Momma Told Me: Tech Roundup 2013: Gadgets Worth Watching

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tech Roundup 2013: Gadgets Worth Watching

***This post is in no way sponsored or associated with the products and brands there in. All images are taken from press releases or general public 'stock' archives.
Momma Told Me: The marvels of today are the relics of tomorrow.


I still recall how excited I was to receive my very first Polaroid camera in 1989. It was a hand-me-down from my parent's upgrade and one of the hottest consumer technology trends in it's time. While the Polaroid (instant camera) format had been around in concept and profession since the early 60s, the SX-70 square format, instant film made capturing memories a present task. No longer were rolls of film required to snap that one perfect shot, costly one-hour expedited processing was an alternative, not the only choice, and the phrase "Shake it like a Polaroid picture" was coined. Even now, I cannot imagine the marvel on those first consumer's faces; the rush to show all the friends and neighbors their latest technological triumph. To instantaneously capture one moment, archived for history just instants later!

But today, my generation seems constantly inundated with advance after advance. It's almost as though we become desensitized to the wonder of how our world has shaped in a single lifetime. While I stopped holding my breath for a Jetsons' style hover car, somewhere around 10, there is still a very big part of me that thirsts for the next 'fix'. I am a tech gadget junkie, and an early adopter. Having said that, my finances are not limitless, and I do not jump on the Apple bandwagon. Have you noticed how some people seem to treat their tech like a Coach purse? Buying into technology should be an investment, not a show of status. After all, while a purse is simply a purse; choosing your family's next camera is a purchase that should be made for function. Weeding through the thousands of 'what's next' gimmicks, versus viable technology can be overwhelming!
Sprizzi
I fee my addiction for the latest and greatest technology by following Kickstarter; no, this is not a plug, it is simply a fact. For those unfamiliar with this amazing, in my humble opinion, resource for product development, Kickstarter is a consumer driven start up program. Companies, inventors, and even ordinary people with simplifying concepts, present their product ideas for public assessment. They provide a 'Kickstart' goal that enables them to begin official launch or production of their product based on investor matching or overall start up costs. A time frame is then set in place to raise such money through consumer backing. This is often in exchange for a small token, gift, discount, or initial product (upon release), depending on the denomination of the donation. For example, the above Sprizzi Drink Machine just may be the next cold beverage Keurig; it offers over a hundred drink bases and processes chilled, carbonated (optional) beverages by the single serving. This puppy is already headed for production and will be hitting anxious backers counters sometime late this year with double it's pledge goal!
Embrace+
Another Kickstarter favorite I've been anxiously watching is the EMBRACE+ wearable technology band. This accessory bracelet not only changed color to match your mood and outfit, but can be programmed to interact with your Bluetooth enabled device (think smartphone) to alert you visually or via vibration to incoming social status updates, emails, notifications, and more. Not only can the user change the colors of the bracelet to match a limitless coordination of hues, but the patterns of color and vibration combinations can alert the wearer of dozens of unique social media and daily events. the EMBRACE+ band is entirely waterproof, for constant wear, and charges via an internal power feed and docking charger. Look for this nifty accessory on shelves this Summer, as it's already doubled it's base fundraising goal.
Shave Tech
This next product isn't a Kickstarter find, but something I caught on one of my favorite gift roundup sites (ThisIsWhyI'mBroke.com, or such). No larger than the modern smartphone, this electric razor is USB powered for an on-the-go shave that is no longer a hassle. Simply plug your ShaveTech into your USB output device (laptop, usb AC adapter, etc) and allow it to charge for 4 hours. This will provide you with 30 minutes of strong shave time. The ShaveTech is completely safe for carry-on luggage and the perfect gift for any dad or grad with a fast-paced lifestyle. Looking sharp and well groomed is essential for success, and wives will enjoy never having to hear the 'I forgot to pack my good razor' excuse for stubble-face again!
Laser Keyboard
If men's grooming technology isn't your thing, how about this James Bond-esque Virtual Laser Keyboard? While there are a few 'value' renditions of this device out there, the original Celluon consumer version is known as the Magic Cube and will only set you back about $200 USD. Considering how much my ex-boyfriend once paid for his gaming keyboard, this isn't so steep when you factor in the space saving properties and 'tech junkie' points you'll earn. I actually happen to have a Magic Cube here in the house I've been holding onto since launch. I know, I know, I want to drag all of my household guests eagerly to show it off, but as of yet my 'desk' is my lap. The Magic Cube projects a visual laser keyboard onto any flat non-reflective surface, and tracks 'keystrokes' by mapping the movement of one's fingers. I love how compact the device itself is, and the fact that nearly any Bluetooth device with a compose function is compatible. In addition, it's pretty darn awesome to think about typing my next blog post in complete darkness!
Google Glass
You didn't think I was going to do a tech roundup without pondering the latest tech gadget fad (And for once it's not Apple!); Google Glass. I'll admit, what I know of this device consists mostly of SNL parodies and Google news clips. I try to avoid the big buzz products until they've been through appropriate beta and version releases. While the Google Glass 'wearable technology' is some of the first of it's kind made available to consumers (or so we'll see after this round of media testing), it's the closest thing to Star Trek technology I think I'll see hit shelves in my lifetime. Yes, I would love to get my hands on one to tinker- but I can imagine the intense benefits from one's experience could easily border extreme frustration during acclimation phases. Surely this technology will require ample testing before it is truly attune to consumer preferences and trials. One of the things I am most excited about the potential uses of Google Glass is the ability to instantly stream or record video and images from the user's perspective. Unfortunately, Google admits the capability and possibilities of this device are much more expansive than those of the current battery and processor.
Form 1 3D printer
Last, but not least, if none of these things tickle you, then why not make your own, literally. The Form 1 3D Printer, expected to ship early next year, has raised nearly 3 million dollars for a tech toy that has deceptively complex possibilities. This resin 3D printer offers precision creation results up to 10 times more precise in edge and curve than any previously produced consumer comparable device. Naturally, printing your own models and self created resin replicas will set you back a hefty $3k initial investment, though the potential for Etsy designers and home start ups to emerge from it's use is limitless. While I can't imagine having the capacity to truly harness this device's capabilities, the Form 1 3D will surely serve as the next must have 'geek out' device for model crafters and engineers nationwide. I'd settle for simply seeing one in action- to watch a 3D figure emerge from thin air, so to speak, is certainly futuristic!

