Teenagers are notoriously difficult to please and none more so when it comes to Christmas presents! During this intensely difficult age teenagers are too old for toys, too young to appreciate the fineries of food, drink and home décor and are intent on adhering to the rules of ‘coolness’ that are set in the school playground. In fact one of your safest bets when it comes to aspiring to see that seemingly inherent scowl transform into a smile on Christmas Day is to stick to gadgets as gifts.
When it comes to receiving the latest hot and trendy gadget, even the most moody of teenager will be hard pushed in curtailing a smile!
Ninja Mini Stealth TV Remote
One of the biggest modern afflictions to burden a teenager is when he/she is not given complete control of the TV remote.
If your household is one endless battle over the remote control, then making light of the situation by giving your teenager the Ninja Remote Stealth Television Control is bound to light up an otherwise permanently morose face!
The fun and tiny Ninja Remote fits onto a keychain, meaning that mischievous teenagers can have full covert control of the TV. Created by Swamiware LLC, this keychain remote can control up to 500 brands of televisions, is ultra-easy to program and is workable within seconds. Simply point to the TV, hold the mute button to program, and hey presto your teenager will have hours of fun infuriating the family!
SE-0303OR Power Button
Boosting a white and orange face and a jet-black strap the SE-0303OR Power Button certainly looks teenager-stylish but what exactly does this gadget do? Well it’s designed to keep your precious teenagers or anyone elsefor that matter safe, whether they are out jogging – teenagers?!? – hanging around a park with their friends – now that’s more like it – or simply walking to school on a dark winter morning.
This comfortable to wear alarm Doberman safety device enables wearers to simply hit an emergency alarm, which will immediately alert people of their distress. With bright, flashing lights wearers can be seen more than a mile away – okay so your teenager might not thank you for that aspect of this gadget but I’m sure he/she will agree that the SE-0303OR Power Button is pretty cool!
Time Machine Tabletop Clock
There’s something about time machines and time travel that never fail to absorb and fascinate young minds.
The Time Machine Clock is essentially a clock that is extremely fun to watch. Turn the entertaining device on and watch in wonderment as time passes whilst observing the science of physical energy as a battery operated motor lifts a steel ball bearing onto a concentric track at regular intervals – Guaranteed to entertain on Christmas Day at least!
Okay people, here’s the deal when it comes to Mothers’ Day. Little kids can get away with a hand drawn card and a clay candle holder made at school, but bigger people need to put some effort in.
So, if you’re a husband or partner, or a son or daughter who’s earning their own way in the world, get your mum something decent this Mother’s Day.
Here’s a few ideas for mums who like to get a bit technical…
Concrete Hook Case
Only just launched are these stylish Concrete Hook cases, to protect her laptop. Made from finest Italian leather with a padded suede lining, there are are four colourways to choose from. Forest Green Grey with purple blue lining; Antelope Brown with Cobalt blue lining; Red Brown with black lining, and Charcoal black with orange lining. They feature chrome and aluminium fasteners and offer a choice of three types of handles in various lengths. The handles are attached to the chrome corners using specially manufactured carbine hooks.
Mum’s bedroom fills with calming soft light, and the sounds of nature soothe her as she inhales the aroma of fresh coffee. Now that makes a change from the alarm clock clanging, the dogs barking to be fed and the whiff of sports socks from the laundry basket. Home fragrance brand MadeByZen has come up with the Opus, a diffuser and alarm clock, which uses light, sound and fragrance for a really different wake-up experience. According to sleep specialists, being woken by a loud alarm clock can cause undue stress on the body. The best way to wake up is to be gently roused using natural light and sounds. The Opus combines the ancient practice of aromatherapy with modern technology, mimicking a natural wake-up pattern incorporating ‘sunrise’ and natural sounds, as well as subtle fragrance options. It also acts as a mini humidifier, ioniser and air purifier, enhancing the air quality of your home.
The Opus comes in black or white with a large choice fragrance oils at £3.99 each.
Mums may seem like Mary Poppins sometimes, with bags that just keep on giving – ask a mum for biscuits, drinks, tissues, plasters – you name it, it’s probably in her handbag somewhere. But there comes a point when those bags can just not stretch any more. So if mum needs to plug in her phone when she’s at work, or on holiday, there’s a rather clever folding plug that has just come onto the market. The MU Folding Plug takes up 70% less space than your average plug and the recent launch is a USB adaptor for smartphones. The other clever thing is that the plug pins are folded away so are less likely to scratch your phone’s screen or anything else you have in your bag.
We’ve tried one out and it’s a terribly clever design, plus it comes in a very attractive box that will look good for a gift – our only gripe is that it comes in the now ubiquitous white, which we find shows up the dirt.
A tablet optimized plug and a power cord are to launch later this year.
Does your mum always complain she needs more hands? Then give her some for Mothers Day! The RoboStir is a nifty gizmo that can stir stews, soups and sauces for you, while you’re chopping, kneading, or sitting down with the paper.
I am notorious for burning pans, because I put the dinner on and then wander off and carry on working (the pitfalls of working at home), so this little gadget seemed to be just what I needed to save myself yet more burned pans.
