We've seen the future of selfies, and it's spooky. The new Skydio R1 ($2,499) is the first drone that can follow you wherever you go and record live video as it does so. Its groundbreaking artificial intelligence software is no joke: "The drone knows your face, your gait, and your clothing. It hovers persistently behind your back, moving when you move, stopping when you stop, resisting every effort to shake it." It's being sold as a way to capture special moments, and if given the chance to film your next heroic mountain ascent, "who's not going to do it?" For now, though, it'll only fly for 16 minutes at a time.
"At last, an electric skateboard that's not just a novelty." Until the StarkBoard ($599 for preorder) came along, e-boards were almost universally slow and a pain to charge. Worse, they required riders to use a remote to accelerate. The StarkBoard, by contrast, reaches 20 mph, has a battery that can be swapped out in a flash, and seems to know exactly where you want to go: Just lean forward to move forward and step off to stop. The board runs 12.4 miles on a charge and has LED lights for nighttime travel. It will start shipping in May.
"There have been some truly memorable entries to the Weird Denim Hall of Fame in recent months, but the latest example, from streetwear label Unravel Project, might take the cake." The label unveiled the Denim Waist Belt ($405) at a resort-wear fashion show, proving that if you chop the waistband off a pair of jeans, the remaining shred of fabric can be used to cinch a loose top. Okay, the effect of buttoning a crotchless denim waistband over a sweatshirt and leather pants can be pretty cool, in the right context. "By itself, though ... well, it raises the question: Is this type of 'pretty cool' worth $405?"
Often called the Rolls-Royce of alpine sports, Foil has outdone itself with its limited-edition Oro-Amaranto Jackie Chan skis ($42,000). Tuned to the specifications of the veteran action star, who is both a fine skier and a collector of rare woods, these outrageously luxurious foot-extenders have 14-karat-gold-plated bindings and are made from purpleheart, a hardwood prized for its density, water resistance, and beautiful color. Foil also makes skis from Bog Oak — culled from trees buried in peat bogs and thus preserved for up to 8,000 years. The company is working now to develop a high-performance ski made of solid gold.
There are countless high-tech gadgets that promise a better night's sleep, but the best solution could be the simplest. The Gravity Blanket ($229) is a blanket filled with up to 25 pounds of plastic beads, so it virtually pins you to your mattress. Lying under it "feels like being swaddled as a baby, or wrapped up in a toasty tortilla like a human burrito." The theory is that the downward pressure activates the sympathetic nervous system, inducing relaxation. Whatever the science, "it's comforting to be grounded by such a large, soft presence," and it really cuts down on tossing and turning.
You don't need a pond to enjoy backyard skating anymore. EZ Ice ($1,900) is a skating rink in a kit that can be set up in 60 minutes or less on any relatively flat surface, with no assembly tools required. Each kit contains snap-together panels, brackets, and a liner, and you can order custom dimensions or choose from seven standard sizes, up to and including a $14,900 rink big enough for a regulation NHL game. Once all the pieces are assembled, all you need is a hose — and about a weeklong cold spell.
Just in time for Valentine's Day, Nestlé has unveiled a pink KitKat — the first commercially available product made from so-called ruby chocolate. Last September, a Swiss company announced it had discovered a fourth type of chocolate — after dark, milk, and white — while working with ruby cocoa beans, which produce a distinct berry flavor. Nestlé's new treat, officially called the KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby (about $4), can't be bought in stores outside Japan or South Korea, but Americans can order it online from Japan, where KitKats are so popular they're available in more than 300 different flavors, including green tea, cherry blossom, wasabi, and even sushi.
The next time you promise someone the moon, you'll actually be able to follow through. The Lunar Pro ($219), from San Francisco–based AstroReality, is an "astonishingly" detailed hand-painted replica of Earth's satellite made of solid polyresin, and "it's as much a work of art as it is a learning tool." Each orb "feels satisfyingly heavy when you pick it up," and all the tactile details — craters, plains, extinct volcanoes — derive from precise NASA data. Paired with an app that supplies information about every centimeter of surface, the Lunar Pro has suddenly become "the best way to explore the moon if you don't have an Apollo-size budget."