Head Sensor BT Runtastic: Getting down on the slopes

I hate going on about how cold it gets in winter. But man alive is it nippy out. And that’s just in my tiny East London cave. Imagine if I was hitting the slopes. A ridiulous image for many, many reasons. If however you are way, way cooler than I am then you may be delighted to know that Runtastic and Head have teamed up to build the world’s first fully integrated helmet in winter sports – The Head Sensor BT Runtastic.


Head have already won awards for their helmet design and the Head Sensor takes something that’s already great and rams a load of technology into it – something that almost always makes me happy. Head Sensor, the base model for Head’s Sensor BT Runtastic, is the winner of the German ADAC helmet test.

The helmet integrates the Runtastic app, Bluetooth, fully functioning speakers, and a microphone. Obviously you can listen to music, call people, and have lovely back and forths with Siri.

Like most modern things, the helmet is paired with an app, Runtastic’s side of the deal, which provides voice feedback on your speed, altitude, distance covered, route, and average speed, all the while monitoring your heart rate and calorie consumption with the included chest strap heart rate monitor.With way over 14 million downloads, more than five million registered users on runtastic.com, and 300,000 active daily users, Runtastic is one of the most popular fitness app provider available.

Sharing is another key buzzword for modern living and the app enables you to share your stats and experiences on social media platforms. Followers can interact with you by recording a personal message or pressing one of the cheering buttons on runtastic.com to egg you on before a big trick or hardcore run.

Available now

ARVA Axis Avalanche Beacon preview


Snow safety specialist Arva has just launched its latest avalanche transceiver in time for the new ski season. Ski enthusiasts will be interested in the AXIS, which Arva says is the most advanced avalanche transceiver on the market – and could be a life-saver for anyone who goes off piste. Experienced skiers will know that safety equipment is key when going off piste, and that’s where the Axis comes in. It enables you to quickly find others buried in an avalanche. The Axis has both digital and analog search modes and is capable of detecting multiple victims within a 50m search area.

Unique to the Axis, says Arva, is its standby function, which enables the device to remain in standby mode while you search, in case there is another avalanche.

Check it out on this video:


If the worst happened and you were using a shovel and probe to communicate with other rescuers, leaving the Axis in emission mode could disturb the search process, while switching to search mode could prove noisy. And you would not want to turn off the Axis in case there was another avalanche. The solution is the standby function – if it detects no movement after four minutes, it automatically changes to emission mode.

The Axis is powered by 4 alkaline AAA batteries, weighs 260g and has three antennas. It offers a primary and secondary search function, has a U-turn alarm and allows you to mark or unmark a found victim.

The cost? £275.

More details from www.arva-equipment.com

Zeal Optics GPS Goggles: A James Bond gadget for the slopes

If you’re heading to the slopes this winter, the Zeal Optics GPS Goggles are the latest must-have accessory.

Now you can head down the black run and – just like something out of a James Bond movie – in front of your eyes will appear all the data about just how fast you’re really going, how far you’ve travelled, and indeed, where you are.


The trick is in the goggles’ micro LCD screen, which looks as if it is hanging six feet in front of you while you’re moving and gives real-time feedback on your latitude/longitude, altitude and so on.

The goggles also have a chrono/stopwatch mode, so you can time yourself, a run-counter and a temperature monitor, in case your nose isn’t giving you the full information.

Of course, the goggles offer more practical features – they auto adjust to lighting levels, can reduce 99% of glare and have an anti-fog lens.

And the good news for anyone who doesn’t want to risk frostbite (and who does?) is that the buttons are big enough to use with your gloves on, so you can navigate through full-colour dashboard and screens.

The prize for all this hi-tech wonderfulness? £449.99 from Firebox.com from November 11.

TWIG: Lecci Headphone Splitter, Artificial Moving Ski Slope and iPad USB charger

The Week in Gadgets

Camera makers were unveiling new models at a dizzying rate during this week’s Photokina and we’ll be taking a look at some of these in the coming week. We’ve also got a chance to play with some of the “hot” new Christmas gadgets coming your way – including the Samsung Galaxy Tab, though we still can’t tell you what it costs.


Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best and I fell in love with the Lecci Headphone Splitter. Sometimes one of the best thing about new music is sharing the experience with a friend – it’s at the core of Apple’s new Ping social network or Last.fm. For those of you with more conventional friends, that you actually meet in the flesh, it’s easier to share music with but also loaded with it’s own challenges. How well do you have to know someone before you share earphones? Especially a nice deep pair of inner ears? Instead of choosing between that and menacing everyone else on the bus with your tinny built in speakers, Lecci have made a little Headphone Splitter with a keyring attachment. Simply plug it into your PMP and … well you’ve seen the picture you can work out how it works. Yours for £5.95 from Gizoo.

Sometimes simple ideas get complicated. Ideas like “I want a ski slope in my living room.” We’ve all thought about, sure. But Skiplex Ltd went a little further and made the Artificial Moving Ski Slope – a continous moving ski slope that can mimic baby slopes or black runs. You will of course need a spare room the size of a squash court. And £176,250. You can probably pop it next to your F1 Simulator. Yours from thepresentfinder.


Love your iPad, hate the way it refuses to charge on certain USB ports? LINDY electronics would like you to part with £9.99 to solve that problem. The LINDY USB charging adaptor (which works with all Apple devices) does what it says on the tin. Whilst you can adapt some motherboards to charge iPads you probably can’t be bothered and £9.99 isn’t a great deal for restoring “charge anywhere” convience.