This year is a big one for technology and gadgets. Here are five of the best devices that you can expect to see hitting the shelves in 2016. Do any entice you?
1. Virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR)
After years of teasing and trials, VR and AR headsets are finally ready for release, with plenty of devices being released this year.
There are some fantastic high-tech headsets, such as the Oculus Rift, Microsoft HoloLens and Sony Playstation VR, but these headsets are going to cost you anywhere from $400 to $4000.
Luckily, there are some affordable VR headsets that use a smartphone to cut back on costs; one of the cheapest of these being Google Cardboard.
If you’re a little curious about what VR has to offer, but understandably don’t want to spend a few thousand dollars, Google Cardboard, available for around $15, may be the solution.
Most of us have hundreds or even thousands of printed photos that we’d like to backup digitally. The Flip-Pal is a very portable scanner that allows you to scan photos without removing them from photo albums. Flip-Pal also comes with software that lets you to record audio to accompany each photo, so you can tell the backstory of images to future generations.
Reading glasses aren’t exactly a new gadget, but these ThinOPTICS might help to solve the frustrating problem of forgetting your reading glasses. ThinOPTICS are (you guessed it) extremely thin; they’re about twice as thick as a credit card. Because they’re so thin they can fit in your wallet or on the back of your smartphone in a little case. They also come with a lifetime warranty should they break. Available for approximately $30, plus shipping.
4. Kindle Oasis
The Kindle e-reader just keeps getting better and better. The newest version, the Kindle Oasis, is a beautifully designed device that makes other e-readers look dated. Features include a high-resolution screen, a weight of less than 150g and a battery that lasts for two months. Unfortunately, at $449 it’s a bit pricey for an e-reader, especially compared to the Kindle Paperwhite ($179), which does the same thing for half the price.
5. New smartphones
Predictions of what Apple has planned for the iPhone 7 are already running wild. Two of the biggest rumours are that the home button is going to be replaced with a touch sensitive button, and that the headphone port is going to be removed entirely, allowing the device to be much thinner.
The Samsung’s S7 was released in March to widespread acclaim. The S7’s features include water-resistance, expandable memory (meaning you can insert a microSD card to add more storage to the device), extended battery life and more.