By Rob Temple
Aiming to take the water-wasting kettle out of the game, Miito allows you to heat liquid directly from the cup from which you plan to drink. Fill the cup, mug or glass with water (or soup, coffee, milk… anything really), place it on the induction base and pop in the special rod. The base heats the rod which then heats the liquid. With this method, there's no waste when it comes to liquid or electricity - the website tells us that one day of energy wasted from overfilling kettles is enough to power all the streetlights in the UK for a night . It also eliminates problems such as limescale. Come in, kettle, your time is up.
Aiming to be a standard sight on roads within the next five years, Google's fully automated vehicle will have no steering wheel or conventional controls. These machines are not just blueprints in a lab, either, with over 700,000 miles notched up in road testing. The pod-like cars have the potential to drastically reduce road traffic accidents, and also point towards a future with on-demand, ownership-free transport. This means no need for driver's licenses, car insurance, road tax… with the Google Car you simply won't need to own your own vehicle anymore, you'll just summon one when you need it.
This is a colourful computer that you make yourself. There are loads similar coding kits that have smashed targets on fundraising sites - all ensuring that our children will be terrifyingly tech savvy - but none quite as simple or beautifully realised as Kano, a kit which received over $1.5m in funding. The founders created Kano - which is based around a Raspberry Pi board - after a challenge from a seven-year-old family member who wanted to make his own computer. Two rules: "It had to be simple and fun as LEGO" and "No one teaches me how to do it". Mission accomplished. What's more, the kit costs just £99.
It's quite something to make a device that alerts your phone when your cow is about to give birth look desirable, but the makers of Moocall have managed it. Lasting up to 30 days on rechargeable batteries, you simply attach it the cow's tail - it adjusts to fit any size comfortably - and it will text up to two phone numbers with a message such as "Calving alert; 2 hours of high activity detected". Its smooth curved surfaces prevent the cow from snagging the gizmo on a gate or fence and the rubber insert is designed to provide maximum grip and rain drainage without bothering the animal.
Dainese D-air Street
If you crash your car an airbag helps protect you, but traditionally there's not been much there to protect you if you come off your motorbike. That's where the D-Air Street comes in; essentially an airbag vest, it will trigger at up to 45 milliseconds - depending on the type of crash, be it hitting a fixed or moving object or skidding after loss of traction - to protect your back, your collar bones and your chest. In tests carried out in accordance with the current European Standards for back protectors, the D-air Street was shown to reduce impact forces by 72 per cent. For that kind of piece of mind, £1,400 seems like peanuts.
Double O Bike Lights
Design blogs have been falling over themselves to shout about how functional, clever and simple these bike lights are. Extremely easy to use, you just attach one in seconds via its flexible strap. You can then slip them onto your bike lock so they don't get nicked, or pop them in your bag. Alternatively, you can simply attach them to your bag's straps or the back of your helmet. They run on AAA batteries, which gives a run time of 50 hours, are water resistant and fire out 85 lumens (front) and 50 lumens (rear). Unfortunately when we went to order some they'd sold out, but we're promised more are on the way.
Brydge Air Keyboard
There are plenty of iPad Air keyboard attachments out there, and if we're honest many of them are quite clunky. If you truly want to make your iPad resemble the gorgeous MacBook Air then you need to introduce a Brydge into your life. Forged from a single piece of high grade aluminium, the typing accessory features built-in dual speakers delivering a rich sound, backlit keys and a 180-degree hinge, all working together to deliver that premium laptop experience. Battery life is a mighty three months, give or take, and it's available in gold (£126), silver (£113) or space gray (£113).
You may have twigged from the name, but Qardio devices offer an accurate, discreet and fashionable way of tracking heart health. Integrating with Apple Health and Android, there are three Qardio devices. QardioArm is an accurate, sleek bloody pressure monitor, QardioBase is a smart scale that measures your weight, body fat, muscle, water and bone composition, and Qardiocore is an ECG monitor without all the sticky pads and wires. You simply snap it to your chest and wear under your shirt to monitor your cardiac conditions, via your smartphone, throughout the day.