FIVE GOLD GIFTS… Lumie Bodyclock luxe 750DAB

This alarm clock is not cheap, but looks good, tells the time and has a great radio

lumieThe alarm clock has changed over the past 20 years and instead of being woken by a monstrosity of bells and an unwieldy device, it’s generally our mobile phones that awaken us.

These ringtones from our phone have also changed. No longer are we woken abruptly as if we have to go down the pit, the very nature of our jobs, especially knowledge workers, is to be awoken by something more benign and chilled; something that makes us love the morning, not despise its very meaning.

So welcome to the Lumie Bodyclock luxe 750DAB, a sexy little piece of kit that looks like it comes from the future, but with a functionality that belongs to the past (in a good way).

Like all tech devices nowadays, it takes time to set it up, the four frontal buttons are a little difficult to control, but once the basics have been done, the Bodyclock really does seem as onomatopoeic as it sounds.

It’s so much nicer listening to the radio when trying to nod off to sleep, knowing that you will be in the clouds with the sheep before the radio turns itself off, it makes insomnia a stranger and that’s a very good thing.

The alarms are also wondrous. There are swatches to choose from and if you prefer falling rain and natural birdsong to bells and whistles, then your (recently awoken) dreams have all come true with a duration from 15 to 90 minutes. One tap to send to snooze.

The Lumie also uses fully dimmable bedroom lighting using mixed LEDs to mimic the colours of a real sunrise/sunset. It also has hiigh quality Bluetooth speakers, DAB radio and more than sleep and wake sounds with a seven-day alarm setting. It also claims to treat SAD and those winter blues.

It’s not cheap at £199.99, but it will last a lifetime and that will be a lifetime of dreams that are not shattered, but filled with a longing for the morning, brought alive by sounds that almost replicate Circadian rhythms. Sleep well!

FIVE GOLD GIFTS… #2 GameON earphones

Our second recommended Christmas gift comes from the co-creator of Beats and Atari and some excellent, though expensive, earphones.

earphonesAs the world continues to draw into itself and we close off into ourselves by blanking it out with music, podcasts and radio via earphones and headphones, it’s imperative that the products we use in our ears are of the best quality.

For many, it’s a question of choosing between headphones or earphones. Whether it’s long-haul travelling, running or walking quickly through cities, it all comes down to the individual. This writer prefers headphones, but earphones have become a huge market.

The technology for the information that streams into our brains has accelerated faster than Nico Verstappen on a rainy afternoon… with a similar proliferation of devices to choose from.

So, please be introduced to GameON earphones, produced by ROAM and Atari and successfully launched after successfully negotiating a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Designed for gamers and music lovers alike, GameON says the earphones deliver ‘elite sound’ (audiophile) quality at around $200.

The earphones have brushed titanium exterior parts, integrated dual audio frequency functionality with the versatility of balanced armature earphone drivers to create clarity of sound and solution for mobile audio.

As previously mentioned, I prefer pretending to be an experienced DJ and wearing headphones, so while I thought the sound quality was excellent and beyond anything I’ve ever experienced, but I’d suggest that I might not be the demographic.

With that in mind, I gave them to my teenage son for a thorough test over two weeks and his response was overwhelmingly positive saying that it felt as ‘if the music was running all around him’. They’re certainly not a cheap product, but the human ear is a delicate construction, so needs to be treated with respect.

What’s good enough for my 13-year-old is good enough for me. So, if you’re cool and not pretentious (like me) and agree that quality is more important than short-term technology, GameON is for you. An excellent audio product.

FIVE GOLD GIFTS #1: Bulletproof Sleep Induction Mat

In a world seemingly full of insomniacs one company claims that its product offers the ‘best sleep ever’. We put it to the test and find that it certainly has a point.

bulletproofThe Bulletproof Sleep Induction Mat is an unusual “>product in that is immediately uncomfortable. Not only slightly uncomfortable, but literally like sleeping on a bed of nails.

This is part of its power and charm. The makers recommend that sleepy people use it for the first time with a T-shirt on; the spikes are sharp and a slight movement engenders pain receptors, not the endorphins that are supposedly released. It takes time to get used to; but not too long. Continue reading

FIVE GOLD GIFTS… #5 – Brentford FC half season ticket

beesticketMuch has been made about a certain star crossing the Sinai desert and an alleged Christmas miracle more than 2,000 years ago.

Be that as it may, the past six years have seen a real miracle occur at a certain meeting-point in West London called Griffin Park as Brentford FC failed to ever succeed.

After biblical traumas that would have tested any saint, let alone a religious adept, this Christmas will see Brentford FC challenging for promotion to the Premier League.

Griffin Park is destined for demolition in two years’ time as Brentford move to a bigger ground, but a Christmas present of a ‘half season’ ticket would enable you to join 12,000 other lucky souls to watch the miracle unfold. This may be the best thing you may ever do. I implore you to do so.

FIVE GOLD GIFTS… #4 – Panono Panoramic Ball Camera

panonoChristmas is the best time of year for those who are normally too sensible to throw away their money on cheap electrical gadgets.

The Panono Panoramic Ball Camera is neither a gimmick, nor is it cheap or throwaway… even if it can be thrown and when it is, takes panoramic images using 36 embedded camera modules at various angles. This produces a 360° spherical spectrum, composed of 36 joined pictures.

The camera costs $549, a ‘premium’ Christmas present, not one for the stocking unless you happen to be in the higher echelons of our unbalanced capitalist society. But if you have the budget and you like unusual pictures, this is one for YOU.