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By GILLIAN CAFIERO
Few would consider Harrods, the renowned up-market department store, to be a techie’s paradise. Surprisingly, hidden in the midst of Prada bags, charming food courts and personalised dog biscuits is an area dedicated entirely to shiny luxury tech products. Inaugurated in 2012, Harrods Technology showcases anything from 007-style spyware to ultimate design massage chairs.
Amongst the many treasures on display is the Hasselblad H4D-40 Ferrari Limited Edition camera. Named by Forbes the ‘Supercar of Cameras’ there are only 499 units like it worldwide. All of Ferrari’s ‘Rosso Fuoco’ design merges with Hasselblad’s uimpeachable photo quality to form this racy medium-format camera. With its 40 Megapixel Sensor and 5lbs (2.3Kgs) weight it is most photomaniac’s dream; however, priced at £19,999 it remains long shot for many Christmas shoppers.
The most glamorous piece on site is the Diamond, Sapphire and Ruby iPhone. This opulent, ritzy, sparkly, flamboyant phone is the pinnacle of raw luxury. Unsurprisingly it doesn’t come cheap, £68000 will buy you the handset and a one-year warranty. For us mortals, a continental ‘kiss on the hand’ will just have to make do.
The Spymaster area is the greatest surprise on the floor. Set up like an MI6 museum it features classics like falconry hoods and ‘entry-level’ pen-cameras. State-of-the-art pieces are also abound; amongst these are the GSM iPhone Dock and the IPhone adaptor camera (respectively £945 and £480). The GSM iPhone Dock looks like an ordinary iPhone charger but disguised within it is a perfectly functional GSM audio transmitter; this means that when a regular SIM card is inserted in it one can call it to hear room conversations. The iPhone adaptor, which is displayed next to intriguing spy-glasses, looks like an inconspicuous black knock-off Apple charger but, wired within it, lives a micro camera capable of transmitting live images of its surroundings.
At the far end of the room, surrounded by a crowd of admirers, is the LG Oled TV. The screen is shaped to match the curvature of the human eye to ensure that no part of the image seems further removed than it should. When staring directly at the screen it seems perfectly flat and the perspective of the figures displayed is uncannily real. The biggest draw is the perfect definition of the colours and blacks. As images form on the screen the TV activates the pixels that need to be coloured, while the rest remain off in order to produce a pure black effect. The result is stunning and available for £7999.
Overall Harrods’ Technology section generates a strange mix of excitement, fear and awe. Despite the astronomical prices it is definitely worth visiting. After all, who doesn’t love diamonds, TVs and spies?
Pictures: Authors own