Home Gadgets The Smartest New Tech And Gadgets – Esquire.co.uk

The Smartest New Tech And Gadgets – Esquire.co.uk

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1

Sage Smart Waffle Maker

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Not your average waffle maker. It’s got a feature called ‘Waffle IQ’, which automatically works out how long and how hot to heat your batter based on what colour you like them and what style you’re after, whether it’s a classic Belgian or something more bespoke. There’s a button that says “a bit more” on it too, which will do your waffle a bit more.

Harrods, £179

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2

Soda Wacaco Minipresso portable espresso machine

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Pop in a coffee pod or ground coffee, add hot water, pump the plunger on the side and within seconds you’ve got a freshly brewed shot of espresso on the go.

Selfridges, £44

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3

The ONE Light Keyboard

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“I’ll pick up the piano!” you told yourself on New Year’s Day. “That’ll be fun and worthwhile!” A month later, you’ve done nowt. Try this then: the free iOS and Android app gives you three ways to learn, with video lessons, piano-based games and more than 4,000 pieces of sheet music. The key, though, is the Guitar Hero-style display and light-up keys which should turn even the most tone-deaf into passable pianists.

Smartpiano, £215

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4

Ruark R5

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This scaled-down (but still punchy) version of Ruark’s beefy R7 wireless speaker might have mid-century good looks but it’s ready for anything you want to run through it: Bluetooth, WiFi, streaming, ethernet or your turntable.

Ruark, £1,000

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5

Qwerkywriter

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Anything which describes itself as quirky should really be handled with asbestos gloves and, ideally, thrown into a quarry. The single exception is this sturdy aluminium USB-connected mechanical typewriter. Satisfyingly tactile.

Amazon, £190

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6

Fender American Acoustasonic Telecaster

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Different guitars make different sounds. That much is obvious. Yet in a bid to diversify, storied outfit Fender has forged a shape-shifting instrument that packs five distinctively different sounds – all within a shell that’s built like an acoustic, just with the benefits of electric.

Fender, £1,799

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7

Powerdot 2.0 Uno

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Connect these little zapping pads to your phone and pick a programme to hone in on specific muscle groups you want to stimulate and refine, massage or speed to recovery. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt. Honest.

Powerdot, £199

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8

Jura WE8 coffee machine

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This is a big, big boy: it holds 500g of coffee beans and five litres of water. You can use your phone to order one of 10 different coffees, and it’s also got an integrated cleaning and descaling system, because nothing harshes a cosmopolitan vibe quicker than hurriedly working up a vinegar solution to flus out one’s pipes.

Harrods, £1,919

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9

Atari Pong coffee table

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This giant reboot of 1972’s seminal rectangle-based tennis sim Pong recreates the game mechanically, using magnets and pulleys rather than the original 8-bit graphics and, this being 2019, comes with four USB charging ports and a Bluetooth speaker.

Menkind, £3419.99

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10

Red 5 Giant Gyro Flyer

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Remote controlled helicopters are one of the few classic ‘executive toys’ worth being salvaged from the dustbin of history, though we’ll probably leave putting mats and those ducking birds in there. This one comes with flying modes for both beginners and more accomplished pilots.

Selfridges, £34.99

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11

SEGA Mega Drive Classic

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The current vogue for miniaturised reboots of first-gen consoles has seen more misses than hits – was anyone desperate to fire up their Playstation Classic and get back on Intelligent Qube? – the 80 classic games on here include a lot of gems like Sonic the Hedgehog, Alien Storm and three editions of Mortal Kombat.

Selfridges, £59.99

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12

iFavine iSommelier Pro

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Knowing loads about wine is impressive and everything, but being able to delegate knowing loads about wine to a robot is much more 2019. The iSommelier aerates your wine to enhance its flavours and aromas, the touch screen shows your wine’s name and vintage and you can control it from your phone with an app.

