Gear & Gizmos: Monitor everything from your heartbeat to how you sleep

Track yourself tastefully, try an app for the elements, tweet like a bird and walk like Shackleton.

by Adam Gale
Last Updated: 01 Mar 2016 (iOS, Android)


Birdsong is priceless, but robotic birdsong is free. Chirp allows you to share pictures, notes and web addresses as sounds. It's like a tweet, but only reaches those within earshot. You can get information quickly to everyone in a meeting without having to pair devices by Bluetooth or open emails, and it even works in busy pubs. The app does need to be open to receive a chirp, however, and it may not be right for those with sensitive ears. Rating 2/3

Misfit Shine (iOS, Android)


If you want to measure every aspect of your life for rigorous future analysis,but don't want to be thought of as weird, then the Misfit Shine is for you. It may seem innocuous, but this futuristic aluminium pebble in fact monitors your activity levels, calories burned and even the quality of your sleep. It's fully waterproof and can easily be worn as a watch or pendant. It doesn't have a display, though, so you'll need to sync wirelessly with the app to see your progress.
Rating 2/3

WeatherPro (iOS 7)

£1.99 to own, plus £3.99 pa for Premium

For amateur meteorologists or those struggling for icebreakers, WeatherPro may come in handy. This app arms you with three-hour, seven-day forecasts on everything from feels-like temperature and wind direction to dew points and humidity, leaving the vague precis of TV weathermen to others. Serious outdoors types will love the Premium subscription's 14-day and hourly forecasts, but why would the rest of us pay when we can get the weather free?
Rating 1/3

Baffin Shackleton boots


As climate-change deniers everywhere will tell you, we're due another ice age. When the big freeze hits, stave off frostbite with a pair of Baffin Shackletons. These Canadian winter boots combine traditional Inuit layering techniques with modern materials to keep your toes toasty in the most extreme conditions. A word of caution, though: you may find wellies a much cheaper alternative should global warming indeed cover wintertime Britain with lakes of tepid mud.
Rating 3/3

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