£300 to spare? How about a wallet for your iPhone 4S?

Now here’s a problem I’d like to have. You have just under 300 quid burning a hole in my pocket and want to buy a present for the woman who has everything – including the new iPhone 4S

The answer to the problem would be? The Capulet Wristlet for the iPhone.

Capulet-Wrist-iPhone-4S

This designer piece from the London-based luxury accessories brand, is a wallet, which has room for your iPhone and which can be hung from your wrist or popped in a handbag should you so wish.

Designed to take out dancing, or to pick up if you pop down the shops, the Wristlet comes in a variety of colours, and has a compartment for the iPhone 4S, a coin compartment and room for credit cards.

Choose from cobalt, seashell white, powder blue, jet black and sunset red

Capulet head of design, Joyce Lin, said: “I wanted to create a wristlet that was relevant to today’s modern woman. It needed to be a minimalist design, carry all the essentials, and seamlessly transition from day to evening.I think this wristlet achieves all of these design
goals.”

The wristlet costs £299 and can be pre-ordered from www.capuletlondon.com/iphone

Scanomat Top Brewer: The future of coffee?

I’m sure I’m surprising exactly no one by being a writer who’s into coffee so my delight at seeing the Scanomat Top Brewer was a predictable as the slew of “lose weight in the new year” articles I’m going to write when this is done.

Scanomat-Coffee

But in all fairness, the Scanomat Top Brewer is an amazingly stylish approach to brewing beans. You’ve already seen what happens when Apple-esque design infiltrates the world of thermostats. And it’s equally impressive when it hits the world of coffee. There’s even an app.

The Scanomat Top Brewer is a professional grade coffee machine for high-end cafés (I spoke to the MD to broke the sad news that I probably wouldn’t be able to fit one in my tiny flat). The Scanomat has top notch grinders installed so it can fire out 4 cups of filter coffee in a minute. This coupled with the world’s tiniest milk frother, automatic cleaning and precision engineering means that the Scanomat can crank out the perfect espresso every time (and an impressive range of other coffee-based drinks too). There’s even a option for cold water, juice and hot chocolate drinks. Like I said it’s a shame I lack the space and funds to fit one in my kitchen.

The aforementioned app connects to the unit and enables you to select the brew of your choice – and you can save your particular preferences to a favourites part of the app. The app also allows you to monitor the temperature and progress of your drink – and if you run out of coffee you can order more right there from the app (there’s also a finger touch keyboard if you don’t have a smartphone handy).

The Scanomat also has pretty decent green credential and runs on a unique Zero Watt system that stops if from drawing power when on standby.

Hopefully coming to a coffee shop near you.

www.scanomat.com

Be a diamond geezer with the latest iPhone dock from RED5

iPhone docks are generally ten a penny, and here at Latest Gadgets Towers we’re always receiving press releases about them, so they really need to stand out from the crowd to get noticed.

BlackDiamond

And the latest one to hit our inbox from RED5 certainly has a bit of a twist. The Black Diamond iPhone Dock from Thumbs Up is a spherical shaped dock that has an added bonus. Slip the iPhone in the dock and the Black Diamond comes to life, becoming a sound-sensitive mood lamp.

So you can relax while the lights slowly change – or create your own disco lighting in your bedroom. – while you charge up your smartphone.

To work, your iPhone must be running a free app from Thumbs Up. This allows you to choose between a number of different lighting effects, including Flames, Plasma, Breath, Lightning and Rainbow.

To change the light setting, simply tap the Diamond twice and the sound sensor will switch it to the next mode. Tap again once you’re happy with the setting.

And as welll as putting on a light show, the dock will also charge up your phone if you connect it to your computer using the supplied USB cable.

The Black Diamond also has alarm and sleep functions, and while it will be quite compelling to some, and is far from your average boring dock, we reckon £69.95 is quite a price to pay for a light show.

Available from Red5

And … breathe. Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator: Letting your wine relax the Californian way

Now, this is my idea of heaven, a story that combines my favourite alcoholic beverage (wine) with some form of delectable gadgetry.

Now, not only is this a clever idea, but also, according to its name, it is a vital piece of it – why else would they have called it the Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator?

Vinturi

As most of you will know, red wine tastes better if it allowed to ‘breathe’ – i.e. left open to the air for a time. This apparently allows the aromas and flavours to be released. And that’s why it is tradition for red wines to be decanted from the bottle into a – er – decanter. But, true to form, in our busy modern world, we just don’t have time for all that faffing around (in the olden days they had butlers to do that sort of thing for you).