Harrods, £799

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13

Samsung HW-MS55 Wireless Soundbar

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A home without a soundbar isn’t much of a home at all, really. It’s just a holding pen, a set of walls with a roof on it and maybe a smaller room for the washing machine next door. This one pumps out HD sound, and you can use it as easily as a music player via your phone as you can a TV speaker.

Selfridges, £349

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14

Denon DP-450USB turntable

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Turntables which can turn your vinyl collection into digital files aren’t new, but this one’s a particularly handsome and easy-to-use example which records straight onto USB storage.

Denon, £529

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15

Devialet Silver Phantom speaker

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There are loads of wireless speakers out there obviously, but few have been grafted over as much as this one. After 10 years of development, it’s packed with features which give it a clarity few speakers can match: it can cancel background noise, pump out the lowest frequencies and reproduce the exact air pressure the music it’s playing was recorded at.

Mr Porter, £1,890

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16

Lumie Bodyclock Shine 300

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This alarm clock gradually wakes you up or lets you drift off by mimicking the sunset and sunrise, plus there are 14 sound effects to snooze or wake to including tropical birds, thunderstorms, purring kittens or, for some reason, a steam train. Bizarre, but British Rowing swears by them for early sessions on the water.

Selfridges, £125

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17

Astell & Kern A&norma SR15 high-res audio player

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You, like everyone else who’s not a psychopath or trapped in 2004, listen to your tunes on your phone. Fine. But this player, however apparently wonky its screen or nonsense its name, is a serious bit of kit for audiophiles. It’s got 64GB of built-in storage and its dynamic, full sound shows why A&K have built up such a crowded shelf of industry awards.

Selfridges, £599

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18

HTC Vive Pro VR System

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Christmas get-together dragging a bit? Gift yourself this, then surreptitiously pop it on and lose yourself in the headset’s hi-res screens and 3D sound. The display will show you an outline of your surroundings while you’re wearing the goggles too, so there’s no need to worry about accidentally decking Auntie Jean.

John Lewis, £1,299.95

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19

Soundasleep Bluetooth pillow

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Arguably we should all stop putting Bluetooth into anything that stays still long enough, but a smart-pillow is less daft than it sounds. Control your music, podcasts or soporific soundscapes via the app, which can track your sleep patterns and wake you up if your snoring is louder than your chosen decibel level.

Amazon, £50

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20

Gamevice

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Snap this onto your iPhone and make it feel like a 2018 reboot of the PS Vita, with more than 1,000 games available on the free iOS app. Perfect for time-wasting on the train.

Menkind, £79.99

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21

Smartech Ember self-heating mug

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This is more than just a very slightly evolved version of a heated mug: it’s connected to the Ember app, which helps you monitor your caffeine intake.

Selfridges, £89.95

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22

Samsonite Pixon

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Instead of frantically trying to throw all of your heaviest clothing on at the head of the check-in queue to shave off those three extra kilos, get a suitcase with a built-in set of self-weighing scales.

John Lewis, £207

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23

Logitech Circle 2

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A wireless, 1080p HD, wide-angled, motion-sensitive, smart assistant-compatible security camera is arguably an overcomplicated way of avoiding everyone who attempts to gain entry to your house except the pizza delivery man, but it’s probably the best way.

Logitech, £199

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24

Hay Sonos One wireless smart speaker

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Smart speakers can feel like much of a muchness, but this one teams Sonos’ superior sound with Hay’s Scandinavian style.

Selfridges, £229

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25

Commodore 64 Mini

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The big hype this Christmas is for the miniature reboot of the Playstation, the Classic, and rumours of an N64 Mini continue to swirl. Will either of those come with 64 games, though, including early classics like extreme sports sim California Games? No, they will not. There’s a Microcomputer mode so you can code your own games too, just like on the 1982 original.

Firebox, £69.99

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26

iKettle 3

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The third generation of this smart-kettle lets you set the times you want it to boil each day, how hot you want the water and via the app, which will also tell you how full the iKettle is. It hooks up with Alexa too, so you can shout “BOIL KETTLE” at it from the sofa repeatedly before Alexa tells you it’s going to play Roy Castle’s smooth jazz on Spotify.

