Adidas F50 + miCoach Speed Cell ($310adidas.com)
While our cohorts are busy walking into lamp posts, we use these smart football boots to track us when darting between training cones. Aside from being so bright that they make it impossible for defenders to look directly at your feet, the F50s weigh just 165g each and have a paper-thin upper that gives them a snug, sock-like fit. Insert the Speed Cell chip into the heel and it logs handy data such as your number of sprints and max speed, wirelessly syncing with your iPhone or PC. It’s all very slick, but for the money we’d like it to track our movements on the pitch via GPS too.
It normally takes a wedding or a funeral (hopefully neither one our own) to get us into a suit. But a gadgety incentive such as this pair of rhodium-plated, tech-filled, USB cufflinks is enough to have us reaching for the shoe polish and a clip-on tie. In one cufflink is a 2GB flash drive, while the other allows you to turn any computer into a Wi-Fi hotspot. Once the novelty had worn off though (and you've stopped choking at the price tag), the two gigs of space will go fast, while the fact that the hotspot-maker needs downloadable software to work gets rid of the convenience factor.
When connected to the Sony Xperia S, this wearable gadget alerts you to new text messages, emails, and social media updates, and allows you to check who’s calling and send it straight to a Smart Wireless Headset Pro if you want to plug that into your lugholes. True, the small multi-touch screen is a little fiddly but the ability to check and (to an extent) operate the phone that’s still in your pocket is extremely useful. When the Google Maps app turns up (more are being added to the Android Market all the time) you'll even be able to navigate city back alleys without getting mugged. Or they’ll just take the watch.
Fitbit Ultra (US$129 fitbit.com)
The Fitbit packs a lot of life-tracking into one small chunk. A super-sensitive pedometer and altimeter records your every movement and your sleep cycle, wirelessly syncing to your computer. The gadget’s one and only button tells you how active you’ve been. While it might not record your runs as accurately as a GPS fitness watch, its constant nagging might encourage you to get off the bus a stop earlier, or take the stairs, or get an extra hour’s sleep – so it could be more effective as a health-improving device. Let it form your habits, and it could make a real difference.
Vuzix Wrap 1200VR (US$499 vuzix.com)
3D video goggles? Oh, it’s much better than that. This wantonly geeky headset tracks your head’s pitch, yaw and roll, which means proper virtual reality in compatible PC games. With MS Flight Simulator X, you can explore the cockpit as you fly; in MW3, you target baddies by turning to face them. With practice it’s quick and accurate – better even than the Virtuality machine parked outside my local ice rink in 1994. But it’d be much, much cooler if the dual screens in the goggles conspired to produce a bigger, sharper image (desktop text is almost unreadable), and if blacks didn’t come out grey.