The latest in cool wearable tech: The MisFit Shine

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The Shine is an elegant fitness activity monitor that can be worn on the wrist or as a discreet accessory anywhere on the body for up to 4 months without the need for charging. Fully waterproof, the Shine tracks a range of sporting activities including walking, cycling and swimming and it even monitors the users sleeping patterns. All information is fed back to an app for instant viewing of daily progress.

Synchronisation is quick and easy – simply place the Shine onto the screen of an iPhone and it will connect within seconds. The Shine is ideal for individuals that want something to seamlessly fit into their life without hassle.


Available from John Lewis

Price £99.95

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Three cool cameras from Nikon

These compact cameras are brightly coloured and slim enough to slip into a stocking (a Christmas one that is!). Start snapping away on Christmas day, capturing all your favourite, festive moments. There is something for everyone.

Photo Fan

If you’re looking to treat a photography fan, take a look at the new interchangeable lens camera the Nikon 1 J1. Packed with the world’s fastest autofocus system, you’ll never miss a moment. The J1 is designed to get the best shot every time – Smart Photo Selector takes 20 high-resolution images before and after you release the shutter, then saves your ‘best’ five for you to choose from. Images are recommended based on facial expression, composition and focus.

Price £549

All rounder

Capture all the action with the pocket-size COOLPIX S6200. With 16 megapixels and a NIKKOR 10x super-zoom lens, it’s ideal for anything from up-close candid portraits, to crisp shots of a sports match – no matter how far away you are.

Price £149

Action Camera

If you have an adventurer or keen skier in the family, why not try the COOLPIX AW100. Waterproof to depths of 10m, shockproof from heights of up to 1.5 m and freeze-proof down to -10°C, it’s built for an active lifestyle. A swing-motion setting even lets you operate the camera by shaking it – perfect for when you’re on the slopes with your ski gloves on.

Price £279.99

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Sport Chic: Leica Pinmaster II for golfers

Leica has brought out a new version of its high-performance laser rangefinder for golfers, available this month. The Leica Pinmaster II is designed to help golfers reduce their handicap by providing a close-up view of the golf course and measuring the precise distance to each pin, allowing the player to choose the correct club in a matter of seconds.

This new version of the Pinmaster offers the golfer an even clearer LED display for more accurate measurement, up to a maximum distance of 750 metres or 825 yards. The LED adjusts automatically to ambient light, and is particularly useful in, for example, bright sunlight on the fairway, with a visibly sharper, brighter read-out and balanced contrast, so it is always easy to read. In addition, a special water-repellent lens coating called Leica AquaDura™ ensures that even on the worst rainy days, water will simply roll off, so the golfer has a clear view through the Pinmaster II at all times. The coating also makes the lens extremely easy to clean.

Despite its advanced optical technology, the Leica Pinmaster II is straightforward to use, with just a single button operation. The golfer simply aims the rangefinder at the pin, and at the press of the button, the invisible, eye-safe laser beam – coupled with Leica’s ‘First Target Logic’ technology – scans the terrain and measures the exact distance to the pin with ease. The accuracy of First Target Logic ensures that the device picks out the very first object in its path, i.e. the pin, rather than tree branches, long grass or other objects behind it.

The Pinmaster II’s durable die-cast aluminium body, coupled with a carbon fibre-reinforced casing, makes it exceptionally robust yet lightweight (just 220g), and protects the device against the toughest environmental conditions, for many years of use. It is also watertight to a depth of one metre. Furthermore, its compact size means it will slip easily into a pocket, making it ideal for players to keep with them at all times.

The Leica Pinmaster II features 7x magnification and a wide field of view of 115 metres at 1,000 metres (347 feet at 1,000 yards). For golfers who wear glasses, the handy dioptre setting allows them to adjust the Pinmaster II exactly for their eyesight.

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Ode to the Garmin: the Rolex of sports watches

When the adorable tri-athlete in my life reverently handed me a small box at Christmas, I should have guessed that rather than jewellry, it would contain a sports watch. (It could have been worse – my mate, whose husband was training for the Iron Man, got padded bicycle shorts.) However, despite initial reservations, I have come to realize that my partner was right to be proud of his gift choice as this is no ordinary sports watch. Oh no ladies…this is a Garmin, the Rolex of sports watches.

Unlike your pedestrian-style sports watch which will merely tell you how long you’ve run, the Garmin contains advanced GPS technology that connects to satellites, which means that it will tell you how long you’ve run, how far you’ve run, how fast you’re running, and your pace for each lap. At the end of the run it will tell you your overall distance to the hundreth place, your average speed, and for those who are running as a result of too much holiday cheer, how many calories you’ve burned based on height, weight, and age data that you enter when you initialize the watch. Some of the styles come with a heart rate monitor, and when you finish your run, you can upload information directly from the watch onto your computer.

There are down sides to this marvelous little invention. The charging clip can be a bit fiddly; if the tiny rods on the clip aren’t exactly aligned with the discs on the back of the watch it won’t charge properly. When you start using the watch, it can sometimes take awhile to initially hook up to the satellites, resulting in several uncomfortable minutes hopping around in the cold, ineffectively waving your arm at the sky. Also, your current pace is the result of calculated averages and can be quite deceptive – too slow if you had to decelerate for a crowd of tourists at the start of your run, too fast if you sprinted by a pack of growling German Shepherds several streets back. It will give you accurate timings once you’ve completed a lap, so it’s usually better to use that to judge your speed.

These niggles aside, the Garmin is an utterly addictive gadget, and has turned my running from gentle trots around the park to a loping geek girl statistics game. So much so, that I suddenly find myself training for a half-marathon…

Until next time.


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Sport Chic: Jaybird Sportsband 2 Bluetooth Headphones

The new Jaybird Sportsband 2 Bluetooth Headphones produce a bass-rich Bluetooth music experience with any regular Bluetooth music device. Listen to your iPod, MP3 player, iPhone and even take calls via this sleek, colourful device.

 It comes with apt-X on board, which cleans up, adds depth, bass and treble to your Bluetooth music with technical specifications matching that of CD quality output. Use the controls on the headphones to control play, pause, next and back track remotely – the easy access buttons make it really simple.

If you want to take a call, the music will automatically pause and once your call is over it will resume again. Don’t shout or have to repeat yourself, make use of the Higher sensitivity Mic for clearer calls.

 Choose from a selection of cool colours: Midnight Black, Toffee Apple, Sonic Blue, Runners Red.

Available on price £99.99

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