By: Nick Gambino
As the year winds down we figured this is as good a time as any to take a look back at some of the cool tech gadgets that either made their appearance or made a name for themselves in 2017. While some may be familiar to you (Apple, Amazon gadgets, etc.) there are others that we thought were worthy of being placed on the list despite not being as well known.
Amazon Echo Show
The Amazon Echo Show is not so much another TV in the house but is more like the standard Echo with some peppered in visual content. While there were many skeptics when the new video-meets-audio gadget dropped earlier this year, it quickly won over users with its simplicity and general assistance much in the way Alexa and the Echo have been doing. Get weather updates, music lyrics, create shopping lists and scan photos on the 7-inch screen.
Apple’s attempt to reinvent their flagship smartphone has proven successful with the gamble that was the iPhone X. As if resurrecting the glass back wasn’t enough, deep-sixing the familiar home button should have spelled disaster. But the phone is just exceptional. Face ID quickly and securely logs you into the slick device. The OLED display offers vivid imagery and is larger than the previous Plus line of phones, even though the body of the phone is smaller. And of course it’s lightning fast.
XYZprinting da Vinci Mini 3D Printer
Who doesn’t want a 3D printer for the home? The da Vinci Wireless 3D Printer is, in a word, awesome. Using the free accompanying software and connection to your home network, this little workhorse can pump out any number of designs including Pokémon balls, action figures and other small models.
While everyone had their eye on VR and AR, Nintendo swooped in and gave us a new system that allowed for both mobile on-the-go gaming and in-house big-screen TV gaming. Designed mainly for at-home use, the hybrid console allows you to pick up the device from its docking station and continue your game on the go. No more “just one more minute” excuses. The Nintendo Switch makes sure you bring your addiction with you.
Sony LSPX-S1 Glass Sound Speaker
While there are a number of stellar speakers out there that provide all of the sound quality you will ever wish for, a lot of them look kind of…the same. Minus varying shapes, most speakers don’t provide much of a unique look. The Sony LSPX-S1 Glass Sound Speaker is the exception. The glass tube offers up an elegance that allows it to blend seamlessly into the décor of your home. The LED filament found in the center offers a soft light resembling a lantern or candle. And of course the sound is amazing, which the glass has something to do with. Tiny actuators vibrate the glass to help give the audio a clear, realistic sound.
Lifeprint Portable Photo Printer for Smartphones
Despite everything moving towards digital, there’s still a place for printed photos. The Lifeprint Portable Photo Printer for both iPhone and Android allows you to print 2×3 photos in an instant. But that’s not the coolest part. Using Lifeprint’s Augmented Reality Hyperphotos app you can make your photos come to life. Simply select an 11-second video, pair it with a still image and print that image. When printed it’ll look like any old photo but when you look at it through the app it turns into a video. It’s a nice touch.
What kind of nerd would I be if I didn’t mention the re-release of every kid’s favorite purple and gray console. The Super Nintendo found its way back onto the shelves with a bit of an upgrade (and downgrade in size). This bad boy comes pre-loaded with 21 old-school games including Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario World, Punch-Out, Mega Man X, Street Fighter II Turbo and The Legend of Zelda as well as the never-before-released Star Fox 2.
So that about wraps up 2017. Here’s hoping 2018 sees blow-our-mind tech like teleportation and holograms that actually work like they’re supposed to. Have a Happy New Year!