TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug
At the moment, TP Link's entire Kasa range (at least in the UK) consists of this plug which comes with or without energy monitoring. The good news is that it's one of the best we've seen. Connecting it up was a doddle and it works seamlessly with either the Kasa app or Amazon Alexa and given that sometimes there is a lag when you're using smart devices with Alexa, the latency on this one is a big sell. IFTTT support isn't included but it on the way.
Batwing drone with HD camera
The Batwing drone is one of the coolest-looking around, and it's also one of the most feature-equipped. The Propel-built device is capable of performing Batman-style stunts and comes with a built-in HD camera to capture all the action as it happens. A 60-minute charge lets you pretend to be Batman for six minutes at a time, while the hobby-grade licensed device has been given the thumbs up for both indoor and outdoor use.
PitPat Pet Monitor
Another Dragons Den idea, this is a Bluetooth activity monitor for dogs. Sadly, our subject became too ill to really take advantage, but the idea is that you set them a target for walking, running and playing and the telemetry data is stored in the collar dongle until you sync it by Bluetooth. This means the button battery lasts longer (less fiddling with Fido's collar will make him happy) but unless you are desperate for real-time data, then it's going to be better for everyone. There's no subscription fees, and Bluetooth keeps the cost down.
Why did no-one think of this before? It's a hoodie with headphones where the hood laces normally hang. That simple. The sound quality is more than passable and the construction is luxuriously soft, although there are fleece and waterproof versions if your prefer. In fact, Hoodie Buddie will customise you a set if the money is right. The 'stash pocket' for your mp3 player is great, but it's not big enough for a phone. Hopefully, a Bluetooth model is on the way that will allow you use your phone with it. For the record, you'll look a bit of a knob. But a very comfy knob.
We love that the Y-Cam Evo is teeny tiny. Design-wise it's lovely. It also has rolling 7-day cloud storage and push notifications to your phone. It's got 100-degree angle, infrared LED and the option to download footage to keep. On the face of it, it's a great system.
We only hope that Y-Cam will see the light and start letting other devices in through IFTTT or Works with Nest or something because at the moment, it's a great system, but it's standalone.
"A lighter?", you might cry, "a cigarette lighter in 2016? What is next? A fox hunting horn? A seal mallet?" We see your point. Cigarette smoking isn't particularly cool, but lighters are not just about igniting cancer sticks. They can also be used to set candles a flame, to light fires, to set off the brandy of your Christmas pudding, or you might be Snoop Dogg and just looking to spark up a fat jazz dooby.
The Flux lighter is the only lighter that we can feel we can recommend. It looks like the sort of lighter that some bad boy biker might use, someone with 18 gears perhaps, and when it ignites it uses electricity to spark a flame. Hold on, because that electricity, and the name of the lighter comes from the Flux Capacitor in the Back to the Future movies. This means that a certain kind of person would consider it to be cool. A certain person like us.
VAVA Voom 20
We get so many Bluetooth speakers passing through the office, and its very rare that we have a competitor to our faves, but this is definitely it. Gorgeous shape, absolutely banging sound from two 8W drives and passive subwoofers, and clear vocals and crisp highs. It's also IPX5 splashproof and offers a 10-hour battery on a single charge, NFC connection and an AUX port. At this price, it pretty much knocks everything else we've seen lately out of the running.
The Tile Slim, as it's name suggests, is a sized-down version of the popular Bluetooth thing-tracker, perfect for that person you know who's always their 'losing' their bloody wallet.
The Tile Slim, which is as thin as two credit cards, can be shoved inside your wallet. You then pair with your smartphone, and it'll emit a piercing ringing sound the next time you 'lose' your wallet before heading down the pub. What's more, if you've lost your smartphone, the Tile Slim can force it to ring aloud - even if it's switched to silent.
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