Every gadget lover or electronic enthusiast has a dream device they want. It may be something very real, or it may be something completely imaginary, such as Batman’s grappling gun, the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system, or even an automated spy drone. What about something smaller, such as spy glasses, or better yet augmented digital contact lenses?
But crazy gadgets can actually exist; in fact, many do. As technology advances (and it has significantly over just the past few years) more and more is possible. That means your dream gadget may soon come into fruition, if it hasn’t already. It’s entirely possible your dream gadget is out there waiting for you.
In light of that, I’ve put together a list of some of the coolest gadgets you can actually own for the holidays. While you’re out there shopping for everybody else’s gift, keep an eye out for these awesome devices. Who knows, you may be able to treat yourself by picking up that dream gadget you’ve always wanted.
1. An Automated Drone Quadcopter
Parrot’s original AR.Drone is pretty awesome. If you’ve never heard of it before, then look it up. It’s a pilotable, quadcopter drone that includes a whole bevy of features, not the least of which is the option to control it from a mobile device such as your smartphone.
The biggest problem with the [easyazon-link asin=”B007HZLLOK” locale=”us”]AR.Drone[/easyazon-link], however, is it won’t fly itself. That absolutely will not do, especially when you’re busy knocking back a glass of eggnog. While several drones have since been launched claiming to offer autonomous flight, only one model has truly been able to pull it off.
The Iris+ from 3D Robotics is a similar quadcopter-based drone like Parrot’s, except it can actually fly itself. The company went a step further and baked in a feature that allows the drone to follow a GPS-enabled Android device or tablet on the ground. In other words, with a compatible Android smartphone in your pocket you can program the drone to follow you around overhead.
The Iris+ will set you back $750.
2. A GPS-Enabled Tracking Tag
The Tile is a small, durable tag that can be attached to just about anything to track where it goes via GPS. You can slip it inside your travel bag, backpack or luggage. You can attach it to your key ring so you can quickly locate your car keys in the future. You can even attach it to an expensive electronic device like a laptop or portable gaming console.
In the event the attached item goes missing, you can track its location using a smartphone app. You can also program the tracker to send out local alerts, so that you may actually find the device. A thief might think twice about snatching your travel bag once it starts beeping continuously.
Four Tiles cost $70.
3. Slot Car Racing Goes Digital
You may remember the old slot-car racing sets that have been around since the 1950s, that see motorized cars flying around a user-assembled track. Scalextric has finally designed one that adds a modern spin, allowing you to attach a digital powerbase that connects to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. With the connected device you can change various race settings and even monitor live stats. The companion app can track stats such as lap times, top speeds, and progressive leader boards.
The ARC One System from Scalextric costs $160, while the powerbase (sold separately) is another $60.
Tired of playing guessing games with your car? Dash is compatible with any vehicle produced after 2006, and it plugs-in to a port underneath your steering wheel. You can then pair it via Bluetooth with your smartphone to glean important and useful information about your driving habits and vehicle.
Dash can tell you things like what your check engine light is really for. It can also keep track of how well you’re driving and how much you’re heavy-footing that gas pedal. It can also provide local advice such as where to find cheap gas and where to go for auto repairs in the event of an emergency.
If this sounds like something you could really use, you can pick one up for $69.
5. Polaroid Cube
Want a GoPro camera you can take anywhere — and wear — but don’t feel like doling out $300-$600? The Polaroid HD Cube is a small, $99 camera that works just like the GoPro. It’s about the size of a quarter and it’s capable of shooting full 1080p HD video. You can store up to 90 minutes at a time on the device itself.
Since it’s so small, you can attach it to just about anything to see the world from new vantage points. There’s also the bonus that it’s relatively inexpensive.
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