There are only five more days until Christmas, and if you’re like me, you’re probably panicking right now over some last minute gift decisions. I spent sometime on Amazon this morning to find some deals on Prime. These items are still in stock, so if you act fast, you can get these in time for Christmas.
Cozmo by Anki
Hands down the cutest gadget I’ve played with all year. Cozmo is an adorable one-of-a-kind bot with a big personality. Right out of the box, you can play games with it, teach it your name, help it recognize your face and your friends’ faces, and let it harass your cat. Cozmo comes with the Cozmo SDK Beta, connected robotics platform for makers, hobbyists, educators and researchers. More details at developer.anki.com
Overdrive by Anki
From the same makers of Cozmo, Overdrive is what Anki calls “world’s most intelligent battle racing system.” Each Supercar is a self-aware robot, driven by powerful artificial intelligence (A.I.) and equipped with deadly strategy. Whatever track you build, they’ll learn it. Wherever you drive, they’ll hunt you down. The better you play, the better they become. Whether you battle A.I. opponents or friends, your tactical options are unlimited. And with continuous software updates, the gameplay always stays fresh. Customize weapons. Swap out cars. Build new tracks. It’s easy to pick up, and nearly impossible to put down.
Amazon Echo Dot 2
The Echo Dot 2 is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Amazon’s Alexa assistant to play must, control your smartphone, provide information, read the news, set alarms, and more. In general, I have privacy concerns over the intimate data home assistant devices collect, but if that’s not high on your loved one’s list, this could be an excellent and convenient choice for the techie at home.
Chromecast is one of the most useful and most affordable gadgets I’ve gotten. For only $25, you can turn your television into a smart device, provided your set comes with an HDMI port. I have a number of devices to connect my TV, including a game console, AndroidTV, and even bought a Samsung SmartTV. They range from useful only for games, hardly ever used, to not worth the sticker price and outdated apps. With Chromecast, you can cast what’s on your laptop to the TV. Netflix.com, for example, will always be more up-to-date than the Netflix app for Samsung TV. Plus, it comes with 3 months of HBO Now, so you can get your Westworld in. Buy your Chromecast today to guarantee shipping December 24th.
Wireless headphones make a fantastic gift. I use mine everyday at the gym coupled with my Spotify playlists. By the way, if you’re considering wireless headphones for your gym bunny, audiophile, or gamer, maybe throw in a couple months of Spotify while you’re at it. A premium Spotify accounts allows them to download their favorite songs for offline listening. It’s a lifesaver when I’m at the gym or on a long flight.
Samsung Gear VR
Samsung Gear VR is lets your dive into a world of virtual 360° experiences. I’ve had lots of fun with my headset, as you can see. 2015 was the year most of us were really getting introduced to VR. 2016 was the year of development. I’m excited for 2017, when we get to see all the hard work from hardware manufactures and software developers in our faces.
If your loved techie is into virtual reality, Gear VR is a great choice that doesn’t break the bank. The only caveat is it requires a Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 edge, Note5, S6 edge+, S6, S6 edge to work.