your phone, and comes complete with a pair of daisy-chain lights for overhead lighting. £85 | $110



THE SIMPLE WAY TO INSTALL A CEILING SPEAKER Don’t waste time with excess wires

Nothing screams ‘smart home’ at us like having out-of-sight speakers playing in every room of the house. However, as elegant as they look, fitting a ceiling speaker can be anything but, having to trail wires through the walls, not just for power, but to hook up to your hi-fi as well. Luckily, companies like Lithe Audio now offer a simple solution: get a ceiling speaker with Bluetooth. You can stream music to it via your phone, tablet, computer or compatible hi-fi with a few taps of your screen. Lithe Audio’s straightforward kit enables you to fit a speaker in a matter of minutes. As well as cutting a hole in your ceiling, this involves connect up the

power cable – which runs to a standard power socket – and not a lot else. You can connect it up to a lighting circuit, but we strongly recommend that you get a professional electrician in to do that – see the ‘Get The Pros In’ boxout for more information on that. If you’re after a professional-sounding system then maybe Bluetooth isn’t for you though, as, like MP3, it’s a lossy way of listening to music – which means that you’ll loose some quality from the original recording. But if you’re looking to just have your music playing around the house and can accept a small loss in quality, though, then this might be music to your ears.

Magnetic hold To avoid too many screws, the cover for the speaker is attached quickly and easily via a series of small magnets that are built into the rim of the speaker

Kevlar cone The speaker comes with a 6.5-inch (165mm) Kevlar cone for top-quality sound performance across the mid-range frequencies

£200 | $260

Lithe Audio Bluetooth Ceiling Speaker Have all your music playing through one convenientlyplaced ceiling speaker, which connects to any Bluetoothcapable smart device around the home.

GET THE PROS IN The laws in the UK regarding building regulations changed in 2005 with the introduction of the ‘Part P’ electrical safety rule. Although this was relaxed slightly in 2013, it’s still recommended that you get a certified electrician to come in and either do the job for you (if you’re planning on wiring the speaker to the mains supply), or check over the work you’ve done. Either way, Lithe Audio’s Bluetooth speaker will be cheaper to install than having an electrician fit a traditional wired system.

Ball-joint tweeter The tweeter, the type of speaker that’s designed specifically to produce the highest range frequency of sound, is right here. It’s a ball-joint one, too, so it can be fine-tuned for direction

Speaker output Overall, the design of this ceiling speaker is pleasantly minimalist – meaning you have the least amount of stress to install it. If you want to hardwire your speaker to another sound system, or attach a second speaker, here’s where you connect it

The Simple way to Install a Ceiling Speaker

01Picking the right spot

02Cutting out the speaker hole

03Connecting up the power

04Fitting the speaker into the ceiling

05Adding a second speaker

06Pairing up your device

The easy part of this process is working out where you want your speaker to go. The first thing you should do is use a stud finder to make sure you’re not about to cut into a joist, pipe or wire when you start sawing out the hole for the speaker. When you’ve found a clear and safe spot, you can then use the supplied template (which measures out a circle with 210mm diameter) to mark the area for the speaker with a pencil.

We’re assuming for the sake of safety that you’re going to be using the supplied power lead to connect the speaker to the mains supply, so attach the power lead to the speaker and then run it through to the power socket – making sure that the power lead is not overstretched. The other way to connect the speaker to the mains is through a fused spur – connected to the lighting circuit – but we recommend you get an electrician in if you’re thinking of connecting it that way.

Of course, you might want to add another passive speaker to the setup, which would obviously give you a much better audio experience in the room. You can easily run a second speaker off the main one, which will also supply the power for it too, so there’s no need for a second adapter. Drill the hole in the location where you’d like the second speaker to go, and then join it by connecting it to the two speaker output points with standard speaker cable.


Before cutting large chunks out of your ceiling with metallic power tools, it’s probably a good idea to switch off the electronic devices in the house. Now, using either a flat wood bit or a holesaw, drill out a pilot hole (with a batterypowered drill) in the middle of the circle you’ve just drawn on the ceiling. You should now use a small keyhole saw to cut out the circle – a keyhole saw will ensure a neat and accurate finish.

Insert the speaker into the ceiling as gently as you can. If it catches on anything, bring it back down and shave around the edge it’s grazing using the keyhole saw. You want to be careful here that you don’t shave off too much, but you also want to take off just enough so that the speaker fits snugly. On the rim of the speaker are four dog-leg fixings, so once the speaker is in place, turn each of these to secure it in place. Now, just attach the grill to the speaker and you’re done.

