It’s time to get kitted up with smart technology and there will be plenty of gadgets to choose from in 2015, discovers Matthew Herbst
Small but BIG idea
The AAXA LED Pico Pocket Projector may look diminutive, but it packs quite a punch. This neat portable device lets you watch videos wherever you want. Plug it into your computer, smartphone or tablet to watch your favourite videos and share your photos. The Pico can even manage a presentation at a business meeting with a larger resolution, proving that good things do in fact come in small packages. It’s also Apple Mac and PC compatible. RO70 at amazon.com
The InReach Explorer is perfect for keen dune bashers worried about losing phone signal in the case of an accident. This clever device can pair with your phone and send and receive texts from anywhere on earth via the Iridium satellite network. It also functions as a navigation device, allowing friends and family to track your progress online. Should anything go wrong, the Explorer is capable of sending an SOS to an international emergency response centre. Prices start from RO145.91 at inreachdelorme.com
It’s all about being outdoors at this time of year and if you want to share your tunes with friends while you’re out and about, then the SyrenPro is for you. This wireless, weather resistant Bluetooth speaker with TrueWireless Stereo pairing, allows you to create your own wireless stereo system using a second speaker. The rechargebale battery provides up to four hours of wireless playback, but when indoors, the speaker can also be powered from the mains. SyrenPros provide 360° sound and work with most Bluetooth enabled devices. Available from iluv.com for RO38.
Editor’s Pick: Hush-a-bye-baby
Hush held a Kickstarter campaign in order to attract investors and get their wireless noise cancelling earplugs into production. The campaign ended sucessfully last week with $0.5 million dollars raised, so expect the product to be released later this year. Whether it’s traffic, snoring or just loud noise that you want to block out, the technology built into Hush means you’ll sleep well. Worried about not hearing your alarm clock or missing important phone calls? Don’t be, as Hush comes with a notification filter, which allows you to let it know what noise you do want to get through. Best of all, notifications come through your ear plugs, enabling the rest of the house to slumber on. If you struggle to sleep, Hush can even play soothing sounds to help you nod off and If you misplace your earplugs, the inbuilt tracker will find them through the App. Check it out at hush.technology. Price to be confirmed.
Being able to stream radio beyond our own borders can be fun and with a Primo Wi-Fi Media Streamer, you can do just that. The latest addition to Grace Digital’s market-leading line-up delivers access to over 50,000 radio stations, podcasts and on-demand content directly from the internet and can also steam files from a PC or Mac straight to the users’ existing stereo or powered speakers. Primo can be set up within minutes by simply connecting to Wi-Fi, giving instant access to many online services. RO58 from amazon.com
For the kids: Leap TV
The Leap TV gaming system is perfect for little ones who love to play activity games. Ideal for kids from three to eight years old, Leap TV will get them burning off energy as the games integrate different motions as part of the action – they’ll be jumping, dancing and much more. It’s also a helpful educational tool that can teach about reading, science, mathematics and problem solving, making it ideal for when parents need some down time. With hundreds of gaming titles, videos and downloads available, the kids should never be bored again. Available for RO58 from leapfrog.com
App of thew week: Yelp
The convenient app Yelp Monocle uses your smartphone’s GPS and compass to display markers for nearby restaurants, cafés and other businesses in real time, each individually tagged with the service’s user-generated ratings and reviews. If you sign up for a Yelp account, the App will additionally provide directions to businesses your friends have recently checked in at. Free for iOS, Android and Kindle users.
New: Oculus VR
Mark Zuckerberg’s recently acquired company, Oculus VR, will launch the next generation of virtual reality in 2015 in the form of the Oculus Rift. Players’ view of the game will no longer be restricted to a screen, as the Rift lets you step inside your favourite virtual worlds, using custom technology to monitor every subtle head movement in real time in order to provide a 360° view, meaning you’ll be able to look around, just as you would in real life. A stereoscopic 3D view also gives excellent depth and scale. Currently, you can only buy the Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 if you’re a game developer, but don’t confuse this with the actual consumer item that is about to hit the market. Launch date and price are yet to be confirmed. Check it out at oculus.com