Designer cameras and acoustic mirrors: five pieces of new tech to try

A collection of must-have gadgets for your home and person

LG has unveiled a freestanding indoor gardening appliance. Photo: LG
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If you are looking to enhance your home, a new indoor gardening device from LG allows you to cultivate vegetables, herbs and flowers in your home all year long, regardless of the climate outside, while the voice-activated Sound Mirror feature acts as a speaker and striking design feature.

Photography fans will appreciate the limited-edition Leica D-Lux 7 Vans x Ray Barbee, while those looking for a new pair of earbuds may want to check out the Huawei FreeBuds Lipstick, which combines a sleek design with a dramatic pop of colour. Here's our pick of the coolest gadgets around.

Tiiun

LG Tiiun has a smart gardening system that uses various LG technologies to support a largely automated plant cultivation process. Photo: LG

LG has unveiled a free-standing indoor gardening appliance called Tiiun, from the Korean verb “to sprout”. It allows even the most novice gardeners to cultivate vegetables, herbs and flowers in their homes all year long, regardless of the climate outside. Tiiun features two shelves that can each hold up to six all-in-one seed packages and three different kinds of seed kits. Each seed package contains 10 holes for seed germination, so users can grow a variety of greens. A smart gardening system uses various LG technologies to support a largely automated plant cultivation process. A Flexible Weather Control System precisely adjusts Tiiun’s internal temperature to create the optimal conditions for organic growth, while light sources mimic the natural cycle of the day, and water is delivered eight times every 24 hours. The internal structure of Tiiun is designed to encourage photosynthesis, amplifying the effect of the internal LED light source, while a transparent door lets users watch their plants grow. With LG’s ThinQ app, users can monitor the process from afar, check or change settings and receive notifications when the water tank needs refilling.

Release date yet to be announced; www.lg.com

Leica D-Lux 7 Vans x Ray Barbee

Leica D-Lux 7 Vans x Ray Barbee is covered in Vans's signature checkerboard pattern and has the same technical specifications as the Leica D-Lux. Photo: Leica

Leica Camera has teamed up with two stalwarts of the skateboarding scene – fashion label Vans, and skater, musician and photographer Ray Barbee – to create the limited-edition Leica D-Lux 7 Vans x Ray Barbee. The camera is covered in Vans’s signature checkerboard pattern, while Barbee’s signature appears on the top plate. The set includes a specially designed carrier strap and matching dust bag. One side of the bag is emblazoned with a Barbee quote: “The joy is in capturing the journey”. The camera has the same technical specifications as the serially produced Leica D-Lux, which has a large Micro Four Thirds sensor and fast zoom lens with a full-frame-equivalent range of 24 to 75 millimetres. There is also a Vans T-shirt and a pair of shoes featuring the aforementioned quote.

€1,495 ($1,694); www.leica-camera.com

Huawei FreeBuds Lipstick

Huawei FreeBuds Lipstick optimises sound quality based on the shape of your ears, using adaptive ear-matching technology. Photo: Huawei

Huawei has given its earbuds a makeover. The sleek design mimics a lipstick case, while the red hue provides a dramatic pop of colour. Beyond the in-your-face aesthetics, there’s a 14.3mm LCP dynamic driver inside each bud and they offer a frequency range of 40 kHz. Adaptive ear-matching technology optimises sound quality based on the shape of your ears, with a unique noise cancellation effect. Each bud is fitted with its own “bass-enhancing power engine”, but weighs only 4.1 grams. They also come packaged in a scented gift box, to really amp up the glamour.

Dh899 ($245); www.huawei.com

Samsung Home Hub

Samsung Home Hub uses AI and SmartThings to manage all the smart Samsung devices in your home. Photo: Samsung

The new Samsung Home Hub allows you to manage all the smart Samsung appliances in your space through a single AI-driven, tablet-style touchscreen device. The 8.4-inch gadget can be operated either from its dock or used on the go, and can be controlled by voice via Bixby. It uses AI and SmartThings to understand users’ needs and automatically provide appropriate solutions. You can plan, purchase and prep weekly meals with SmartThings Cooking, while SmartThings Clothing Care connects to appliances such as the Bespoke Washer and Dryer and the Bespoke AirDresser to provide customised care options for your various garments. SmartThings Pet allows you to check in on your furry friends with the smart camera on the Bespoke Jet Bot AI+ and SmartThings Air can provide automatic dehumidification and connect with air-conditioners and purifiers to manage the air quality in your home.

Available later this year; www.samsung.com

Sound Mirror

Sound Mirror is an acoustic mirror that acts as a speaker and features an AI assistant and smart home capabilities. Photo: Sound Mirror

This voice-activated acoustic mirror acts as a speaker and a striking interior feature. Audio can be streamed wirelessly from mobile devices, using Bluetooth, so you can listen to music or podcasts in your living room or bedroom, depending on where you place the device. It is waterproof and features an AI assistant and smart home capabilities. Set-up can be completed in minutes with the Sound Mirror app, in which adjustable bass and treble controls allow you to customise the sound quality. The mirror comes in round and arched versions, in gold, chrome, matt black and matt white, with customised colours also available.

Release date yet to be announced; www.soundmirror.ai

Updated: February 05, 2022, 1:31 PM
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