Finally, the One Percent can rest easy. The Van der Hilst Tailormade Pillow ($56,995), marketed as the world's most expensive item of its kind, is available in a luxury edition that has a 24-karat gold cover and a zipper decorated with a large sapphire and four diamonds. The pillow itself was developed by a Dutch physical therapist and requires a 3-D scan of the client's head so that the memory-foam foundation can be custom-sculpted by a robot. Craftspeople then cut and sew a custom cover, made from Egyptian cotton, mulberry silk, or breathable Tencel. Leave out the gems and gold fabric, and you can have the rest of the experience for just $4,995 — "because that's way more reasonable."
If the only thing that's kept you from buying a submarine was the complexity of the controls, "it's time to get your checkbook ready." The Undersea Aquahoverer ($1,500,000) makes navigating underwater as easy as driving a car, because it's designed to hover in place automatically when not being directed by either driver. Created by Hammacher Schlemmer, the craft can operate at depths to 400 feet and has six ducted propellers that'll move it in any direction. If you spot a shipwreck or interesting marine animal, you can chat with your co-pilot through a built-in intercom system.
Have you ever wanted to feel the force of an explosion? The sting of a pirate's cutlass? An elf's gentle caress? If you're already spending a lot of free time in virtual reality goggles, you'll love the Hardlight VR Suit ($549), whose 16 haptic feedback zones direct vibrations to individual muscle groups. Due to ship in September, the suit connects to VR goggles and a PC. Though it isn't the first haptic suit, it's an advance, and "it's cool to know soon we'll all be encased in what looks like dirt bike armor as we flail around our living rooms dodging war hammers and drone fire."
Black Insomnia Coffee ($40 per pound) isn't here to tickle your taste buds with notes of cacao and dark berries. The folks at Black Insomnia "know their job — they are here to get you caffeinated and they'll die trying. Or you will." Roasted in Cape Town, South Africa, Black Insomnia recently dethroned Death Wish Coffee to become the world's strongest brew. It packs about three times as much caffeine as Starbucks' dark roast, and if a 160-pound man were to drink 15 cups of the stuff, it'd kill him. In a caffeine arms race that serves no good purpose, "this may very well be the final volley."
Meet Sally ($30,000), a dorm-fridge-size robot ready to make you "the most perfectly proportioned salad you've ever eaten." Created by Chowbotics, a Silicon Valley firm, Sally launches what could be a family of machines that will also prepare Chinese, Mexican, and Indian food. Until Chowbotics finishes developing a smaller home model, you're most likely to encounter Sally in fast-food restaurants and office or hotel cafeterias. The machine uses sorted vegetables — diced in advance by humans — to whip up any of more than a thousand salad combinations in less than a minute. Sadly, avocado is for now too soft to be robot-handled.
Grilling season is right around the corner, but instead of running out to stock up on propane or charcoal, why not harness the power of the sun? The GoSun Grill ($799) uses parabolic reflectors to focus 250 watts of solar power on a vacuum-sealed tube, which reaches temperatures up to 425 degrees. The portable 30-pound cooker "can grill, bake, or broil anything you throw in it." As long as you don't let the sun go down on your picnic, "the only limitation you'll face using this is remembering to bring the paper plates."
Forget all the creams, masks, and peels. The LightStim LED Bed ($65,000) invites you to take a nap on a bed of therapeutic lights that, if the manufacturer's claims are true, can kill acne and reduce wrinkles from head to toe. Developed by Dangene, a New York-based clinic that also calls itself the Institute of Skinovation, the bed is the first of its kind to be cleared by the FDA as safe for use. Like Dangene's more affordable LED wands, it uses a NASA technology developed to stimulate the healing of wounds. Non-purchasers can enjoy time on the bed at $300 for a 40-minute session.
Do you hate folding laundry? Wearing wrinkled clothing? Digging through your closet? ThreadRobe ($3,250) can rid your life of all those troubles. Shipping next year, this “wardrobe on steroids” ostensibly can help select your outfits using everything you’ve placed inside, then deliver those garments freshly steamed. You still have to wash and dry all your clothes, and to get started, you have to attach RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags and take photos of each item using the companion app. But think about the payoffs: You can even send ThreadRobe a photo while shopping, and it’ll display clothes you own that match.