Saturday, December 12, 2015

Christmas Wish List: The Most Wanted Tech Toys This Season

Who says toys are just for kids? In this mobile world we live in today, Santa’s list will no doubt be filled with gadgets and gizmos our tech-savvy generation just can’t get enough of. Send out your wish lists and wait by your stockings with these most wanted tech toys this holiday season. 

1.BB-8 by Sphero

It’s Star Wars mania around the world this Christmas with The Force Awakens coming out this week. Join the craze with this adorable BB-8 droid. Not only is it fun to see rolling around with that head balanced (with magnets) on top, but it is also educational for kids—if you want to use them as an excuse for buying this cutie. Controlled via smartphone with a BB-8 app, the creative Sphero toy can spin away on most surfaces to bug the members of your household with its cuteness. Best of all, you can also use voice commands to order BB-8 around and view holographic recordings, so it’s the perfect gift for any Star Wars fan. This truly is the Droid you’re looking for! Learn more about this sweet plaything in the official Sphero Facebook page for the Philippine market here:

2. Lego Dimensions

Because toys-to-life console games are all the rage right now (with the success of Disney Infinity, Skylanders, and Nintendo Amiibo), it was only a matter of time before the classic bricks came into play. Lego Dimensions brings actual minifigures to life from various franchises such as Back to the Future, The Lego Movie, DC Comics, and even The Simpsons together in an epic adventure that only Lego can bring. With a Lego portal on your console, you can watch your favorite minifigs in action as they band together from your playsets to your screen to battle forces unknown. Starter Packs for Lego Dimensions have different character combinations such as Batman and Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and while waiting for them to come out in local toy stores here, you can order them online over at Amazon for now:

3. Parrot Airborne Cargo, Night, and Hydrofoil MiniDrone

Now made handier and more affordable, the mini-drones from Parrot make drone technology accessible to younger users. Controlled via Bluetooth or WiFi upon installation of a free Android or iOS app on your phone, the Parrot mini-drone can hover and even go cruising on water. Let it take off from your hand and shoot 480x640 aerial images, as well as carry toys (Legos on drones? Yes, please!). The Airborne “Cargo” carries some imaginary freight in the form of toys and Legos, while the Airborne “Night” has flashing LED lights programmable in different sequences. The Hydrofoil MiniDrone propels through aquatic surfaces like pools and ponds—just don’t get too excited about throwing it into the open sea and risk destroying it forever.

4. Mattel View Master VR

Just when you thought View Masters have long since died a peaceful death, Mattel modernizes the 75-year-old toy with the View Master VR, letting you experience virtual reality with the help of your smartphone. For just USD30, you can attach your phone onto the View Master and dive into virtual reality with the companion apps that you can download. For a more old school feel, you can even use reels that are now powered by NFC. Nostalgia, anyone?

5. Hello Barbie

I never thought I’d see the day when Barbie would actually start talking to me. Have I gone crazy? Nope. Barbie is now equipped for the modern techie world by sporting something she’s never had before—a voice box. Yes, despite all her playsets, sassy clothing, and upscale cars, Barbie has never really had the chance to communicate with us, unless you count the creepy way she just looks at us with a smile as bright as the sun. Now, with Hello Barbie, she can finally chat with us and let us know what’s on her mind. She tells jokes, shares stories, plays games—all thanks to WiFi technology and advanced speech recognition. Just set her up, push her belt buckle to talk, and you’ll hear her respond to whatever it is you’re saying. She also remembers your likes and dislikes so her responses are learned and tailored to you. Okay, so it’s a little bit creepy—not to mention that this might be the catalyst that brings the post-apocalyptic world of The Terminator to us today. Here’s hoping she doesn’t turn into Annabelle or Chuckie!

6. Noke Smart Bluetooth Padlock

What a brilliant name for a virtual padlock! Noke is literally “no key”—it’s a smart padlock that secures items via a Bluetooth-paired phone. Sleek, sturdy, and weather-resistant, the Noke Bluetooth padlock even allows you to share the lock code with your family and friends—kind of like you’re giving them a spare key to your valuables—and it tracks the users who use it. This is definitely an innovative way to make sure you never misplace your keys and end up locked out of your safe.

7. Myo Gesture Control Armband

I’ve always been in awe of the way Tom Cruise moved documents around back in the movie Minority Report, or with how Robert Downey Jr. flicked away blueprints of his Iron Man suit in the films. Everything looked so hi-tech that it seemed impossible to have those things in real life—or is it? With the Myo Gesture Control Armband, we don’t have to be in a big blockbuster film to have some wrist-flicking and arm-swishing fun. Thalmic Labs developed its muscle-controlled armband that uses gesture controls to handle devices like a boss. Just imagine: you can make a fist or tap your fingers to control a Powerpoint presentation—something that will definitely wow your clients and make your boss think that you are the most awesome person on the planet. You can also control your music and skip tracks while running with just a mere flick of the wrist. Catch the Myo Gesture Control Armband in action in the promotional video below:

 *This article was first seen on The Philippine Online Chronicles HERE.

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