September has been a funny old month in Europe. We’ve had the excitement that is IFA take place, and gasped at the mountains of tablets that spewed forth from the Berlin conference halls, have endured/enjoyed the twice yearly event that is London fashion Week, and the crowds of strangely dressed fashionistas that come with it. Throughout all this we’ve battled the rain, waved goodbye to our summer wardrobe and enjoyed the return of Gossip Girl Season 4 to our screen (well, that might be just me). There have been gadgets galore, from science fiction fantasies turned reality, to yet more iPad contenders in the form of the Toshiba Folio 100.
Fabrican Spray On clothing: Where Science fiction meets Reality
Graffiti artists will soon be in high demand if the Fabrican spray on clothing becomes popular. Dubbed as ‘the wardrobe in a can’, you use the aerosol to literally spray solution onto the body that forms a tight fitting outfit. The solution is formed out of light non-woven fibers, a polymer to bind them together, and solvent to keep it in a liquid state. When it dries, it leaves you with a piece of clothing which can be removed, washed and re-worn. You can use multiple cans to create a multi-coloured garment, or stick with one for a stylish monochrome look.
Spaniard Manuel Torres worked with the scientist at Imperial College London to create this, and the Fabrican concept was first showcased in 2007. The formula has progressed since then, and Manuel showed off his creations at this year’s London Fashion Week, with models proudly parading around in sprayed on outfits. The team is thinking big though, as the creation has the potential to change many industries, not just fashion.
Professor Luckham from Imperial College says, “We are also keen to work on new applications for the medical, transport and chemical industries. For example, the spray-on fabric may be produced and kept in a sterilised can, which could be perfect for providing spray-on bandages without applying any pressure for soothing burnt skin, or delivering medicines directly to a wound.”
BMW are known for big noisy cars that imply you need lashings of testosterone to drive them. Their machines tend be to be gas hungry libido stomping animals, with a side order of sexiness served as standard. Their latest foray into the automobile world is something else, something which strangely enough manages to give their brand the ‘cute’ adjective. They’ve just released news of a brand new range of scooters, all of which are retro styled and inspired the mod era, and, most impressively of all, are fully electric. Yes, the corporation known for its love of fuel is fully embracing the rechargeable model, and in a pretty sweet way.
The Mini Scooter E range consist of three models, one two seater, one green racing style, and one that has taken all its inspiration from the sixties mod eta, right down to the red, white and blue design. Not only have BMW embraced the electric era, but they’ve added dome cool luxury fingerprints that are synonymous with the brand. Ignition keys are so last year- your mobile is now all that’s needed to power these babies and, you dock it behind a waterproof flap whilst your ride. You can even connect to other Mini Scooter E riders as the phone can cause your bike to flash it headlight when you run into other stylish eco warriors. The bikes run on lithium ion batteries, but details as to speed and weight aren’t up or grabs just yet.
Lily Allen has had her fingers in many pies. She’s overcome the embarrassment of having a dad who is Keith Allen, and has gone on to excel as a singer, a fashion designer and as a girl with a great eye for boyfriends. She has even gotten into a scuffle with Apple, which could explain her latest venture. Her latest venture sees her love of vintage style fuse with technology as she has helped design custom covers for the Samsung SF310. She is showcasing this at her newly launched vintage shop- Lucy In Disguise, and has named the bespoke laptop correspondingly. The store is full of trinkets that range from the ‘20s to the late ‘90s and the laptop aesthetic ties in with this, with a funky monochrome print featured all over the Samsung SF310. The laptop is more than just a pretty face though, as it features an i5 CPU, and can switch between the Nvidia and Intel chip depending what you’re demanding it to do- pretty smart, eh?
Lily said, “I’m so excited now the store is up and running and we made some great sales on the first day. We’ve sourced some amazing pieces from all over the world, ensuring our customers have the best choice of vintage around. These notebooks look great and really complement the Lucy in Disguise concept. I can’t wait to get my hands on one!”
Available from the boutique, Price TBA.
Toshiba Folio 100 Tablet
Pretty much since the day the iPad launched the other brand have been struggling to find a product worthy to be a viable opponent. Dell thought it was onto something special when it released the Dell Streak, but the latest contender to the throne of Apple comes from the unlikely arena of Toshiba. Though they’ve been more experimental in recent years (for instance the dual screened Libretto) they’ve never been that loud on the tablet scene, until now.
Their hot to trot tablet is entitled the Folio 100, and is a 10.1 inch tablet that runs off the Android Froyo platform. It features an SD card slot, USB port, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and has an HDMI connector to make it easy to jack it into your HDTV. There’s also a front facing 1.3 mp webcam, and I love the fact that it features a capacitative touchscreen with multi-touch controls (yes, we’re all thinking it). A plus point of the device is that it’s flash compatible, so you’ll be able to enjoy a rich browsing experience, unhindered by dead screens, as it works with Adobe Flash Player 10.1. At 14mm thick and with 16GB of expandable storage it looks pretty sweet- wonder if Steve Jobs HQ is getting worried yet?
£329 from Toshiba in October
Alexander McQueen Skull-Print Laptop Case
It seems like we’re finally getting to that age where we start outliving our icons. The last couple of years saw the passing of some major names in style and entertainment, from fashion designer Alexander McQueen to the king of pop, Michael Jackson. They may be gone, but they aren’t forgotten and we can still remember their greatness with tributes to their career in the form of pretty purchases.
Does that sound slightly cynical? Well, maybe just a tad. Whether or not this limited edition laptop case celebrates the life of McQueen or just cashes in on his demise is beside the point, as it still remains exceedingly covetable. Adorned with the skull motif that came to be known as his trademark, this laptop case is trimmed in leather and stamped with silver. The zip is silver as well, and the case is large enough to hold a 15 inch lappie. £250 from Net-A-Porter.
Binatone HomeSurf Tablet
Remember the day your scruffy younger sister started shaving her legs wearing heels and boys suddenly went wow? Well I’ve just had that moment with the brand Binatone, and I’m still reeling. Best known for budget cordless phones and ultra cheap home accessories they’re now branching out into tablets. They may be cheap, but they pack a mighty fine punch. There are two tablets in their range, the Binatone HomeSurf 8 and HomeSurf 7. You may have guessed that the number refers to the screen size and yes you are completely right. They both use a resistive rather than capacitative touchscreen which explains the low price point, but they’re using Android 1.6 which is pretty sweet. They both feature 2GB of storage (expandable via an SDHC card), Wi-Fi, a mini USB connector and a 3.5mm jack.
Sure there are no bells and whistles, but hey, this is Binatone teetering gently in heels so let’s give them a break, eh? The tablet looks rather swish and though it’s bound to lose out to its higher spec contenders is a great way to make tablets an entry level purchase to non techie consumers.
Prices start at £129.99 pre-order from Expansys.