Here's a reminder of the technology I talked about for December 2017 in my TRE Talk Radio Europe 'gadget guru' conversation this afternoon:
Simba Hybrid Pillow
This high-tech pillow says it’s “scientifically engineered to give you the best night’s sleep”.
How does it do this? First of all, it’s designed to make sure you’re never too hot or cold. This is done with what the manufacturer calls OUTLAST technology. It absorbs, stores and releases heat all through the night, to keep the temperature of your head regulated. And there are panels in the side to let air circulate, so you never get too hot in the summer.
Then there’s the height. Simba's Hybrid Pillow contains nanotubes – hundreds of memory foam tubes – that can be removed or added to adjust the height and the firmness. And because they’re memory foam, they adjust to support your head and your neck.
On one side of the pillow is the OUTLAST material and a layer of duck down. Alternatively, there’s 300 thread count cotton on the other side. Pricing is £95 (around €110).
SmithFly Shoal Tent
Thanks to SmithFly – a company that makes equipment for fishing and outdoor sports – you can now get even further away from the crowds. Their Shoal Tent lets you camp on water. It’s actually an inflatable raft with an inflatable tent on top. Perfect for a pond or a river, subject to common sense, of course.
The whole tent part is held up by inflatable pillars, a bit like a bouncy castle. The fabric, much like a conventional tent, is waterproof - and the floor doubles up as your mattress. If you want, you can detach the sides for getting in and out. The raft is around 8 foot square with the bed part accommodating people up to 6' 3".
When you’re done, everything deflates and rolls up into a storage bag that’s about five foot long and two foot wide. The price is US$1,499 excluding postage – that includes the tent, the storage bag, a repair kit and a foot pump.
As well as dedicated game consoles like the Xbox and PlayStation, you can also buy gaming laptops. These offer loads of processing power and high-resolution screens. One of the companies that builds these computers is caller Razer – and they’ve just launched an Android-powered mobile phone.
The display is 5.7-inches across but, unlike other phones, refreshes at a rate of up to 120 Hertz. Most phones refresh at 60 Hz. Double that to 120, like the Razer Phone, and everything’s even smoother. Perfect for gaming, where things are moving all the time.
You’ve also got stereo loudspeakers with audio hardware certified by THX and Dolby Atmos. And it’s all running on a high-spec Qualcomm Snapdragon chip with plenty of memory and a big 4,000mAh battery.
Pricing is £699.99 SIM-free – it’s also available on contracts with Three UK.
Bluetooth Remote Camera Shutter Release
This is a great stocking-filler for anyone who has a smartphone. It’s the 2017 alternative to the selfie stick: a tiny little remote control that’s not much bigger than your thumb.
You set up your phone – perhaps on a little tripod, perhaps balanced on a wall – then you take a few steps away and press the remote control button for a perfectly posed photo. It’s also good at night time when you don’t want to shake the phone as you press the button.
The remote works with most current Android and Apple devices up to ten metres away. Price is around £5, depending on the manufacturer and the retailer. I've just ordered one from Amazon UK.