Aug 26, 2016

Inspect A Gadget

Has there ever been a year that has flashed by any quicker than this one?

2016. Not so much a Leap Year as a Running Year, one that is passing with all the speed and acceleration of Usain Bolt.

Let’s say you fancy a refreshing drink right now. How about one of these?

Perfect for a hot, dry and sunny Summer’s day.

Yet, before you know it, before you even think it, the only sensible choice is going to be a glass of this.

Mulled Wine

It’s as well then, that Loft Blinds are here to help you out with some of your Christmas gift ideas.

Hey, we’re serious. Because those gadgets which are going to be hot in 2017 are already causing a sweaty stir amongst those in the know. So, if you want to stay ahead of the pack and start looking for the very best pieces of technical wizardry for next year, either for you or a loved one (be honest, it’s for you, isn’t it?) keep on reading.

Because if you leave it for too long they’ll all be gone.

The one that we’re particularly excited about is the Immersit.

Because whether you’re sat on your sofa with your Pimms or that warm and tangy glass of mulled wine, this, ladies and gentleman is the ultimate accessory to accompany it. We kid you not, indeed, we only wish that we were.

Film buffs will fondly recall the sequence in 2001-A Space Odyssey when the mysterious plinth of star matter heralds each and every massive leap in the evolution of man with all the accordant technological advances that go with it.

Immersit is, for those who like to be at one with their furniture, that very plinth.


Whether you are watching the latest Star Wars movie or indulging in a spot of Call of Duty on the X-Box, Immersit will take you there. You won’t, as has always been the tradition, be a spectator of the action, you won’t be passive. Oh no, not at all.

You’ll be there, feeling every pitch and yaw of your X-Wing as you take on the Imperial Fleet. Because Immersit is made up of four pads that fit under the legs of your couch of chair, each of which contains motors and parts that independently operate in order to move the couch around in harmony with whatever action you are indulging yourself in at the time.

You can, quite literally, make the earth move under you. And all on your own.

And those pads are clever things. Because they work independently, the back of the couch can go up whilst the front goes down, that or they can move from side to side with varying degrees of pitch and angle. The system plugs into whatever media device you are watching or playing in order to synch up with the action on the screen. This means you can now join forces with Rey as she takes on all comers, feeling, if anything, each and every CGI movement far more than Daisy Ridley ever did whilst the movie was being made.

It’s being called “the fourth dimension at home”. We don’t know about that. But it sure as hell beats playing the Wii whilst sat on a rocking chair.

If you’re a certain age, then you’ll certainly remember when skateboards first became the must have item for anyone and everyone. That’s right, it was back in the 1970’s and rarely did an episode of Blue Peter pass without John Noakes reminding us all to wear the proper safety equipment whilst out skating with our mates.

Things have moved on a bit since then mind you.

The Acton Blink Electric Skateboard is a motorised skateboard that you control via your iPhone. This particular board can cover around six and a half miles or around 45 minutes running time on a full battery before requiring a recharge which takes around two hours. It’s top speed is 12 miles an hour with this and all the other action taking place thanks to a Bluetooth connection to either your phone or a handy remote. When it first went on sale in the US, the asking price was around $500 (£375) which means that whilst even a vaguely ambitious move from those of us who skated back in the seventies might end up with a few bones being broken, at least your wallet needn’t be if you have a new generation of skaters under your roof who want it all and want it now.

Action Blink Electric Board

But here’s a tip. No matter how tempting it looks, adopt a watching brief only.

Now, what do you all think of this?

I know. But it isn’t.

It’s actually known as the Fireside Audiobox, a Bluetooth speaker which includes a fire-based waveform that reacts in time to the music you are playing.


As with all great ideas, it’s stunning in its simplicity. On top of the speaker is a tube filled with propane. As sound moves along through the gas, waves of high and low pressure form at fixed points along the tube. This forces the propane gas to be expelled from the holes more quickly in some zones (creating a tall flame) and more slowly in others (creating the shorter flame). This effectively allows the..yadda yadda yadda yadda....

Fireside Audiobox

...enough science. Let’s face it. It’s awesome and you want one. Join the queue.

But what about if you’ve got no juice to keep all your gadgets fired up and working?

That’s when the  Estream comes in. It’s a portable charger which means that you never need be without power for any of your toys, no matter where you are in the world.

And yes, we know, we’ve got a solar charger so what’s new here?

Well, they’re all very well when the light conditions are good. Fine and dandy infact. But what about when its cloudy, dark or even raining? Hm, not so reliable.

Enomad, a start up based in South Korea have built one that works on hydropower rather than sunlight. In other words, it converts running water to electricity. Hence the picture. You thought it had been dropped in a stream didn’t you, that or it was some kind of waterproof drone?

Think on.

Once the Estream has been submerged in running water its internal turbine rotates and generates electricity which is stored in its built in battery, a process that takes around four and a half hours to get a full charge.


Estream’s boffins  reckon a full battery should be enough to charge up to three Smartphones or cameras and that the device itself charges devices twice as fast as items hooked up to a regular outlet thanks to its quick charge function. And yes, whilst the charge time is considerable, look at it this way-whilst you’re out in the wilds somewhere, you can leave it in a nearby steam overnight and wake up every morning with a fully charged and ready power supply.

If only we could all wake up after a night on the side of a mountain feeling so ready and primed for action. Still, at least we will be when its charged up our phones enough for us to work out the quickest way to the nearest Costa.

If only their coffee was as good as the technology which helped us get there.