Think nothing can surprise you? Actually, if you've got an ear to the ground in the world of emerging smart tech, probably not. Here's what we loved this week...
Muzo – A mute button for your annoying colleagues
Pre-order from Kickstarter for $159 (around £122)
Do you sometimes wish the world around you had an off button? Muzo reckons it can drown out the noise and hubbub of your busy, stressful environment using vibrations and soundscapes. Effectively, it’s a personal zone of silence calm that you can carry with you anywhere. When you place it on a nearby and tap it gently, Muzo instantly sets to work blocking out the racket that’s driving you ballistic. Using its neo-magnetic system, it generates realistic soundscapes while sending even vibrations towards the surface its attached to. It doesn’t completely mute the distractions, but it should be effective enough to make the shrill cackle of Tracy from two desks away pale into insignificance. Aaaand…breathe.
Glowstone – A very British solution to one very British problem
Pre-order from Kickstarter for £69
Closing in on its funding goal with two weeks left to go, the Glowstone smart mug is on a mission to end the horror of sipping tepid tea for good. If you shuddered in disgust at the mere mention of it, Glowstone is for you. A fine bone china mug packing smart sensors, a slim heater and a gently glowing light, Glowstone is designed to keep your hot drink at the perfect drinking temperature from the first to last sip. The mug can sense as soon as there’s a hot drink inside it, and then work to keep that drink at the best temperature for enjoying it. Apparently for tea and coffee, that’s between 60°C and 65°C. The glowing ring of light will illuminate the moment it senses there’s liquid inside too, acting as a gentle reminder that your mug’s got your back. Only when you’ve taken your very last sip of tasty hot tea will the light go off and the heater switch off. Brilliant, right?
Megaverse – The Spider-Man of iPhone cases
Pre-order from Indiegogo for $24 (around £18)
Loaded with millions of tiny suction cups that are practically invisible to the human eye, Megaverse can cling to almost any surface, and transforms into all sorts of handy tools. Imagine being able to slap your phone onto a window to snap a selfie, pop it on your computer screen to film a vlog, on the wall of the gym to record your workout, or even on your kitchen cabinet for elevating your recipes. Megaverse has a detachable backplate, which you can replace with premium ones for added functionality. Just pop off the clingy nano-suction backplate to kit it out with a shatter-proof mirror backplate instead, or a leather wallet – or even a bottle opener. It has slightly raised edges to protect your screen, is compatible with screen protectors, has grip-friendly TPU edges for impact protection, and that nano-suction tech doubles as a shock absorber. Perfect for clumsy phone wielders.
Apple Home – Smart home control under one tiny roof
Available on iPhones and iPads with iOS 10
Until recently, anyone playing smart home with Apple Homekit products had to hop between apps to manage their various devices. Thanks to a handy little app called Apple Home rolling out with iOS 10, however, home automation is an infinitely easier task.Branded products you can remotely control using Apple Home include Philips Hue lightbulbs, Netatmo gadgets and the Hive smart thermostat. You can access video feeds from your video doorbell direct from Apple Home’s handy interface, create home zones for custom control, and even delve into some smart home scene-making. You can also access the entire range of Apple Home functions on your TV screen exactly like in the app – just in giant format. Awesome.
Chargemander – The mobile gamer’s perfect phone case
Pre-order from Kickstarter for $79 (around £60)
Currently causing a serious storm over on Kickstarter, Chargemander is a battery case for mobile gamers that claims to add a whopping 300% to your phone’s puny battery life. The battery case itself charges to full whack in just 15 minutes at lightning speed, but can give an iPhone a gargantuan 33 hours of play time on the go. No more power cuts when you stumble upon a rare Pokémon – this little fella will keep the Pokéballs rolling. As well a making sure you’re always powered up, Chargemander offers some decent protection. It’s a chunky monkey with a sturdy outer shell that should keep your phone safe from knocks and bumps. It has a front cover to protect your screen which tucks out of sight round the back of your phone when you need to focus.