David Gandy, 41, is an internationally recognised model with one or two surprising revelations to make when it comes to tech.
But that hasn’t stopped him teaming up with Vodafone to work on a specially-designed smartwatch for kids. A father himself, Gandy recognises the role that tech increasingly plays in our kids’ lives.
He sat down with Metro to talk about the experience as well as what tech he does use in his day-to-day life as one of the most famous models on the planet.
Oh, and there’s a bit of time to reminisce about some of the best gadgets from yesteryear, too.
You’re working with Vodafone on the Neo, its smartwatch for kids. What sort of tech do you use with your daughter?
You have to get the balance right. I love mixing up technology with old-school painting and spending time in the garden with her.
My daughter is only two but there are some incredible learning apps for smartphones. She loves the Lingokids app from Oxford University. It’s full of games to help with maths and English.
Do you use a smartwatch?
I don’t, actually — I’m very old-fashioned. I have a watch collection and I’m into historic pieces.
Instead of a smartwatch, I carry my phone everywhere with me. I have a Google Pixel 5 and that records all my steps, and it can record your heartbeat through the camera.
And somehow it manages to know when I’m asleep.
Have you always been team Android?
I have a MacBook Pro but I’ve always preferred Android for my phones.
I love the battery of the Pixel 5. It can last two days on one charge if I’m careful. It removes the worry of your phone running out of battery. I have a lot of Google Home stuff and it’s connected to Spotify.
Are you excited about the idea of a connected home?
I’m renovating a house. Now, everything is connected. The refrigerator is connected to your phone and that’s connected to your security and heating.
The Google Nest Learning Thermostat is astonishing. It works out when you’re in and out of a room, so if you walk out, it will switch it off, or just regulate the whole house without you knowing.
What was your favourite gadget growing up?
In the 80s, I had a friend who had a watch which doubled as a TV remote control. So, in school, when the teacher put the TV at the front of the class to watch a documentary, he kept changing the channel and the teacher couldn’t work out what was going on. I was so jealous of that watch.
I also liked the Casio calculator watches. They had the smallest buttons in the world. So small you could barely use them. Compare that to the Neo and the technology now is remarkable.
They’re a similar concept in many ways. That’s probably why I wanted to work with it — it reminded me of my childhood.
You’re a car fan — what developments excite you?
I work with Jaguar Land Rover and they have a new infotainment system, the Touch Pro and Touch Pro Duo. A lot of the technology from their I-Pace all-electric car is now in their other cars as well.
I’ve got my new one on order but mine has a V8 engine instead of electric. It’s got a new purification system that kills about 97 per cent of bacteria in the air and instead of a rear-view mirror, you can use a camera.
If you could invent any gadget, what would it do?
My friend Larry King has been doing my hair for 15 years. When you have an amazing hair stylist, you walk out of the hairdresser’s and your hair looks superb but of course you can never do your own hair the same way.
I’ve always said to Larry, imagine if you could record what you do, put it into a system and have robotic hands that mimic you. It’s genius.
■ Gandy has collaborated with Vodafone for kids’ smartwatch Neo, eshop.v.vodafone.com
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