For the 2015 holiday season, Jon McKnight has compiled a gift guide containing some unique technology and gadgets to surprise that special someone in your life
Starry Night Ceiling
Sleeping under the stars is gloriously unashamedly romantic – and even better in the comfort of your own bedroom, whether that’s on a superyacht or in your Parisian pied-à-terre. Imagine the stars, twinkling above you, as you drift gently off to sleep or enjoy a cosy evening with your loved one.
You can add this Hollywood-style dimension to your life with fibre-optic Infnity ceiling panels from Starscape, the company that supplies cinemas, yacht-builders and theatres with professional starry-night effects. Hundreds of fibre-optic stars, in four different sizes, make the starry-night ceilings convincingly realistic and add an enviable touch of luxury.
Price: Variable, but a typical 4 x 3m, 12-panel ceiling with professional installation is £3,600 plus VAT.
Wow! A clock that tells the time in words. In French. And in considerable style, too. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first saw one on the wall of a very exclusive shop in the Royal Arcade in London’s Mayfair and discovered it was a QLOCKTWO from award-winning designers Biegert & Funk in Germany.
It’s beautiful in its apparent simplicity, telling the time in any one of 19 languages with interchangeable front covers in a rainbow of eye-catching colours. The QLOCKTWO puts a smile on my face every time I look at it. Love it, love it, love it!
Tie-Clip Lavalier Microphone
An unusual Christmas gift, perhaps, but one that will utterly transform the videos you make on your iPhone or iPad by giving them broadcast-quality sound. Bye-bye, at last, to background noise, hisses, pops and whistles! The Sennheiser MKE 2 Digital tie-clip microphone, identical to that used by TV presenters, plugs straight into your iOS device, while if you’re making movies using a DSLR camera, the AVX MKE 2 Lavalier Pro is a wireless tie-clip microphone that connects via a bodypack transmitter.
Easy-peasy to set up, and envied by even the professional TV crews we’ve filmed with here at Luxurious Magazine!
Price: £450 (MKE 2 Digital for iOS) / £946.90 (AVX MKE 2 Lavalier Pro)
DJI Phantom 3 Advanced Drone
In the competitive world of camera-carrying drones, the Phantom 3 Advanced from DJI is the bee’s knees. Whether you want a bird’s eye view of your home and grounds or, like us at Luxurious Magazine, want an easy-to-use aerial camera platform to transform your videos and pieces-to-camera, this is the drone to go for.
It has a 23-minute flight-time, an HD camera (bye-bye, fuzziness) and, unlike wannabe rivals, doesn’t spoil your videos with fish-eye-lens distortion. It uses GPS to know where it is, hovers reliably, returns to take-off point on command and is, I suspect, fantastic fun to use.
Possibly the most beautiful, thoughtful gift you could give a loved one this year, the Giphoscope Raro is an exquisitely-made, hand-cranked flickie-book movie player that transforms a few seconds of video footage into a sublime work of art that will be treasured for ever. Italian artists Alessandro Scali and Marco Calabrese will hand-make your Giphoscope in brass, marble or fine woods, incorporating 24 frames of your own video into an animation that plays as you turn the handle.
It’s Steam Punk, it’s movie heritage, it’s art in action. And a wonderfully personal Christmas present that will, of course, be unique.
Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System IV
Bose Wave room-filling radios are standard equipment at The Ritz in London, which speaks for itself, so it’s exciting to see this new all-in-one from Bose that has AM, FM and DAB digital radio, plays CDs, streams music from the likes of Spotify, and lets you play your own music via your iPhone or iPad.
It’s a cross-generational triumph, as the young ones will be able to stream their music while their parents can listen to The Archers on BBC Radio 4 as well as digital stations like Radio 4 Extra – all controlled from a remote or an app.