This Christmas, it’s time to get your children something different from socks and undies. I personally don’t mind getting them, but to avoid hearing the classic “Oh!”, followed by a “Thank you so much!” as response, I advise you to have a quick look at what 2016 has provided us with. The items in this list are not specifically for children, so you are welcome to have a look yourself if you fancy anything.
To start off our list, we have one of this year’s top technological innovations: Virtual Reality. There are a few variants made for different platforms such as the Samsung Gear VR, Playstation VR, Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. Each of these brands has strengths and weaknesses, so it’s up to you to see which one is the most suitable for the recipient.
Samsung Gear VR: Only used by newer Samsung phones but a great introduction into the world of virtual reality.
From Amazon for $58 Us Version/ $100 latest version
Playstation VR: This was released in October and received reviews saying it was a great VR headset because it was an affordable introduction into the cyber world. Unlike the Rift and the Vive, Playstation VR only works on PS4s.
Amazon: $483/ $N/A Starter Bundle comes with headset, two move controllers needed for the VR and a PS4 Motion Sensor.
Oculus Rift: The Oculus Rift was the headset that started the current VR trend. It began as a crowdfunding project and was later bought by Facebook. This year, they came back even stronger with the all-new Oculus Touch (two motion controlled hand devices) and a built-in headset. You’ll need a decent computer to run the Oculus Rift as it requires one to render all the images.
From oculus.com/ Amazon for $599
Rift & Touch for $798
Touch separately for $199
HTC Vive: Out of all the headsets mentioned above, the Vive stands out as the strongest according to the majority of tech reviewers. Along with the motion controllers, the Vive packs an extra punch in the form of its Lighthouse room tracking that enables the user to move around the room with the headset on. The Vive will also require a computer to render what you see.
From htcvive.com/ Amazon for $799
Smart Home Assistants
Next on the list is the newest to your home furniture. Amazon and Google have developed their own “smart” speakers that respond to your voice to control things such as entertainment, your smart appliances and even functioning as your personal assistant.
Amazon currently has a few different Echo devices that come in standard colours for purchase. They range from $49.99 to $213.99 on amazon.com
Google Home has one standard model which comes in a plethora of colours for the base of the speaker for the purpose of blending into your home. The prices would start at $129 onmadeby.google.com, however Google Home isn’t available in Indonesia yet.
360 Degree Cameras
As technology becomes increasingly embedded into our lives, the need to document everything is rising too. Be it video or photo, you won’t want to miss out on the amazing things 360 degree cameras can do. The following cameras are some of the most popular ones on the market.
The 360fly 360 Degree Video Camera comes with an app you can download on your phone and link to the camera. It comes in HD for $299.99 but has a 4K Variant at $499.99. They can be purchased at 360fly.com or amazon.com
Samsung’s Gear 360 is a small camera that has a dual 180 Degree Lens which can be used to take both photos and videos. It pairs up with the more recent phones released by Samsung through the custom app. Prices start around $349.99. You can find the Gear 360 on samsung.com oramazon.com
The third pick is from Kodak that is coming in strong by making an entry into the 360 Degree Camera industry. It’s a small cube with a wide angle lens and similarly to 360fly’s products, Kodak’s PIXPRO SP360 have an HD and a 4K version. Kodak PIXPRO SP360 costs $246.99, while Kodak PIXPRO SP360 4K Premier Pack is $499.99; both are available on kodakpixpro.com andamazon.com
If you have children over the age of 8, there is a big chance they enjoy playing games. Below are some of the top picks of the best peripherals to date.
Mouse: Razer DeathAdder Elite
The DeathAdder has constantly been in the spotlight of reviewers as it receives critical acclaim every time it releases a new model. Reviewers claim that this mouse is perfect for general use as well as gaming. You can purchase it for $55.99 on razerzone.com or amazon.com
Headset: Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum
The Artemis Spectrum delivers an amazing performance for most platforms. Be it for PC, PlayStation 4, XBOX 1 or your phone, it will bring great sound for a good price. Prices start at $199, and the headset can be purchased from amazon.com, gaming.logitech.com or ebay.com
Keyboard: Corsair Strafe RGB MX Silent
This beauty has great keyboard switches as they are silent and have a nice feel. It also comes with an online software that you can download and change the backlighting of the keys. Online prices start at $83.99 on amazon.com or corsair.com. Jakarta prices start at around IDR 1,700,000 at Mangga Dua.
Laptop Stands + Keyboard + Mouse
Laptop Stands + Keyboard + Mouse
Laptops are a commodity nowadays, even for students. However, working on a laptop for a long period can be rather uncomfortable. To improve productivity, posture and overall comfort, consider buying a laptop stand. They elevate your laptop so it goes to eye level. Purchase a keyboard of your choosing as well as an ergonomic mouse to go along with it. This is a great alternative to buying a PC or a desktop as this is a quick fix in its stead.
Picking the right smartwatch is harder than ever, given the breadth of choice on offer. If you currently use an android phone, you’re in luck. The android smartwatches are as customizable as the operating systems on your phones and you can easily personalize what you see on your wrist at all times. A few android smartwatches you might like are Moto 360 2, Huawei Watch, Sony Smartwatch 3, Fossil Q Marshal, and Nixon the Mission. iOs alternatives to the iWatch are Fitbit Blaze, Garmin Vivoactive HR, Tag Heuer Connected and LG Watch Urbane.
And last but not least, there are drones. These are relatively expensive, so purchase them only if you are interested in cinematography or looking for a fun but pricey way to have fun. Some of the available drones are: Drones from DJI (Phantom, Inspire, Phantom Professional, Mavic Pro), 3D Robotics Solo, Yuneec Typhoon H Pro, Parrot Bebop, GoPro Karma, Skeye Pico Drone and Blade 350 QX V2.