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HK Magazine Archive

Skip Hong Kong's Touch Tone Menus & Strap a Subwoofer to Your Wrist

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 June, 2016, 11:54am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 5:15pm

All About that Basslet

If you’re the kind of person who goes clubbing and positions yourself so close to the sound system that you can feel your skull vibrating, then you'll love the Basslet. This new Kickstarter project is essentially a small, sexy wrist-mounted square subwoofer. When you play music, the Basslet vibrates in time, delivering the kicks, the hi-hats, the big drums and more straight to your wrist—and from there to your whole body. Sounds wild, right? The project is already fully funded on Kickstarter, but you can still order it at a discount for estimated delivery in December 2016. €139 ($1,185) from lofelt.com

Just Press Skip

If you’re a normal human being, you loathe Hong Kong’s relentless, interminable automated phone hotlines. Press 1 for Cantonese, 2 for Putonghua, 3 for English, 1 to talk about billing, 2 to access account details, 3 to get bounced from menu to menu until you give up… Enter Skipmenu, an app that cuts all that tedious touch-toning out of your life. Need to call your bank? Instead of Googling the number and sifting through 10 minutes of a voice reading out irrelevant options, you just open up the app, choose what you want, hit dial—and you’re connected straight to a human being. Well, almost. The hold music as you wait for someone to pick up on the other end? That’s not going anywhere. Free from Google Play or App Store, skipmenu.com

Carousell, Sell, Sell

A relative newcomer to Hong Kong is Carousell, the brainchild of three Singaporean developers. It’s a community marketplace app that’s super simple to use: You download it, snap a photo of what you want to sell, set a price and hey presto: It’s listed for sale. Other users can check out what you’ve got, and if they like it you can chat within the app to arrange a meetup. It’s fast and easy, especially in a city as small as ours. Having recently hit 1,000,000 listings in Hong Kong, there’s a lot of dross mixed in there—from iffy clothes to a box of pencils (yes, really)—but there’s also some gold to be found, from vintage clothing to camera gear. And of course, half of the fun is in the looking. Check it out and grab a bargain. Or maybe a box of pencils. Free from Google Play and App Store, carousell.com

Spirit Mediums

Camera nerds, lean in now. Swedish camera king Hasselblad has just launched a new digital camera that’s set to revolutionize the market. The Hasselblad X1D is a tiny mirrorless camera that somehow manages to fit a full 50MP medium-format sensor into a camera body that’s smaller than most every DSLR out there. That means stunning quality picture that also beats most every DSLR out there—all weighing in at a comparatively svelte 725g. Thanks to NASA there are 12 Hasselblads currently sitting on the Moon, where they’ve captured some of the most iconic images in history. If they’d weighed as little as the X1D, maybe they would have made the trip back as well. The X1D isn’t remotely cheap—the body is a hair under $70k, and the lenses cost around $18k each—but that price is half what you’d be paying for any of the other Hasselblad models, putting it squarely in the “extremely rich amateur” category. The X1D goes on sale in late August. hasselblad.com/x1d

A Room with Askew

This isn’t a new game, but it IS a recommendation if you’ve got a tablet and you’re looking for something to occupy those fingers: The Room series. No, it’s not a tablet version of the notoriously bad 2003 movie of the same name. It’s a series of three beautifully made, gently cerebral, often creepy puzzle games. The gameplay is simple: you’re presented with an ornate box full of switches, cogs and levers, and you have to open it, step by step. But that description defies the intricate complexity of each puzzle box, half mechanical and half magical—and the sense of achievement as you peel away another layer of brass and mahogany. The first two games were pretty great, but this third iteration nails the eerie atmosphere and delicate, convoluted multi-step constructions. You should get them all. $15 for The Room and The Room Two, $38 for The Room Three from Google Play and App Store.