Notice the calendar? In case you missed the memo and the cold weather, Christmas is here. Ah, the joy of having to brave the store to buy the latest and greatest for your kids, your adult kids and your significant other who acts like a kid.
Or, you can slap the easy button and order from the comfort of your own home. Amazon has spoiled me beyond belief.
What’s on the list? Tech with a side of more tech. But tablets and computers have fallen out of favor. We all have one, or in my case multiples. Hey, what can I say? I take multi-screen entertainment to absurd lengths.
2015 Tech Gift Ideas
It is by no means a comprehensive list but a bit of outside the box thinking for those struggling to pick something out for the techie that has everything. I’ll hit the big one first.
A drone. There are plenty of options in the niche, but one is the new 3DR Solo. Made to be used with a GoPro, the 3DR Solo is quickly becoming the competitor to the DJI Phantom. Pricing starts at $999.95 without the gimbal. Adding the gimbal will set you back another $400.
It puts it slightly more expensive than the DJI Phantom Pro, but the company has an onboard expansion slot for future upgrades. Something I wish the Phantom 3 had.
Another nice touch is you start off with just a drone. I get it; you want to unpack and go flying through the woods. Tempting and Alex may have done that with our Phantom 3 Pro. It’s also why one set of props has a permanent pine scent.
Look for our upcoming DJI reviews on the Phantom 3 and the Osmo. We are working on securing a 3DR Solo for a full comparison.[divider]3DR Solo Features[/divider]
Integrated twin Linux computer processors allow unprecedented flight experience, while keeping Solo future-proof – one processor in each the drone and controller
Effortless flight featuring auto takeoff and land, return home, automatic e-brake and midflight pause, instantly accessible on the Solo mobile app and remote control
3DR has turned Steven Spielberg into software and offers unmatched cinematic precision with Smart Shots, including Cable Cam, Orbit, Follow and Selfie mode
First and only 3-axis Gimbal to offer in-flight GoPro control, plus perfectly smooth, live-streaming HD video from GoPro direct to mobile and other devices, up to half a mile away
Solo’s app allows you to instantly share content on social media, automatically save content on the cloud and access 24/7 tech support with the click of a button
Video game inspired ergonomic controller features an HDMI port, color display, records 500 parameters of data to internal memory and seamlessly communicates with Solo Smart Battery
Flight time is 25 min without payload and 20 min with GoPro and Solo Gimbal; Latency: 180ms.
Oh, and it’s faster. Come on, you know the first time you have your drone in a clear area you try to hit the top speed. How does 55mph sound? You might want to be away from trees when attempting your speed runs.
Maybe the Christmas spirit puts you in the mood for some TV action. The battle of the remotes. One for the TV, one for the audio setup, one for the Roku, etc. You get the point. It’s annoying.
Xbox owners will think the Kinect when they see the SingleCue. A way to gesture control your entertainment system. The device will even connect to smart home appliances like connected lights and thermostats.
One feature that screams messing with people? The ability to ‘shush’ a TV. Making the gesture will automatically mute a TV. Hey, I know what I’m putting on my dad’s TV.
Pricing for a SingleCue is $199 for the black model. The company is promising more color options in the future if you want something flashier.
Vinli Saves Roadtrips
Remember the Progressive Snapshot? The commercials never seemed to end, but Vinli has come up with a better way of using your car’s data port than as a way for insurance companies to know you look at speed limit signs as a suggestion.
The biggest selling point is the ability to turn your car into a 4G LTE hotspot courtesy of T-Mobile. No more ‘are we there yet’ questions. Instead, blissful silence as headphones pipe in the latest from Netflix.
Vinli isn’t just for keeping your passengers entertained. Think of it as an app store for your car. Here are a few of the services offered:
eCall: Send automatic text or voice notifications when involved in a collision.
My Service Shop: Keeps track of maintenance milestones so you don’t miss your next check up.
Roadside Assistance: From flat tires to directions when you’re lost Vinli ensures you get help quickly.
The platform is open-sourced, allowing developers to come up with the latest in apps for your vehicle. Three by Vinli include:
Dash: Tracks driving to provide personalized analytics for safety, savings, and social integration.
Beagle: Monitor whether your teen is speeding and create custom location zone alerts.
Lock and Key: Know where your car is in real-time. With the press of a button notify authorities if your car has been stolen.
Glad I’m not a kid anymore. Big brother is everywhere. Though they are great apps to have for those with teenagers strolling out of the DMV with their driver’s license.
Vinli is available through the company’s site for $199.99. Data is pay as you go and starts at $5.00 for 500MB.
Three gift ideas for the discerning tech aficionados in your house. One that will keep them outside, another that keeps the family in for movie night and a use for your car’s data port to entertain passengers and look after your car.