Be the master of your home and impress your guests with these gadgets, writes Alvin Thomas.
Worried that your speakers aren’t blending in with your modern home décor? Look no further: the VIZIO SmartCast speaker is what your home needs. Not only does it look simple and modern but it also does a very good job as a speaker. For starters, the SmartCast speaker propagates sound in all directions – and still manages to hold its juice for more than eight hours! Even more interesting is that the speaker can be charged wirelessly – like a smartphone –meaning you won’t be dealing with any cords. Moreover, you can also control the device using the VIZIO SmartCast app or even Google Chromecast. As an added treat, the speaker will produce bass as low as 80Hz. Get yours from vizio.com for RO96.
Now that you’ve blown the minds of your guests with your cool speaker and monitor, it’s time to crack open your Touchjet Pond. Not only will your guests appreciate your choice of tech but they also won’t be leaving your home after seeing this. The Touchjet Pond is essentially a cool-looking projector that runs Android, and is capable of touch input. In short, it turns any surface into a touchscreen. With this device, you can interact with your phone, play games and even draw a picture. Those looking to get pinpoint accuracy can also use the stylus to act as a pen… or a remote. Get yours at amazon.com for RO192.
Are you looking for a device that will not only serve its purpose as a monitor for your desktop computer but also add a bit of chic and class to your home? If you said “yes”, then look no further: what you need is this new LG Ultra-Wide Monitor. At 90cm, it is almost like having a giant television at your desk. However, this is one of those rare monitors that displays at a respectable resolution of 3840×1600 – much of which comes from a brilliant curved IPS panel. The Ultra-Wide Monitor is compatible with USB-Type C, HDMI as well as regular “old-school” USB cables. The curved screen makes for some unbelievable viewing angles, while the design is definitely a touch above anything else on the market. Yours for RO620 from amazon.com.
The Past Indicator
Is the Nixie tube clock a piece of tech? Or is this a relic from the 70s? We cannot be sure but what we do know is that it belongs in your home. Sure, it’s an unusual looking clock but this one will definitely have the guests ogling at your choice of décor this year. The Nixie tube clock uses Soviet-introduced technology from the late 20th century – mostly used in equipment and control boards for data readouts – to produce a unique piece of art. Mind you, this device is limited to a few units (pricing is unknown), and you can only order yours from past-indicator.com.
App of the Week
Most companies have adopted WhatsApp as its unofficial messaging client already. Most employers and employees tend to use them to communicate with each other outside work, too. However, if you’re looking to maintain your privacy, and also keep your WhatsApp away from work, it is best you switch to Slack. While it may not be the most informal way of chatting with your colleagues, it also allows you to send large files, create private groups and even send multimedia. Download from Google Play and iTunes for free.
Top nine game releases expected in 2017
1) Ghost Recon: Wildlands
There may not be any photos or videos of the gameplay yet but if we go by what history has taught us, Ghost Recon: Wildlands will be quite a stunning game. This open-world tactical-shooter game is expected to feature an even bigger environment than its predecessor Ghost Recon: Phantoms (2014), and should also bring into the equation an excellent storyline – as expected with most Tom Clancy-based games. Release date: March 2017
2) Destiny II
The original Destiny game was a bit messy with a complicated storyline and a patchy gameplay. It required users to download content to actually continue playing the game, leaving many frustrated. But for 2017, Bungie, the developers are toting this, which should not only erase the shortcomings of its predecessors but also set the ball rolling for this first-person shooter game. Release date: March 2017
3) Star Wars Battlefront II
The original Star Wars Battlefront had nothing unique to write home about. However, for 2017, Electronic Arts are bringing back the game without the woeful storyline. It will also run the same physics engine as its predecessor so gameplay should be fun. Apart from that, there will be three game modes (campaign, galactic conquest and instant action) to keep you busy. Release date: October 2017
4) For Honor
For Honor isn’t a game for kids: it’s for blood-thirsty and gore-loving video gamers who think that games like Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty are a tad on the tame side. The game will blend medieval-style slash and hack warfare with true offline multiplayer modes, which should make way for some interesting duels at home. Oh, and lest we forget: the graphics are true-to-life too. Release date: February 2017
5) Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
Ladies and gentlemen, let’s give a round of applause to Vicarious Visions – developers of the Crash Bandicoot series – for resurrecting their much-loved game for 2017. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy brings to the console the best of all three titles, which were released over the course of two decades. However, this time round, the game will feature a new physics engine –meaning – it’ll be a great engaging game. Late 20th century gamers will find this nostalgic. Release Date: June 2017
Not much information has surfaced on this game. But judging by developer Arkane Studios’ success in the past, Prey should be quite an impressive action title. Expect the game to feature an array of unlockable weaponry and some challenging puzzles to solve as you proceed through the game. Release Date: August 2017
7) Days Gone
Do people still spend time killing zombies? Well, if they do – and if you’re one among them – then Days Gone should have you hooked on to your console for days. Sony’s Bend Studio have also implemented some cool tech that allows thousands of zombies to literally “pour” out of compounds and buildings, forever fumbling and tripping over themselves, providing you with much-needed entertainment. Release date: December 2017
8) Gran Turismo Sport
With more than 500 cars to choose from, and numerous game modes woven into the title, Gran Turismo Sport should provide fans of the racing genre to be pleased – especially after they’ve made them wait for over five years without a release. Oh, and do expect the game to be virtual reality ready. 2017 should be a good year, folks. Release date: August 2017
9) Red Dead Redemption 2
This sequel to the much-loved original Red Dead Redemption is all gamers will need to keep busy for 2017. The storyline is expected to delve into the history of John Marston (the protagonist) but if rumours are correct, then you’ll actually get to play as seven characters, hot-switching between each in the same manner as GTA V. We can already assure you that this “Rockstar” game will be the most anticipated title for the year. Don’t forget to pre-order it or risk being in the blue for weeks, if not months. Release date: October 2017