Putting the gadget into Christmas
Christmas naturally has quite a climactic feel to it. If, like me, you’ve got young children, you’ll know that the bubbling excitement of the impending arrival of you-know-who is infectious.
But it’s not just the kids who should get to enjoy it. I see this time of the year as the crescendo of all the exciting gadgets that have been released into the market.
So, for all the big kids among us, here are my top picks for the gadget lover in your house.
Amazon Key: eCommerce has changed the Christmas shopping experience for the better, but the one remaining flaw in the plan is when the package arrives and you’re not home (and neither are your neighbours). So you have to go out and get it anyway.
Step forward Amazon Key. Utilizing their Cloud Cam along with a new app, Amazon Key allows a courier to get into your house and leave your delivery nice and safe, while notifying you that it has happened and recording the whole thing for your security. Maybe in the future Father Christmas will retire the chimney routine for this new way.
Sphero: These small robotic spheres look like a lot of fun and will no doubt attract a lot of attention, especially with their resemblance to (and upcoming range of merchandise of) Star Wars’ BB8.
Magni-viewer: I’m constantly on the lookout for tech that lightens the load when I’m travelling. And as my kids grow up and need more entertaining, I think this one is going to come in very handy.
The Magni-viewer is designed to magnify the screen on your smartphone to make it twice the size, perfect for watching films or TV on the move.
Beeline Smart Bike Compass: Sat Nav and Google Maps have worked wonders in helping out the habitually lost and getting them to the right place. But what do you do if you haven’t got a window to stick it to or a hand to hold it in?
Working with your smartphone, where you can enter your destination, this gadget gives you everything you’d expect from a sat nav, while sitting on your handlebars and using a simply styled arrow to point you in the right direction.
VR headsets: Virtual reality has come a long way since the Lawnmower Man gave us a glimpse into the future (or at least we thought it did at the time), and along with another personal favourite, augmented reality, looks set to continue to grow in popularity.
Whether it’s in conjunction with your game console, your phone or even one of the lower spec children’s games, the headsets are becoming increasingly pervasive.
Smartphone Projector 2.0: We’ve already looked at something that doubles the size of your smartphone screen, but what do you do if you want to go that little bit bigger?
It has retro stylings and is made out of cardboard, but it can project your smartphone and magnify to eight times the size to give you a cinematic experience at a fraction of the price of high end projectors.
SNES Classic Mini: This might not represent the bleeding edge of technological advancement these days, but having sold over two million in the first month, Nintendo seem to have timed the release perfectly (having done something similar with the NES Classic Mini last year).
It’s smaller than it used to be (and not just because we’ve all grown a fair bit since we last had one), and you don’t need to use cartridges as the games (20 in all) are built into the system, including Zelda, Super Mario World and Final Fantasy. All of which will sweep you back to the early 90s when the original Super Nintendo was released.