Dreaming of a techie Christmas...
Are you still looking for a last minute gift? These are some of the things our team would love to find under the tree this weekend...
It’s that time of the year again! Christmas is just around the corner, the end of the year is approaching, and we’ve been enjoying the presence of several bright, decorated trees around the office. So we thought it appropriate to let you take a peek in our wish lists, and share the techie items we’d love to give or get!
1. A GoPro Hero 5, for the adventurers
For our resident adventure-seekers, the most recent release in the GoPro family of super-tough camera’s is a logical choice. The Hero 5 is rugged and waterproof, but also sports a large screen for its small form factor and can be voice controlled.
Hands-free control definitely sounds like something we’d like to get our hands on.
We’ve got quite a few sports and photography enthusiasts in our ranks – some of us even go on a skiing and snowboarding trip together – so the Hero 5 is a natural choice.
Oh, and of course, the brand’s new Karma drone also speaks to the imagination.
Designed to attach to a Hero 5 camera, the compact drone allows you to take aerial footage with your indestructible camera… something that certain people in our offices are dying to try!
2. Stack Lighting’s responsive light bulbs
We’re all a bit obsessed by the possibilities of smart home and office technology here, and Stack’s light bulbs piqued our interest in that category.
The light bulbs work together with a few of the bigger players in the smart home ecosystems, like Alexa, IFTTT and Nest, to make your lights clever and never let you flip a switch again.
We’re always intrigued by products that promise us less time wasted on clicking buttons…
The bulbs’ built-in sensors can detect occupancy and switch themselves on and off accordingly, learning from your behaviour over time. They can also adapt their brightness and colour according to the natural light in the room, which is good for your sleeping patterns and your electricity bill.
You can get a starter pack, with a hub and two bulbs, for $89. However, the bulbs are not yet available for Europe and are 110v only. Stack is working with manufacturing partners to bring their technology to a wide range of lighting, so keep an eye out!
3. A Prizm “music brain”
Prizm is marketed as a brain for your music speakers, and the many music obsessives in our team are on board with the idea. The tiny pyramid plugs into your existing, “dumb” speakers to give them some extra features. It can connect to your music streaming accounts, and uses a contextual music engine to automatically select the right kind of music, based on the time of day, day of the week, and people in the room. You can control the device with simple taps and presses on the device itself, and through a smartphone app.
Right now, the Prizm is only available on invitation, but the device will soon be available for purchase for €149.
4. A levitating turntable
The MAG-LEV Audio speaks both to our love of vinyl and of science-fiction. It reached its backing goal on Kickstarter in less than a week, and we can see why. The “levitating” look brings a futuristic feel to a very retro medium, and several of our team mates are fond of the aesthetic. It’s simply a gorgeous object to showcase in the living room, and the product design and attention to detail makes us quite happy.
5. The Tesla Model X - for kids
If you follow us on our social platforms, you might have noticed that 2016 brought a real babyboom to our office – and there’s already two more on the way!
And although most of our team’s kids are still a bit too young, we’re already looking ahead to the time we can watch them zip around in this tiny Tesla car. The tiny car is a customisable, battery-powered version of the real deal, which we’re quite fond of ourselves.
You can get your customised tiny Tesla through Radioflyer’s website, starting from €599.
6. The NERF N-Strike Elite Terrascout Remote Control Drone Blaster
Of course, not all toys are for kids. Nerf guns have a place in our office already, occasionally being used to grab a team mate’s attention… You can imagine the glint in our CEO’s eyes when he discovered the brand came out with a Nerf tank a while ago.
The remote-controlled tank is designed to drive happily over rough terrain, and steering it. It can fire a single dart at a time, or empty its 18-bullet arsenal in one go to really make a statement. And for added fun to the warfare, the blaster comes with a tiny camera in the barrel. Yes, you can drive this thing blind, and see the face of your unsuspecting target on the remote before you launch your stealth attack. And if you insert an SD card, you can record the moment for posterity.
The Terrascout does not appear to be available in European stores just yet, but retails for about $250 in the States.
7. The Pixel phone and Daydream view
With the new year in sight, a few people are looking to replace their trusty smartphones, and one of the most short-listed phone is Google’s very first smartphone: the Pixel. It’s a great high-end phone, with a nice look, a great camera, and the built-in Google assistant. And the fact that it runs – evidently – on stock Android makes our Android developers quite happy.
With the phone, Google also launched a new VR headset called the Daydream View, which is another piece of kit we’d love to get our hands on. It’s a well-designed pair of VR goggles at a very reasonable price, and we’re eager to experiment and explore the possibilities.
You can get the Pixel from €759. The Daydream View retails for €69 in Europe, but is not available in all countries just yet.
8. A Raspberry pi zero
Unsurprisingly, we’re big fans of the original Raspberry Pi, and have used it for all sorts of tinkering and experiments so far. The tiny, cheap system has now gotten an even tinier and cheaper update with the Raspberry Pi Zero, and we wouldn’t mind finding a few of these under our trees…
9. Nintendo NES Classic Mini
Another wonderful item in a small form factor: this re-edition of a cult classic console had some hearts skip a few beats. The original eighties icon has been brought back to life, with 30 classic game titles included, including Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Donkey Kong, PAC-MAN and Kirby’s Adventure. This retro gadget brings those of us who are old enough back to simpler days… which probably explains why it’s sold out pretty much everywhere.
If you can get your hands on one, the tiny NES will cost you about €60.
10. The new Apple Watch, Nike+ edition
We have to admit, our teams are divided when it comes to smartwatches and other wearables. But a few of our Apple Tech team members have their eye on this edition of Apple’s smartwatch. Made together with Nike, it has all the features of the new Apple Watch – the built-in GPS, water resistance, new processor, and improved OS – with a more sporty look and feel and a few exclusive Nike-branded extras.