technopolis - Jake Dyson-ag

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                                                                       Cruise the highways and rat runs of Gizmo City with
                                                                       the grand wizard of gadgetology, Jonathan Margolis.

                                                                                                                              JAKE DYSON CSYS LED TASK LIGHT
                                                                          PENTAX Q                                            In a recent Technopolis, I mentioned male-grooming matters I’ve become
                                                               What unsatisfiable creatures we gadget heads                   rather particular about in recent years – decent haircuts, teeth, spectacles
                                                    are. A couple of years ago, before Olympus launched its                   and T-shirts among them. Moving on from attire, another thing I could
                                         mirrorless Pen cameras, there was no such thing as a pocketable,                     have touched on was lighting. I can’t exaggerate how much I despise
                              interchangeable-lens camera with DSLR photo quality. Now there are hordes                       horrible lighting, from fluorescents to cheap, roasting-hot, patchy desk
                  of them. Olympus is still on great form, but there’s also Panasonic, Sony, Samsung and                      lights. And most modern lighting with eco-bloomin’-friendly bulbs stinks,
       Nikon, with Canon due to give birth too. The trouble is that they don’t seem to be that pocketable                     thanks to that miserable, cold, flickery glare exuding all the joy of a chilly
      any more. It’s not that pockets have shrunk, but expectations have changed.                                             room on a December night in a low-budget motel.
         So now Pentax, which amazed compact-camera fans with its Spotmatic in the 1960s and Auto                                I am particularly delighted, then, by this eco-matey but gorgeous desk
      110 SLR in the 1970s, has shown it can still surprise with this perfect seasonal gift. The Q is the smallest            light from clever Jake Dyson, illustrious son of James – who himself is on a
      mirrorless yet. The body measures 98mm x 57.5mm x 31mm and weighs 200g (including batteries), and                       roll these days with those bladeless fans and the DC35 multifloor vacuum,
      the lenses stick out less than in the next smallest competitor, the Sony Nex range.                                        one of my top products of the year. Jake is a lighting specialist and a
         There’s a price to pay: although the Q has a fantastic specification, lens choice is                                      seriously talented engineer, and this, the Csys (pronounced “c-sis”)
      small, and the sensor is tiny. This means the photo quality is very good indeed,                                              Task Light is, for me, simply the best desk light ever – as well as being
      rather than superb. It still might suit your needs perfectly – especially if                                                  a fascinating piece of mechanical and electrical engineering. I can’t
      Pentax goes on to make equally pocketable longer telephoto lenses.                                                             think of anything I would be happier to receive this Christmas than
      £600, in black or white, from Jessops stores and,                                                               a Csys, especially in the blue colour pictured right.
      and see for other stockists.                                                                                       A Csys, as you will obviously know, is the system of co-ordinates
                                                                                                                                       that defines an object’s position in the X, Y and Z axes. But last
                                                                                                                                        things first before the science bit. The perfectly directed pool
                                                                                                                                         of light the Csys throws down is superbly bright and of a proper,
           VERTU CONSTELLATION                                                                                                           warm, incandescent colour. It’s dimmable by a satisfying
           If you have a Vertu fan among your loved ones, the latest Constellation                                                        finger touchpad. And with just 8.8W of power, it runs at
           model will solve your Christmas-gift problem at a stroke. And in the case                                                       such a low temperature that the eight LEDs in the head are
           of this beautiful phone, you really will be stroking it. It’s the moment                                                         guaranteed for a slightly eccentric 37 years. This figure
           Vertu has finally produced a phone I would use, rather than just admire.                                                          is based on a 160,000-hour minimum life. You may better
               This Constellation has many serious virtues. Chief among these, for me,                                                        that, if you live to tell the tale.
           are the exquisite balance and feel. I’m reluctant to take up Vertu’s style of                                                          The light’s mechanism, based on a combination of
           calling it an “instrument”, but it kind of is, with subtle touches, including a                                                     a construction-site crane and a drawing board, is both
           luminous call button on-screen, a snappy action for changing Sims, a near-                                                           smooth and pleasurable, and allows for meticulously
           unbreakable, unscratchable sapphire-glass screen and slick functionality.                                                             precise placing of the light. The most
               But Vertu is (sorry to seem pretentious) a lifestyle as well as a device.                                                          significant of the many techie virtues of
           And the upgraded concierge service you get thrown in – all right, gently and                                                            the Csys is the heat-pipe technology,
           decorously lobbed in – is no gimmick. The feature I would appreciate most is                                                            derived from satellites, which sucks
           the location-specific free temporary membership of the best private members’                                                            heat away from the LEDs and spreads
           clubs wherever you happen to be. That has actual monetary value, even if                                                                 it harmlessly along that horizontal
           “value” is perhaps missing the point a bit with Vertu.                                                                                    strut. The strut ends up gently warm to the touch,
           From £3,900, in satin brown, polished steel or rose gold, from Vertu, 38 Old                                                               the bulbs themselves just cool… like the Csys itself.
            Bond St, London W1 (020-3205 1123; and branch/stockists.                                                                   £550, in blue, black, grey, red and white, from Jake Dyson (020-
                                                                                                                                                      7713 0188;; The Conran Shop, 81 Fulham Rd,
                                                                                                                                                    London SW3 (020-7589 7401; and branch; and
                                                                                                                                                Selfridges, 400 Oxford St, London W1 (0800-123 400;

