2016 is slowly heading into its twilight, and what a year it has been. From political surprises to gorilla memes, it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions, but one thing we always have to fall back on and enjoy is the epic tech and gadgets that treated us this year. We’ve rounded up some of our favourites; so without further ado, here’s our Top 6 gadgets of 2016:
LG OLED 4K TV
LG’s new OLED 4K series are a sexy bunch of televisions, and The new 55-inch OLED 4K is the flagship of the range, offering incredible picture quality, a beautiful sleek design and fantastic audio courtesy of Harman / Kardon. It’s hard to beat these bad boys, and we’ve got one on our Christmas list (please, Santa… pleeease).
Earlier this year, Google unveiled its newest smartphone – the Pixel – and it’s a beauty. The Google Pixel sports a first for Google’s smaller smartphone – a full glass and metal body – along with a 5-inch full HD display, Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM, 12MP rear camera (the “highest rated smartphone camera ever”, apparently), fingerprint scanner and 8MP front snapper. The device also comes pre-installed with Android Nougat. But the thing is, it hasn’t inherited its predecessor’s price point, with the new Pixel sporting a decidedly more premium tag.
Anki Cozmo Robot Toy
Whether you’re 7 or 47, a robot sidekick will always be an attractive prospect. Anki’s Cozmo uses cameras, sensors and AI to interact with pets and humans. You can even program the palm-sized dude to recognize faces and say your name. Sure, its robotic cooing can annoy, but if you decide to ignore him, he’ll use the world’s tiniest forklift to play with his glowing blocks. When you’re ready, you can pick games to play in the iPhone and Android app.
Samsung Gear S3
Price: €399 (around R6,460)
Samsung is taking a massive leap forward with its Gear S3, delivering a 16-megapixel full-colour display, Super AMOLED screen technology, military-level durability with Gorilla Glass, and Always On technology, which always shows the time rather than automatically fading to black. Even greater news is that the KNOX Tizen Wearable Software Development Kit (SDK) will also be available to third-parties, enabling customised applications for Samsung’s wearable ecosystem. The Gear S3 is available in two options to suit different users’ lifestyles: frontier (blends form and function with a rugged outdoor look and feel) and classic (pays homage to the minimalist, elegant style found in the most iconic luxury timepieces).
M3D Micro 3D Printer
A year ago, 3D printers were an attainable option in our lives – fast forward to 2016, and we can now buy consumer-friendly versions for our homes. Even better when it’s as compact, clear, and cute as the M3D Micro 3D Printer. This small printer can create phone cases, sculptures, toys, and more – only limited by your imagination.
DJI Mavic Pro Drone
If you’re a drone-fanatic, this is the pinnacle of the current drone market. The new Mavic Pro is DJI’s most sophisticated flying camera ever created. At one-sixth the size of the DJI Phantom 4, there are no cutbacks. The Mavic Pro has a range of 7km and maintains the 4K Camera. It’s also the first drone that can be folded up to the size of a sub sandwich and can be easily stored in a backpack. An improved and simplified smartphone app means that drone flying is even more accessible, especially for new pilots.
Nike HyperAdapt 1.0
Shoelaces are a pain. They’re confusing, awkward and can get any kid (and adult) in knots. So, we’ve been waiting decades for Marty McFly’s labour-saving MAG sneakers from Back to the Future Part II, and they’re here, finally. The shoe translates deep research in digital, electrical and mechanical engineering into a product designed for movement, as the sneakers’ laces will automatically tighten when the wearer hits a sensor with their heel. For adjustment, they are equipped with two buttons on the side that can loosen or tighten their fit. That means comfort isn’t exactly an issue here.
Powered by lithium-ion batteries that’s touted to last two weeks, the shoes have LEDs on the heel and sole to display battery life. Blue means the battery is still going strong, yellow is an indication that it only has a few days’ worth of juice left and red is a sign that it needs to be recharged as soon as possible.
Since the days of bad, mid-90s envisions of the future, we’ve been craving real, working virtual reality. Finally, it’s arriving. Playstation’s VR headset is a very capable and comparatively affordable headset that has the arduous task of completely immersing you in a video game by producing two images simultaneously and then sending them to a headset a few feet away. But unlike the competition who require expensive graphics cards to get the job done, PS VR can do it using only the Playstation 4’s built-in GPU. Playstation’s VR headset will launch in January 2017 for R6,499.99 alongside a bunch of VR-specific games; a PS VR bundle that includes a camera will retail for R7,299.99.
If you don’t already own the PlayStation Camera or Move Motion Controllers, the Launch Day bundle is the better bet here – especially considering that you’ll get one of the best games on the platform, PlayStation VR Worlds, for free.