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Volume 349

Welcome to The Matrix. We’re already living in the future, so this week’s coolsh*t is here to help you keep up. We’ve got eyewear spyware, Mad Max-mobiles, and, most importantly, a gadget to gift to your garden.

Spy Specs?

Our unquenchable thirst for wearable tech had already spread from our pockets to our wrists with smart watches, and now it’s crept up onto our faces with these new smart glasses from Facebook and Ray-Ban. Smart glasses aren’t a completely new concept, but previous versions had been seen as slightly gimmicky and were unlikely to ever catch on as either a gadget or an accessory. But with Facebook and Ray-Ban now driving things forward, I’d venture that there’s a solid chance that’s all about to change. The ‘Ray-Ban Stories’ possess instant photo and video capabilities with dual 5MP cameras and LED lights on the front, voice control settings, and also feature built-in Bluetooth and a 3-microphone audio array, so users can make calls or listen to music. Initial reaction has been mixed, with some slightly more paranoid consumers a bit frightened by the potential implications on privacy. So, what’s our verdict? Cool or creepy? Eyewear or spyware? Wayfarers or NSA-farers? Cast your votes. Although I’d choose your answer very very carefully if I were you…

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The Perfect GIF.

There are over 170,000 words in the English language, but often no combination of any of them can express our innermost thoughts and feelings quite so succinctly and clearly as a well-timed GIF in the group chat. And to celebrate our preferred mode of communication becoming less verbal and more ‘flashy pictures that move a bit’, GIPHY have published the world’s first animated book of GIF art. At this point you may be racking your confused boomer brain thinking GIFs only exist digitally, but au contraire. GIPHY have blended new-world tech with retro designs to create a world first. The finished product is a limited edition, coil-bound, 85-page book of lenticular holograms, stickers, sequential imagers, flip pages, and QR codes contributed by 35 international artists. Soon enough we’ll live in a world where we won’t even have to speak to each other and can just use our smart glasses to beam GIFs into one another’s brains. And what a heavenly Xanadu that world will be.

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Red Pill or Blue Pill?

The Matrix. A film series that has inspired a generation of Wetherspoons philosophers like no other. Over two decades on from the release of the first film, the Wachowski sisters are returning at the end of the year to drop a new instalment that will be sure to re-spark the simulation theory debate and meddle with our concept of reality. And to give rise to some new conspiracy theories on the QAnon sub-reddit, probably. The teaser trailer just dropped, but, naturally, they couldn’t make it that simple. First, you’ve got to choose: red pill or blue pill? Granted, the stakes aren’t quite as high as they were for Neo, whose choice dictated whether he would either go back to living a lie in a false reality or go do Kung-Fu with Laurence Fishburn – easy choice, I know. However, what you decide will at least determine which trailer you’re going to watch. Up to 180,000 unique video teasers can be found at, a recreation of the original domain name from the film. Choose wisely. Although if they think displaying the time in the viewers’ location will freak us out then I’m afraid they may have slightly missed the mark, given that I’m pretty sure the Amazon algorithm knows what I’m thinking right this very second.

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Mow Town.

Segway Navimow may look like a name from Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago, but it isn’t – it’s the new device that’s going to sort your lawn out. You know you’re getting on a bit when lawn-mowing innovations stir any level of excitement, but here we are. Segway will soon no longer be known just for boujie guided city tours and teenagers on hoverboards, as the Navimow has taken the crown as the most advanced robotic lawnmower known to man. It does look a bit like those robot-hoovers that always seem like a good Christmas present but in reality break after about 3 usages and waste more time than they save, but I have it on good authority that this is the real deal. You map your garden out via the Navimow’s app to create a virtual boundary, highlight any potential hazards like flowerbeds or sleeping pet cats, and then you sit back with a cocktail and let the Navimow do its thing. Just don’t let your nosey neighbours get too good a peak – it’s a bit easier to pinch than an old-school ride-on mower.

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Apocalyptic Automobiles.

Between the global pandemics, rife political instability, and the planet literally cooking itself, it can often feel as if we’re on a one-way ride steaming head-first into the apocalypse. That’s probably a slightly melodramatic interpretation of the current state of affairs, but you probably want to be equipped to deal with it just in case. ‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail’, and all that. Fortunately for you, the vehicles from ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ are about to hit the market. Lloyd’s is auctioning 13 cars in total, including The Doof Wagon, the War Rig, Nux’s V8 coupe, and Max’s Razor Cola. So now you can cruise into the end of days in comfort, style and safety. Or just use them for the school run. Nobody’s likely to bully the kid whose dad picks him up in ‘The War Rig’.

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realsh*t: I Grew Up in a Pandemic.

Blink… and just like that, we’re all a couple years older. That’s an eternity when you’re in your teens/early-twenties. But has it all been wasted time? Or has it provided opportunities to develop? Have we been growing up or just growing old?

We spoke to SELFHOOD to hear how they feel about spending the ‘best years of their lives’ in a pandemic, and how they’ve changed during that time, for better or for worse.

Real People, Real Time… Realsh*t.

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