The LED indicator on the rim of the speaker will flash blue/red to show that it is ready to pair up with your device, so open up your device’s Bluetooth settings, search for devices and then click on ‘Lithe Audio BT’. Enter the pin ‘1234’ and you should then be connected – at this point the LED on the speaker will change to solid blue to show you’re connected. It’ll also flash blue to let you know when music is playing.



MAKE THE PERFECT DIY SLUSHY Enjoy instant refreshment using household ingredients

It’s impossible not to love a slushy, as no matter what drink you prefer, it’s certain to taste better semi-frozen on a hot day. And although there are plenty of machines out there that will do the job for you (starting at just a few pounds and then going up into the thousands), it’s actually incredibly simple to do it yourself with just a few things you’ve probably already got lying around the house. What’s more, making your own slushy is made even easier with the aid of science, as it would be impossible without using salt on the ice to slow down its melting process. The salt actually makes it possible to produce a delicious slushy in no more than 15 minutes. You could always try making an alcoholic cocktail slushy in the same way. A margarita, for example, is delicious on a summer’s evening – you’ll need tequila, triple sec and lime juice for that one – but a quick search online will give you dozens of recipe solutions.

01 Freezy-peasy

Of course, the easiest way to make your own slushy is to use a dedicated slushy machine (more on that below) but you can get some pretty impressive results from the DIY approach. For this you’ll need two freezer bags, some ice, the drink you want to ‘slushify’ and some salt. Start by pouring the drink into the first freezer bag and then seal it – making sure that you’ve got as much of the air out of the bag as possible.

“It’s actually incredibly simple to do it 02 yourself”

Ice to see you

Now put the bag into the second freezer bag and fill that one up with ice, checking first that the bag containing the liquid is completely sealed, as you really don’t want any of the water/ice mixture getting in there. Don’t fill it too much, mind, as you’ll need to seal this bag too. Now you need to pour the salt over the ice – at least five teaspoons, but the more the merrier. Now seal the second bag completely and you’re then ready to make your slushy.

COOLEST SLUSHY MAKERS Chill Factor Slushy Maker

Gourmet Gadgetry Retro Slush Maker

£10 | $15 |

£40 | $55 |

A slightly different (and very cheap) way to make a slushy. You add the liquid, freeze it and then squeeze the soft sides of the device to turn its contents to mush. Crude, but it does work.

This device works in a similar way to our step-by-step method, the difference is that just that everything’s automated for you. We quite like the sleek and vibrant design of it, too.

Smart Slush Machine ‘Smart’ is the right word to use here, as not only will Smart’s machine make a slushy to die for, but you can also use it to make other drinks too, such as margarita cocktails. £100 | $135 |

Make the Perfect DIY Slushy



03 Shaker maker

The next step is to shake the bag about a bit. The purpose of this is to keep the liquid moving so that you get an even freeze throughout the mixture – the salt helps with this a lot, as it prevents the ice from melting. If you’re in a hurry, then the slushy will be ready in around five minutes or so, but we recommend shaking the bag for around 15 minutes, as the results are far more impressive – and you get a good workout to boot.

04 Keep it moving

If you’re shaking the bag for the full 15 minutes then your hands will probably start to get a bit cold. One solution for this is to wrap the bag in a tea towel – the important thing to remember though is to keep the bag moving as much as possible. When you’ve finished, take the bag containing your slushy and simply pour it into a glass. It will melt quite quickly (as with any other slushy drink) so we suggest grabbing a straw and drinking it as quickly as you can.

Ariete Sweet Granita Slush Maker

Olaf Slush Maker

£40 | $53 |

£10 | $20 |

If you can’t be bothered to spend the 15 minutes making a proper slushy then you may be interested in this device which crushes ice ready for you to add a syrup.

Of course, Disney have a Frozen-themed snow cone maker. It’s almost identical to the original Frost machine from the Seventies. Like the Ariete, it just crushes your ice for you to then add a syrup topping.

If you try to make you own slushy without salt then it’ll all go horribly wrong, the ice cubes will melt and you’ll be left with quite a lot of water but not a huge amount of slushy. You need the salt because water turns into ice when its temperature is 0°C or less, and the salt actually lowers the melting point of water, which in this case is the ice cubes around the bag of liquid we’re trying to turn into a slushy. The more inquisitive among you might ask why, and the answer is relatively straightforward. In pure water at 0°C, ice melts just as fast as water freezes. Adding the salt means that the melting point of water can drop to as low as -21°C, because energy is required to snap the hydrogen bonds that hold the ice together, and the melting ice draws that energy from the surrounding solution as heat. Even after all the ice has melted, the temperature of the water left behind can remain below 0°C for some time, keeping anything it surrounds (in this case our slushy) much colder for far longer.