If you don’t have a butler, but do have a penchant for a good glass of red wine, some nice folk in California have come up with the wine aerator. All you do is hold the little gizmo over your wine glass, pour your wine into it and it will aerate it as it flows into your glass. Apparently it draws in and mixes the proper amount of air for the right amount of time, instantly allowing wine to breathe.

‘Vinturi accelerates the breathing process, enabling wine lovers to fully enjoy their wine from the very first sip, rather than waiting an hour or more for traditional decanting,’ says Rio Sabadicci, Vinturi’s inventor.

The makers also claim that this processes offers a smoother finish, as the Vinturi aerator is effective at softening tannins that can produce a bitter aftertaste.
As well as looking quite pretty, there is a scientific side to the Venturi, which its makers describe thus: “The design applies Bernoulli’s principle, which states that as the speed of a moving fluid increases, the pressure within the fluid decreases. When wine is poured in the Vinturi, its design creates an increase in the wine’s velocity and a decrease in its pressure. This pressure difference draws in air, which is mixed with wine for perfect aeration.” So, now you know.

The Vinturi Essential Aerator retails at £39.95 from the likes of Amazon and Zavvi.com

Make a technical style statement with the CrystalDock iPhone stand

When it comes to accessorising your iPhone or iPod punters have an overwhelming amount of choice. ‘Luxury’ iPhone devices are quickly gathering speed on the technology bazaar and when, therefore, ‘the world’s first luxury accessory for the iPhone handcrafted from pure crystal glass’ submerges itself as the latest must-have iPhone fitment, one rarely bats an eyelid.

Crystal-Dock

Nonetheless being the ‘first’ luxury stand for charging and synching your iPod and iPhone devices that is handcrafted from pure crystal, the CrystalDock is worthy of a review, and if you are one to like donning expensive and enviable accessories in the office or at home, then our CrystalDock review is definitely worthy of a read.

Designed by the luxury brand CalysoCrystal, which focus primarily on technically innovative products, the CrystalDock is available in four basic designs, ranging from cool and edgy styles to classic and formal. Its casing is crafted out of a solid block of lead crystal, which CalypsoCrystal assure us, is significantly more magnificent than glass as crystal contains lead oxide which, in certain lights, creates beautiful optical effects – Ah so that what gives crystal its extra ‘sparkle’!

This dock, in its choice of material, whereby each individual device has, according to its creators, taken 15 pairs of hands to produce, undoubtedly exudes class, elegance and sophistication. If you are intent on making some kind of style statement, the CrystalDock is compatible with all models of iPhone, iPod Touch and iPod nano, as well as the 80GB, 120GB and 160GB late 2009 model.

A further selling statement murmured from the mouth of Matej Kurent, the successful entrepreneur, businessman and founder of CalypsoCrystal, is that these handcrafted pure crystal iPhone stands are, “excellent value for money”. Whilst we may suspiciously expect that the entrepreneur’s idea of what is ‘value for money’ is significantly higher than what the rest of us might regard as being ‘good value’, it comes as a pleasant surprise that the Crystal Docks range from a unexpectedly acceptable £299 for the limited edition CrystalDock “Aurora”, to an even more refreshingly modest £169 for the “Beau”, “Celestia” and “Dune” models.

Galet luxury USB Key: Data mobility made obscenely expensively yet ultra elegant

If you are one for donning the latest Prada handbag heavily engraved with the designer’s name, love to flash your red-soled Louboutins in a busy, up-market bar, or unashamedly keep a pair of Calvin Klein sunnies firmly on your head even when the sun’s gone in, you may be excited to hear about the Galet USB key, bringing elegance, luxury and designer brands to digital collections.

Galet-USB-Key

Like pens, watches and wallets, USB keys have become an essential accessory, enabling us to carry our precious digital data around with us, whilst occupying little space in our handbags and pockets. Given its indispensable nature, it only seems right that the humble USB key should be finished with the same finesse as accessories conventionally associated with designer labels and luxury.

Hand-crafted in Paris, the Galet USB has been designed by two distinguished brands, LaCie, a leading manufacturer of storage devices, and Christofle, a French luxury brand. Like all designer accessories, the Galet, with its elegant pebble shape and radiant silver-plated finish, is designed to turn heads, stimulate conversation and dribble in style and affluence. Each piece of the Galet is individually plated with silver using Christofle’s unique 150-year-old silvering process.

