Gnawing away at your last reserves of restraint are the kinds of tech you’re really hankering for, but are waiting for that good enough excuse to finally grab it. Hold back no more, because although some of these aren’t available until 2015, time will be your last line of defence against scooping up the latest in tech and gadgetry…
1. LEICA X TYPE 113
Bridging the gap between DSLR quality imagery and old-school sophistication, the German-made compact digital camera is sharp and gorgeous – with a light aluminium and magnesium body, and simple navigation controls on top and on the back. The lens is a high-performance f/1.7 ASPH aperture with a manual focus ring, giving you that super-detailed bokeh effect that makes any daytime object stand out like a well-orchestrated studio-shot masterpiece.
Cost: £1,550 More: en.leica-camera.com
2. GOPRO HERO4 BLACK
The size, weight and ultra-wide angle lens of the durable GoPro camera series have always been the best selling points – like strapping it to your helmet or surfboard. The latest version takes the features up to a whole new level, with up to 4K resolution quality and the ability to capture 120 frames per second in 1080p resolution for slow-motion videos – or 240 frames when dropped to 720p. The ability to control multiple cameras through a smartphone app or remote makes for an awesome multi-angle setup.
Cost: £369.99 More: shop.gopro.com
3. ZINTER PRO 3D PRINTER
The talk about 3D printing has gotten out of hand, but UK-based Zinter’s beautifully designed PRO model doesn’t look at all like the tacky alternatives you find elsewhere. What’s more exciting is the ability to print with two materials on the single model. Switching between different filaments – whether by colour or material – means more intricacies in the models being printed out.
Cost: £2,350 More: ioncoretechnology.com
4. WREN V5BT BLUETOOTH SPEAKER
Avoiding the increase in the overly colourful sound systems boasting Bluetooth connectivity, the curved Wren V5BT draws enough attention from its choice of old-school rosewood and bamboo finishes, and lets out a mean sound when asked of it. It’s no portable speaker, but sync this to any of your Bluetooth-enabled devices at home or the office and pop on a playlist when the mood feels right.
Cost: $299 USD More: store.wrensound.com
5. BANG & OLUFSEN BEOPLAY H6 HEADPHONES
These bad boys have got the versatility that most over-the-ear headphones ask for – swivelling one side for DJing for example – with extra features like a volume rocker, being able to plug in to either side, and even plugging in a second set of headphones to share the music you’re listening to. B&O’s renowned for its love for design, and the high quality leather combined with anodized aluminium and lambskin earpads makes this headset classy, not clunky.
Cost: £329 More: beoplay.com
6. APPLE IWATCH
Let’s face it, if you’re going to pick up a smartwatch, chances are you’re only going to wear it once if it doesn’t look good. Apple’s incarnation involves a stainless steel and aluminium alloy casing and selection of wrist bands – from leather straps to a Milanese loop or a sports band – that add a touch of class that wearables on the market haven’t really caught on to yet. The almost indestructible sapphire crystal screen and Retina display make the face of your superwatch useable and safe from daily life, and should be your go-to for maps, calls, messaging, social media and fitness tracking. If you have one of the supported iPhones, you can also use the iWatch to pay in stores using Apple Pay (see #7) with the built-in NFC chip.
Available: Early 2015
Cost: $349 USD More: apple.com
7. APPLE PAY
With the UK’s adoption of contactless payments – including London’s public transportation going cash-free – there hasn’t been a real outstanding platform to adopt this new and quick way of paying. With security concerns of hackers being able to grab your card details unbeknownst to you, Apple’s come in with their answer. Using the iPhone 6’s thumbprint recognition, Apple Pay seems to be the best version of contactless payments. It might seem all like a bit of work, but considering we’re heading down this path, best be more prepared than the rest.
Cost: Requires iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, or iPad mini 3 More: apple.com
8. OCULUS RIFT DEVELOPMENT KIT
Virtual reality is not new, but it’s never been great quality either. The first version of the Oculus Rift showed huge potential, with a relatively lightweight headset that tracked your head movements and gave a smooth experience in a digital world. Facebook saw the potential in the Oculus Rift and acquired the company this year, meaning soon this will be retail-ready. If you’re up for a little tinkering until then, getting the second iteration of the development kit now means getting your head into the VR the game early – no pun intended. With a higher screen resolution and smoother tracking system in place, the future looks very exciting indeed.
Cost: $350 USD More: oculus.com
9. TESLA MODEL D
The ‘D’ stands for dual motors. That alone could sell a car, but Tesla stands for pioneering electric cars. This all-wheel-drive sedan can go 0 to 60 in 3.2 seconds – not bad for an electric car, right? All of Tesla’s models have been sleek and luxurious, with design being just as important as eco-conscious. With a top speed of 155mph and a driver-assist system that can follow the white lines on the road, read speed signs and self-park, there’s a lot to be excited about with this upcoming model.
Available: February, 2015
Cost: From $89,000 USD More: teslamotors.com
10. BAXTER ROBOT
Developed to become the affordable robot that could learn manufacturing tasks and keep the sanity of humans doing the same thing, Baxter can become whatever it needs to be. The potential of owning Baxter for yourself is too hard to turn down. Surely there are tasks in your daily life or work that you could switch with your new e-buddy. Signing countless autographs? Baxter’s got your back. Need to occasionally nod as your relatives yammer on about that-thing-you-care-little-about? Manoeuvre those mechanical arms to form Rodin’s The Thinker, resting a clenched robo-fist under its LCD screen chin as its eyes stare with the same half-open daze you would.
Cost: From £22,750 – More: rethinkrobotics.com
Words By GERARD WARD