By Imran Khan
2015 has been a great year for technology, with companies pulling out all the stops. These are some of our picks for 2015 that not only stood out for us, but would make for great gifting ideas this festive season.
Cinema in a box
“Smartphone Projector 2.0” has hit South Africa by storm. It’s a box made from cardboard finished in a luxurious matt finish laminate that contains a clever lens inside. To set it up all you have to do is insert your smartphone into the box and enjoy the show. No need for a power supply or any external accessories. The lens inside the box focuses the light emitted from your smartphone screen to project it on any flat surface. We tried it out and were impressed, however we would stick to slightly darkened spaces and for best results a flat white wall seemed to work best.
At just R295 (www.mantality.co.za), it really is a cool little gadget to own.
Self Balancing Scooter
There has been a host of viral marketing online recently about a self balancing scooter. We went in search of one these gadgets recently and were not too excited to find out that they have not arrived at South African retailers yet. The concept takes the humble Segway human transporter and summarizes it to just a platform with two wheels.
The scooter uses built in gyroscopes to pick up the direction of the rider’s lean and then converts this to the direction of motion. The wheels are independently driven and steering is achieved by tilting the platforms. Since our review, we found that you can now buy one of these amazing self balancing boards, called the ‘Zingo Move’, from Sportsmans Warehouse (www.sportsmanswarehouse.co.za) for R7000.
By now, almost everyone has heard or seen one of these. These trackers assist you by tracking your sleep patterns, counting your calorie consumption, counting your steps and tracking your heart rate 24 hours, seven days a week. They have become very popular over 2015, with Fitbit taking the lead. The Fitbit Charge, one of the more recent revisions of the Fitbit, is now available at Sportmans Warehouse for R1900 in store.
The new G-Shock
The first next generation G-Shock from Casio will feature Bluetooth version 4.0, which is capable of two way operation between your smartphone and the watch. This low energy Bluetooth connection enables you to control your smartphone music player or adjust the watch settings from the smartphone. It will also alert you to incoming notifications and have a phone finder function. Still featuring the same famous robust design and 200 metre water resistant case, the new Casio GB-X6900B promises to be the G-Shock of the future. Since our review, Casio has released an even more powerful Bluetooth watch known as the ‘GBA-400-1ADR’. This watch not only connects to your smartphone, but also displays the title of the songs playing, change songs via the watch, has a phone finder function, as well as app integration. We found it online at ‘The Casio Shop’ (www.thecasioshop.co.za) for about R3800 depending on the model you choose.