Although whilst this USB storage device might look great, what are its actual technological capabilities? Well nothing much really except holding 4GB of data, oh and, quite a nice touch if we are searching for the practicalities of luxury brands delving into technological gadgets, the LaCie Private-Public software with password protection, meaning precious and uncensored photos and images are well protected from roving and probing eyes.

The damage? £94.99 from Christofle boutiques across the world and the LaCie online store. Although if you are amongst, what you consider to be the ‘style elite’ in the world and are willing to pay half a grand for a pair of shoes and a four figure sum for a handbag, what’s a mere hundred quid to own the ultimate luxury and stylish USB key?

What’s new in the DraganFlyer X6 helicopter?

DraganFlyer

We originally covered the DraganFlyer back in February. That unmanned airborne vehicle (UAV) was the X4 and cost £12,000. Ten months on and the new DraganFlyer X6 model is out, with two more X’s and £10,000 on to the price tag. So what does the X6 add that makes it soar above its predecessor and rivals?

Aside from a longer flight time and the ability to carry a heavier load, the new incarnation of the remote control helicopter features one big upgrade: the spring centred throttle. When the pilot lets go of the throttle, the UAV will no longer plummet to the ground, shattering a £20k investment. Instead, it’ll return to a central position and maintain its height through “altitude hold”. It also comes with a new automatic take-off procedure, so the pilot can set the vehicle up, slide the throttle up and watch it take off to around one metre off the ground. The pilot can then fly it in any direction, or ascend higher into the skies.

Check some sample footage out here:

This means it’s easier than ever to keep a stable picture, so photos of videos taken from the X6 will be better than ever. It also means the chance of crashing is greatly reduced – especially as the device floats out of sight. If you do lose it, or somehow manage to fly out of range, the DraganFlyer’s self-preservation training kicks in, initiating an automatic landing sequence and continuing its onboard flight recorder.

The battery gives about 15 minutes of flight time, which is monitored through the control unit. Other information wirelessly sent back include a video feed, the device’s orientation and motion (with onboard GPS), data from three accelerometers, three gyros and barometric pressure sensor to judge the altitude and positioning adjustments.

You’ll also be able to remotely control the onboard camera’s zoom, tilt and shutter. Quick-release landing gear and camera equipment make for easy transportation in your backpack once grounded.

Vita Audio R4 and R2i: Premium all-in-one stereo systems

Design? Stylish. Components? Hi-tech. Sounds? Great. Sounds great, right? Vita Audio, a UK-based audio company, has released two premium all-in-one stereo systems that are sure to get your visual and aural attention – the R4 and the R2i.

Vita-R4

Audio R4
The big brother of the line-up, the R4 aims to replace any existing audio solution in your home. It’s got a multi-format CD player, iPod dock, USB playback, DAB/FM tuner and auxiliary inputs – all outputting at 80 watts.

As a premium product, it’s stacked with high-end features. The slot-loading (awesome) CD player lets you listen to audio CDs, MP3s and WMA discs, while the radio not only supports DAB and FM, but the new DAB+ standard.

The real jaw-dropper, however, is the RotoDial. Sitting atop the player, it’s the universal way to control the system. If you’d rather skip songs without getting out your chair, however, simply pull it off the top and it’ll work as a remote control. Use it to navigate through music on your docked iPod, for instance, or switch between audio inputs.

Or just put it on a chair’s arm to look cool – the aesthetics are really nice. Of course, what else would you expect from a device that’s colour options are “Rich Walnut veneer, Dream White and Midnight Black”?

The remote is just one of the many nice touches that make the R4 a really well-put together piece. Another is the gold-plating on the two auxiliary inputs, or the way the system stores headphone volume separately from speaker volume, so you needn’t worry about blasting your eardrums when you plug in a headset.

Vita-R2i

R2i
Just like the R4, the R2i’s cabinet is machined and hand-crafted from high density fibreboard, giving the system excellent acoustic properties. It’s also got DAB+, a line-in for MP3 players, an iPod Dock and some auxiliary ports.

What it’s missing, then, is its bigger brother’s CD player, USB playback and massive output – the R2i pumps out a much smaller 20 watts.
The plans for the remote control are also scaled down. The RotoDial still exists, but it’s fixed to the stereo. For remote control duties, you’ll have to make do with a slim-line extra controller. Sure, it’s not ugly, but the wow of the detachable RotoDial is definitely missing. The R2i is cute, and much cheaper, but is nowhere near as awe-inspiring as its older brother.