Mercedes-Benz’ expansion across the automobile market continues to places we’d never thought we’d see with the Mercedes-Benz Concept X-Class Pickup Truck. Probably the first true luxury pickup truck, the X-Class boasts classic pickup prowess that includes permanent 4MATIC all-wheel drive, capable off-road capabilities, and a towing capacity of up to three and a half tons, all while retaining the comfort and performance you’d expect from a Mercedes. The imposing truck stands nearly 6’3″ high and is powered by a V6 diesel that spins 22-inch light-alloy wheels. On the inside it’s decked out with a warm, leathery seats, smoked oak, and brushed aluminum complementing the center-mounted touchscreen controls and media center. Safety is also a priority with a slew of modern driver assistance systems like cameras and sensors. It’s arriving in Europe in late 2017 and Latin America in early 2018, so patience is likely sensible for prospective USA buyers.
Learn more at Daimler – $TBA
Even the best thought-out charging stations are a mess in comparison to the Native Union Eclipse. Truthfully it’s a USB hub, but it’s both better looking and more organized, with three USB ports and engineered channels for the three cables — up to 8 feet long each — that you’ll stash within. It comes with a braided power cable, can be installed on a table or mounted to a wall, and outputs 2.4A from each of its three USB ports, the third of which can be converted into a USB-C port (at 3A) at the push of a switch. And the best part: touch Eclipse’s wooden upper surface and it rises to give access to its cables, simultaneously emitting a subtle halo of light from its base; tap it again to retract. Available in two colors: taupe with walnut and marine with cherry wood.
Hit up Kickstarter for details – $50+
Brewing coffee is only an art once you’ve got the science down pat. And Goat Story’s Gina Smart Coffee Instrument can actually help you perfect your technique. An integrated Bluetooth scale allows you to optimize the coffee to water ratio, using your phone (and an accompanying app) for its display. It’s custom valve can be left wide open for pour-over, completely closed for immersion brewing, or even tuned to a slow drop for making cold drip. Gina also comes with a ridged ceramic funnel and cover, a borosilicate glass pitcher, a smaller glass module and filter for use with cold drip methods, and an app which does everything from guiding you through the brewing process to doubling as a drip meter for your cold brewing setup. All its other materials are rock solid too including a heat-resistant silicone pad plus both stainless steel valve and frame.
Hit up Kickstarter for details – $160+
Before AI rises up against us, we might as well use robots to do more than just vacuum the house. Kobi takes care of the outside of your home so you can spend less time doing yard work and more time not. This fully autonomous, fully electric time saving tool handles lawns of up to 7 acres and won’t be bothering anyone thanks to silent motors. Included are three modules: one for mowing the lawn, one for blowing leaves off your driveway, and a third to remove snow, staying useful through all four seasons. You can also link to Kobi via a smartphone app and even sync it with local weather forecasts so it knows to head outside and clear a path to your car before you even get up to see the snow. Be the first in your neighbourhood to watch others shovel snow in a storm while you sit in your bathrobe with brandy in hand.
Available early next year. Learn more at Kobi – $4,000
Honda’s Clarity Fuel Cell Sedan operates without any emissions and boasts a range that’s the longest of any alternative vehicle, on par with most gasoline-powered vehicles. Clarity’s powered by a Clarity Fuel Cell stack that’s denser and more compact than its predecessor, fitting under the hood alongside a torquey 174 horsepower electric motor that it drives. The reaction mixes hydrogen from its fuel tank with oxygen from the air, creating electricity and resulting in water as waste. Its low and wide aerodynamic body also aids fuel efficiency, and inside it’s equipped with a large center display that works with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for turn-by-turn directions, music, and calling. It’s also got a heads-up display that projects driver info onto the windshield itself, room for five on fine leather seating, and a refuelling time of about three minutes, so you’ll never need to wait for slow-charging batteries to top up.
Rolling out in late winter in California, for starters. Learn more at Honda – $60,000
It’s technically a concept phone but it’s got a release date in early November, so take from that what you will. The Philippe Starck-designed, Android-running Xiaomi Mi Mix boasts an impressive nearly edgeless 6.4-inch display that spans to the device’s side and top edges, leaving only the tiniest of bezels on the bottom. In fact, about 91.3% of the phone’s front is screen. This required the shrunk selfie cam to be shifted to the bottom bezel, the use of an ultrasound proximity sensor to know when it’s held to your ear, and the inclusion of piezoelectric acoustic technology to replace more traditional speakers for hearing whoever you’re talking to on the phone, instead transmitting sound through the metal frame beneath the phone’s all-ceramic shell. We’d almost forgo looking at its specs, but we couldn’t not do it: it’s got a a 2.35GHz Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB to 6GB of RAM, 128GB to 256GB of on-board storage, a 16MP rear-facing camera that also shoots 4K, and a 4,400mAh quick charge battery.
Learn more at Xiaomi – roughly $515
Contrary to most items in their repertoire, Hard Graft’s Holdall Volume One is rather understated, foregoing vegetable tanned leather and all out branding for a rock-colored durable brushed suede that’s tonally-matched to its other hardware. Still, it’s not one bit less impressively detailed, with a fully adjustable cotton herringbone shoulder strap and matching handles, two external zip pockets concealed by flaps, and two more quick access side pockets. It’s also sized right to carry on a plane and boasts a grey soft cotton twill inner lining on the inside that’s revealed with a quick unzipping of its floating RiRi main zipper.
Learn more at Hard Graft – $1,018
Named for its unique wing-like lateral openings, the Wingcase looks like a traditional shoulder bag — only its contents are far more accessible (see second image). Either side opens using one hand with a simple twist of its clasp, and both are equipped with various accessory pockets to stash smaller, easy-to-lose stuff. A removable 15-inch laptop sleeve snaps in place using magnets and sits safely behind Wingcase’s main zipper, which can be secured using its three digit combination lock. Both wings also lock on the inside, and the bag also packs an internal power bank to recharge smaller devices, a strap that slips over luggage handles, and a multitool with a bottle opener and box cutter hidden inside its address tag.
Grab one at Kickstarter – roughly $300