Firebox, £99.99

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27

Rocketbook reusable notebook

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Not all notebooks are created equal. This looks like your common-or-garden spiralbound workhorse, but it’s an infinitely reusable smart notebook made up of 32 wipeable pages from which you can directly upload your notes and doodles straight to Google Docs, Dropbox and other cloud services.

Amazon, £34.99

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28

Keecker entertainment robot

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It might look like a dehumidifier, but this is actually a little robot pal who’ll keep you company while projecting video onto any wall or ceiling or pumping out 360-degree sound. It’s got wheels too, so it can trundle around after you from room to room, as well as voice control via an app.

Selfridges, £2,500

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29

Smartech Ili portable translator

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Every so often a gadget reminds you that we’re living in the future. Speak into this stick and within 0.2 seconds it’ll translate it into Spanish, Mandarin or Japanese. The battery life isn’t too bad either – at three days, it’ll last through a whole long weekend away.

Selfridges, £199

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30

Smartech Hive View smart indoor camera

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Multi-award-winning industrial designer Yves Béhar has taken the slightly forbidding home CCTV camera and given it an elegant makeover. The Hive View will send you live 1080p HD video or any footage from the last 24 hours, and the Hive app lets you set it to follow people but ignore pets wandering around while you’re out.

Selfridges, £149.99

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31

KitSound X-Dock wireless charger and radio

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This clock radio’s a lot more interesting than the usual: it’s got a magnetic strip on the front for wirelessly charging your phone (as long as it’s an iPhone 8 or later, or a Samsung S6 or later), and it’s a wireless speaker as well as an FM radio.

Amazon, £69.99

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32

Bang & Olufsen A9 wireless speaker

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This mysterious black orb is a 70cm-diameter speaker which connects via AirPlay, Bluetooth or DLNA and comes with Spotify Connect, TuneIn and Deezer built in. If you don’t fancy the tripod, you can take it off and hang it on your wall instead.

Mr Porter, £2,000

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33

Paladone Sega Saturn smartphone controller

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The Sega Saturn got flattened by the PlayStation and Nintendo 64, but it’s very much the connoisseur’s choice of mid-90s console. This reboot plugs your phone into a copy of the classic controller and there are 19 games on Google Play now, including Sonic the Hedgehog, Crazy Taxi and Streets of Rage.

Selfridges, £38

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34

RHA TrueConnect wireless earbuds

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The distance between how cool and practical wireless earbuds should be, and how cool and practical wireless earbuds generally are, is gargantuan. These are a big step forward though, and as well as being sweat-resistant and Bluetooth 5-assisted, they come with the top end sound quality RHA is known for.

Amazon, £152

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35

Samsung NU7500 Curved Ultra HD Smart TV

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The curved screen of this 55-inch beast is designed to prevent eye strain and screen fatigue. A good thing, especially when you
think of it as the binge-watching equivalent of that bright pink kinesiology tape Dele Alli wears on his knees.

It’s got voice control too, and you can use it as a hub to control all your other smart devices from.

Selfridges, £859

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36

FurniQi wireless charging sidetable

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Contrary to what you’d assume, most ‘wireless’ chargers are in fact extremely heavily wired. Sure, you can pop your phone on top of a little charging pad rather than faffing with a connector, but it still feels a bit underwhelming.

This table’s a smarter solution. The circular charger is discretely designed, and it’s compatible with most major smartphones.

Amazon, £99.99

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37

Playr football training vest

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Solve post-Sunday League pub arguments by getting your phone out and pointing smugly at the data maps compiled by Playr’s Bluetooth-connected SmartPod. The GPS tracker slips into a little pouch on the back of a vest, and is based on tech developed with pro players and coaches to give a detailed breakdown of your performance. Sprints, ground covered, time spent mutely pointing at unmarked opposition strikers – it’s all here, plus sports science tips to help you train smarter.

