After a day at the beach, nobody wants to climb into a car with feet and toes coated in sand. Enter the WORX Hydroshot ($120). Sure, the first truly portable pressure washer was built to tackle bigger jobs, but "for sun-worshipping neat freaks, this rechargeable power cleaner is a game changer," says The Wall Street Journal. Pull the trigger and it unleashes a spray up to five times more powerful than a garden hose's, enough to "blast every last grain of sand off your feet, beach gear, and delighted offspring." You can add a bottle attachment or just use a hose drawing water from a bucket.
Terra ($393) is an armchair that takes the phrase "lawn furniture" literally. Designed by an Italian art collective, the lounger promises hours of grassy comfort if a buyer is willing to work for it. The creators sell only the chair's hidden cardboard substructure or, for those seeking a cheaper option, the plans for making it. The buyer must assemble the frame, fill it with dirt, add grass seed, and keep it watered for 10 days. About two months later, it'll be a lush emerald throne that requires only occasional trimming. Plans for a sofa and children's chairs are also available.
Owners of beachfront properties can now rest easier. With the Survival Capsule ($13,500), a watertight aluminum pod created by a Seattle-area aerospace engineer, there's not a hurricane, earthquake, or even tsunami that can't be waited out. Made of aircraft-grade metal, the capsule is equipped with bulletproof porthole windows, a GPS beacon, air canisters, and two pilot-style seats (larger models are in the works). The capsule can withstand 40,000 pounds of pressure, according to designer Julian Sharpe. His first customer, a Microsoft executive, will be attaching hers to a long steel tether so rescuers will be able to find her.
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.