OSIM uCaress 3D
You can call it a 3D back massager or you can call it a back pulveriser because that’s what it did to us. Unable to get over the loss of the previous foot massager to grace our test labs, we were ridiculously giddy to give the OSIM uCaress 3D a try. It’s got a beige-brown colour palette which goes with everything and there’s even a velcro strap to tie it up with the backrest. The magical massaging is brought on by these two rollers that knead your back so well that even your chromosomes will get untangled.
It’s got multiple modes which not only switch between the different kneading patterns but also mix things up with focused massages. Maybe you’ve spent a little too much time slouched over your phone and pulled a neck muscle. Worry not, pick the ‘Neck & Shoulders’ preset and wail away in agony as the massager sets you right. We spent quite a lot of time on the uCaress 3D, a little too much, to be truthful. The device warns you against overusing it but we went ahead and tried everything in one go, from getting lathi-charged thanks to the kneading massage to falling asleep thanks to the relaxing multi-action full-back massage. And should you need something extra (no pun intended) then turn on the heat and you should be in heaven. What we can say is that while it isn’t the same as a comfy sofa massager, it is pretty much the same in efficacy.
Weight: 6 kg | Dimensions: 75 x 16 x 42 cms | Massage presets: 4 | Power: 120-240 V AC mains.
Blueair Classic 280i
We’ve been testing out many air purifiers and the ones offering Wi-Fi connectivity along with a companion app have always been appreciated. The Blueair Classic 280i is meant for room sizes of 280 sq. ft. It’s capable of filtering out smoke, dust and pollen from the air inside your house. The smart panel on the top displays a lot of functions such as Wi-Fi connectivity, fan speed and filter status and the air quality of the room for PM2.5 and VOC levels. The most interesting feature in the ‘i’ models is the presence of an air quality sensor that speeds up the fans whenever it detects a drop in the air quality. We tested this out by blowing smoke near the purifier and it switched to the auto mode.
When the filter wears out, the Filter LED will indicate the need for a replacement. With all the features above and many that we’ve missed out, the Blueair 280i does justify its price considering the companion app and air quality sensor.
Hidesign RFID blocking Wallet
Getting that snazzy new wallet might be good to bump your style quotient up but it’s not going to protect you from hackers trying to steal your credit and debit card data. RFID sniffing is the fad among hackers(or should we call them pickpockets?) these days. All they need to do is carry around a high-power RFID reader in their backpack while walking down the streets. Current gen RFID readers can copy your data from a few feet away and you won’t even notice it before it’s too late (i.e. When you start getting SMSes for unknown transactions). Unless you get one of these RFID blocking wallets.
We tried out the Hidesign RFID blocking wallet and it works! (What else were you expecting to hear?) The secret lies in a wire-mesh lining that blocks radio frequency pulses from even getting to the RFID tags. Of course, we didn’t have any high-power transceivers so we can’t say what a determined thief can get but your average rookie hacker isn’t going to be able to sniff your debit cards from afar. Sure you can stuff a layer of aluminium foil inside your current wallet and get the job done. But will it be stylish as this Hidesign wallet? It’s got 15 slits for plastic money, two for paper money and a few pouches for ID. It’s stylish, has plenty of slots and even protects your money from digital pickpockets. What else do you want from your wallet?
Length: 10 cms | Height: 12 cms | Credit/Debit card slits: 15 | Money slots: 2 | Windowed slots: 1 | Misc. Slots: 2.
Speedo V-Class Vue
Speedo decided to send us their new V-Class goggle this month and boy were we impressed. Not particularly accustomed to physical exertion, normally we’d be reluctant to try out anything that required us test real world physics and graphics; but not this piece of tech-infused sporting equipment. The goggle boasts 2 x anti-fog technology and features a clear lens that offers an expansive underwater view. The V-Class was developed in Aqualab (Speedo’s specialist R&D department) and won this year’s Red Dot Award for Design & Innovation. It’s very comfortable, even with prolonged usage and the visibility it offers is far better than our trusty Futura (which was waiting for an upgrade anyway).
Lechal Smart Navigation and Fitness Tracking Insoles
Fed up of getting the wrong directions each time you ask for help? Here’s a cooler alternative. Lechal is a smart navigation system for all your footwear.
The system consists of two pods that can either be slid into insoles or they can be slipped into your laces with the help of a sleek looking buckle. The two pods are quite compact and consist of Bluetooth modules paired with batteries and biased motors for feedback. You can set the intensity of the vibrations and the batteries last quite long. The navigation part is a teensy bit off, especially when we tried it out in Mumbai, but the data collection seems to match that of Google Fit. We’re eager to try it out in more locations but overall, these are pretty nifty.
Kodak ScanMate i1150WN
f you’ve only used the scanners built into multi-function printers then enterprise scanners like the Kodak ScanMate i1150WN are great fun. By fun, we mean to indicate how fast it can go through documents. The scans come out at 600 DPI which is just brilliant for those who work in the print industry. Setting the ScanMate i1150WN is a pretty easy affair and it comes with a bevy of additional software bundled. The irksome part is that you have to set the unit up with a machine in order to start using it. For ₹46K, we’d have preferred if the ScanMate i1150WN came with a USB or MicroSD slot as well.
One of the neat features is OCR which is present in almost every scanner, but everyday MFDs take ages to go through a bunch of papers while the ScanMate i1150WN just zips through them. It takes a little over a second per sheet of paper with OCR on. Without OCR and with fewer than 11 pages, Kodak has something called transaction mode which speeds up scanning to a rate of 40 pages per minute. That’s a very wise use of the built-in cache memory that the competitors can learn from. The unit has nine different scanning profiles, which does seem fine, but we’d have preferred if it would allow custom profiles to be created.
With the air pollution breaking quality standards (in a bad way) in the capital, air purifiers are now becoming mainstream. Soon to join them are air purifiers for cars and we got to play around with the Crusaders CF-100. The CF-100 is a scaled down version of a regular air purifier while maintaining the same mechanism of purification. Packed with an active Carbon filter and HEPA filter (capable of preventing the passage of particles the size of 0.3 microns), it can purify an area of 60-70 sq. ft. which is more than enough for a car. Running on a rechargeable Li-ion battery, we found the purifier to last for up to three hours on a single charge. There are two fan speeds that can be switched based on your requirement. The CF-100 is almost the size of a bottle and quite lightweight. It can also be placed on your desk or cubicle, and it will be able to remove odour as well, thanks to the five physical filters placed inside the two vents. Clean and filtered air is blown out through the top vent. Although the CF-100 is expensive for its price of Rs. 5,000, it could be a worthy investment as a portable air purifier to use in your car and office cubicle.
Air Flow: 15 M3/hr | HEPA Filtration: 0.3 micron @99.97% | Filter Replacement: After 12 Months (Avg. use of 6 – 7 hours every day) | Inbuilt Sensors: Odour sensor | Dust Purifying Rate: >99.97% | Formaldehyde Purifying Rate: >96.2% | Germs purifying Rate: >97.6% | Display Mode: LED | Rated Voltage: DC12V | Negative Ions: >5,000,000/cc | UV Light Lamp life: 20,000h | Applicable Area Max.: Up to 15 M2
Want to see more crazy and unusual gadgets we’ve received at the labs? Check it out here!