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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.

Readers' comments (11)

  • How about a higher status and better pay structure. After all, name another profession that can survive without some sort of engineering input.

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  • "After all, name another profession that can survive without some sort of engineering input."


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  • It is the nature of engineers to be unsung heroes of society, just be happy with what Herbert Hoover said of us:

    Engineering is a great profession. There is the satisfaction of watching a figment of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then it moves to realisation in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings homes to men or women. Then it elevates the standard of living and adds to the comforts of life.
    This is the engineer's high privilege

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  • Please incorporate the submersibility and acrobatic manouevrability of the Seabreacher X Watercraft into the Moller Skycar M400X.

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  • How about avoiding these gimmicks and spend within your means this and every other christmas and avoid crippling credit card debt.

    How about a bouyant UK engineering sector which leads the world in established and technological sectors.

    How about work for all engineers currently unemployed.

    If we achieved these three i would say sod christmas all together.

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  • Loved it, now all I need is a big big big bonus. Christ I wish I worked in a bank.

    Never mind there is always the wife's life insurance.

    That should cover one of the Photographs.

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  • How about the government investing in manufacturing and employing engineers in the UK for a change?

    From an engineer in Germany who would like to work at home for a change.

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  • ".....Banking?"

    And banking would be possible without the use of computers and software and buildings that are created and designed by engineers because?

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  • How about cheering most of these posters above up?

    I like the sound of the AR hovering thing

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  • How about (in the case of the Moller Skycar) restricting your listings to products that actually exist?

    The things that are said about Moller's craft would have you believe that the thing is practically ready to go to the dealers. Actually, all the craft has ever done is hover in the ground effect, and it hasn't even done that for the past 7 years.

    A bad choice, in my reckoning.

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