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Tech It To Next Level

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The world is full of cliches and the most abused would be ‘Rich Boys’ Toys’. If you think owning two smartphones, an iPad and a ultrabook gets you into this elite club, then you’re smoking some pretty strong stuff. You need to be in a different league, with passion running at a new level, a certain fanaticism coursing through your blood, a flair to pull it off and a  jaw-dropping cash flow. This is where state-of-the-art meets luxury — but this is also where silly tech can be mistaken for out-of-the-box gadgetry. Luxury technology is basically either silly gadgets priced sky high due to some materials added (gold casing, diamond buttons, platinum highlights) or game-changing ones. To be part of the RBT domain you need to be playing only with the latter. Here’s a quick primer on what qualifies: 
Meridian 810 Reference Projector
Some people add two speakers, a DVD player and 42-inch TV and call it a home theatre (you should be ashamed of yourself), while others spend more on their HT room than their entire house. If you are in the second category, then you’ll need this amazing beast. This is a formidable contraption that has a fascinating form factor and some of the most incredible specifications to ever come out of the projector category. It weighs 80 kg, throws a whopping 96 per cent more resolution than your normal DVD, and is the world’s first 10 megapixel ultra high definition projector delivering up to 4,000 lumens — enough to light up a 30 ft screen. It offers an unprecedented resolution of 4096 x 2400 pixels and comes with a series of interchangeable lenses. This is your ticket to the big boys’ club and costs upwards of a crore. 
Live Luggage Power-Assisted Suitcase
If you can afford to get into this club, then you have to be a bit of a jet setter. This is luggage that works for you with technology embedded in its very core. With wheels powered by separate motors and a handle that jumps into your hand, Live Luggage is the kind of baggage that will get you noticed. It has an internal rechargeable battery which gives you 2 hours of usage — enough to walk at least three airport ramps. There’s more. If you walk down an incline, it will not only shut down its motors to conserve energy, but also recharge them with the same type of regenerative braking system found in hybrid cars. Price tag? About Rs 1 lakh apiece. 

Luvaglio Laptop

It looks like a million bucks and also costs you exactly that. Fortunately, it has all the bells and whistles that you need. Top of the line firepower and processor, LED screen, SSD drive, Blu Ray drive and pretty much anything that is counted as state of the art in the world of laptops. But that’s only 5 per cent of the story (and the cost). A diamond doubles up as the power button and acts as security identification; plus, it has skins like ostrich and premium leather. If you’re using your own jet plane and fishing this one out — you’ve just announced your arrival.  
Venturi Fetish Sports Electric Vehicle
Going green is pretty much the in thing — also pretty much the ugly thing. Hybrid cars and green tech have a sad offshoot: ugly machines. This is the car that beats those odds, by a long long margin. This is 250 horsepower of pure green with a 0-100 km/hr time of under 5 seconds. It runs on an electric traction motor and has a range of 250 km. The car uses lithium-ion accumulators and recharges fully in 3 hours. While the body, form factor and ergonomics are brilliant and the updated version is to die for, it also gives you on board computing power as well as WiMax connectivity. And it’ll cost you a very cool $700,000.
Ciclotte Exercise Bike  
Luxury technology is either silly gadgets priced sky high or real game changers
Close your eyes and think of the gym you go to. What’s the first thing that hits you as the images start to flood your brain? Just how awkward all those workout machines are. This is one company’s effort to make sure that the exercise bike in your home is better looking than any piece of art or furniture. This Italian-designed and manufactured exercise bike has great lines, fantastic technology and comes in three colours. It will also set you back about Rs 7 lakh. 
This is the motorcycle that wasn’t even part of your dreams. The Ecosse is a pure adrenalin rush, a dose of compounded testosterone. A titanium chassis atop carbon fibre wheels, technology in every part and space, 200HP pulsating under its wings, 210 foot pounds of torque that can blow a car’s door off and tyres that balloon out and never seem to stop. It’s big, it’s bad and it’s a bank balance burner, at Rs 1.65 crore. There you have it. A quick and easy way to go right to the top of the class in the RBT Club. Truly beats owning two smartphones, doesn’t it?

Rajiv Makhni is the managing editor, technology, NDTV

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 24-09-2012)