£115 | $190




We’ve said ‘hello’, Adele, so now let’s say ‘goodbye’, Drake’s ‘One Dance’ is over, and it’s about time we all shook off Taylor Swift. In fact, let’s forget about everyone in the Top 40 chart. With the help of social networks like Soundcloud and YouTube, its never been a better time to launch your own music career. But first you need to record your own irresistible single.

Become a chart-topper with these Garageband tips and gadgets

We can’t help you with the lyrics or the arrangement, but we can show you how to use Apple’s Garageband to lay down your track. Available for both iOS and OS X (priced at £3.99/$4.99), it’s powerful enough to produce professional results, but with the minimum amount of fuss. For maximum ease of use, we’ll show how to use to get started with the iPad version.

£45 | $70

GuitarConnect Pro This accessory allows you to connect any instrument with a quarter-inch mono plug to a Mac, iPhone or iPad. It comes with cables for both older 30-pin and modern Lightning Apple kit.

£50 | $50


Working with the basic GarageBand setup will only get you so far, and it probably won’t be long before you’re looking to upgrade certain elements of it for a better overall experience. Getting yourself a decent input device for instruments is a starting point, but you’ll be impressed by the quality that can be achieved by simply upgrading your headphones or buying a relatively inexpensive dedicated microphone. Here are four suggestions for the kit you’ll need to give your home recordings a more professional-sounding edge.

£65 | $80

Audio Technica ATH-M40x These may be some of the cheapest studio headphones you can buy, they have a precise and punchy quality that makes them a match for the competition.

Samson C01U Microphone If you’re serious about recording then you’re going to want a good mic. This budget choice performs as well as many £400 mics, though it only supports 16-bit resolution.

£140 | $130

Korg MicroKey 61 Rated as one of the best MIDI keyboards you can get, this comes a smaller size, but we prefer the larger one. It also comes with pitch and modulation wheels and Bluetooth capabilities.

Record a Hit Single

01Playing smart

02All about that bass

03Taking the lead

04A question of balance

05Vocal hero

06Bigger and better on OS X

Although you can record instruments live, GarageBand also comes with a range of functions that do a lot of the hard work for you. We’re starting with Smart Drums. We pick a Kit from the top-left option, and then experiment by dragging in the various kit parts from the right. Once we’re satisfied, we tap the red circle (record) to record a drum part.

Lead guitar is next, and if you tap on the ‘Notes’ option than you can play any combination of notes over what you’ve recorded so far. Alternatively, like before, if you choose Chords then you can either strum along for a rhythm track or play one of the four autoplay options for a chord arpeggio (where chord notes are played one at a time in sequence).

Now you’re ready to record vocals. Ideally, you’ll have a mic attached, but you can also sing into the iPad. Unless you’re gifted with an amazing voice, you might want to add a few effects to your track – which are guaranteed to make even the most tone-deaf singer sound passable. Save the track, and either email to yourself or send it straight to iTunes.


With that done, the next instrument we’re going to add is the bass guitar. Once again, we can choose to play the individual notes on the touchscreen if we wish, or choose the ‘Chords’ option and one of the four presets. Before that, though, tap on the guitar on the left to choose the instrument that most matches the style of music you want to play.

If you want to balance everything out at any point, then tap on the ‘Track Controls Panel’ icon at the top of the screen, and here you obtain a track-by-track overview of your entire song. You can alter the volume levels on any track and mute it in certain places in order to create the perfect balance.

GarageBand on OS X is somewhere in-between its iOS brother and professional audio software Logic Pro X. You get a range of lessons to download, more instruments, loops and editing functionality. You do lose the touchscreen instruments, though, so if you’re looking to record music quickly, then the iOS version may be the one for you.


Whatever happened to...

