Gifts, beautiful gifts. Almost anything can be considered a gadget, so it makes it difficult to select the very best gadgets for your loved ones. That’s why we went the opposite route, and chose the quirkiest, craziest gadgets of 2013.
Beats Studio Wireless - US$379
Possibly the best noise cancelling headphones you’ll ever use, these puppies can be used up to 30 feet away so feel free to get up and stretch once in a while. The pause button on the ear can is perfect for office interruptions and the ability to take calls and adjust the volume without touching your device is how headphones were meant to be.
iBT4UC - US$99
Available in a wide range of colours, this is a bluetooth boombox that begs to be used. Portable (weighing just over 1.3Kg), this is the larger version in a new series created by iHome. Working with all the usual suspects (iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry etc), it packs more than a visual punch with its multiple speakers and built-in FM radio and is rechargeable to boot.
“Sounddew” by White Label - US$49
Brains and beauty, this waterproof Bluetooth speaker is perfect for wet or dry areas. Not only does it enable the user to make and receive calls but it also packs a punch with its durability and battery life (+8 hours).
Mighty Purse - US$140
Never run out of battery for your iPod with this stylish purse. Whether you choose brown, black or gold leather this little puppy has you covered for up to two full phone charges from a single charge.
Breathalyzer by BACtrack - US$99
Once in a while you see a combination of technology that makes you think, “nice”. Pairing a smartphone with a police-grade alcohol detection system is not only clever but possibly a lifesaver. Smaller than an iPod, not only can you test multiple people at the same time but you can also share your results via text and online – all through Bluetooth.
BakBone Tablet Ring - US$29
Made out of high-grade rubber and nickel-plated neodymium magnets, the BakBone is a lifesaver if you use your tablet for long periods of typing or simply don’t like getting it grubby. The power of this badboy cannot be understated. It’s only coming off when you want it to.
Close to going in the design section for its good looks, this innovative iPhone case combines your wallet with a secure holder for your lifeline to the outside world. Made out of water-resistant TPU (that’s rubbery plastic to you and me) it holds about five notes comfortably.
Blue Henderson by Knomo - US$319
Fast becoming “the” business bag company, Knomo have produced a stunning new design that has multiple pockets for every gadget you could possibly need to carry whilst offering an incredible amount of protection for a bag of its stature. Easy-access, security and padding make this a bag a must-have for the savvy gadget carrier.
Sony DSC-QX10/B Smartphone Attachable 4.45-44.5mm Lens-Style Camera - US$250
In a highly innovative move by Sony, the attachable 10X zoom lens is a step that could cause a new direction in smartphone photography. Not only can the lens be used independently of the phone but it can also be used on non-Sony products. That’s the sort of thinking we want to see more of.
Senz Umbrella - US$80
You have to use a Senz to really understand how bad your current umbrella really is. Able to survive in a 80kmph wind and available in a variety of colours and sizes these are both functional and fashion-forward.
Stratum Vase by Hiroaki Nishimura – US$72
Hiroaki Nishimura produces incredibly intricate and high-end 3D printed vases. Made from white nylon plastic, the Stratum Vase 001 (small white) is not the biggest vase available but it does make an impressive statement of refined elegance. Now if we can just get that Jonathan Ives desk to go with it…
Nest Protect : Smoke + Carbon Monoxide - US$129
Looking more like a shower speaker, Nest is not only a thing of beauty but a thing of safety. Instead of making you unpopular with the neighbours after a heavy night out (you accidentally burn some midnight toast) Nest will alert you but not alarm you. It also works with your smartphone if you are a little paranoid.
Yotaphone – US$685 (January 2014)
The world’s first double-sided smartphone really doesn’t need much saying about it. With e-ink displays and multi-touch gesture controls this puppy is built to last and be noticed. If looks could kill, we’d be dead already.
Misfit Shine by Misfit Wearables
As minimalist interfaces go, this fitness and wellbeing tracker from Misfit Wearables is right up there. From time to how active you have been, a series of lights guide the user to be more active and understand whether they have time to be more spry. Available in a range of colours, Shine is made to be worn and has the choice of clasp, wristwatch and necklace accessories.
Installed in seconds, made out of real wood by Workbench studios, this fascia will have people feeling up your iPhone in no time. Perfect for pimping your iPad, headphones and laptops.
Ultrathin Keyboard Folio by Logitech – US$115
Let’s face it, iPads aren’t cheap, one scratch and they are aesthetically ruined. Typing can also be a lot more difficult than it needs to be. Not only is this portfolio light and functional, it’s also great to look at and easy on the wallet. Perfect for frequent note takers and those on the go, the auto on and off is a great touch so your battery life is maximised. This is a must have item.
Nimbus Dashboard – US$129
Data is everywhere these days, smart data, not so much. The Nimbus dashboard enables you to literally see your world at a glance. Is the email piling up, did you miss calls? it’s your calming dashboard in a busy world. One that also works with your smartphone. Handy doesn’t even come close.
Buoy by Turnstone - US$179
Sitting for long periods can damage your back, we all know it but do little about it. 2014 can be the year you make a change that could add years to your life. With pneumatic height adjustment, built-in handle, multiple cover designs, the Buoy from Turnstone is a great half-way house as it forces you to move as you sit. It’s perfect for fidgeters.
Source from SodaStream - US$130
Creating soda from water. Is there anything more satisfying? Probably, but it’s hard to argue with something this simple and this beautiful. With a new flavouring system and three levels of carbonation, SodaStream have really turned a corner with their Yves Béhar collaboration.
Doctor Who Onesie: – US$54
Available for nerds of all sizes (well, up to SXXL at least), the Tardis Onesie is the perfect combination of satin, microfleece and other ridiculously soft stuff. The best thing (besides the perfect replication of the outside text of the Tardis) are the booties that this suit comes with.
Space Invader Socks - US$20
Made from a high quality Pima cotton blend, these Space Invader office dazzlers will brighten up any meeting and are designed to get your nerdiness noticed. Available in grey and green.
Subbuteo Grinders - US$50
As if the shape of most tables don’t lend themselves to an impromptu pitch, these beauties will add a touch of class and a talking point to any meal.
Pop Phone by Native Union - US$40
Sleek design and more than 30 finish options make the Pop Phone a must have for anyone who has ever tried to push their Smartphone through their head in order to hear the caller at the other end. Easy to hold: rest under the chin or just pretend you are Don Draper. The hardest part is picking which one you want. Also available in cable free, Bluetooth version.
Vase via CargoCollective