Let's get this said right off: Dadybones Puff Ball Phone Case ($35) "isn't designed for this world." Sure, it's easy to fall for. Created by artist Lola Abbey, whose pom-pom placement skills are "exceptional," it's a portable rainbow that you'll love looking at and that other people will love looking at, too. But the pom-poms are glued to a cheap plastic case, they make an iPhone so fat that you can no longer fit it in a pocket, and after a few weeks of shedding confetti, the case also starts shedding pom-poms. Is it worth all that trouble? Not really, but it "does seem like a piece of art."
Eight-ball enthusiasts now have an alternative when traditional pool tables "seem a little bit, well, square." The Banana Pool Table ($15,000), created and handcrafted by Cléon Daniel, is just one manifestation of the Dorset, U.K.–based carpenter's ability to bend billiard games to the whims of buyers. The 8½-foot banana model is constructed of ash, with yellow wool felt, brass pocket plates, and a set of brown balls that match the table's "ripe brown" edge. Daniel also crafts a pool table made to look like a doughnut, complete with a central hole, uneven edges, and a pink felt that looks like frosting.
Finally, there's a way to coordinate your jewelry with your water bottle. California jewelry designer Anjanette Sinesio recently founded Gem-Water (from $78 to $340), a company that sells a reusable water bottle that contains a removable glass pod filled with opals, garnets, emeralds, amethyst, quartz, or diamonds. The company, which also sells decanters, claims that the gemstones "enliven your water, restoring its crystal structure to the quality of actual spring water." Whether or not you believe in the transformative energy of crystals, there's no denying their accessorizing potential.
You could say that the young Tiger Woods has been replaced by a robot. The RoboGolfPro ($150,000), a 9-foot-tall, 800-pound instructional machine, is programmed to guide amateurs until they are precisely mimicking the swings of several PGA champions, and when you dial in Woods, you wind up looking "unmistakably" like pre-1997 Tiger. Mostly sold to golf schools, but also to a handful of touring pros, the robot holds a club at the shaft while you hold the grip, and it forces you into perfect execution as you draw the club away and swing through impact. Give it five minutes; "you will be wowed."
College students looking for a durable book bag can stop searching. The Solid Gray Backpack ($810) shown here is modeled after insect and crustacean shells and made of a tough aluminum-polymer composite. Created by two Dutch designers, the pack weighs just 3.2 pounds and has a coated scratchproof finish. Its hinged lid opens to reveal interior straps and compartments to keep a laptop and other gear from banging around. Foam padding on the back makes the pack surprisingly comfortable. Polymer versions of the same pack start at $225 and come in various matte colors.
"Would you? Could you? Are you a Saint Laurent superfan who collects its most iconic pieces?" asked Hannah Almassi at Who What Wear. If so, you're going to rush to an Yves Saint Laurent store to get your hands on the Anja 100 Patch Pop Pump Roller Stiletto ($2,600), arguably "the collector's item to end all other collector's items." The Parisian fashion house made a much-sought-after roller skate four years ago, but it wasn't nearly as outrageous as the four iterations of the new Anja. Just please leave them in their pristine, unworn state. "It is neither safe, nor clever, nor a fashion thing to go roller skating in stilettos."
"We are living in a golden age of pool floats," said Lane Florsheim at The Wall Street Journal, and the "luxurious, durable, and furniture-like" Pigro Felice Modul'Air Armchair & Lounger ($449) is all the evidence you should need. Its modular pieces can be used to build a large floating platform, and they're sturdy enough to furnish a tiny outdoor living room. On the water, each cushion is so buoyant you won’t even get wet, and so stable that "you could play a tense round of Jenga on it." Magnets hidden in the float can hold an optional $18 silicon cup — "to ensure your frosé doesn't go for a swim."
It looks like a humble paper airplane, and doesn't cost much more, but the Soarigami Armrest Divider ($25) might finally be the device that ends all wars for the airplane armrest. Made of a sheet of light foldable plastic, it clamps to the armrest when you tighten its screws, creating two armrests from one. Finally on sale more than two years after the concept was unveiled, Soarigami "eliminates the whole ‘Stop touching me' argument" that kids are prone to. For any traveler "repulsed by human contact," it's a godsend.