Playr, £199

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38

Nuki smart lock

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Place case over your lock with the key in, connect to it on your phone or smartwatch via Bluetooth and never fret about whether or not you locked the door ever again. You can set it to automatically open when your phone gets close enough, to lock behind you, or add other trusted people for however long a period as you need.

Selfridges, £299.99

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39

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

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This ultra-slim 20.1-megapixel camera marries retro looks with very 2018 touches: the big sensor and f/2 – 4.9 lens lets loads of light in so low light shots still look great, you can get 60FPS HD video and, best of all, you can send pictures straight to your phone to stick on Instagram.

Selfridges, £379.99

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40

Mightymast Arcade Baby

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Yes, the case of this two-and-a-half-foot mini-cabinet is fairly hideous, but look inside: there are 99 classic arcade games to delve into, and it’s got crisp digital sound and a 10-inch screen.

Menkind, £399

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41

SHOP

You’re tired. We’re tired. The whole damn world is tired. Sort your kip out with this smart pad, which slips underneath your mattress, records your sleep cycles, your heart rate and your snoring rate. Then, the free app scores how good your night’s sleep was and gives you tips to improve the next night.

Amazon, £99.95

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42

Bose Noise Masking Sleepbuds

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Still struggling to drop off? Bose’s much-hyped solution uses a noise-isolating tip which sits inside your ear blocking out any noise as well as masking any unexpected sounds – snoring, car alarms, etc – with a soundscape in a matching frequencies. Pick from gentle waves, rustling leaves or eight other soundtracks.

Amazon, £229.95

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43

Amazon Echo Show

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The first generation of the Alexa-enabled Echo Show didn’t make much of a dent in the market, but this redesigned version looks far more exciting. The 10-inch screen’s bigger for a start, and it bills itself as an all-round home assistant, telling you what ingredients are in the kitchen, making calls to mates with other Echo devices and checking who’s at the front door with an upcoming doorbell camera add-on.

Amazon, £219.99

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44

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 wireless earphones

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If you’ve invested in a new iPhone you’ll know you no longer get a lightning-to-headphone jack adapter, so now’s an apt time to get some high-grade wireless earphones. These buds are unobtrusive and features the usual top quality sound you’d expect from B&O, and you can control tracks and take calls with a subtle tap.

Mr Porter, £270

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45

Jamstik+ MIDI guitar controller

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This odd little banjolele-slash-lute thing is actually a smart guitar, which can sync up via Bluetooth to Android and iOS devices. For beginners, there are four free apps to guide you through the rudiments, while more accomplished noodlers can hook straight up to music-making programmes like GarageBand or Logic and thrash away.

Menkind, £249

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46

Boosted Mini X Electric Skateboard

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Whizz past those sadsacks using their pathetic human legs to propel themselves from A to B on your electric skateboard. It’s got a handheld remote for surprisingly smooth acceleration and braking, and it can tackle steep gradients of up to 20 percent.

Selfridges, £949

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47

Polaroid OneStep+

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This updated version of the classic Polaroid lets you switch between two lenses, giving you quality close-up portraits. There’s a lot more on the app, though, which packs in a noise trigger, a remote trigger, a self timer, double-exposures, light-painting mode and tools for manually tweaking your images.

Mr Porter, £150

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48

Snapchat Spectacles

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Snapchat’s Bluetooth-connected, water-resistant shades let you shoot high grade, slightly fish-eyed images: on one side is a HD camera; on the other is an LED ring, and on top is a button you either tap to start a video or hold for a photo. Then, either send it on Snapchat or export the video in different formats.

Snapchat, £199

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49

Smartech Muse

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Meditating might not seem like a pursuit which really needs teching up, but this headband is intended to help guide you through it. Put the headband and headphones on, and try to clear your mind – the more active your brain is, the more it sets off the headband’s sensors, and the heavier the weather sounds will get until you chill out a bit.

Selfridges, £249

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50

GoPro Remo voice-activated remote

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If you’re flying down the side of a mountain on a snowboard, you’ll probably not have a hand free to faff about with pressing record on your GoPro. Scream into your wrist-mounted remote control instead.

