What's on your Christmas list this year? 2009 has seen another bumper crop of innovative products designed to make our lives more efficient, more rewarding or simply more fun. If you've got some last minute shopping to do, and you hurry, this might just help - it's Gizmag's pick of the top 10 tech gadgets of 2009.
1. e-book reader
A couple of years back it was digital photo frames, in 2009 e-readers might well take their place as the gift everyone's giving. Amazon released its Kindle 2 and rolled it out internationally this year, and there's a growing number of choices for discerning buyers, from Sony to Barnes & Noble. If you don't have the budget this year, cheaper options aren't far away. [Read Full Article]
2. Apple's multi-touch wireless ‘Magic Mouse’
The year 2009 could have spelled the death of the button as we know it. They're disappearing off phones, becoming string options on computers and even the mouse no longer needs to be "clicked". Apple's multi-touch “Magic Mouse” has no buttons, scroll wheels or “nipples” on display. Instead, the entire top of the aluminum-based mouse is a seamless hard acrylic multi-touch surface that lets users navigate using the finger gestures made popular on other Apple devices, such as the iPod touch, iPhone and Macbook trackpads. It sells for US$69. [Read Full Article]
3. The DIY segwayLooking to keep you better half occupied over the holidays? DIY types will jump at this little project and, if the theory is correct, end up with a Segway-like self-balancing transporter at a fraction of the price. Geoffrey Bennett has released an open source version of the firmware required to operate a ride on robot free, allowing anyone with basic mechanical ability and some electronics skills to build their very own self-balancing transport. [
4. Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D cameraAfter a year of rumors and prototypes, Fujifilm has officially announced its 3D camera, the FinePix Real 3D W1. The W1 takes digital three-dimensional photos and videos, and you can view them without goofy colored glasses. Fujifilm also announced its Real 3D V1 digital picture viewer, and a 3D photo-printing service. The early adopter privelege will set you back about US$600. [
5. Electric bikes
A number of factors have seen the rise of the e-bike continue in 2009 - battery technology is improving, slicker designs are emerging and competition is on the rise. Add this to humanity's urgent soul-searching over the amount of energy we waste and gases we spew into the atmosphere unnecessarily, plus the fact that no-one likes sitting in a traffic jam, and you have a recipe for the perfect Christmas gift. We've all manner of electric bikes throughout the year and although prices are still hefty in many cases, we're convinced that they will play a huge role in the future of human transport. Our pick for performance and looks - the GoCycle.
6. An 18 foot Inflatable Movie Screen anyone?
Giant inflatable movie screens really do offer the ultimate backyard cinema experience at a ridiculously reasonable price. The lightweight Open Air Home Screens are now available up to 18 feet in size, with the biggest running to just US$1150 and weighing just 17 pounds - just the thing for keeping the troops busy while mom and pop are doing some home entertaining. [Read Full Article]
7. Dual chamber Eco KettleSimple ideas can make a difference. According to the UK's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), if everyone boiled only the water they needed to make a cup of tea instead of filling the kettle every time, we could save enough electricity to run practically all the street lighting in the U.K. The Eco Kettle features a central reservoir that you can keep filled to the brim and a central valve button in the lid that releases only the amount you need into its boiling chamber, from one to eight cups - saving electricity, time and even water. The Eco Kettle retails for £29.95 (just under US$50). [
8. Dyson Air Multiplier desk fan
OK so a fan isn't the most high-tech gift idea, unless it looks like this one. The Dyson Air Multiplier has no visible blades, instead dragging air in via a brushless motor in the base and accelerating it through the ring at the top before forcing it out through an airfoil-shaped ramp. The end result of this design, combined with air dragged into the flow from above and behind is a 15 fold amplification according to Dyson. This means it drags in 27 liters of air per second and expels more than 400. This kudos does come at a price - the 10" version costs US$300 and the 12" costs US$330 [Read Full Article]
9. Sumo Omni ChairIt may seem a little lacking in circuitry for this list, but we think the march of technology and design has elevated the humble bean bag into a surprisingly versatile bit of furniture. Sumo's range of "urban lounge gear" now includes a stiff-walled, tiny-beaned maxi-pillow that can be moulded into several super-comfy positions from crashmat to loveseat to recliner couch. Once mastered, this is one of the most outrageously awesome, buttock-coddling sitting experiences we've ever tried. The Sumo Omni Chair costs US$149. [
10. Powerbocks: jump like a kangaroo, run like a gazelle & stride like a giant
They’re enough to fulfill anyone’s dreams of bionic powers: jump six feet in the air (and over cars, if you’re in the mood), run at 25 miles an hour or more, and stride nine feet at a time. But, instead of costing Six Million Dollars, you can invest in a pair of “powerbocks” for just a couple of hundred. And not only will you be part of a sport that can help you lose weight, build strength and reduce cholesterol, but you’ll also be drawn into a craze that’s swept the world from Korea to Canada. [Read Full Article]
There are of course, many innovative products released in 2009 that haven't made our Christmas wish list. What have been your favorites? Let us know what tech-gear you would like to be unwrapping come December 25 in the comments section below.