With winter reluctant to ease its grip, it’s time to warm yourself with crazy gadgets, amazing innovations, and levitating plants.
Yes, you read that last one right.
1) Orison (from $1400, S$1,975)
They say you have to spend money to make money. That’s certainly the case with green energy. But Orison’s cunning plan could seriously reduce energy bills, in sucking power from the grid when rates are low and powering your home when rates are high, also making the most of installed solar.
As you’d expect, there’s an app and a cloud, the former providing data and feedback and the latter figuring out how to best manage your energy. Mostly, though, you’re splashing out for plug-and-play kit based around the flatscreen-sized Orison Panel or futuristic lampshade-alike Orison Tower.
2) Torch (from $65, S$90)
Heated coats aren’t new, but Torch is designed to work with any coat you own. Its four heat settings keep you reasonably toasty for up to a few hours, especially the bits near the three heat pads (although they’re apparently “positioned to effectively heat the body’s core”).
You’re probably not going to need Torch to pop to the shops, but for anyone into extreme sports, hiking in snowy climes, or working in a giant fridge, Torch will be 65 bucks well spent. (That name, though — is it a good idea for a heater to have a moniker that means ‘incinerate’?)
3) Fabulous Beasts (from £59, S$115)
Jenga’s all very well with its nondescript wooden blocks, but if you’ve ever wanted a balancing game with character, there’s Fabulous Beasts. You choose from a bunch of artefacts that when added to a rickety tower affect a connected digital realm. Careful stacking results in evolution, happier virtual critters, and higher scores.
Mess up or choose badly and you’ll knacker the ecosystem faster than a housing developer armed with a squadron of huge diggers and permission to bulldoze the green belt.
4) Air Bonsai (from $200, S$280)
There’s something quite beautiful and poetic about this Kickstarter, its creator talking of a galaxy of little stars, on each of which you can make a wish. Mostly, though, we watched the Kickstarter video and three words stuck in our head: levitating tiny trees.
Essentially, ‘little star’ is a mossy magnet, ready for a bonsai to be transplanted. Below sits an ‘energy base’, which keeps the moss ball and tiny tree passenger floating in mid-air. Brilliantly, it can also lazily rotate, thereby making every other shrub in the vicinity green with envy rather than chlorophyll.