Mr Porter, £80

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51

Krups Evidence coffee machine

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This smart coffee does 15 different drinks and you can connect it to your phone too, allowing you to remotely order yourself a macchiato from bed. Customise your favourite drinks, create and save new ones, and track your rapidly spiralling coffee consumption.

Amazon, £700

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52

Leica Sofort instant camera

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Instant-print cameras can all be a bit much of a muchness, but this one comes with specific shooting modes for macro shots, selfies, party shots and the like to make the most of each frame. It’s very handsome too.

Mr Porter, £250

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53

Smartech Awair air quality measurer

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You may not deliberately huffing diesel exhaust fumes at home, but the air quality could still be better. The Awair measures five indicators of air quality including fine dust particles, humidity and CO2 emissions, and will give you personalised tips for improving the atmos at home.

Selfridges, £179.99

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54

Bose SoundWear Companion

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The SoundWear Companion sits across your shoulders like an extremely high-tech scarf and gives you deep, rich sound without loads of sound bleed annoying anyone else in the vicinity. You can use it to take calls and connect with Siri and Google Assistant too.

Amazon, £259.95

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55

Smartech Flyte Royal levitating light bulb

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This isn’t just any old bit of novelty lighting. The bulb magnetically levitates above a wooden base in oak, ash or walnut.

Selfridges, £260

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56

Ixion Maestro

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Norwegian audio specialists Ixion have crammed everything into this handmade piece designed by the man behind the Koenigsegg. You can play wirelessly via Bluetooth and wifi, but it’s also got Tidal and Spotify preinstalled, you can tune into more than 100,000 radio stations and you can add up to seven extra speakers around your house too.

Amazon, £1,790

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57

Evolve Bamboo GTX electric skateboard

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Living in the future as we do, it’s easy to forget the big childhood dreams you wanted humanity to nail down and turn into everyday conveniences. More than anything. you wanted a hoverboard. This is about as close as science has managed: an all-surface electric board which can hit 43 km/h and has ABS brakes.

Selfridges, £1,630

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58

Native Union marble charging dock

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Are you happy with waggling your frayed charger cable about until it finally hits exactly the right spot, or would you rather have a dock you can build your desk around – maybe one made out of a solid marble and aircraft-grade aluminium? Be honest.

Liberty London, £110

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59

Loewe Technology Bild.9 4K television

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This isn’t just a massive telly – it’s a brilliant piece of design, with the 55-inch 4K OLED screen’s simple, elegant frame doubling as a stand. It’s also a massive telly.

Selfridges, £6,990

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60

Meural Leonora digital photo frame

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Digital photo frames aren’t big news, admittedly, but this one’s several cuts above. You can browse a library of 10,000 images and artworks via the app or swipe along by hand, and uses Meural’s TrueArt tech to make each image look as textured and touchable as the real thing

Selfridges, £699

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61

Swanwick blue light-absorbing glasses

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Naturally, you’ll be staring at that massive TV and the digital photo frame for a while, but Swanwick say that the blue light emitted by screens isn’t that good for your sleep patterns. So, they’ve designed these glasses to absorb it, and, they say, help you sleep deeper and better if you wear them in the hour before you go to sleep.

Amazon, £55

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62

TDH all-in-one coffee maker

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This unassuming cylinder is a coffee bean grinder, filter brewer and cup in one: add coffee beans and boiling water, give it a grind and you’ll have fresh coffee on the go. The casing absorbs about 90 percent of the noise from the hand-grinder too, so it’s office-friendly.

Amazon, £34.99

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63

RHA MA650 wireless earphones

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These wireless earphones give well-balanced, thick and clean sound with none of the weird tinniness which a lot of Bluetooth sets suffer from. Plus, they’re water, sweat-proof and hardy enough to survive being chucked in your bag every day and are good for 12 hours on one charge. A quality bit of kit.

