Fresh - June 27th

Biometric payment
Beach holidays really work best if you go all-inclusive. The ability to amble to the bar without having to fumble in your pockets for change is invaluable, particularly if you have a penchant for Speedos.
But what if you don’t want to go all-inclusive? Paying for stuff needn’t be a cash-fiddling faff. Ibizan hotel Ushuaïa has introduced a system of biometric payment to remove the hassle of getting sand in your wallet, or forgetting it’s there and wading into the sea: you literally just pay by touching a sensor. All you need to do is give your credit card details when you check in and register the fingerprints on your middle- and forefinger, and you can touch-pay for everything throughout your stay with casual prodding. As long as you don’t get ambushed by beach pirates who cut your fingers off and go on a drunken rampage, it’s the perfect system.


Hydroponic rotary garden
There’s three words you probably haven’t seen smooshed together before.
A hydroponic rotary garden, as the name suggests, is a soil-free garden that sits within a wheel. Italian hydro-geeks DesignLibero have taken NASA garden-wheel technology and made it look all pretty, creating the sort of odd, verdant circles that you might like to have on your mantelpiece. They have a water reservoir and a pump to irrigate the system, and a little motor to rotate the plants, so it’s largely fuss-free – you just top up the reservoir every now and then, and enjoy the peculiar spectacle of what looks like a giant iPod casually spinning foliage. Your friends will be amazed. ‘How brilliantly pointless,’ they’ll say. And they’ll be right.

The excitement of the Olympics is being somewhat dampened for Londoners by the constant communication we’re receiving from various angles along the lines of ‘Be careful! OMG! London is going to be a nightmare! Don’t leave your homes!’
How about we put a positive spin on that? If you download the re:route app, you can have some fun being rewarded for walking and cycling around London during the Olympic period, rather than driving or getting the Tube or whatever. It provides info on the number of calories burned and CO2 emissions saved for each journey, as well as giving offers and money off with partners such as M&S, Champneys and so on. And hey, strolling around London in the summer is ace – we should all do more of that.

27th June 2012