From kite surfing with a GoPro to driving a super charged electric car, there are many exciting ways to enjoy your tech. T3 magazine celebrates them every month, and here we present five new adventures direct from the pages of our papery/tablet-y sibling...
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1. Put a Tesla Model S to the test
Tempted to try out one of these electro-fuelled luxury cars? Now’s the perfect time to take advantage of the Tesla experience.
The notoriously petrol- dependent United States is fully embracing Tesla’s vision of a battery-powered future, with Elon Musk’s vehicles achieving record sales. And, thanks to a growing network of dealers and chargers, they’re creeping onto the UK’s roads, too.
There’s still a certain reluctance and suspicion of electric vehicles in the UK, though. Fortunately, Tesla’s test-drive experience is here to alleviate fears that owning one of these high-tech, £50k automobiles will turn you into a sandal- wearing tree hugger or, worse, the trendy CEO of a doomed internet start-up.
While the thrill of driving an electric car is pretty much instantaneous, it’s recommended that you test drive one over a period of a few days to see how it fits into your lifestyle. “Take your time,” says Dr Ben Lane of Next Green Car. “We find that it takes at least three days to get what electric vehicles are all about. Request a week’s test drive to really understand if one’s for you.”
Book your test drive online at Teslamotors.com, or visit one of the company’s seven stores dotted around the country. Once you’re up and running, try out the car’s unique features.
The Model S includes a 17-inch touchscreen that provides navigation and even lets you browse the web, while driving-style options make it handle like a sleek sports car or a comfortable cruiser. Worried about battery life? With Next Green Car’s Zap-Map, you can find Tesla-compatible chargers and keep your test vehicle topped up.
2. Go kite surfing with a GoPro
Your action cam is just screaming out for some aquatic adventures, and kite surfing is a perfect fit. It’s surfing’s more sophisticated older brother and, as you’ll spend most of your time on the board, you needn’t worry about suffering the British Isles’ freezing waters.
It’s also pretty simple to pull off some impressive moves to capture on your GoPro. “The best beginner trick is going for some big air,” says Tristan Cawte, co-owner of The Kitesurf Centre at Camber Sands in East Sussex. “It looks impressive and it’s relatively easy to do.”
There’s no shortage of options for mounting your GoPro, too – the kite provides a tailor-made selfie platform. “The best place to mount it is on a head cam or on the lines pointing back to the rider,” says Cawte.
It’s a good idea to check your weather app before you embark on a kite-surfing adventure. “20 to 30mph winds with big waves but flat water between the sets are perfect,” recommends Cawte.
Unless you fancy dinging your board and breaking some bones, you’ll also need a rather large body of water. The Kitesurf Centre is just an hour’s drive from London, but most seaside resorts offer the sport. If you’re new to the sport, training is essential. The British Kitesports Association (britishkitesports.org) includes details of registered instructors, as well as basic safety and etiquette information.
3. Perfect your iPhoneography with Enlight
Quickly edit your iPhone snaps with this awesome all-in-one image app Image editors are ten-a-penny on the App Store, but you’ll often find that you need more than one.
Before you know it, you’ve dragged your original image through a host of different filters just to be able to post it on Instagram. Enter Enlight. “It offers a range of image enhancements that will quickly enable anyone to get their iPhone images looking their best,” explains Alistair Jennings, Digital Camera magazine’s imaging-lab manager. “Those new to iPhoneography should take a look at the vast selection of filters that enable artistic colour and B&W effects to be applied.
The Analog Mimesis It takes mobile photo editing to a whole new level filter is great for a retro effect, perfect for Instagram.” Meanwhile, iPhoneographers will dig in-depth features such as curve tweaks, selective colour adjustments, perspective adjustments and smart crops.
“The comprehensive set of features and tools enable you to enhance, edit, apply creative effects and upload your images in a well-designed app that takes photo editing on mobile devices to another level,” says Jennings.
4. Watch Daredevil in 4K on Netflix
Marvel’s four-sensed hero gets a 4K outing – and you need to spec up to watch this gritty, groundbreaking series.
As a boy, Matt Murdock was blinded by a radioactive substance. At the same time, his other four senses were heightened, equipping him with superhuman powers. After his father is killed by gangsters, he sets out to seek revenge in the form of Daredevil. That’s the premise for Netflix’s new series, now being streamed in stunning UHD to your TV.
You’ll need a compatible telly, and there’s no better, or newer, than the Samsung JS9000 series. Available in 48-inch, 55-inch and 65-inch versions, it’s packed full of tech – perfect for seeing Mr Murdock kick a gangster’s ass. So why bother with Daredevil in UHD? “Netflix’s first Marvel series boasts all the lavish production values you’d expect from the House Of Cards maker, but with punch-ups to rival the very best of action cinema.
It’s an explosively violent and dark, character-driven drama,” says Jordan Farley of leading sci-fi mag SFX. “Make the most of Netflix’s 4K streaming capabilities on a top telly for maximum visual wallop as the deep shadows of Hell’s Kitchen pop off the screen.”
START YOUR ADVENTURE TODAY
First, you’ll need a Netflix Premium account. This will cost you £8.99 per month (which is a bargain in our eyes). Check if your current TV is Netflix UHD-compatible by visiting help.netflix.com. Or just bin your old TV and opt for a brand-new model that supports Netflix’s Ultra HD service. You’ll be able to access Netflix on your smart TV by hitting the Home (or similar) button on your remote and entering your log-in details. A whole world of Ultra HD streaming now awaits.
5. Take to the skies for a drone battle
Toughen up your quadcopter and brace yourself for some truly modern aerial warfare. The drones are taking off...
You’ll need a large indoor area such as a squash court, hanging nets to protect spectators, and willing participants. You’ll also need drones. Game of Drones’ bulletproof airframe is the perfect chassis, and the official website (gameofdrones.com) includes recommended components.
Get feedback and advice on drone building by checking out the community at DIY Drones (diydrones.com). You’ll need a large indoor area such as a squash court and netting ï¿¼ï¿¼ï¿¼ï¿¼If you’ve just dropped a few hundred quid (or more!) on a flying robot, the chances are you won’t want to smash it into another person’s drone – but there is an entire sub-section of enthusiasts who do just that.
Game of Drones founder Marque Cornblatt has become a legend in this flying fight club. His first step was to redesign the airborne combatants. Whilst you could use an off-the-shelf model such as the Parrot Bebop, it could get expensive. Pulling together parts is a much more sensible approach for drone warfare.
“We had to reinvent the drone so that it would thrive in this destructive environment,” Cornblatt says. “After building hundreds of experimental prototypes, we finally had an airframe that was literally bulletproof.” Once you’ve built your battle-ready drone, you can take it to the skies for an airborne battle – and the last man flying is the winner.
Cornblatt recommends that you get to know your drone and hardware intimately beforehand. “All your props, batteries and components need to be easy to repair,” he explains.
START YOUR ADVENTURE TODAY
Game of Drones is yet to launch in the UK, but you could host your own event.