Just a point – you’re not to leave it unattended, so you should stay in the kitchen while it’s stirring – it’s simple to use, and fits over most average-size pans. It will cope with reasonably light sauces, such as baked beans and a light cheese sauce, but don’t expect to use it on anything too heavy.
If your mum cooks a lot and seems to do a lot of juggling, it might be worth the £14-odd quid for a novelty present.
If your mum doesn’t have a PC (or more likely can never get near one) how about treating her to the Roku, a streaming platform that provides 80 channels of online entertainment content including on-demand films from Netflix and BBC iPlayer to almost any TV without the need for a PC. A Netflix subscription will give access to unlimited films. If she’s feeling generous, she might even use it to keep the kids entertained over the holidays (while she gets a bit of ‘me’ time!).
I’m a bit of a luddite when it comes to eReaders and books. I like a nice book, with proper paper pages and printed with ink. BUT after a particularly dull journey on the District Line last week, I was wishing I had one, as I’d finished my book on the way into London. With an eReader, you’ve always got another book at your fingertips, so I decided to put the latest Archos 70d eReader to the test to see if busy mums might fancy one for Mother’s Day.
It’s really light, at 280g, which is good in some ways, but it does feel a tad flimsy – and you’ll need to buy a cover for it if it’s going to get flung in a bag (which is pretty likely). You should get around eight hours out of a full charge, which is not bad either.
At a tad under 60 quid, it’s pretty cheap – 30 pounds less than a Kindle, so if you can’t afford one of those, and your mum isn’t too demanding about her gadgets this could be a good choice. It’s simple to use, has a 7in TFT colour screen, and can also be used for playing video, music and viewing photos players and the 4GB of onboard memory is expandable by up to 16GB thanks to the microSD slots.
Do you love a white Christmas? Well, if global warming gets its way, say goodbye to those snowy Xmas days. That’s why we’ve put together this list of eco-gadgets to fill both your Christmas stocking and your heart with self-righteous eco warmness.
Powermonkey-eXtreme Portable Charger
The powermonkey-eXtreme certainly lives up to its name. It’s got a massive 9000mAhcapacity Lithium Polymer battery – 6x the size of the one you’ll find inside the iPhone. Speaking of, the unit is capable of recharging most 5V devices – which includes the iPhone and Garmin Edge 800. It can power standard mobiles 12x over.
It’s also got two ports – standard USB for phones and a DC outputs (at 2.1Amps max) to support the Apple iPad and other tablet computers. It’s also IPP67 rated, so it’s waterproof for 30 minutes up to 1 metre – and shock resistant.
And the eco bit? It has a huge solar panel built-in, which you can connect via Velcro to a rucksack to keep you charged on the go. Perfect.
Do you remember opening a present only to be disappointed by a need for batteries? Well, fear not, because here is a clock powered by water. That’s right, just H2O. Pour in some water and the hydrogen cell will react, turning the water into power.
The clock then synchronises via radio to the atomic time centre, so everything stays on-time as well as being power-free. There’s an alarm, thermometer and calendar as well, but who needs those bits?
Instead of relying on high-tech hydrogen conversion or the power of the sun, the water-pressure FN shower radio is powered by thrusting, surging water. From the tap.
Simply hook it up to the faucet of your shower and the water will pump through, turning a turbine and generating enough power to listen to your favourite tunes. It’s also got a built-in rechargeable battery so it keeps playing even after the shower stops – perfect for drying yourself off while dancing. It also means that the last station and volume level are automatically stored after use ready for your next shower.
Dare we say it? The summer is drawing to an end and no sooner are we worrying about how to keep the kids entertained for six weeks, we are rushing around buying everything our little darlings may need to prepare them for the new academic year. Whilst the only thing our parents and their parents before them needed to fork out for in the run-up to September was a school uniform, satchel and a pencil case, parents of today are increasingly pressured into buying the latest and coolest back to school gadgets. LG checks out three gadgets to help our kids beat the back to school blues.
Nike Core Medium and other high-tech school bags
Long gone are the days when a school satchel was made from vintage leather and resembled an old donkey pannier rather than a bag for school. Modern school bags, like the Nike Core Medium, are super lightweight, super snazzy and comprise of secret compartments for all those gadgetry essentials, such as a laptop sleeve and pocket for an iPhone or iPod.
Altaz Internet Clock Radio
Trying to prize your child from their bed and get them ready for school is particularly difficult after the six week break. Why not let the Altaz Internet Clock Radio help you out? Waking up to the sound of their own music collections and checking to see if there has been any developments on Facebook since they have been asleep, is a lot more enticing than grumpily switching off a conventional alarm clock before turning round a going back to sleep.
The Smash Pad
With all that homework, revision, exams and dreadful teachers to contend with, school can be a stressful time to say the least, and it’s no wonder kids can have a tendency to get a little wound up every now and again. Why not let them channel their anger in a more manageable manner with the RageCage Smash Pad? These customizable smash pads contain a pressure sensor embedded in silicone gel that is capable of withstanding the angriest of abuse. The cheeky RageCage will even attempt to pacify its aggressor by coming out with words such as “Why are you hurting me?” – Sounds more like an anger aggravator rather than a pacifier.