RHA, £99

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64

Revo SuperSystem music player

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Fiddling about with aux cables is extremely 2009. Revo’s SuperSystem can stream radio from the internet and connect to both your phone and Spotify. Handily, though, you can go analogue and connect your turntable and other bits and pieces to get the benefit of its crisp, bassy sound. It’s small wonder, too, that Lanark-based Revo are drowning in design awards. Look at it. Just look at it.

Revo, £550

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65

PlayStation 4 Pro 500 Million Edition

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To celebrate shifting half a billion units since the original PlayStation was launched in 1994, Sony have given this two-terabyte PS4 Pro a fancy translucent blue case. It’s limited to 50,000 units, and while it’s pretty scarce at the moment, you should still keep an eye out for odd units popping up here and there.

Sony PlayStation, £449.99

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66

Anker PowerCore 20100

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You’ll get two, maybe three full phone charges out of most powerbanks. This monster will do you seven iPhone charges. It’s slim, not too weighty at 365g, and about as aesthetically appealing as a 2001: A Space Odyssey-style black box can be.

Anker, £32.99

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67

Spigen wireless charging pad

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The rubberised pads on both top and bottom of this wireless charger stop any nicks and scratches developing on your tabletop or on your phone or tablet. It’ll charge through most phone cases up to five millimetres thick and it’s got built-in cooling and noise reduction tech too, so it’s ideal for your bedroom.

Spigen, £29.99

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68

Leica Pinmaster viewfinder

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Hacking away blindly with no idea whether you’re using the right golf club is amateurish. This laser-assisted viewfinder will tell you exactly how far you are from the green with its LED screen, and it’s waterproof up to three metres should you topple backwards into a water hazard while using it.

Leica, £500

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69

Lumos smart bike helmet

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Wearable bike tech tends to look a bit Tron with its winking LEDs and drag-contoured lines, but if the lads on their lightcycles had had helmets this technologically endowed they’d have spent less time being smashed to badly rendered polygons. Use the wireless handlebar remote to indicate, and know that if you have to slam the brakes on the 38 red LEDs on the back will automatically flash and stop you being mown down.

Lumos, £149.90

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70

Samsung Gear 360

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YouTube and Facebook are all over 360-degree videos and photos, so a decent specialist camera is a good bet for futureproofing your Instagram. The Samsung Gear 360 comes with front and rear 180-degree lenses to stitch together a perfect image. Pair up a Samsung device and you can use your phone as a viewfinder.

Samsung, £77

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71

Rapport London watch winder

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You’re extremely busy, certainly far too busy to be faffing about winding up watches. You should probably make time to watch this stripped-back aluminium cylinder turning your timepiece for you though. The design lets you see every brass cog whirring round. It’s mesmeric. It’ll fit pretty much any size of watch too, and you can set the winding mechanism to suit your watch’s needs.

Rapport London, £2,100

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72

Cross Peerless TrackR pen

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If you’re forever losing your pen, then this Bluetooth-enabled scribbler. It’s a high-end writing implement, yes, but it’s also got a chip inside which tracks the pen’s location with a time and date stamp, and can ring your phone to tell you where your pen is if you lose it. At £219 it might be a bit steep, but as they say: buy cheap, buy and lose 608.333333 biros instead of one miraculous wizard’s pen.

Cross, £219

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73

Tile Mate Bluetooth tracker

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If you’re forever losing everything you own, then stick a Tile tracker on it and see where exactly you managed to put your keys/wallet/whatever down via the app on your phone which will make the Tile ring. If you’re forever losing your phone, you should probably stick a Tile on your main phone, and invest in a second phone to track it on. Then stick a Tile on the second phone, invest in a third phone, and so on. The Tile can make your phone ring even when it’s on silent so you can track it down.

Tile, £16.99

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74

DJI Spark Drone

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No, drones aren’t quite the bleeding edge tech they used to be, but they’re still terrifying enough to be incredibly alluring. This one’s a particularly refined example. With a 12 megapixel camera and a usable range of nearly two kilometres, it’s incredibly easy to make high grade videos while controlling your craft with hand gestures. It’ll start up and hover when it recognises your face too. Terrifying. Alluring.

DJI, £449.99

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