What new technology are you anxiously awaiting?

What Daughter Says: The biggest technological developments are the ones with potential to grow through time.

22 comments:

  1. It's amazing what technology has become now a day... The possibilities with the 3D printer are endless! Annnnd did you know NASA is working on a way to 3D print food???

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  2. Wow lots of neat new things coming up!

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  3. "thisiswhyI'mbroke.com"
    bwahahahaha
    I love it.
    So many cool things coming up it's hard to keep track!

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  4. Oh my goodness there are so many of those gadgets I want! I love that virtual keyboard and I would Die to have a 3D printer! That is just so cool!
    My husband is an engineer and he is often on Kickstarter. So I like to peek over his shoulder and see what else is out there.

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  5. I don't run out and buy the latest tech but try to wait until all the bugs are worked out. I still like to marvel at the newest gadgets. I am still looking to spot my first Google Glass wearer

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  6. I still think it's amazing that there are phones EVERYWHERE. My students have no idea what life was like in the dark ages (ie 1985).

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  7. Awesome gadgets!!!I will wait when they are more affordable though.

    Childproofing your home

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  8. Love the Sprizzi - always looking for good tastes and scents. The other stuff is pretty cool too

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  9. I am constantly amazed at the new technology. I'd be a bit leery of a razor that charges through a USB. What if you had stray hairs hanging onto it? But, the 3D printer is very cool.

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  10. I hadn't heard of that tech bracelet but I could see that being a hit. Although I feel like mine would be vibrating or buzzing every couple seconds with the overkill of social media sites I'm on.
    It's truly incredible what people can dream up. - Katy

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  11. I wonder if that lazer keyboard really works? Very futuristic.

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  12. Of them all, the Sprizzi sounds the most interesting to me. Good review.

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  13. My son would enjoy owning the ShaveTech. As for the Google glasses ...really bad idea, imo. I think we've sacrificed too much privacy as it is.

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  14. I think I am in love with the magicube. When you think you have seen it all, there is still another gadget (this one is over the top) to be had!

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  15. I agree that gadgets shouldn't be a status symbol. I don't buy in to the latest Apple crazes either. When the price comes down , I'll get a tablet for it's functionality, not its name brand.

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  16. wow! look at all those amazing technological items :) i want some of these now!

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  17. I still can't wrap my head around the 3-D printer - I mean you can make guns that actually fire - real guns!? I'm flabbergasted!

    (Honestly - my mind still melts trying to comprehend "wireless!"

    I agree that it's the technologies with room to grown and evolve that WILL grow and evolve!

    Jesselyn A/Jesstinger
    jessterlyn(at)aol(dot)com

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  18. I've heard about the virtual keyboards, they seem like an ingenious product. Would love to try one to see if they are as good as advertized.

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  19. i love all the new gagets that they are coming out with now

    lmurley2000@yahoo.com

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  20. These gadgets look very cool! I'm waiting for driverless cars.

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  21. I'd never heard of kickstarter before...but had to go and check out these amazing gadgets for myself... lots of neat things I want to have now!

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