Built-in monitor The nine-inch black-and-white CRT monitor could display a one-bit graphical resolution of 512 x 342. A printer could output an exact copy of the screen

Graphical User Interface The Mac’s mouse-driven operating system – simply called System 1.0 – made its debut along with Mac OS staples such as Finder

Imagine Publishing Ltd Richmond House, 33 Richmond Hill, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH2 6EZ ☎ +44 (0) 1202 586200 Web: Magazine team Editor Jack Parsons ☎ 01202 586213

Good venting The Macintosh did not need a noisy fan. Instead, there were enough vents on the casing – fans didn’t arrive for the Mac until 1987

Production Editor Drew Sleep Photographer James Sheppard Senior Art Editor Stephen Williams Designer Harriet Knight Editor In Chief Dan Hutchinson Publishing Director Aaron Asadi Head of Design Ross Andrews

Contributors Dan Aldred, Luke Albigés, David Crookes, Ed Crooks, Nicholas Fearn, Ross Hamilton, Oliver Hill, Shaun McGill, Carrie Mok Dean Mortlock, David Nield, Dom Peppiatt

Advertising Digital or printed media packs are available on request. Head of Sales Hang Deretz ☎ 01202 586442 Account Manager Anthony Godsell ☎ 01202 586420

International Gadget is available for licensing. Contact the International department to discuss partnership opportunities. Head of International Licensing Cathy Blackman ☎ +44 (0) 1202 586401

The internals

Floppy disks

With a 32—bit Motorolla MO68000 processor, 128K of RAM and 64K of ROM, it wasn’t the most powerful machine but good enough for graphics work

Each side of a floppy disk could hold 400K. The Mac’s operating system ran from a floppy rather than from a hard drive

Subscriptions For subscription enquiries email: ☎ UK 0844 249 0270 ☎ Overseas +44 (0) 1795 418676 Head of Subscriptions Sharon Todd


Whatever happened to…

Apple Macintosh Sleek and compact, what you saw is what you got

Ridley Scott introduced the Macintosh to the world via a special effect-laden commercial inspired by George Orwell’s 1984, but nobody knew then what a blockbuster Apple’s computer would become. Boasting 128k of memory, a Motorola 68000 processor running at 7.8MHz and a built-in nine-inch monochrome screen, the Macintosh wasn’t a powerful machine. Yet in its favour was affordability and usability. The Mac was a pioneer. Its pointand-click user interface arrived a year before Microsoft’s. It came bundled with a paint package, and a what-you-see-is-what-you-get word processor. But most importantly, it inspired great devotion: 32 years on and the range is still going strong.

Fact file… Year of launch: 1984 • Ghostbusters spooked record audiences • Virgin Atlantic made its debut flight • Summer Olympics were held in Los Angeles, California You’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984’ Official advertising slogan

Buy one today

• Original Price: £1,840/$2,495 • Price Today: £700/$650 The original Mac was rebranded the Macintosh 128k after nine months when a 512k version – nicknamed the ‘Fat Mac’ arrived. You’ll end up paying extra if one comes with the original packaging, manuals and disks, and you’ll fork out more still if the travel case is available. The computer did not have a hard drive and instead used 3.5-inch floppies, so if you plan on using it, make sure the disc drive works and check the keyboard and mouse for signs of wear and tear.

Issue 13 is on sale from 22 September

Circulation Director Darren Pearce

Production Production Director Jane Hawkins

☎ 01202 586200 ☎ 01202 586200

Finance Finance Director Marco Peroni

Founder Group Managing Director Damian Butt

Printing & Distribution Printed by William Gibbons, 26 Planetary Road, Willenhall, West Midlands, WV13 3XT Distributed in the UK, Eire & the Rest of the World by Marketforce, 5 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5HU ☎ 0203 787 9060 Distributed in Australia by Gordon & Gotch Australia Pty Ltd. 26 Rodborough Road, Frenchs Forest NSW 2086 Australia ☎ +61 2 9972 8800

Disclaimer The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any unsolicited material lost or damaged in the post. All text and layout is the copyright of Imagine Publishing Ltd. Nothing in this magazine may be reproduced in whole or part without the written permission of the publisher. All copyrights are recognised and used specifically for the purpose of criticism and review. Although the magazine has endeavoured to ensure all information is correct at time of print, prices and availability may change. This magazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein. If you submit material to Imagine Publishing via post, email, social network or any other means, you automatically grant Imagine Publishing an irrevocable, perpetual, royalty-free license to use the materials across its entire portfolio, in print, online and digital, and to deliver the materials to existing and future clients, including but not limited to international licensees for reproduction in international, licensed editions of Imagine products. Any material you submit is sent at your risk and, although every care is taken, neither Imagine Publishing nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be liable for the loss or damage.

© Imagine Publishing Ltd 2016

ISSN 2396-7315



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