UK Tech: Habitat Floral Blub, Acer Lumiread eBook, and Motorola Flipout
June has been an odd month for the UK as we’ve been privy to an unseasonable heat-wave and have been embarrassingly knocked out of the World Cup (hey, it’s a big deal here). In order to cope with both these unnatural occurrences, we’re bringing you a great selection of the best gadgets that have helped put a smile on our face.
Acer Lumiread eBook
How does one eBook differ from another? That is the million dollar question which companies have been trying to solve, by adding all sorts of gadgetry to their eReaders. Whether it’s playing multiple file formats ( a bonus for me) adding in another colour screen (the Nook) or creating a proprietary format to hook readers in (thanks v.much Kindle) there are many options out there. To stand out from the crowd you really need to offer premium service, with an easy to read screen, multiple levels of greyscale and a device which doesn’t weight more than a netbook (Thumbs down to the iPad).
Acer’s foray into the eBook market is pretty desirable as the Lumiread features a 6 inch eInk screen which also handles WiFi and 3G and supports DLNA which is pretty impressive. There’s 2GB of onboard storage (upgradeable via the SD card slot) and it interestingly features an ISBN scanner. The scanner allows you to scan physical books and create a wishlist or shopping list online, and browse eBook stores looking for your required book. Price and release date TBA.
Orange Power Wellies
Stomping around vast expanses of mud whilst purporting to have a good time has been a British tradition for decades. The advent of summer festivals and our unpredictable weather has made wellies an unfortunate necessity, but this could all be about to change. The problem with hanging out in a field is the distinct lack of electrical sockets for your gadgets, and those who update Twitter with every breath can feel very cut off if their cellphone dies.
The Orange Power wellies (created by the network operator Orange) aim to change that by creating a pair of shoes which feature a power generating sole, and turns the heat from your tootsies into a thermoelectric charge. Twelve hours stomping around the music tents will generate enough power to charge your cell for an hour, simply attach the handset via a connector at the top. Genius! Though it exists it’s still a prototype which means a lucky few can actually do this, I’m just holding out hope for when this goes mainstream as festival goers will be queuing up for them!
Habitat Floral Bulb
Lighting is a necessary part of life, much like locking your door as you leave the house and changing fuses when they blow. It tends to be more functional than frivolous.. till now. Habitat has just released news of its latest light bulb collection which features adorable designs inside the bulb itself. Yes, you heard that right, rather than paint a decal on the bulb you can actually choose bulbs which feature delicate designs inside them. Brings a whole new meaning to mood lighting, eh?
The bulbs come in a variety of designs from arrows to dots, but I think the rose option is the sweetest as it would give the room a soft glow.
£3.00 from Habitat, base £5
The O by Cloud Nine
Whenever I look at Victorian paintings I’m always struck by their long tumbling curls and the way in which their eyes manage to look so despairingly vacant. Vacancy aside, I’d love to recreate those curls on my own hair, but due to a lack of nimbleness with straighteners and general laziness, this hasn’t been the case. The O from Cloud Nine aims to change that, in a very futuristic way.
Welcome to the next generation of hair styling, with a specially created O Pod that allows you to heat up rollers in under four seconds. Their induction heating system heats the rollers from the core, so they’re powerful enough to work in the hair BUT don’t burn your hand. They heat up to 130 degrees, and no clips are needed, just pop and roll for glorious curls. With great products come a great price, as the £150 needed for the Pod doesn’t include the price of rollers, which start at £15.95 for 4. A small sum in the quest for beauty though?
£149.95 from Cloud Nine
Rage, become demented, become psychotic, blow a fuse, collapse, come apart at seams, decline, derange, deteriorate, fail, freak out, go bonkers, go crazy, go nuts, - these are all words that have the same synonym definition as Flipout. Considering this, it’s rather odd that Motorola chose that title as the name of their new Android handset, but then perhaps they were referring to the fact that it actually flips out.. that does seem more likely.
The phone features a 3.15 megapixel camera with face detection and geo tagging, and has all the usual Bluetooth, 3G and WiFi compatibility. It also features a 3.5mm jack (yay) so you can use your own headphones. The touchscreen is nothing to write home about as it’s a 2.8 inch capacitive touchscreen, but where the phone comes into its own is in the interface. Featuring the latest version of Android, the Flipout also utilizes Motoblur technology, seamlessly syncing contacts and images from all your social networks into one stream of information. Multitouch and pinch to zoom allow you to navigate around the screen with ease, and I’m really rather intrigued by the unusual design. It’s available in a variety of colours, which all sound like they should be found in the supermarket- Saffron, Black Licorice, Poppy Red, Fairway Green, Rebel Pink, Raspberry Crush, Dark Sapphire, and Brilliant Blue, and is an interesting way to make a style statement with your handset.
£269.99 from Play
Zoku Pop Maker
Summer and nostalgia go hand in hand, as every year a slew of fashions make you remember those heady days of your youth. Denim mini-dresses and clogs.. yep, we were cool when we were ten right? My friends often moan about the many ice creams we loved that are now discontinued, but don’t let the fact that your old faves are extinct stop you!
The Zoku pop maker allows you to recreate all those favourites of yore- and in a mere ten minutes! The Zoku Quick Pop maker needs to be kept in the freezer for 24 hours before use, then you simply pop it out, fill up the molds with whatever concoctions you desire and in under ten minutes ice lollies will have been born. It will give you endless fun as it can handle a variety of ingredients from chocolate to yogurt and fruit juice.
£39.95 from Prezzybox
Mighty Robot Locket Necklace
Films like I Robot and Terminator may place our machine made friends in a rather negative position, but that doesn’t stop us humans being attracted to their complicated A.I.’s and shiny bodies. What can we say, we like to walk on the wild side?
The latest neck candy to come from boutique store Me and Zena features a delightful shiny robot that you can hang around your neck, and its chest opens, allowing you to use it as a locket. It can’t control any of your household electronics and serves a completely decorative purpose.. but it’s so pretty. Who says everything needs to be useful?
£28 from Me and Zena.