The Engineer's Christmas Wish list
With Christmas just around the corner and the high-street filled with frantic shoppers, The Engineer has rounded up its top 5 last-minute technology gift ideas.
1. The Seabreacher X Watercraft; £65,000
Inspired by the elegance of a dolphin and speed of a shark, the Seabreacher X Watercraft is an advanced submersible designed to perform acrobatic stunts. It boasts a 260hp supercharged engine, reaching a top speed of 50mph on the surface and 25mph below water. The custom tuned exhaust system gives the vessel a throaty growl as it tears across the surface. Other features include a snorkel mounted video camera, GPS navigation and an onboard stereo system with iPod docking. A must have for all would-be secret agents.
2. Bigtrak; £39.95
Remember the programmable chunk of plastic on wheels that took the world by storm in the 80s? It’s back. Bigtrak has relaunched for 2010 and is set to inject some nostalgia into the festive season. The toy is a six-wheeled tank that has a front mounted blue photon beam headlamp used for firing. The centre wheels are driven by two motors and instructions are entered on a 23-button keypad.
3. The Parrot AR Drone Quadricopter Helicopter; £299.99
Augmented reality gaming is beginning to take off in a big way and the Parrot AR Drone provides a glimpse of the future. The Drone is controlled using Wi-Fi signals from an iPhone, iPod Touch or an iPad. A front facing camera on the system streams images back to your Apple device, allowing it to be controlled even while it is out of sight. Its batteries only last for around 12 minutes, but with the ability to stabilise flight and easy tilt-control, the AR Drone could prove to be more than just a Christmas hit.
4. Cute Circuit’s Hug Shirt; Price TBC
We’ve featured Cute Circuit for their M-Dress that doubles up as a mobile phone before. But the company has been exploring different avenues in wearable electronics. The Hug Shirt allows people to send hugs over distances. Embedded with Bluetooth sensors that feel the strength of the touch, warmth and the heartrate of the sender, the top can send and receive a hug from someone wearing another Hug Shirt.
5. Moller Skycar M400X; £324,000
It’s just a matter of time before flying machines replace cars, claims Moller. And the company is planning to get ahead of the action with the world’s first and only feasible, personally affordable, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) vehicle. The Skycar M400X takes off much like a helicopter, but is also able to travel short distances on the ground as an automobile. It’s easy to fly- in fact a computer does all the flying- you just have to steer it in the direction you want it to go. A perfect gift to avoid the travel chaos.