Genius gadgets with secret talents | Luxx

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There are simple joys in life: joys that cost little, that everyone can enjoy, and that absolutely don’t require the help of technology. Like going for a run. Bike to work instead of driving. Or sit by the fire with your kids and play a family board game. But just because an activity doesn’t require technology, doesn’t mean it can’t be improved by it. Stick carbon plates on sneakers, radar on bikes, and load up Monopoly on the gaming table: it’s time to explore the most exciting ways to gold-plated tech lilies.

Garmin Varia Radar Bike Light

For the first time, the Luftwaffe managed to miniaturize the radar so that it could be mounted on an aircraft, which resulted in such a In 1942 the RAF sent a bomber as bait to cause panic. The poor pilot had to get the German night fighters so close that the pulsing of the radar could be heard, and then fly the level so the British radio operator could transmit the signature of the shell to headquarters when it hit the fuselage. When the RAF miniaturized its own radar, the device was seen as changing warfare so much that a special mission took it across the Atlantic to show it to the Americans. Oddly enough, I was researching these events to write a book when I received the Garmin Varia RTL515: Bike Rear Light. In addition to red light, it also shines light waves from a distance into the invisible part of the spectrum — the light we use for radar. When the car approaches from behind, these waves bounce off and are recorded. I got an early warning on my phone display connected to the handlebars that I was about to be overtaken. On the surface, the range is 140m, but it seems to be a bit further. If the car is moving fast, the screen shows them with more urgency. I can set it to shoot video if their behavior seems dangerous. Here, on a pedal bike, I have a device that, if it were 80 years ago, could have ended the war for six months. I’m using it to fight my own more modern battle: between the glorious army of Mamir and the evil army of the internal combustion engine.
£169.99, garmin.com

Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 Sneakers

Is there such a thing as a foot placebo? Can a leg become more elastic through implied strength? I ask because I feel more stretchy when I wear an Adidas Adizero. As much as I’m a grumpy sports brand skeptic – my last trainers were from Primark, and I annoyed acquaintances at parties by sniffing at people buying graphene tennis rackets – I can’t help but think I’m a jerk every step of the way. Go further, or the hilly part of my run feels less hilly. Of course, that’s exactly the explicit intent of these trainers. They’re the latest additions to the world’s super shoe racks, featuring a carbon plate sole to give runners an edge. The first is Nike’s Vaporfly, best known for Eliud Kipchoge’s attempt at a two-hour marathon. Other brands followed, with Adidas’ Adizero collection taking the most wins in the world’s major marathons last year. Let’s assume the elasticity does come from my supershoes and not from my brain telling my feet I’m wearing supershoes. Does it still matter? I’m not an athlete by international standards; I’m a middle-aged tech columnist. I don’t run to break a two-hour marathon; I run to delay death. However, I also came running to clear my mind and feel energized. As I continue jogging on the now-familiar route every day, I feel less tired and more enthusiastic. I’m an urban gazelle walking down the pavement to an imaginary finish line. In short, I’m a middle-aged tech columnist and let myself imagine what it’s like to be a guy who needs to use carbon plates in his sneakers.
£220, adidas.co.uk

Arcade1Up Infinity Gaming Table

Schrödinger had his cat—a cat that lived and died. Plutarch owns the ship of Theseus—a ship both old and new. I have my own philosophical analogy: a gaming table is both a wholesome family board game and a less wholesome computer screen. This is the last day of school holidays. it is raining. We enter into deathly boredom. The children rolled aimlessly around the house like wet mist, showing up every now and then asking for food. I’m not sure if they were all dressed yesterday. Today, however, they are miraculously vibrant. Next door, they were playing chess when I finally managed to work. After that, they’ll spend a few hours on Monopoly. After years of telling them to play board games instead of pestering me to play Minecraft, here they are, willing to do so. It’s like they swapped brains with kids from the 1950s. However, there is a small problem. They do play games, but they’re playing at the Infinity gaming table: a touchscreen with dozens of classic games built in, from Scrabble to Guess Who?. Does this count as a screen? does it matter? Does asking the question itself show the utter absurdity of our screen prejudice, proving that I’m simply bound by the absurd customs and middle-class guilt of my time? Maybe parents in the 1950s tortured themselves pointlessly by rejecting their children’s board games in favor of Latin translations? Maybe I’m joking. Maybe by pretending that this noisy desk and noisy screen isn’t a computer game, I’m thinking about how to break free from my lax parenting style. Again, my kids are happy, I’m at work and next door I can hear they’ve moved to Hungry Hungry Hippos. Maybe I should give myself a break.
£899, game.co.uk

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