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           HUGH THRELFALL.
                Anyone old enough to remember the Newton’s cradle executive toys of the 1980s and                                   VIEW JONATHAN’S VIDEO BULLETINS OF YET MORE
                 earlier will recall that when you weren’t actually setting those clackety chrome balls a-swinging,                 HIGH-TECH WIZARDRY ON TECHNOPOLIS TV AT
                                                they were rather useless objects, more irritating than inspiring. They also         FREE-TO-ACCESS WWW.HOWTOSPENDIT.COM AND
                                                                                                                                    FOLLOW JONATHAN AT TWITTER.COM/TECHNOPOLISFT
                                                   made an annoying racket that even now I fancy I can hear in my head,
                                                   although I haven’t seen one of the silly things in decades.
                                                    This updated take on the executive toy, which is equally – more, I
                                           think – suitable as a living-room ornament, doesn’t only do its intriguing,
                                        curiously hypnotic thing all on its own, driven by battery power, but it does so          SILLY STREET
                                    in total silence. The Perpendum kinetic sculpture is a quite amazing mechanism                I have rarely seen a product take off like the Dr Dre-branded
                                and it has actually been hard to resist the temptation to crack open the casing of                headphones from Monster, which I judged pretty fine sounding
                                 my sample model to find out how the heck it works, and how in particular it                      for a certain type of music, but rather plasticky and cheap.
                                  manages to run for three years on a set of four AA batteries.                                   Monster has now got into bed with Lady Gaga, whose
                                        I would like to try to describe the seemingly infinite, perpetual-motion-like             supremely silly Polaroid video sunglasses were the laughing
                                       way its elegant arms swing and twist, but it’s practically impossible. Suffice             stock of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
                                               it to say, they rotate constantly and appear never to be in the same               These new Gaga-branded in-earphones, unsurprisingly, are
                                                 configuration twice. It’s a really beautiful and well-made thing that            pretty fine sounding for a certain type of music, but rather
                                                   a lot of people – although perhaps not the proverbial maiden                   plasticky and cheap. They will be a huge hit, I’m sure.
                                                     aunt – would love to receive.                                                Heartbeats by Lady Gaga, £120, in black or white/gold.
                                                         £300, from                                               Google for suppliers and see                                                                                                                                                                                             13

Financial Times, How to spend it special christmas edition - Novermber 2011

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