Around this time of year I start looking forward on the calendar to see what is coming up for the Christmas season. I know, it's way too early to start thinking about Christmas, isn't it? Not really, when you consider the upcoming tech-valance that is coming our way. So whether you are buying something for yourself or saving up to surprise a loved one, the following are some of my picks for you to be on the lookout for.
First up, I'm very excited about the PlayStation 4. I wasn't sure at the beginning because I didn't know if I was ready to move onto another new console (the Wii U has certainly been disappointing so far all around) but the more I read about the PS4 and the upcoming game titles, the more excited I am getting. The title I am most looking forward to playing first is the system exclusive Knack which was developed under the leadership of Mark Cerny. A veteran of the industry (first hitting it big with the arcade hits Major Havoc and Marble Madness), Cerny has worked on some of my favourite franchises such as Crash Bandicoot, Ratchet & Clank, Uncharted and God of War. See ca.playstation.com/ps4/ for more information. As a standalone product, it will be priced at $399 with bundles available.
You might have heard rumours about Apple coming out with the iWatch sometime soon and until an official announcement comes out, it's still just a rumour. However, it becomes more and more likely as companies like Samsung release similar products. The Samsung Galaxy Gear will be available here on Oct. 4 at a price of $299.
It sounds like a lot to pay for a watch, but you have likely never had one that could take and display pictures, record voice memos, and do pretty much anything else a smartphone can do - except actually make phone calls. Sony has a strong competitor with their Smartwatch 2 but the real interesting battle begins when Apple enters the arena, likely in 2014.
I love when old meets new and that's exactly what's happening with Ion Audio's Jukebox Dock ($99 for iPad, iPhone, and iPod). Not only does this piece have the retro look of a jukebox right out of the '50s, it belts out some pretty good sound and acts as a charger for your device as well. Head over to ionaudio.com for more information.
The one technology gift that you'll have to buy for yourself (because receiving this as a gift would be completely embarrassing I would think) is the Withins Smart Body Analyzer ($150, withings.com/en/bodyanalyzer). Consider it the bathroom scale, but evolved because it actually measures carbon dioxide levels in the room, measures your heart rate as well as your weight and, of course, can figure out just exactly how much fat you are carrying around. Regardless of the outcome or purpose of the device, you have to admire the technology inside of it.
Finally, there is no better "toy" for my money than the CubeX 3D printer. I've talked about these before as the devices that are going to change the world and these are definitely on the way to doing so. Starting at around $2,500, these devices can print or replicate many objects in various colours and can be used for so much more than just prototyping. Entire businesses are being built around using these things and it is taking the hobbyists by storm. Find out more at cubify.com/cubex.
There is no doubt that there is some exciting technology on the horizon, but it's amazing how much is actually here today. Wearable technology, such as the new smart watches is a trend to watch (see what I did there?) and the sky is the limit when it comes to 3D printing. Gaming technology is taking an expected evolutionary leap forward and fun products like Ion Audio's products keep the world a more interesting place to live in. This is why I love technology!
Syd Bolton is the curator of the Personal Computer Museum and the manager of Information Technology at ACIC/Methapharm. You can reach him via-email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by snail mail care of The Brantford Expositor.