Acceptable Bluetooth and the Swiss Army Knife of Caffeine
I Can See Your Halo
There’s a new piece of kit out for those business-casual people who want to wander the streets of Central in their chinos yelling about mergers and acquisitions, but also don’t want to look like total idiots while doing it. Enter the Jabra Halo Smart, Bluetooth earbuds that are designed to make you look more world-appropriate as you hands-free your way through life. The Halo Smarts come with a svelte neckband allowing them to hang out around your neck like they were born to be there, and magnetized earphones keep the buds out of the way when not in use. 17 hours of talk time and 15 hours of music makes them convenient for a hands-free day, no matter how much Important Business you want to conduct out in the open air. $699 from various outlets including Broadway, HMV and Fortress, jabra.com
I missed this when it first got out there in 2015, but it’s never too late. Meet the Swiss Army knife of caffeine creators: the Cafflano Klassic, which bills itself as the world’s first all-in-one portable coffee maker. This thermos-looking coffee maker has everything you need to go from bean all the way to cup, save a kettle. The Cafflano incorporates inside its stylish exterior a hand mill ceramic grinder, filter, pourer and tumbler: meaning you really can put beans in one end and get hot, fresh drip coffee out the other. It looks like a great solution if you’re serious about your coffee and you travel a lot. For everyone else, I guess there’s Nescafé sachets and non-dairy creamer. Don’t care for drip coffee? The company’s also working on a tiny French press, the Cafflano Kompact, which should be out soon. $880 from backerstores.com or coffeebroshk.com
Dating app Coffee Meets Bagel has just come out with a report claiming that of all the users who have downloaded the app, 66 percent of them log on every day—higher than anywhere else in the world. Some are ascribing this to the city’s “desperate” nature. I’d be more inclined to suggest that we’re all just addicted to our phones, which ain’t quite the same thing. Keep an eye out for brand new cocktail/dessert bar Jerry Maguire (G/F, 23 Lan Fong Rd., Causeway Bay, 2881-5008) which says it’ll soon be launching no-phone nights. Want to get to know someone? Well—putting your phone down is a start, isn’t it?
Think you’re a pretty good photographer? Got more lenses than you have sense? Then check out the Canon PhotoMarathon 2016. The event is a full-day photography competition in which you show up, get given a theme or three, and it's up to you to nail the perfect shot in just a few hours. Judging by the quality of the previous years’ entries, it’s not going to be easy, either. The event itself isn't until September 25, but if you're a keen photographer then you'd better sign up sharpish: places are limited. There are two categories to enter: The signup period for the Challenge category is Jul 6-12 ($250 donation to St. James’ Settlement to enter), while the easier Open category is Jul 25-Aug 1 ($180 donation). photomarathon.hkcanon.com
Bump and Grind
I always have a soft spot in my heart for the unnecessary novelty gadget. Hence my enthusiasm for the Peugeot Design Lab Salt and Pepper Mill. Peugeot, you say? Don’t they make cars? Well, yes and no. The car manufacturer actually has its roots in a company which started making coffee mills back in the 1840s. One branch of the family went into the automotive industry—but grinder-makers live on, presumably increasingly irritated by everyone’s assumption that it’s just a car spin-off. This new mill, however, looks more like a car piston than a pepper mill: You hold it sideways over your food and the ground pepper is funneled straight where you want it. Sure, it might not be absolutely necessary. But as a combination of grinder design and futuristic car-like technology, why wouldn't you want one? $1,170 from Exclusivitiés, various locations including Shop 109 & 112, Ruttonjee Centre, 11 Duddell St., Central, 2521-8626.