These are the gadgets you never knew you always wanted. Unlike the self-balancing board, they’re legal in NSW too.
Hoverboards (aka self-balancing boards) are being banned on NSW roads and footpaths due to safety concerns. They don’t have adequate brakes, lights or warning indicators, and they can be a fire hazard. So what are “coolhunters” meant to play with instead?
Here are ten electronic wonders that will have hoverboards eating their dust.
The top item on this list is the real deal. Yup, Slide is an actual hoverboard.
Brought to us by motor company Lexus, it uses maglev technology to achieve superconductive levitation, like the fictional version in Back to the Future. Like other vehicles that use maglev technology, you won’t be able to ride it on the streets, as it requires a magnetic track comprising of three poles (a north, south and north pole) and a magnetic field in between to allow the board to “hover” above it.
Slide achieves levitation by incorporating high-temperature superconducting blocks surrounded by liquid nitrogen. When these superconductors are placed on the magnetic track at a certain distance and are cooled to -197C, it stores the magnetic field and “pins” the magnetic flux down, allowing levitation to occur. This levitation can be maintained so long as the temperature is maintained.
Unfortunately, Slide is not available for purchase, but we reckon it’s still cooler than the self-balancing “hoverboard”.
Check this one out: it’s a motorised surfboard. Yup, a surfboard on steroids.
Built by Czech company MSR engines, the Jet Surf uses a two-stroke engine with a regular carburetor, which allows the rider to achieve speeds of up to 48km/h on the waves.
Getting this baby into gear is pretty easy too, as it uses an automatic handheld electronic control unit with an auto start/stop feature. Simply press and get ready to rip. Because it’s motorised, it’s much heavier than your typical surfboard, coming in at 15kg when fully equipped.
The real beauty of it is that it’s compact enough to be transported by car, boat or plane, just like a surfboard, so you can ride the waves at breakneck speeds practically anywhere in the world.
Think boxing grannies meets bumper cars and you’re right on the money, honey. The game is simple: one person gets into the control pit of each bopper car (protected by its steel cage, naturally) and manipulates the boxer’s arms with thumb-triggered joysticks to throw all manner of nasty upper cuts at the other’s electronic head. Strike your opponent in just the right way to make its head tilt back and you’ll score a point.
Each vehicle can spin and move forwards or backwards, and bumpers in front of each unit ensure that you don’t get too personal in the boxing ring. It’s suitable for ages eight and up, so the kids can get in on the action too.
When it comes to cool stuff, it’s all about presentation. At least that’s what we think. The Om/One Levitating Speaker speaks volumes in that regard. Essentially, it’s just a speaker, except it levitates… and that makes all the difference.
Similar to the other levitating devices on this list, it uses magnetic repulsion to lift itself into this “hovering” state. The soccer-ball design also allows the speaker to rotate, which means sound travels 360 degrees. How’s that for surround sound?
Other than that, this baby’s pretty standard. It’s wireless and bluetooth-compatible, has an on/off touch sensor and is battery-powered. Enjoy!
This wickedly fun gadget is the world’s smallest printing pen and lets you build anything in 3D simply by drawing it into existence. It does this using ABS and PLA plastic, which is the sort of material 3D printers tend to use.
The plastic comes as sticks but becomes more fluid when heated. At room temperature, they cool down almost instantaneously, so you can imagine just how easily and quickly you can bring your drawing to life.
Insert the plastic into the pen, hook it up to a socket, press the button to heat up the plastic and draw away! Plastics come in various colours to add to the artistry of your creation.
It seems like everything is getting more compact these days, and that clunky old scanner of yours is no exception. The new and improved version comes in the form of a mouse that hooks up to your computer via USB. Roll it over the document you wish to scan and the little fella will digitise it for your use.
But wait. There’s more. Scanned text and tables are also fully editable in their compatible programs. So if you scan a document with the Zcan+, you’ll be able to edit it in Microsoft Word. Same deal for tables in Excel spreadsheets.
Time to throw away your old scanner, we think. Oh, and your old mouse too, because the Zcan+ is a fully functioning computer as well. Fancy.
7. Ring Dive Bar Smart Ring
Fashion means innovation with this smart ring. We’re all familiar with smartwatches, but now there’s this Dive Bar Ring for the fashionista who can’t afford a diamond-studded Apple Watch. As to be expected of a USD$200 ring, it’s dressed in hand-cut precious and semi-precious gemstones and features 18K matte gold instead of diamonds. Functionality is pretty limited.
Still, it’s quite cool.
The settings are customisable and notification indicators allow you to have the ring light up, vibrate or both whenever you have a phone call, message or reminder.
Hit this Etsy seller up the next time Defqon rolls around. It’s a Daft-Punk-inspired helmet that comes with all the trimmings including the gloves and the stand. Its cycling LED lights are powered by two battery packs, there’s a built-in voice changer connected to small speakers, and two small lights near the ears flash when you speak.
It looks a million bucks and comes with a hefty $4,000+ price tag. According to the seller’s feedback, it’s worth every penny.
Now that the self-balancing hoverboard is banned and the Slide is not yet on the market, your next best bet in terms of "suped-up" boards is the Epic Electric Skateboard. Brought to us by Aussie brand Epic Electric Skateboards, these babies can pick up speeds of up to 35km (the max speed of a Smart Scooter is 20km).
Similar to the motorised surfboard mentioned above, the driver uses an electronic hand controller to control the board’s movement. This controller features a speedometer, battery indicator and speed settings. The board also comes with regenerative braking to maximise its battery life, which can last a distance of up to 30km at full charge.
Electronic instruments are starting to pop up everywhere and one of the latest is this smart keyboard controller. It’s a portable instrument made of rubber with a soft and sensitive fabric underlay that lets you dictate effects with various gestures.
Like a keyboard, each key makes a different sound. Unlike a keyboard, it’s how you move that alters the sound. For example, if you wiggle a key, you will add vibrato and pitch bend to the note. Other features include octave shifts (-2 to +3 octaves), velocity curves and light up keys.
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Feature image: Gearbest