Seven Gadgets Well Worth Looking Forward To This Holiday Season
2016 is progressing steadily along. Already we’ve spotted some tech that should be considered for Christmas gifts (or just holiday treats for yourself). For one, the Sonos Play:1 is out and one of the most cost-effective and still powerful room audio systems on the market. But we’re not done yet. The tech holiday season begins with a series of shows and highlights in September. Then we run through to October with a bunch of releases just in time for the holidays. Here’s what we’re looking forward to seeing more of.
The iPhone 7
It is one of the big ones, of course we weren’t going to start with anything else but the new iPhone. We’re back to that cycle of almost entirely forgetting the old model to make way for the new. But is the iPhone 7 worth it? Well, this year we’re seeing more than incremental upgrades, so it’s tempting to say ‘yes’ in response. For one, we might be looking at a vastly improved screen resolution on a bigger screen. That said, we’re not likely to be looking at a major increase in the phone’s RAM, so improvements to actual performance might not be too dramatic. Though bigger, it’s looking slimmer than past models, we could talk about yet another production to battery life. If Apple keeps its regular schedule, we’re expecting it in September.
Playstation 4 Neo
Consoles have always had ‘upgraded’ versions coming out after them. Looking at Sony’s past lineup, the original Playstation had the PSOne. The Playstation 2 had the PS2 Slim. So on, so forth. The upgrades always did the same thing. Made a sleeker, smaller machine. But the Neo looks to do more than just demand less space. It’s looking to pack some real power. In particular, the implicit promise so far has been to consistently deliver 60FPS on all games, something of a holy grail to home consoles. But one reason it’s really worth looking out for is to see where or not any upcoming games will be ‘Neo’ specific. Sony could be cutting off their nose to spite their face if they start splitting up the PS4 library like that. It’s also worth wondering whether or not we’re going to start to see consoles following the smartphone approach. Would you fancy living in a world where your latest console got beat by an incremental upgrade a year after you got it?
GoPro Hero 5
GoPro’s are everywhere now and they’re adding some exciting technology. The GoPro Hero 5 is still relatively unknown, but certain leaks have brought a few interesting features to light. Lots of voice command functionality will supposedly take commands like ‘GoPro Take A Photo’ and ‘GoPro Turn On’. Then you have the rumour that they’re jumping head-long into this GoPro Cloud thing. So much so that the Hero 5 might automatically update the Cloud will all your new photos and videos. It’s said to do it as soon as you plug the device into your computer to charge.
Kobo Aura One
The Kindle is still obviously the big name when it comes to good e-readers, but it has some fierce competition. Usually from Canada’s Kobo. Kobo started by producing e-readers designed to be used in the pool or the bath or by the beach. Wherever you might need its waterproof functionality. Now, the Aura One is coming out and looks set to only improve. For one they’re touting a smart front lighting technology. This adjusts to make reading easier depending on the lighting level in your environment. Add to that a supposed month-long battery life and we feel like the Aura One will make quite a splash in the e-reading scene.
If we were going to track all the PC tech coming up in the next few months, we would have enough material for several articles. Instead, for now, we’re going to look at one that’s particularly interesting. Because it’s built for VR. VR is still taking baby steps. It’s performance heavy. It’s expensive. It’s suffering from a range of limited experiences (due to an explosive amount of motion sickness complaints). But if you want to see it grow into something better, it’s best to get prepared with the right machine. The Y710 is described as ‘VR ready’ from launch and certainly seems powerful enough to be telling the truth. 32GB of DDR4 RAM. Intel Core i7 processor. It’s expensive, but it looks to be the machine for those who want 4k gaming and a machine that can deliver its promise to handle VR.
Want to get away from the world of upgrades and new stats and move to some brand new technology? Or maybe you’re just looking for a new toy to get yourself this Christmas. Either way, Brixo looks like it has you covered. It’s Lego, but evolved. Particularly, it uses mechanics and electronics to give your creations a whole new realm of interactivity to play with. Motion sensing movement? Check. Lights you can operate by clapping? Check. Brixo is set to come out in October and we hope it’s a success if only to see some of the funky creations that it’s going to inspire.
Back to the world of incrementally improving tech, but one that’s good for your health. Polar’s sports training expertise has long made them a strong entry in the sports smartwatches field. With the m600, they’re looking to further improve on that. It has all the usual GPS and smart coaching features. New optical heart rate technology is supposed to bring a whole new level of accuracy and reliability to its readings, too. This is a function in many fitness tracking devices and apps that has been almost woefully inconsistent in the past. We’re looking at the possibility of a lot more companies adopting optical heart rate tech in the future too. For now, however, the Polar m600 seems like a good place for fitness lovers to get their first feel for the tech.
Like we said, there’s a lot coming up in the next few months. We’ll be keeping a close eye out and hopefully getting our hands on some of them to give them a try. Keep your eyes peeled for future impressions and reviews.