Need a bit of inspiration for your next adventure with the latest cutting edge tech? Live a little with these seven ways to get kitted out for a good tech life.
1. Blast off with a supercharged 1,500cc jetpack
Are you frustrated that getting around by jetpack isn't yet a daily reality? Here's how you can savour the thrill of a jetpack flight today – and cool down while you're at it
Somewhat inspired by James Bond's rocket jetpack in Thunderball, Jetlev-Flyer's water-propelled jetpack is made from anodised aircraft aluminium and utilises submarine tech. Attached to a jet ski via a 10m hose, it pumps enough water through its 'rocket' hoses to carry punters (max weight 23 stone) skyward.
Its supercharged 1,500cc engine can reach speeds of up to 50mph but, as Jetlev-Flyer UK's Malcolm Scott says, “The speed and height are secondary. It's all about the control and being able to fly. It really is an experience like no other, to be able to steer with relative ease, hovering out of the water.” It's an aqua experience suitable for beginners and fully fledged adrenaline junkies.
The throttle controls enable you to pull off some nifty manoeuvres, including banking sharply and even diving down below the surface of the water like some crazed seagull stalking a fish. Available at two UK locations, London and Bedford, a session lasts for an hour, with 20 minutes of that being solo flight time (nervous types have the option to fly strapped to an instructor).
We can't think of a better way to round off the summer than by indulging our inner Bond with some cool jetpack tech!
Start your adventure today
- Head to www.jetlevflyeruk.com to book a session at either Surrey Docks (£159) or Wyboston Lakes (£149).
- On the day, an instructor will show you the ropes before you get 20 minutes' flying time, either solo or with an instructor. When flying solo, you have full control to climb, turn, dive and land.
- Fancy one of your own? The jetpack costs £6,450 and is compatible with Sea-Doo and Yamaha jet skis (post-2011). If you want to control the jetpack independently (rather than someone controlling the throttle from the jet ski), you'll also need the throttle kit (£1,675, also from www.jetlevflyeruk.com).
2. Boost your brain with a 3D film
New research suggests that 3D films could give your brain a 'power boost' and improve your reaction times. So why not try enhancing your grey matter at home with a 3D TV?
Did you know that watching 3D films can give your brain a 'power boost'? According to research carried out by visual-tech company RealD and a group of neuroscientists, watching a 3D film gives viewers a 23 per cent increase in cognitive processing, with reaction times improved by up to 11 per cent.
Participants in the test, which was held at Vue's Piccadilly cinema, were shown 30 minutes of Disney's Big Hero 6 in 3D, then the same footage in 2D. Test results showed that improvements in reaction time were five times higher as a result of watching the 3D content.
The effects are temporary – the boost lasts for around 20 minutes after viewing – but neuroscientist Patrick Fagan says, “People are living longer and there's a decline in cognitive brain function in old age… The initial results of this study indicate that 3D films may potentially play a role in slowing this decline.”
If you're keen to explore this potential boost to your brain power at home, you'll need a 3D TV. Panasonic's Viera TX-50CX802B is the perfect choice for watching 3D films such as Big Hero 6, as used in RealD's test. This 50-inch LED TV offers a vibrant 4K Ultra HD picture to really bring your movie experience to life.
Other great features include the My Home Screen, powered by Firefox OS, where you can access all TV channels and apps, plus the new Freeview Play. Finally, don't forget a 3D-capable Blu-ray player. We love Pioneer's highly rated, 4K-upscaling BDP-LX58.
Start your adventure today
- Your first step is to snap up the Panasonic Viera TX-50CX802B (£1,499, www.panasonic.co.uk).
- TV sorted, team it with Pioneer's BDP-LX58 (£499, www.pioneer.eu).
- Finally, stock up on the latest 3D Blu-rays films, such as Big Hero 6.
3. Beat the flab with a smart jump rope
Strip body fat, compete against friends and gain insight into your health
Feeling doughy around the middle? Sophia the Rope is just the gal to get you back on track. Dubbed the world's smartest jump rope, Sophia (available from www.sophiatherope.com for $45/£29) is on a mission to transform your flabby body into a lean machine.
Sporting an optical module (which counts rotations), a triaxial accelerometer and a built-in display, with calories and 'jumps' counters, Sophia offers immediate feedback on your workout. The rope connects automatically via Bluetooth 4.0 to the companion app to record stats for you to view in depth. The app also has an Arcade Mode, which enables you to challenge other Sophia-using friends to a workout.
A magnetic clipping mechanism keep the handles together when the rope isn't in use, the leather grip ensures comfort, and you can get one month of battery from a full charge (based on 30 minutes of use per day).
