Just in case you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, Daft Punk's latest album — Random Access Memories — dropped this week. Judging by what we've seen, it's going to be played a lot this summer, so you might as well dress the part. This unofficial Daft Punk Helmet ($500) is your bespoke ticket to Daft Punk fandom. Based on the French electronica duo's now-iconic headgear, it's made from urethane plastic, then carefully chromed, with a tinted Lexan visor and an included LED message scroller that Velcros in for easy removal. Included is a black balaclava to cover your neck and a pair of chromed glove plates; you'll have to build your own crazy glowing pyramid.
Looking to start your own ghost-busting business? You're going to want a Mr. Ghost iPhone EMF Detector ($20). This nifty gadget plugs into the headphone port of your iPhone or iPod touch, and lets you check for potentially spooky electromagnetic radiation via a companion app. When you're not looking for stray souls, you can use it to check the levels of electromagnetic radiation sources in your home or office — things like your TV, clock, gaming system, or small child who just ate one of his "smart" toys.
We've been waiting for this generation's offering of consoles, and Microsoft's Xbox One ($TBA) doesn't disappoint. The first gaming system to sit between your cable or satellite box and your TV, the new Xbox makes watching sports as easy as saying "Turn on ESPN." With TV integration, voice-control, multitasking, a rebuilt UI, Skype, fantasy trackers and more, you can do it all while you watch or play. Boasting eight times the graphic performance of its predecessor, it has an eight-core x86 processor that makes lag times and loading a distant memory. New features include a redesigned liquid black shell with clean, horizontal lines, a 1080p kinect, and a totally-rebuilt controller — no more bulky battery packs and clumsy directional pads. Couple that with a host of new games including Call of Duty: Ghosts, Fifa 14 and Madden NFL 25, and all you need is a couch.
Every once in a while you come across a product that isn't just a good deal, but offers quality so far above and beyond what you'd expect for the price that you find yourself recommending it whenever you get the chance. That's the case with these Hsu Research Hybrid 3 Speakers ($920-$1,920). Available in 2.1, 3.1, 5.1, or 7.1 configurations, these packages pair the powerful 350W, double ported, 12-inch VTF-3 MK4 subwoofer with HB-1 MK2 horn bookshelf speakers and, in the larger packages, a HC-1 MK2 horn center speaker. We've been using the 7.1 setup in one of our test theaters for months now, and the only thing that's been more amazing than the sound is the looks on people's faces when we tell them what it costs. And while we've been testing out the handsome satin black set — they are in a theater, after all — if you're thinking about filling a more traditional living area with sound, you might also want to check out the rosenut option.
Part speaker, part artwork, the Bang & Olufsen Beolab 14 Sound System ($TBA) is the company's latest gallery-worthy setup. It consists of four 140 watt satellite speakers with 2.5-inch drivers housed in aluminum casings with your choice of fabric grilles, and a white, freestanding 280 watt 8-inch subwoofer that features both a highly-engineered bassport and a position dial that ensures great sound whether it's set up against a wall, in the middle of the room, or in a corner somewhere. If you already have a B&O TV, you're ready to go, but otherwise you'll want to make sure you get yourself a receiver to help run the show.
Speakers don't have to be something you hide away. These Tailor Loudspeakers (£2,000; roughly $3,000) are designed to displayed proudly. Standing just a hair over three feet tall, these handsome speakers are built from English Walnut, and feature a balanced, natural sound with fast bass and a frequency response of 40Hz ~ 20Khz. But what really sets them apart is the front, which is upholstered in fabrics from Maharam suppliers to Paul Smith, giving them a unique look that you'll want to make part of your living area. Should looks not be of importance to you, you can still grab a pair with a plain black front for a few hundred pounds less.
Pinhole cameras represent one of the most basic forms of photography — but that doesn't mean they have to be inelegant. ONDU Pinhole Cameras ($60-$200) are made from high-quality woods and feature classy designs with rounded corners and simple shapes, letting you enjoy and explore pinhole photography without the odd looks that can come from using more primitive devices. They're available in 135, 135 panoramic, 6x6, 6x12 Multiformat, 4" x 5", and sliding box models, and are expected to ship in October.
If you're using Square to run the cash register at your small business, odds are you might already have an iPad mount — but odds are it isn't as sleek and functional as the Square Stand ($300). This modern white stand connects to your iPad 2 or 3 (no Lighting support yet), providing power and securing it to the counter. It also features an accessories hub that makes it quick and easy to connect a cash drawer, receipt printer, and barcode scanner, with a wireless connection to a kitchen printer, giving you a complete POS system in just minutes. Shipping in July.
If you liked the features of the Lumia 920 but simply couldn't get behind the colorful, oversized polycarbonate body, you're likely love the Nokia Lumia 925 ($TBA). Like the 920, it offers an 8.7 megapixel PureView camera with optical image stabilization, a 1.5 GHZ dual-core Snapdragon processor with 1GB of RAM, a 4.5" WXGA screen, and 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera. But instead of polycarbonate, the 925's outer frame is made from metal, with the plastic stuff relegated to a white, black, or grey panel on the back, a feature that makes possible the optional wireless charging cover. Arriving next month.
Sure, you can make time lapse videos using just about any camera — but if it doesn't have a built-in intervalometer, you might end up clicking the camera button yourself, and in any case you're going to spend some time converting those stills into a video. Or you could just use the Brinno HDR TIme Lapse Camera ($400). Made specifically for the task, the Brinno features a 1.3 megapixel HDR image sensor that it uses to produce 720p time lapse video, with the ability to set the interval between frames from 0.3 seconds to 24 hours. It also features a CS lens mount, so you can swap out the included 14 mm f/2.0 lens for a wide range of glass. Once it's done shooting, all you need to do is pop out the SD card, pop it into your computer, and enjoy the video that's already been assembled.
It's not completely klutz-proof — it lacks the ruggedness of those old yellow-and-black, construction-grade Nextel phones — but the Sony Xperia ZR Waterproof Phone ($TBA) will be ready for your next pool party. It's IP55 and IP58 compliant, letting you keep it submerged in up to 1.5 meters of water — roughly five feet — for up to 30 minutes, allowing you to capture shots and 1080p videos with its 13 megapixel fast capture camera that an iPhone can only dream about. Other features include a Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core 1.5 GHz processor, 4G LTE, a 4.6" HD Reality display, and NFC capabilities. Arriving later this year.
Video-recording glasses aren't new. But video-recording glasses that you wouldn't be embarrassed to wear? Now that is novel. Pivothead Video-Recording Sunglasses ($300) employ an 8 megapixel Sony CMOS sensor and 8GB of built-in storage to let you capture video up to 1080/30p or 720/60p, still photos in bursts of up to 16 shots in a row, and works with an optional Wi-Fi dongle to communicate directly with your iPhone or iPad. With four different styles and multiple colors to choose from, you're sure to find a pair that suits your style.