- Started thinking about what to buy your friends and family for Christmas yet?
- From an alternative to the Apple Watch to gadgets for the home or your health, we have come up with our ten favourites
- We take a look at what we think will be the coolest gadgets to buy for your favourite gadget lover this year
Buying Christmas gifts for loved ones can be a daunting task, especially given the huge amount of choice we have these days when it comes to new toys and cool gadgets. The excitement and promotion surrounding new gadgets mean that they become a must-have for children and adults alike.
To give you some help and guidance this year, we’ve listed out some great gadgets that are available this year, as well as ones to look out for early in 2016. Happy shopping!
Don’t forget to check your home insurance to make sure your new gadgets are covered within your contents insurance policy document – some insurers will want you to list out your gadgets so they have a record of what needs cover.
Pebble Time Steel
Those familiar with Apple Watches will understand the daily chore of having to take the watch off to charge it. The Pebble Time Steel watch promises 10 days of battery life from a single charge, which far outweighs the smartwatch competition. The e-paper display will have played in a role in this, as it drastically minimises power consumption compared to an LCD or LED display. Another bonus feature of the Pebble is that it plays well with others – it’s compatible with apps on both Apple and Android, meaning you don’t have to choose a watch that aligns with your phone. The watch links up your past, present and future by showing you emails you may have missed as well as events you have coming up next. Based on its great features, we can see the Pebble Time Steel in many people’s futures this year.
To all Star Wars fans and gadget lovers alike, the droid you’ve all been waiting for is finally here. Connected via Bluetooth to your smartphone or tablet, the Sphero BB-8 can be your companion to explore your surroundings with. The BB-8 has a whole host of features, including holographic communication which allows you to record, send and view virtual holographic videos through your smartphone app, as well as learning to recognise and react to your voice. Available from October 2015 and with the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens film due to be released in December 2015, the Sphero-BB8 is bound to be a popular Christmas gift this year.
Ever since we saw the film Back to the Future, we’ve always been hopeful that one day, the powers that be will invent a hover board. Whilst technology isn’t quite there yet, the Airwheel Airboard is a close second. The Airboard 1.0 is the epitome of fun and is thoroughly exciting to use. The board uses pressure pad recognition, allowing you to lean in the direction you wish to go simply by pushing your toes down. The turning speed and response time for the Airboard is pretty much instantaneous, making it incredibly easy to turn and navigate and allows the user to have complete control. Complete with LED display and fantastic workmanship, the Airwheel Airboard is full of top quality materials. Considering its popularity with young celebrities in the media these days, there is no doubt that children (and adults alike) will be pining over the Airboard for Christmas.
For anyone who has ever overfilled the kettle or waited an eternity for it to boil, then MIITO is a product for you. Created by two students in the Netherlands, MIITO is an innovative product that heats only the amount of liquid you need and in the vessel you require it in. The steps are simple: fill your cup with water, place the cup on the induction base and place the rod in the liquid. The base then heats the rod which in turn heats the liquid surrounding it. This way you only heat the amount you need, without waste. In a world of excess and wasted energy, MIITO leads the way in energy efficiency, durability and versatility.
Brought to you by the same hot drink heroes who brought you the Wi-Fi kettle, Smarter Coffee is about to change the way you make your morning coffee – and it can also be operated over Wi-Fi. Using your smartphone, you can tell the machine to grind and brew on command, so whether you’re using it for your morning brew or hosting a coffee morning, Smarter Coffee makes it easy for you. The machine can brew 12 cups at once; with the additional options to not only decide how coarse the beans are ground but also giving you the choice as to how strong you like your coffee. Just like the Wi-Fi kettle, Smarter Coffee has a ‘Welcome Home’ feature and a ‘Wake Up’ mode, so that you can have your coffee ready right when you need it most.
Withings Smart Body Analyser
After the holiday season, many people will likely take on new fitness regimes or vow to eat healthily in order to lose weight. The Withings Smart Body Analyser is just the tool to help you do that, as it not only accurately measures your weight, but also your body fat, heart-rate, air quality and the ambient temperature. All these measurements seamlessly link up with your smartphone and shown in clear visuals, allowing you to keep daily track of your progress. Create goals for the entire family, as the machine can recognise up to 8 different users, with each person having their own private profile that they’re able to access independently. If you’re thinking of starting a healthy new lifestyle in January, make sure you’ve got the Withings Smart Body Analyser to help you along the way.
Drop Kitchen Scale
To any novices in the kitchen or those looking to improve their baking skills, Drop is the kitchen partner you’ve always wanted. This wireless scale links up to the free Recipe App on your Apple device, where you can browse interactive recipes and use the tools features to help your baking skills. Whenever baking something from scratch, measuring out the ingredients and making sure you’ve got enough of everything is always time-consuming. What if it turns out that you do not have enough of an ingredient or that you’ve run out of milk? No need to worry - the Drop automatically adjusts the remaining measurements and is able to offer substitutions so you’re covered no matter what. The scale is incredibly accurate, able to measure weight as light as under a gram, and its low energy consumption means the battery should last up to a year. Use Drop to hone your baking skills this year!
Smart Herb Garden
Have you always loved the taste of fresh herbs but struggled to keep your plants alive? If you want the benefit and joy of successfully growing greenery in your home, then the Click and Grow Smart Herb Garden is for you. This product uses NASA-inspired technology to help your plants grow faster, without any artificial additives. The process is simple: insert the plant cartridges, fill up the water tank and plug it in. The garden does all the hard work by using smart soil to ensure the plants get the food they need in order to grow, as well as releasing the right amount of water to help them thrive. There is also an LED Grow Lamp, which is specifically designed for faster germination and growth. When you want to try something new, all you have to do is replace the old plant cartridges with the new ones. Happy growing!
Scheduled for release in Q1 2016, the Oculus Rift is every gamers dream come to life. Designed by a team of passionate developers and gamers alike, the Oculus Rift is set to transform virtual reality as we know it. The Rift will allow users to step into their favourite games, watch films set in immersive virtual-reality or simply hang out with friends. The ergonomics of the headset allow for a natural fit that users can customise in order to be as comfortable as possible. The state of the art optics has been designed specifically for virtual reality, giving the user the best possible experience. All of this advanced technology is designed to give the user the feeling that they are actually there, fully immersed and present in their experience. For all gamers, this is something you don’t want to miss.
Star Theatre Planetarium
For those of us living in big cities, it is unfortunately not always possible to gaze up at the night sky and see the stars. Luckily, Sega have created a planetarium that allows you to view the stars and constellations from the comfort of your own home. The Star Theatre Planetarium uses the same lens as a full-scale planetarium in order to show real constellations and incredible detail. The ultra-bright LED technology enables you to see 60,000 stars projected onto your ceiling or wall, and with the additional shooting stars feature, you won’t believe your eyes. The planetarium also comes equipped with a timer; so that you can lie back and fall asleep under the night sky, safe in the knowledge that the planetarium will shortly turn itself off. Prepare to be totally engulfed by this magical experience.