Top 10 things you CAN'T have for Christmas 2010
It’s getting a little late for a last minute Christmas shopping list, but not to worry, most of us outside the Forbes Top 100 couldn’t afford any of these anyway! Still, it’s fascinating to look at what’s possible if the word “budget” isn’t in your vocabulary, so here’s our annual look at what you won’t be getting for Christmas this year – the most outrageous examples of high-end overkill.
1. Seabreacher X
Unless you’ve just become lunch, being inside a very large shark looks like a whole lot of fun. The Seabreacher X is the latest fish-shaped submersible from Innespace and its 260 supercharged horsepower engine opens up a world of 50 mph (80 km/h) barrel rolls and 12-feet (3.6 m) underwater dives. It’s high-tech gear includes a video camera mounted on the top fin, LCD screen in the cockpit, GPS and on-board stereo, but unless you have a cool GBP60,000 (approx. US$93,500) at your disposal, a canoe and a rubber suit may have to do.
2. “Mercedes-Benz Style” helicopter
If the SLR in the garage just isn’t getting you from A to be in time, maybe it’s time to consider the Mercedes Benz Style EC145 Luxury Helicopter. The EC145 is a twin-engine turbine Eurocopter EC145 model with an extensive interior redesign using Mercedes’ knowledge of luxury materials, lighting and re-purposing flexibility. No pricing is confirmed and it isn’t slated for sale until the fourth quarter of 2011 – one to put on the list for next year!
3. The Kid’s Walker exoskeleton
Exoskeletons for use in military and civilian applications like health care have made technology headlines numerous times throughout the year … but this one’s just for the kids. Robotics manufacturer Sakakibara-Kikai has developed a bi-pedal exoskeleton for children called the Kid’s Walker. The gasoline-powered robot suit measures in at 1.6 meters (5.25 ft) tall, weighs 180 kg (386 lb) and would cost about 1,800,000 yen (over US$21,000) if it were to go on sale in Japan.
4. The most exclusive motorcycle on the planet
It may not have the visual impact of a full-size Tron Lightcycle or your very own Batpod, but in terms of pushing the boundaries of both performance and price, the NCR M16 MotoGP streetfighter tops the list. Based on Ducati’s Desmosedici RR, the NCR M16 is stripped back to 145 kg (320 lb) via lashings of carbon fiber and titanium, given an NCR Corse racing slipper clutch, a lightened gearbox and new electronics with up to three different engine maps and fully adjustable traction control.This is possibly the most exclusive motorcycle in the world at a whopping EUR135,000 (approx. US$176,880) - and that’s on top of the price of the Desmosedici RR donor bike.
5. LEICA M9 ‘Titanium’ digital camera
We’ve looked at some very high-end additions to the digital camera market throughout 2010 including this Ferrari branded Hasselblad H4D, but in terms of style and exclusivity, the LEICA M9 ‘Titanium’ might just get the nod. Created in collaboration with chief designer of the Volkswagen Group, Walter de’Silva, the camera is a reinterpretation of the classic LEICA M9. It features an 18.5 megapixel CCD sensor, sapphire-crystal glass monitor and all visible elements are made from solid titanium. Production is limited edition to 500 cameras and the it costs US$29,000/ £19,800 / €23,000.
6. Top of the line television
The choices the choices. If you are looking to drop a not-so-small fortune on a TV you could either go for size in the form of Panasonic’s gargantuan 152-inch full HD 3D plasma display (around US$500K) or for sheer opulence opt for the PrestigeHD SUPREME Rose Edition – billed as the the world’s most expensive TV at GBP1,500,000 (approx. US$2,293,580). With the former you get a resolution of 4,096 x 2,160 (that’s 8.84 million pixels), while the latter gives you a moderately sized 55-inch screen wrapped in 28 kg (61.7 lb) of solid 18 ct rose gold and an outer frame adorned with 72 brilliant round cut 1 ct IF Flawless diamonds.
7. Domespace rotating wooden house
You won’t find this one wrapped up under the tree, but it’s probably one of the more realistic prospects on this year’s list – if you are looking at building a house that is. The UFO shaped Domespace home provides exceptional passive solar energy performance, little or no damp penetration and its aerodynamic shape has been found to be resistant to cyclonic winds of up to 174 mph (280 km/h). It’s also one of our favorite examples of architecture and design for 2010 and, did we mention, it rotates – remote control positioning enables you to make the most of passive solar energy, ensure that any externally-fitted photovoltaic panels are given maximum exposure to bright sunlight, or even just to change the view.
8. A balcony for your private jet
What’s a weekend getaway on your private jet without a little Al Fresco dining? BAE Systems and luxury transport design consultancy firm Design Q have developed the Air Deck viewing platform concept for BAE’s Avro Business Jet – an aircraft designed to access short and unpaved runways. The deck adapts to the cargo side-door to provide an evening air experience in secure surroundings when on the ground. Different configurations are in development and ballpark cost of an aircraft with this luxurious trapping is US$16-18 million fully equipped.
9. See-thru speakers
The sky-is-the-limit when it comes to splashing cash on a high-end set of speakers but these units from will add more than just great sound to your living room – just make sure you don’t walk through them. Promising “true 360 degree sound,” these glass speakers use a sound generator in the base to project the sound from both sides. Different areas of the glass are responsible for producing different frequency sounds – the curved area at the top produces high frequency sounds, the middle produces mid-range sounds, while low frequencies are produced by the area at the bottom near the base. Two different lines of glass speakers in different configurations are available – the 65.5 inch (166 cm) high Serac Series and the slightly smaller Floe Series. There’s no official pricing on the Greensound site, but the Floe series with subwoofer will reportedly set you back about US$8,000.
10. A quiet getaway … in a “flying” submarine
Treating yourself to a holiday is always a good option, but this one will take a serious commitment to fun and relaxation. Based at Sir Richard Branson’s 74 acre private island in the British Virgin Islands, the Necker Nymph is a three-person underwater flying machine developed by Graham Hawkes of Hawkes Ocean Technologies that can glide along the surface of the water as well as diving. The craft takes guests on underwater cruises of up to two hours from the shore of Necker Island or it can operate from the luxury 105 foot (32 m) catamaran Necker Belle – just add a quiet US$25,000 to the weekly hire price tag of US$88,000.