As Rope Skipping World Champion Timothy Ho says, “Sophia the Rope combines fitness data with the ability to share your workout on a screen and compete with your friends in Arcade Mode. This is every jumper's dream come true.”
4. Ride the hottest bike tech on your next city outing
Don't get left behind in a plume of diesel fumes – equip yourself with the latest, hottest car-beating bicycle tech and keep your new wheels safe with an ultra-smart lock
Nothing beats powering past a queue of motorists stuck in traffic, and Canyon's new city bike is the ultimate cycle-lane weapon. The Canyon Commuter has been designed to make getting around on two wheels simple, with dynamo-powered lights integrated into the frame, and a belt-driven hub at the rear (available on the top model, the Commuter 7.0), so there's no chain or gears to maintain.
A single-speed belt option is also available, as well as regular gears. The Commuter's standout feature is its frame, which looks positively utilitarian, but somehow satisfyingly futuristic. Part of its minimalist style is down to the lack of cables or wires – they've been hidden inside the frame to maximise smoothness.
Other highlights include powerful all-weather hydraulic Shimano disc brakes, and Canyon's infamous VCLS 2.0 seatpost. Constructed from a mixture of carbon and basalt fibres with a leaf-spring-esque design, it takes the sting out of potholes, keeping your derriere intact after a ride.
The Commuter is the high-end model in Canyon's new Urban range, but if your budget won't quite stretch to £1,499 for the Commuter 7.0SL, or £1,599 for the Commuter 7.0, take a look at the Urban bike, which starts at £1,299.
Want to keep your new wheels safe? We're keen on the forthcoming Skylock, which has smartphone-activated, keyless entry and an in-built accelerometer that detects when the lock is being tinkered with – it immediately sends an alert to your smartphone. The Skylock has other cool features, including the ability to notify your registered emergency contact if you take a bad spill off the bike.
Start your adventure today
- Choose from the Commuter or the Urban bike (from £1,299, www.canyon.com). The Commuter has all of the smart features mentioned above, as well as a rack and mudguards. The Urban shares some of the Commuter's features but is essentially designed for quick jaunts.
- To pre-order the Skylock ($159/£102), head to www.skylock.cc and get a massive 35 per cent off.
- Skylock works by connecting to your phone over Bluetooth. Once you've downloaded the app (Android or iOS), you can keep tabs on your lock and bike.
5. Stream music to the new iPod
Experience Apple's best ever iPod and listen to millions of songs for free right now
If any company stands a chance of toppling the music-streaming big guns of Spotify and Deezer, it's Apple. Apple Music launched on 30 June, opening music fans up to millions of songs and creatively curated content. With a free three-month trial on offer (it costs £9.99 a month thereafter, or £14.99 for a 'family membership'), plenty of music lovers have switched.
Now you can access the world's freshest music-streaming service via the recently updated iPod touch. Apple reckons it's the best model yet – and a quick glance at its features will tell you why. For those who love taking selfies and capturing video, it has an 8MP iSight camera and an improved FaceTime HD camera.
The updated iPod touch will appeal to gamers, too: a four-inch Retina Display and an Apple-designed A8 chip add up to a rich gaming experience. But tunes are where it's at, and with the Apple Music app pre-installed, you can sign up for a trial and access the 30 million songs available to stream.
6. Take on white water rafting with GoPro
Visit Europe's biggest water park with GoPro's latest action-cam tech, the Hero4 Session, strapped to your head
White-water rafting is undoubtedly a thrill, as T3 editor Rob Carney recently found out when he was invited to Area 47, near Tyrol in Austria, to test out the new GoPro Hero4 Session action cam. The Hero4 Session, a small cube that's waterproof to ten metres (with no housing required), is geared for action. Just clip the camera into its frame and it's compatible with all GoPro mounts.
With the Session attached to a slightly nervous editor's helmet, we ventured into the glacial waters of the Inn River. If you fancy trying this experience for yourself, this is what you can expect…
Accompanied by an instructor, you'll be fully briefed, then made to carry your raft (with the other passengers) around 200 metres down to the river. And then the fun begins – just getting in the raft can be a challenge. Your instructor will explain the drill, telling you when to paddle forwards or backwards, and when to 'get down' – ie when a huge wave threatens to knock you off the side of the boat!
It's a thrilling ride, made better by the fact that you can relive it when recording with the Hero4 Session. Fifty per cent smaller and 40 per cent lighter than previous GoPros, the Hero4 Session is, according to the company, “the most wearable, mountable GoPro. It's at home anywhere, from the surf to the snow.”
The Hero4 Session delivers impressive 1080p ultra-wide video. It also captures time-lapse photos at 0.5-second intervals, burst photos at ten frames per second, and 8MP single stills, all via a single press of the shutter button. With built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, you can view photos taken and share your faves via social media.